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Women's Hoops

The latest news and analysis on college and pro women's basketball.

August 16, 2006 at 2:58 PM

Honing in on the home court

Two more players left the Storm practice court due to injury today.
Reserve guard Edwige Lawosn-Wade pulled a muscle in her left foot while forward Barbara Turner had muscle spasms in both calves. But both were walking around the training facility following the session and Turner said her injury “feels fine.”
Coach Anne Donovan expects them to be able to play their normal backup minutes in Friday’s Game 1 opener against the top-seeded Los Angeles.
And don’t think the home court start is lost on the Storm, a No. 4 seed. Coaches have griped in the past about the WNBA’s playoff format in the best-of-three opening round where the higher seed has to open on the road before hosting two possible games at home.
The format was a wash for the Storm last season as they stunningly defeated Houston on the road to begin the series then laid an egg in two disappointing losses at KeyArena to get kicked out of postseason play.
Washington coach Richie Audubato hopes his fourth seeded Mystics can take advantage of the format against top seeded Connecticut. He coached several years in New York and was the higher seed for some of the Liberty’s playoff runs, only to see the team lose on the road and drop one at home to be booted from contention.
“I was not in favor of that format,” Audubato said. “You play the whole season for the home court [advantage], you should have that advantage and when you play that first game away, if you lose that particular game, you’re facing elimination in the second game and it puts tremendous pressure on your team. I was always in favor of the other way. However, looking at Connecticut right now, it probably gives us a better opportunity by playing at home. This first game is probably the biggest game of the year for us.”

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