Monday, February 20, 2017

February 20th, 2017: LIU at St. Francis

Just the Facts, Ma’am: Dionne Coe’s back-to-back three-point trips in the fourth quarter sealed a 62-58 win for LIU Brooklyn at St. Francis College. Coe finished with 12 points, 8 in the second half. LIU was led by Shanovia Dove’s 31 points. St. Francis got 20 points from Olivia Levey and 15 from Rachel Iozzia to fuel their offense.

For physical post play, holding, falling down, serving up crow, clutch free throws, awkwardly trying not to meet people’s eyes, and the Marist alumni reunion, join your intrepid and easily amused blogger after the jump.

A three-day weekend is just an opportunity to squeeze in another game. St. Francis hosts LIU in the return match of the Battle of Brooklyn, and your intrepid blogger is settled on the bleachers and ready to fly solo.

I’m thinking that Stylz Sanders and Aja Boyd might need to show Gabrielle Caponegro that drill they do where Stylz bodies up on Aja going to the rim.

I’m also starting to think that Seneca Richards suffers from a case of RBF. She looks substantially less cranky when she’s animated.

It is too nice a day out. It’s cooler than it was yesterday, but it’s still not mid-February weather and I am still not okay with this.

The seat cushions at the SFC press table reflect the different evolutions of the St. Francis terrier, and I’m not sure if it’s intentional or they just didn’t want to keep replacing the cushions. I think it’s the former, because those cushions would be a custom job, and it’s cheaper to do those in bulk.

Last year, when the game at St. Francis was the trophy game, LIU brought the spirit squad. It’s 20 minutes before tip, but it looks like that’s not happening.

It’s a super-fast remix, but I’m amused that SFC is playing “Bombs Over Baghdad”. I’m not entirely sure they realize that’s got a wee tiny bit of political overtones to it.

That may have been the worst anthem I have ever heard. The singer seemed to think she was the lovechild of Mariah Carey and Adele. She sang like she had just learned the words two days ago, wandering up and down the scale like a drunken bum wailing in the middle of the night. I couldn’t keep a straight face, and I wasn’t the only one.

At halftime, SFC is up 29-23 behind three-point shooting in the first quarter and defense at the right times. Shanovia Dove has 10 points to power the Blackbirds.

This is not good basketball. But this is one of my teams and I will ride with them until I drop (or something forces my hand).

And someone needs to tell me what’s up with De’Angelique Waithe, or I may go a little bit psycho. We could use her against Olivia Levey.

*tries not to be a creepy stalker*

*ends up in line behind half the team at Chipotle*

My life, y’all.

That was one heck of a finish. Coach Oliver said I bring good luck because I was sitting behind the bench when we walked into Brooklyn Heights and walked out with a win last year. Given how the SFC-SFU game went, I’m thinking it might be more being bad luck to SFC, but I’m okay with that.

Kat Phipps still needs to pull her shorts out of her you know what, but I like her grace in the clutch, especially for a sophomore. Tori Wagner seemed genuinely surprised that she was being called for a foul for putting a forearm in Aja Boyd’s throat. You can’t do that, y’know. Lorraine Hickman brought good size off the bench but didn’t seem particularly assertive. Someone’s going to have to be that big body when Olivia Levey graduates in the very near future, and I don’t know if any of these young posts are ready. Dana DiRenzo had a basket that I think was off an offensive rebound, but I’m not sure, only because the wi-fi at this Chipotle isn’t great. It’s actually the wi-fi of the bank next door, but I won’t tell if you won’t tell. Etta Andersen is as unmemorable as the average small ponytailed blonde tends to be.

Look, SFC, if you want me to be able to differentiate your players on a regular basis, either recruit something other than blondes or put names on your jerseys.

I do not like Rachel Iozzia. It’s nothing personal and it’s not based on anything negative she did on the court. That is the “I do not like this person” of respect because they have a distressing tendency to do good things against a team that I am rooting for. In this case, it was hit straight-away threes at a shockingly efficient rate, and convert on and-1s. SFC has outside threats, but someone’s going to need to step up big time when she graduates in that very near future. Maria Palarino was a little bit obnoxious and a lot physical. (I may be prejudiced against her because of the PA announcer, though.)

