Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Friday, July 20, 2007

WNBA: Sun Storms Seattle

By Mel Greenberg

UNCASVILLE, Conn. - Connecticut Sun coach Mike Thibault admitted to being happy Friday night after his team ran the Seattle Storm off the floor in the second half on the way to a 76-58 victory.

"We're out-rebounding people,'' Thibault said. "I thought we got them (Seattle) off our defense. We got running and we got layups at the other end. We got steals. We got long rebounds and fast breaks. I just thought we did a lot of different things tonight.

"I thought that was impressive at both ends of the court and it takes a lot for my team to impress me at both ends of the court and it takes a lot for my team to impress me because we don't give them much slack. But we were good at both ends."

The win got Connecticut back to .500 at 11-11, while Seattle fell to the same record after the inter-conference matchup at the Mohegan Sun Arena in front of a near-sellout crowd of 9,003.

Lindsey Whalen, looking very much like the star point guard of seveal seasons ago, had 19 points for the Sun, which also got 18 from Katie Douglas, 17 from Asjha Jones, and 10 from Margo Dydek.

Nykesha Sales only had two points, off a 1-for-9 shooting effort, but made some fine defensive players before leaving the action in the third quarter after colliding with Seattle's Janelle Burse.

The injury was undetermined immediately after the game.

Lauren Jackson scored 19 points for Seattle, but was 7-for-17 from the field with Connecticut making her work for almost every shot. Tziane Castro Marque scored 10 points.

Sue Bird returned from knee surgery and had seven points off a 3-for-14 effort.

That's the basic nuts and bolts of this one, so we turn our attention to other behind-the-scenes facts on why this isn't always completely glamorous.

Does anyone know the first name of someone named "Delay" who seems to be either advertising or campaigning for office on Connecticut highways.

After trying to get an early start from Philadelphia to beat the Friday "Cape Cod" traffic in these parts on I-95, we managed to get across the George Washington Bridge through upper New York City in record time.

Then suddenly all we began to see were signs announcing "Delay at Exits 14-17," "Delay for 14 miles between 38-45," and at a few other places that added over an hour to the trip.

It could have been worse, but we used the locally-recognized escape route up I-91 from New Haven off the Merritt Parkway to just below Hartford and down Route 2. This takes the same amount of time that an unjammed I-95 stretch would take and it also makes a good detour for those not necessarily heading for Uncasinoville, here.

The stats on missing-in-action showed mixed results. Sue Bird was back from Seattle, as mentioned. Erin Phillips, the Australian point guard sensation for Connecticut in her rookie season, was in the house for the first time this season. She's sidelined with a knee injury playing in her native country in the WNBA offseason.

The missing element, however, that drew most of the media talk, especially for those who weren't around to learn the news on Tuesday night, was the elimination of the lavish dessert pastries for the rest of the year.

Cookies will continue to be served, as they were in the early days of the modern era of this sport. Tea and capppucino will continue to be offered, although the latter has been unavailable this week due to a busted coffee machine.

Meanwhile, for those who take the Amtrak train to nearby New London, there might be some relief in the distant future for those who endure the short, but pricey cab ride over here.

A new gambling parlor, called the Casino of the Wind, is under construction on the property alongside the Thames River, and a Mohegan official mentioned that river craft transportation may be established between here and the train station that also connects with the ferries on Long Island Sound.

-- Mel

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