Houston Roundball Review: Women's Hoops

This is The Houston Roundball Review's (www.TheHRR.com) blog to discuss women's basketball. The HRR began in 1994 and has been media credentialed to cover college and pro hoops since 1997. Member of the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA).

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Owls' Williams in Win-Win Situation

The 2008 WNBA Finals will begin Wednesday, October 1, tomorrow evening in San Antonio as the Western Conference champs -- the San Antonio Silver Stars -- host the Eastern Conference champs -- the Detroit Shock.

The series is a best-of-5 and all five potential games will air on ESPN2.

The match-up has a win-win situation for Greg Williams, the current head coach of the Rice Owls women's basketball team.

During his coaching career, Williams was a coach for the Utah Starzz (now the Silver Stars) and the Shock. Williams also coached current SASS (and WNBA) star Becky Hammon at Colorado State University. Lastly, Williams coached Valeriya Berehzynska at Rice. Val signed two seven-day contracts with the Silver Stars this season.

Game 1 of the series tips off at 6:30 pm (CDT) tomorrow.
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"Save Our Comets" Update

Passing this note along...

The SAVE OUR COMETS group would like to thank everyone who has signed the petition. Here's a list of the signatures.

Season ticket holders should have received a letter from Donna Orender stating the deadline for retaining your seat location. The message was loud and clear - to keep the Comets, a stronger fan base will be required. We can become stronger one fan at a time, but time is short. Please renew and encourage others to become season tickets holders. Season tickets can also be purchased and donated for a tax deduction.

WNBA fans thank you for supporting our cause. Attendance and achieving a strong fan base are issues we have in common. We are asking everyone to get involved. All comments and suggestions are appreciated.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Comets to Volunteer at Food Bank

Props to the Comets...

HOUSTON, TX -- Mistie Williams, Tamecka Dixon, Karleen Thompson and members of the Comets' business operations staff will volunteer time from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, September 19, to package and prepare food items for distribution to local communities impacted by Hurricane Ike.

The players will be in attendance from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Comets would like to encourage members of the public who can volunteer to meet them at the Houston Food Bank (3811 Eastex Freeway) to dontate time or other contributions to help people in need. Volunteers must be at least eight years of age or older.

Houston Food Bank -- 3811 Eastex Freeway, 77026.

Volunteer numbers at the Food Bank could possibly diminish next week as adults return to work and children return to school for the first time since the hurricane.
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Coop Announces PV's Schedule

A few days ago, Prairie View A&M's head coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke announced the 2008 - 2009 schedule for the Lady Panthers' basketball team.

The non-conference schedule includes 12 games against teams from such conferences as the Big East (Rutgers), Big 12 (Iowa State) and the Big Ten (Purdue and Penn State).

The Lady Panthers head to Hawai'i for a three-day Thanksgiving Tournament.

For the second straight season, PV will also face Houston area teams Rice University (Wednesday, November 19) and Houston Baptist University (Saturday, December 6) as part of the non-conference schedule.

Prairie View begins conference (Southwestern Athletic Conference) play Saturday, January 3, on the road versus Alcorn State.

Read the release.
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WBCA Stands with the NABC

I received this press release yesterday from the Women's Basketball Coaches Association. To my knowledge, I haven't heard this issue discussed very much on a state or national level. This issue is something to think about...

ATLANTA - The Board of Directors of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) has joined the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) in recognizing the importance of affirmative action programs in expanding opportunities for underrepresented minorities and women in university admissions and employment.

Both the WBCA and the NABC Board of Directors firmly oppose the deceptively-titled "Civil Rights Initiatives" currently being proposed in Arizona, Colorado and Nebraska that if enacted, would threaten access programs in those states.

"Women have made many gains through affirmative action policies, especially in the areas of college admission and university employment; however women are still underrepresented on university faculties," said WBCA President Sherri Coale, head women's basketball coach at the University of Oklahoma. "The passage of this very regressive legislation will seriously impede the advancement of women and minorities at the university level. Administrations at state universities will be prevented from having the kinds of programs they have used since the sixties to enhance the enrollment of women in contexts where women are underrepresented as compared to their male counterparts."

"This proposal would place at risk outreach and access programs that exist for women in science, technology, engineering and math for the states in question," said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. "It would also be a double blow for minority women if this misleading initiative is passed in Nebraska, Colorado and Arizona."

