I am sitting in my hotel room in Knoxville....just feeling a little downcast after tonight's game. None the less, I thought I could at least file a report from here.
Let's just start--I have NEVER seen so much orange in my life! Now, I am a Giants fan so I am used to orange, but just not like this! Orange hats, orange blazers, orange t-shirts and (my personal favorite) orange overalls! Yikes!
Anyway, we did have a nice contingent of Cardinal in the stands and we did our best to out shout all of the Vol fans and some times we did ok--esp with our defense chants. Coming to a game here is overwhelming--there were over 15,000 in the stands! And wouldn't you know that right in the middle of our Stanford contingent, who should sit next to me than a pair of teenage boys who were, of course, Vol fans. ARGH! The only clever thing that I could say to them was that I believe that Parker's dunk was only worth 2 points no matter how much they whooped and hollered. *sigh*
The Cardinal came out firing and Candice hit a three to start off quickly. But soon thereafter, the team appeared to be just flat. TN took the approach of blanketing Brooke which seemed to throw off a lot of the plays in the early going. This is the time Stanford misses an outside threat like Rapp was last year. Gotta say though that Candice's buzzer beater at the end of the half was fabulous--can't remember one like this since a Kate Paye fling many year's ago. Unfortunately, Stanford just never could cut the lead to less than six points and eventually the Lady Vols just wore them down. The game actually seemed closer than the final score would indicate. The Card hung around at a 8-10 point deficit for much of the game.
So that is the bad news, but there was much that was good--
--Jayne, Jayne, Jayne! She was spectacular. The Lady Vols had no answer for her. She has fabulous hands--get it there and she'll catch it. She was a force on defense too and we all loved the stuff job she did on Parker. I spoke to her Mom, Pam, after the game and she promised that Jayne would work on her free throws!
--a breakout game for Melanie Murphy too. When Stanford made it's best runs, she was in there. She has no fear of attacking the basket which got mixed results, but one just had to love the effort. Her parents were also there tonight.
--the game was rough and Stanford gave as good as it got. The fans here seemed irate about the officiating, but I can't say that it was good or bad really. I know that the Lady Vols shot many more free throws than the Cardinal.
A few more thoughts from Orange--I mean Knox--ville--
--Candace Parker is good. She knows it, too.
--I hope we never have intros like the Lady Vols do. Complete with videos, fireworks and the team dancing at half court. I like that stuff, but in the WNBA, not college.
--you have got to love the game atmosphere. That place in noisy! Not Mac Court noisy, more like a lot of peeps in the seats noisy. There is a football game here tomorrow and I think there were more than a few fans warming up for that game tonight.
--Write it down--I predict we win next year at Maples.
OK, that's enough for now and besides, I have to plan my trip to Dollywood tomorrow!
Then off to Georgia--I think the Dawgs better be ready for some very motivated Cards!