Pre-season game wrap up

First up today, the Dream squeaked out a 91-89 win over the Shock. Laurie Koehn lead Atlanta with 21 points, and Ivory Latta and Riquna put up 18 and 17, respectively, for Tulsa.

In another close one, the Fever edged out the Silver Stars, 69-67. There is no box score up yet on wnba.com, or the Fever’s website. No comment. But hoopfeed found somewhere that Roneeka Hodges lead Indiana with 16 points, and Danielle Adams put up 12 for San Antonio.

The Sparks blew out the China National Team, 98-71. LA’s #1 draft pick, Nnemkadi Ogwumike, lead all scorers with 20 points. Four other Sparks were in double figures. For China, Gao Song and Ji Yanyan each had 19 points.

My photo gallery.

Game notes:

– China got off to a quick start with some serious defense, but LA quickly woke up and took a lead that grew and grew. Every Spark player except Delisha Milton-Jones got floor time and each player contributed. Milton-Jones was resting, and is not injured.
– China had a 6-foot-9 player, Wei Wei, who scored her team’s first six points, but quickly cooled off. They out-shot the Sparks in free throws (LA really needs to work on those), but had almost twice as many turnovers. The China coach made players run lines after the game, but I don’t know if I would have, because the team played hard. Even when they were behind by 30, they continued to play hard.
– Sparks Coach Carol Ross really coaches. She walks the sidelines, crouches, yells, waves her arms – the whole enchilada. It is fun to watch. And the team responded. Every single player that took the floor ran like she was being chased. It’s a whole new Sparks team, y’all.
– Nnemkadi Ogwumike is amazing. That is all.
– Ebony Hoffman was a beast on the shots and the boards. She is fun to watch, and she yells at her teammates (in the spirit of communication) too.
– Khadijah Rushdan had an exceptional coast-to-coast run up the floor late in the game, that involved three behind-the-back crossovers to flee defenders. She almost broke her own ankles as she approached the basket, but regained her balance and put it up and in. This got the street-clothed Candace Parker, just back from Russia, off the bench and jumping up and down. The whole thing was jaw-dropping.
– April Sykes was impressive, as was Marissa Coleman. They started the game, along with Hoffman, Kristi Toliver and Nicky Anosike. If I were the six players who still weren’t at camp yet, I would haul my booty to LA as fast as possible. The cuts will be brutal.
– AC Green was in attendance, along with over 1,000 fans and 50 members of China’s media.

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