The Board encourages WBCA members and the public in those states to vote against any such initiative if it appears on the ballot.

If anyone has more information about this issue to share, please add your comments.
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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

WNBA Western Conference Semi Sked Announced

I'm one of the growing number of Houstonians to have their lights back on!

Except for a few minor problems, me and family are okay.

Here's some news from the WNBA...


#1 seed San Antonio Silver Stars vs. #4 seed Sacramento Monarchs

Game 1 -- Thursday, Sept. 18 -- San Antonio at Sacramento -- 8 p.m. -- ESPN2.
Game 2 -- Saturday, Sept. 20 -- Sacramento at San Antonio -- 8 p.m. -- NBA TV.
Game 3* -- Monday, Sept. 22 -- Sacramento at San Antonio -- TBD -- TBD.

#2 seed Seattle Storm vs. #3 seed Los Angeles Sparks

Game 1 -- Friday, Sept. 19 -- Seattle at Los Angeles -- 9:30 p.m. -- NBA TV.
Game 2 -- Sunday, Sept. 21 -- Los Angeles at Seattle -- 4 p.m. -- ESPN2.
Game 3* -- Tuesday, Sept. 23 -- Los Angeles at Seattle -- 8 p.m. -- ESPN2.

(* - if needed)

Schedule is subject to change.
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Friday, September 12, 2008

WNBA Eastern Conference Semi Sked Announced


#1 seed Detroit Shock vs. #4 seed Indiana Fever

Game 1 -- Friday, Sept. 19 -- Detroit at Indiana -- 6 p.m. -- NBA TV.
Game 2 -- Sunday, Sept. 21 -- Indiana at Detroit -- 2 p.m. -- ESPN2.
Game 3* - Tuesday, Sept. 23 - Indiana at Detroit -- TBD -- ESPN2.

#2 seed Connecticut Sun vs. #3 seed New York Liberty

Game 1 -- Thursday, Sept. 18 -- Connecticut at New York -- 6 p.m. -- NBA TV.
Game 2 -- Saturday, Sept. 20 -- New York at Connecticut -- 6 p.m. -- NBA TV.
Game 3* - Monday, Sept. 22 --- New York at Connecticut -- 6p.m. -- ESPN2.

(* - if needed)

Schedule is subject to change.

In the Western Conference, the San Antonio Silver Stars clinched the top spot, as well as home court advantage throughout the Playoffs and Finals, and the Seattle Storm secured the No. 2 seed. The final two playoff seeds are still up for grabs between the Los Angeles Sparks (currently in third place) and the Sacramento Monarchs. Additional scheduling information will be furnished in the days to come.

For Playoff schedule updates and for the opportunity to purchase tickets, fans should visit http://www.wnba.com.

For everyone in the path of Hurricane Ike...
...Be Safe and Take Care. Peace and Blessings.
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Comets - Monarchs Postponed

I mentioned this news on KCOH 1430 AM (www.kcohradio.com) yesterday; but, I didn't post it.

NEW YORK, September 11, 2008 – The Women’s National Basketball Association game scheduled for Friday evening, September 12 between the Sacramento Monarchs and Houston Comets at Reliant Arena in Houston has been postponed due to severe weather conditions anticipated as a result of Hurricane Ike.

The WNBA is working toward rescheduling the game for Monday evening, September 15, at 7:30p.m., at Reliant Arena. A formal decision will depend upon a variety of logistics and an assessment of the outcome of the storm in the Houston area.

Comets fans are urged to log onto http://www.wnba.com/comets/ or http://www.wnba.com/ for the latest information.
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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Comets host Sun

Note: With the Sacramento Monarchs' 77 to 74 win over the Seattle Storm late Tuesday night, the Comets were officially eliminated from the 2008 playoffs.

Post-Game Quotes for Houston Comets vs. Connecticut Sun – September 9, 2008, 7:30 p.m. CT at Reliant Arena

Houston Comets Head Coach Karleen Thompson

On the importance of tonight’s win

“I think we just had to regroup and come out and play with some pride. We knew what we had to do and we knew our game plan; it had been good to us before the break. We had to just come out and play hard and not just want it but go get it!”

On the play of Matee Ajavon in the first half

“Matee loves coming off of the bench. She loves it and we love it because she gives us our spark. Today at shoot around I told the guards to just attack the basket. I wanted them to just play free and play their game.”

