Well, Sonja got it right. A St. Johns team at full strength and playing very well at home was enough to get the win today.
In an effort to recognize the good things our team is doing, I have to give props to Becky Burke and Bria Smith today. Those two young ladies were shooting the lights out. We needed more offensive help today, though. With game plans in place to take away Shoni’s offensive game, we need more point production from other players. Today, our Cards fell short in that effort.
I have been saying, and I apparently will continue to say, we need more and consistent production from our “bigs”. Our true centers Cierra Warren and Sherrone Vails combined for a total of 4 boards in a (combined) play of 31 minutes. You will not win Big East games with those numbers. Nita Slaughter nabbed 4 boards in 4 minutes and Shawnta Dyer grabbed 7 in 27 minutes. Let them play. Make Warren, Vails and Hammond earn their spots on the hardwood. Height should not guarantee you a starting spot, not when you do not use it.
Another area of growth needs to be assists and turnovers. While the Cards took a little better care of the ball today, only committing 15 turnovers, only 9 buckets were assisted. This is another area where the Big East will chew you up if these numbers do not get better.
I know this team is shorthanded. Losing Tia Gibbs and Mo Reid are blows to the team. But, NEWSFLASH ladies!!! You have the talent to overcome those losses! There is a deep and skilled bench this year. Every one of you are donning that uniform because you have something to offer, a skill or talent that when combined with the collective talent of the team, makes you a great team.
Now darn it, get in that film room, hit that hardwood, and figure it out. You are better than you are performing. I know it. The fans know it. I know your coaches know it. Get out there and show it!
(Thanks to Jenny for her observations! CARDINAL COUPLE readers may have noticed that both Jenny and Sandy are now contributing directly with articles and columns to the site instead of e-mailing us with articles...which we were printing out and entering. WE feel this will make CARDINAL COUPLE much more timely, interesting and up-to-date. David Watson and Donny will be doing the same. Let them know in the comments column or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org how they're doing! So far, we give them both "A+" and seats in the front of the class.)