Last night’s IUPUI Jaguars women’s basketball game turned out to be quite a competitive match-up. Youngstown State came in 5-1 against a 4-3 Jags team. Long story short: we lost 58-57 in one of the most fun women’s games I’ve seen in awhile. We’ve got a very scrappy team that played the hell out of defense last night, harassing their guards in the backcourt all game long, forcing 37 Youngstown State turnovers that led to 26 IUPUI points.
The downside, though, is we got outrebounded BIGTIME, 35-13. Couple that with a lousy second half shooting percentage (27 percent) and you can see why we lost. Nevertheless, the team was in it to the very end with a chance to win. Given the bad shooting and rebounding, that speaks volumes about this team’s tenacity. I look forward to watching them in the conference this year.
Overall, my night on PA wasn’t anything to write home about. This was truly a night when everyone at the scorers table had a case of the Mondays. We also had one of the lightest crowds of the season. But, to their credit, they were into it at the end.
Prior to the game, local sports radio legend and IUPUI’s play-by-play man tonight Greg Rakestraw hassled me about my facial hair.
“C’mon, K-Mac, Movember’s over…time to shave that stuff,” he said. “Unless you want to trim it down to a creepy mustache.”
I like my beard, but maybe he’s right. I threatened to go with a sweet, Rollie Fingers handlebar mustache. “You’ve been watching too much Whisker Wars,” Rakestraw quipped. I love that guy. The voice you hear on the radio is the same voice you hear in conversation.
Late in the game during a timeout, lead official Bryan Enterline was at our table checking the timeout situation (in pressure games, it’s best that everyone knows how many timeouts each team has…and reminds everyone repeatedly). “This has been a pretty good game,” Bryan said to us. “A pretty even-matched game.”
He was right. Sure, Youngstown State had a lot of turnovers, but they were caused by defensive pressure more than ineptitude. They’re a pretty good team with some strong offensive weapons. Despite my believe all game long that we were getting torched in the low post, Youngstown State outscored IUPUI by only two points in the paint. Where the Jags lost the game was on second chance points, which goes back to the rebounding disparity. It is my long-held believe that the team who rebounds better will win more. That was the case on this night.
My favorite moment was late in the game when Youngstown State was inbounding the ball in a high-pressure situation from right directly in front of the scorers table (closer to the IUPUI bench). Youngstown State’s Liz Hornberger was inbounding the ball and trying to get her coach’s attention to ask about timeouts. “Coach,” she yelled. “Coach…coach! COACH BOLLLLDENNNNN!!!!!!!”
Joe (the official book scorekeeper) and I immediately started laughing because this poor kid is trying to make sure she does the right thing and get her coach’s attention. She caught us laughing, smiled back and sort of rolled her eyes at her coach’s indifference to her. One of those funny, in-game moments when we get to interact with the players. And Hornberger was a hero for her team on this night. She scored 11 points and played the entire 40 minutes. That’s impressive.
Heading into tomorrow’s game, I need to shake up my song playlist. Because both teams used their full compliment of timeouts, I ran through every song I use during timeouts. I need to shuffle the deck and add a few new songs. I just wish I knew what the kids were listening to these days.