My work situation is still up in the air, and I question if I should be spending money unnecessarily, but I went to today’s game in a better mood than last week. Part of that may have been Thursday’s double win by the Aggies Men’s and Women’s basketball teams against UMKC. I got to listen to most of both games on the radio at work. The guys continued their streak. The girls had a tough game at home, but never let the Roos get too far ahead and were able to eventually overpower them. Gia Pack followed up her career game versus
Western New Mexico last week with another double-digit
performance. So, I was up for today’s
game, though a bit nervous about the advertised autograph session
afterward. I get butterflies in such
situations, but I’ll take advantage of the opportunity anyway.
The parking lot looked a bit empty as I pulled in. There was an NFL Wild Card playoff game on. The weather was colder here than last weekend, but nowhere near as unpleasant as then. I was wearing the same outfit, though not for luck purposes. For the autographs, I did want to be wearing my Aggie Women’s basketball “Back to Back Champions” t-shirt. I picked up a Pete’s Combo again at the concessions. The hot dog was really good. I think my main complaint is that the quality of their hot dogs is not consistent from venue to venue. They were out of Dr. Pepper, so I had the blackberry tea and that was excellent.
Inside, the crowd did look small. I sat way down next to the boosters’ section this time. I think the crowd filled in behind me after I got there, so I didn’t notice them until I got up later. It might have been around 800 looking at previous attendance figures on the program. (I’m not sure where I got that 3,000 number for the last game. That was 860 officially.) However, the crowd seemed really loud and into the game today.
On court in our Assistant Coach Watch segment, Ashley Ford was dressed very casually today in a loose blouse and dress slacks. Casual, but elegant. She also seemed to be in a good mood, laughing and smiling a lot. On the other side of the court, I don’t know her name, but “Wow.” One of the other team’s assistant coaches was extraordinary tall and glamorous and gorgeous. I would liked to have seen her and the other lovely (and also quite tall) Aggie assistant coach, Blanche Alverson, suit up and play center against each other today. (I wonder if they saw each other before the game and had the same thought.)
After last week’s game against a Division II opponent, I was looking forward to seeing this conference game and some stiffer competition. Then I listened to pre-game show on the radio with Adam Young. Today’s opponent,
, was currently winless this
season. Not only that, they’re on a 22-game
losing streak dating back to last season.
I could see for myself out on court that they were only had six
players. I thought Chicago State Western
New Mexico was playing short with just eight last week. Not only all this, but their athletic program
is in jeopardy because THEIR ENTIRE UNIVERSITY MAY BE GETTING DISSOLVED. I had thought I had job stress. It’s nothing compared to these girls. However, Adam did emphasize that the Cougar
players are good. They just don’t have
the horses to play a whole game well.
The Men were, in unfortunate scheduling, playing at
during this game. I say “unfortunate” because I would have
liked to have been able to listen to that game in the evening. They announced that the Aggies were winning
there at halftime right before this game started. I don’t think they were trying to demoralize
the girls here. They usually give
out-of-town scores for other Aggie teams during home games. (Still, I felt bad for them anyway.) The video board seemed to have a problem
during player introductions, so they didn’t play the Aggies’ intro movie. Chicago State
The game didn’t start well for the Cougars. A minute and half into the game, Destiny Harris fell to the court on an injured ankle and had to come out. For an opposing player, she got a very nice round of applause as she was helped to the sidelines. I think everyone there could count. The Cougars were now playing their entire team on court. Destiny was able to come back in later, though never really figured in the scoring for the rest of the game.
I found myself watching Tamara William in the first quarter. She had a good touch on a three-pointer early, but seemed reluctant to shoot. She had a great drive to basket that got waved off on a travelling call (and strangely the Cougars turned it right back over on another travelling call right after). Gia Pack came in as a sub briefly. She had a steal and made a great block on a layup. The Aggie defense was pretty oppressive, but both teams played up tempo. The biggest event of this quarter was Aggie senior, Brianna Freeman, scoring her 1,000th point. There wasn’t a big announcement and play only stopped for a few moments, but the crowd knew and gave her a big round of applause. 27-20 Aggies after 10 minutes. The Cougars may have been undermanned, but a couple of their girls were really shooting lights out.
The second quarter started with
committing several fouls. For the game,
they never really got into foul trouble, but it must have been scary for their
coach. Aggie senior, Brandee Walton,
came into the game and hit a three. This
set off a big cheer from the crowd.
Brooke Salas, on the sidelines at the time, high-fived everyone on
bench. Adam was effusive in his praise
of her on the radio call. He reported
that she was an extremely pleasant young woman.
Play-wise, Chicago State found a hole in the
Aggies’ defense that allowed them several “backdoor” trips under the hoop that
they converted on. However at the half,
Aggies 58, Cougars 40. Chicago
For halftime, a group of girls participated in a trike/layup contest, as they rode a little tricycle up and down the court and had to make a shot. Pistol Pete got involved in helping push the trikes. I think the girls were all from a sorority. Meanwhile, the Aggie Men’s team won their game, 70-62. Braxton Huggins was the leading scorer. (I love that name and it allows for so many possible nicknames.) Both teams were still in the locker rooms during the announcement, so no mind games on the lady Cougars this time. The halftime stats showed the Aggies up 3-9 in turnovers and 17-7 in rebounds, but both teams were shooting over 60% inside the arc and 40% outside. Whew!
