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May 10, 2008 at 6:05 PM

Indiana game thread

STORM WINS: Dunn pulled her classic timeout calling the final 30 seconds with her team having little chance to win, but hey, you’ve got to work on late-game execution some time right? Anyway, the Storm won its final exhibition game 75-64.
HOLDING ON: Slowly, the Storm is gaining confidence. A 13-2 run midway through the fourth quarter gave the team a 63-54 lead and now the score is 65-59 with 2:35 remaining in the game.
KENNEDY IN: Rookie Daphanie Kennedy is the last player on the roster to check into the game. The Storm is ahead 59-52 after back-to-back three-pointers by Gearlds and a driving layin by Kennedy that drew a foul. There’s 7:25 reamining in the game and the Storm has their largest lead at seven.
HODGES CHECKS IN: If anything can be read from Agler’s rotation, it’s not looking good for Roneeka Hodges. He said he wanted to play the players who would see time during the season and make final evaluations. As a fifth-year player, Hodges is expensive when accounting the salary cap and she is just checking in with less than three minutes remaining in the third quarter. The Storm is ahead 46-45 with 2:02 on the clock. (FYI, Hodges is playing on the wing with twin Lewis.)
FINALLY EXECUTING: The score is still tied (44), but the Storm starters are executing 60 percent better than they did in the opening half. Ely has two blocks in the quarter while Cash and Griffith are doing some dirty work underneath the hoop. Seattle still needs better defense on White, who nailed a three-pointer in Swoopes’ face.
THE ZONE: The Storm switched to a zone defense — partly to slow White, who has eight points. The players are executing it well with Wright picking up a steal and the team forcing Indiana into a shot clock violation. It’s halftime and the teams are tied at 33 points apiece.
EXTRA SMALL: Agler said he’d try different lineups and he wasn’t joking. G Doneeka Lewis is leading the point with F Cash, F O’Neill, F Swoopes, and F Shyra Ely. Ely and Cash were sharing the center position. On a substitution, Agler put Griffith and Brazilian Kelly Santos in.
NICE DISH: On the scramble, A-Rob found O’Neill for an open 20-footer with 0.4 remaining in the quarter. The shot brought the crowd to its feet and put the Storm ahead 19-18. The crowd, by the way, is solid for an exhibition matchup. Probably about 3,500. There’s a Mariners game across town, but the weather isn’t a factor.
O’NEILL CHECKS IN: Washington standout Kristen O’Neill just checked in for Katie Gearlds. Gearlds got the crowd pumped with a three-pointer. The Storm leads 17-13 with 1:03 remaining in the opening quarter.
GRIFFITH HITS THE DECK: So, Griffith just took her first tumble, scoring a picturesque layin that drew a foul. Here’s hoping that ignites this game because the crowd is lifeless and the Storm has five bad turnovers — you know, pass to officials or invisible teammates. It looks like the team’s first exhibition game instead of the third. But majority of the players did just arrive. The Storm is tied at 11 points apiece with the Fever.
CASH-ING IN: The Storm is down 7-6, but Cash has the mid-range jumper down, making 2 of 3. The Storm is missing its shots underneath and is a little sloppy. Agler has already made two substitutions, playing rookie PG Kimberly Beck for Wright and C Ashley Robinson for Griffith. Agler brought Wright back in for Swoopes. There’s 4:49 remaining in the opening quarter.
THE OTHER JACKSON: Washington coach Tia Jackson is sitting baseline with Storm CEO Karen Bryant and former Storm F Jamie Redd, a Washington alum. A few seats down are the four new owners that comprise Force 10 Hoops LLC.
STANDING O: Dunn was just given a standing ovation by the KeyArena crowd and wished a happy birthday by the public address announcer during player introductions.
BIRD AND JACKSON’S RETURN: Agler said co-captains Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson should participate in Tuesday’s practice. Bird is expected to arrive in Seattle from Russia late Sunday while Jackson is expected on Monday. Jackson is the only question mark to practice because she needs to pass a physical first. The duo should have four days of practice under the new system with new teammates before Saturday’s season opener.
SWOOPES TO START?: F Sheryl Swoopes participated in shootaround this morning and said she’s fine to start tonight. The final lineup hasn’t been handed out, but coach Biran Agler said the final decision would be up to Swoopes. She called the sprained ankle, suffered in Thursday’s practice, “sore.” Swoopes did make an appearance at the GSBA Scholarship Awards Dinner gala on Friday, looking stunning, I’m told, in a white vest with slimming black pants. She was a presenter at the event that provides business opportunity for the queer community and those that support it.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Indiana coach Lin Dunn is a little bummed an old tradition has been broken. Back in the day she celebrated her birthday, which is today, with Storm forward Lauren Jackson, who turns 27 on Sunday. But with Jackson in Russia, that won’t be the case today. Dunn said she’s, “not seeing any starters,” when she looks out at her team. Tully Bevilaqua stayed in Indiana with Tamika Catchings due an extensive amount of travel the past month. Catchings, while on pace to return from foot injuries, will miss at least five games this season due to rehab. Dunn signed C Kristen Newlin today to fill out the roster. She also hired former Storm assistant Gary Kloppenburg, who was previously with the Charlotte Bobcats. So, it’s a reunion all around.
Here are tonight’s starters
F Shyra Ely
F Swin Cash
C Yolanda Griffith
G Sheryl Swoopes
G Tanisha Wright
F Alison Bales
F Allison Feaster
C Kasha Terry
G Tan White
G Laine Selwyn
The officials are Scott Twardoski, Maj Forberg, and Penny Davis.



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