As usual, Alex Delaney managed to find herself in the middle of tripping plays and foul trouble. I have no idea how that just keeps happening around her. [/sarcasm] I would like to respect her hustle and her ability to rebound, but somehow she always seems to end up doing something that makes me want to pull someone’s hair out. Samantha Keltos was unmemorable, and got switched in and out a lot. Olivia Levey was a match-up problem for us because of her build- she was able to power right through both Aja Boyd and Gabrielle Caponegro, who both had the dubious honor of attempting to guard her at various points in the game. If she could finish more consistently at the rim, she’d be an even bigger threat, but as she is, she’s very hard to check without fouling. She played like she knew it was her last home game.

SFC was able to recognize who the hot hands were- the two seniors- and fed them accordingly. Their defense swarmed, but they had trouble rotating, and in the end that was their downfall. Their passing and receiving weren’t crisp, which led to turnovers.

Someday I think we need to organize a field trip to a Sun game. The husband and I will get together, round up Janee and Philecia and Coach Oliver, and go watch a game that we have no emotional investment in. I get the feeling it would either be an absolute blast or we’d end up banned for life, but it would be worth it either way.

Drew Winter played very briefly in the first half, but I don’t think Coach Oliver was happy with her judgment on the floor vis-à-vis shot attempts versus passing. Unsurprisingly in that case, Drew didn’t play in the second half. I like Autumn Ashe defensively, though Coach seems to prefer her offensively. I’m worried about her communication skills, though. There was a sequence where either she or Seneca Richards clearly didn’t know the play- Autumn set the screen, Seneca almost ran into it, gesticulation occurred. There was another sequence on the bench where it didn’t look like Autumn was listening, either, but now we’re getting into eavesdropping territory. (Though is it really eavesdropping if you say it loud enough for the fourth row to hear?) Victoria Powell seems to be on an upswing, penetrating the paint and showing less fear than she had in previous games. Defensively, though, she wasn’t able to keep up, and that meant fouls. And that meant Coach stomping her heel.

I could have sworn Brianna Farris hit the first shot of the game, but she faked it just that well. She brought the defense early on. It’s fun watching her- she’s so intense. Shanovia Dove was the offensive catalyst, as she usually is- she drove fearlessly, to the point of running headlong into a swarm of white jerseys multiple times. I think this was when Coach let out the “shoot for the points, not the foul!” that made me a little warm and fuzzy inside. (It’s one of my favorite rants, if a rant can be said to be a favorite.) Dionne Coe, for all the smack I’ve talked about her this year, was undoubtedly the hero of the game. She hit the three free throws late, then followed up the Terriers’ answer with a three-point answer of her own. She’s not perfect, and she had a lot of pace and tempo issues in this one. But what a finish!

Aja Boyd did not have an easy time of it in this one; Olivia Levey is a big body underneath, and SFC sent multiple players to help just in case. She needs to go up strong and go up hard. She has a world of potential that I want to see her unlock. Gabrielle Caponegro rebounded well, but she’s still too hesitant with the ball. She needs too much time to think about what she’s going to do, and by the time she’s come to a conclusion, there are two defenders swarming her. Combine that with hands of stone, and you have a recipe for disaster. We’re lucky her fumbles didn’t lead to more turnovers. She’s got to work on that.

I understand a staff’s frustration when the team doesn’t do what they’re supposed to do. But it seems a little either petty or counterproductive to express that frustration even when the thing that wasn’t supposed to happen works out.

Officiating was… not of the good. I don’t think Coach Oliver likes Rachelle Jones very much, and I think the feeling might be mutual. Jones seemed to be blowing the whistle on LIU more than her compatriots, and less on SFC. When Brianna Farris gets knocked down with no call, and then gets called for the foul for the audacity to be knocked over, we’re going to get annoyed. If you make the call, the coach won’t yell at you.

I’m not saying, I’m just saying: most schools I go to, the basketball team is majority-minority and the dance team is all white girls with long straight hair.

I don’t think there were many of us cheering for LIU, but we did our best to get loud.

That was a really fun, really solid win. Something to build on- but then again, half of those points are graduating at the end of the year.

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