To start the third quarter, Brianna scored a couple times.
came out cold and went about three and half minutes before finally scoring on a
free throw. The Cougars got that
“backdoor” play working again, and the Aggies went cold for a couple
minutes. What goes around, comes
around. Brianna would break that streak
with an Aggie “backdoor” to her under the basket. Moriah Mack put in a coast-to-coast
layup. Tamara dropped a three. At this point, I think Chicago State
called a timeout. The Aggies almost went
back out with only four players on the court before one of the players finally
noticed. Chicago State
Brooke missed an open look for a three at one point. Later, she took another one that also missed. The Aggies got the rebound and fed it back to her. Brooke drove the lane and took it to the rim. Running back down court, she said something to somebody on the bench. I would have like to have known what was said there. At the end of the quarter, the Aggies made a bad transition that turned into a steal and Cougar layup at the buzzer. I watched the refs puzzle over the replay for a while between quarters. I think they counted it. 78-55 Aggies after three quarters.
To start the fourth, Blanche was up and animated on the sidelines. Perhaps Coach Trakh subbed for himself for a few minutes.
seemed out of gas by this point
and started turning it over. Tamara was
running the point for team for part of the quarter. Gia Pack came back out and hit a three. Brooke was cheering her on from the
bench. With the score getting out of
hand, the starters started coming out and got a round of applause from the
crowd. Chicago State
Tonishia Childress took over the point and made a great coast-to-coast layup. I thought I had seen her in a neck brace coming out at halftime, so I was surprised to see her in the game. The Roadrunner Review band was really cheering the team on from their corner. Gia hit another three and then got two on a drive that took the Aggies to 100. Gotta hand it to Adam Young. At the beginning of the quarter, he thought they’d hit 100 in this game. After that bucket, the cheerleaders tossed giveaway hats into the crowd and,
Paso native and walk-on, Sara Lopez entered the
game. With that, everyone suited for the
Aggies played today. The Aggies slowed
it down for the last couple of minutes and played out the clock. They’d scored enough today. Our final, Aggies 100, Cougars 63.
On court, Brianna got her picture taken with boosters, who’d brought a 1,000 point sign for her. Coach Trahk in the post-game interview offered sincere praise and sympathy for
. Unfortunately, I missed-fiddled with the
buttons on my radio and missed the final stats, which was problem, since I’d
had issues scoring the game. I guess the
main stat is that the Aggies won by 37 points.
Six Aggies were in double figures. Tamara and Gia were devastating from the three-point line. Tyler Ellis was unstoppable inside. Add to that some fast break points and good foul shooting and there’s a 100. For
(my numbers are off somewhere), Kaylee Allen and Cailin Nix lead all scorers,
and Jessica Cerda was great from the outside.
These girls could shoot. A couple
of more fresh legs and gunners like them and this game would have been 100-95,
like an NBA game. It’s hard not to come
away with a lot of respect for the Cougars. Chicago State
It’s hard to get a real grip on how good this team is from what I’ve seen and heard. They’ve lost close games to good teams and destroyed lesser teams. At 10-6, it comes down to if they can beat the better teams in the WAC and that will probably mean winning close games. That win against UMKC was a good one in that respect. They’re going to need that defense that they showed in the
Vegas tournament, but they have to make sure that they
don’t go ice cold shooting at the same time.
In the paper, Coach Trakh said the starters really worked on shooting
during the break after that. He said
something to the effect that playing in a huge, but nearly empty arena there
may have depressed their shooting (I think).
I wonder if starting Gia Pack might help. I think she’s earned it.
And now, the moment of truth: autograph signing in the concourse. I wavered for a moment at meeting the girls. Behind me in line, there was a group of, well if this were the 80’s, I’d call them Valley Girls. Really obnoxious Valley Girls. I got annoyed to the point that I almost left, but I wanted those autographs. Brooke Salas was first up. Honestly, she was a bit cold. Don’t know if it was her or me. I didn’t ask her what she’d said to the bench earlier. If I’m in this position again next year with her, I’ll make sure to be more charming. Sara Lopez was next to her. I made sure to call her by name. She seemed to appreciate a little recognition.
I got to tell Gia Pack she had a great game. (I’m pretty sure she already knew that.) I congratulated Brianna Freeman. She was happy. I noticed Jeneva Toilolo from
Hawaii actually had some
Islander tats on her arms. I meant to
tell Tyler Ellis that she’d had a great game, but I’m not sure I got it
out. Sorry. I’m doing it now at least. I got to Brandee Walton. "Hi!" she said, "Thank you for coming to our game today!" and she said it as sweetly and sincerely as you could possibly imagine. “I heard on the
radio that you’re the nicest person on the team.” She giggled, blushed, and denied it, and thus
all but confirmed it. In 20 seconds of
contact with her, she charmed the heck out of me.
Oh, Tamara William. She’s seriously cute. I congratulated her on a great game, and she just about dropped me with a killer smile. I totally forgot to ask her about her red hair earlier in the season. I asked Tonishia Childress about the neck brace. She laughed and said that was just a neck warmer. It was a really big neck warmer. Lastly, I got to call Moriah Mack, “Mo,” like Adam and her teammates do. I might have startled her, but she laughed. Whew, I was emotionally exhausted after all this excitement, but I had my autographed poster.
I gotta say, seeing your college Women’s basketball team drop 100 points on somebody really brightens your mood. That was pretty cool. Regardless of how this completely doesn’t affect my personal situation, I felt much better about life in general, at least for a little while. Hopefully, I can make it back for some more later this season. I’m curious how this team will turn out.