Women's Hoops Blog

Inane commentary on a game that deserves far better

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It's been a pretty good weekend for the Pac-10: Cal to the Sweet Sixteen (even if UConn did crush them), Arizona State to the Elite Eight (where UConn awaits), and now Stanford will return to the Final Four.

Formidable Cardinal center Jayne Appel set records as she cut through Iowa State's "defense" more or less like a steakknife through ice cream: she scored 46, the highest tournament tally since Sheryl Swoopes almost 20 years ago.

Iowa State's single coverage on Appel baffled some observers: coach Fennelly-- not a dumb guy-- probably chose that route because last time these teams met, the Cardinal won easily by sinking lots of threes. (Apparently coach TV was expecting Fennelly to try single coverage: Appel said she knew just what to do.)

The Cyclones' own three-point attack, meanwhile, failed them: Iowa State's student paper has the whole story. "We didn't get a whole lot of open looks," said Heather Ezell.

UConn sure won't look past the Sun Devils, who face the Huskies tonight.

Some fans, though, are already debating what would happen in a rematch of last year's national semifinal game. (My uninformed take: Appel is both stronger, and more consistent, than Charles, but UConn's guards are better and faster than Stanford's: if Stanford can't guard the perimeter, UConn wins-- if they can, then a small difference in free throws made or whistles blown could decide the as-yet-hypothetical game.)