Houston Comets guard Matee Ajavon

On coming into the game with a sense of urgency

“Coach just told us to be aggressive and that was the game plan. So we just tried to do the best we could and get a win.”

On gaining the win tonight

“Like you said it was a sense of urgency.”

Houston Comets guard Tamecka Dixon

On executing the game plan

“Our game plan was just to execute defensively. We did that, we limited them to one shot per possession for the most part. We ran it up and back so we were able to score. It was a good game for us.”

Connecticut Sun Head Coach Mike Thibault

On the game

“They just played better than us. They shot a better percentage than us; we shot poorly, particularly in the second and third quarter. I thought that [Tamecka] Dixon and [Matee] Ajavon were huge, I always know what Tina [Thompson] is going to do, but they were focused and they outplayed us. They made tough shots, they out worked us on some loose balls, they’re trying to stay alive and we didn’t match it.”

On what to take to the next game

“I don’t want to take much from this game. We got into some trouble in July where we were turning the ball over and rushing shots, tonight we had 18 turnovers and they had 22 points off of it and we can’t win a lot of games from that.”

Connecticut Sun forward Asjha Jones

On focusing on shooting

“We focused mostly on ourselves. It’s our last stretch going into playoffs and we wanted to come out making our shots. We didn’t though; I don’t think we got the shots we really wanted to get tonight.”

On the next game

“Between the last two games, we want to take a combination of things to the next game. We want to make more shots and be more aggressive on defense.”

Connecticut Sun forward Tamika Whitmore

On tonight’s performance

“We just got outhustled, plain and simple. We were lethargic from the beginning, we didn’t take care of the ball and it’s hard to recover from that.”

Final: Comets 75, Sun 68. Box score.

The Houston Comets (15-17) kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a 75 to 68 win over the Connecticut Sun (20-12) in front of an announced crowd of 5,769 fans.

Three Comets scored in double-figures. Tina Thompson scored 21 points (7 for 16 from the field including 3 for 6 on threes); rookie Matee Ajavon (7 for 16 from the field) scored 15 points off the bench and veteran Tamecka Dixon chipped in with 14 points on 6 for 13 shooting.

Now the Comets wait to see if the Sacramento Monarchs defeat the Seattle Storm later tonight. If the Monarchs win, Sacramento would clinch the fourth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

2:41 left in the Fourth Quarter: Comets 70, Sun 62.

The Comets got a big break as Asjha Jones' fouled out with 3:00 left in the ball game. Jones picked up fouls 5 and 6 in a matter of seconds. Jones scored 22 points on 10 for 17 shooting from the field and 2 for 2 from the foul line.

The Comets have kept the Sun at arms' length for the last few minutes of the ball game.

Tina Thompson leads the Comets with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

5:50 left in the Fourth Quarter: Comets 64, Sun 54.

The Comets answered yet another run by the Sun with a run of their own. The Sun trimmed the Comets' lead to eight points (59 to 51); however, the Comets increased the lead to 13 points (64 to 51) with a quick 5-0 run.

Tina Thompson leads the Comets with 16 points. Matee Ajavon has 13 off the bench and Tamecka Dixon has added 12 points.

Connecticut has been led by Asjha Jones' 20 points and Tamika Whitmore's 12 points.

End of the Third Quarter: Comets 55, Sun 41.

The Comets played a very active zone defense in the third period; and, the Sun simply did a poor job attacking the zone. The Sun did not score for more than six minutes until Asjha Jones scored a putback layup with less than one minute left in the third quarter.

The Comets shot 5 for 15 in the quarter while the Sun shot 5 for 17 in the period.

Tina Thompson scored eight points in the quarter.

4:39 left in the Third Quarter: Comets 49, Sun 39.

Both teams are 4 for 10 thus far in the third quarter. Tina Thompson just capped off a three-point play with a driving left hand lay-up which spun into the basket. Thompson drew a foul by Tamika Raymond.

Tamecka Dixon has scored 4 of Houston's 10 third quarter points.

Connecticut's Asjha Jones leads the Sun with 14 points; but, Jones also has four fouls; and, she's now sitting on the bench.

Halftime: Comets 39, Sun 31.

A brutal final 2:38 by both teams. No points were scored; the two teams combined to miss nine shots and turn the ball over four times.

2:38 left in the Second Quarter: Comets 39, Sun 31.

The Comets answered a 6-0 run by the Sun with a 7-0 run to take a 39 to 28 lead before Lindsay Whalen banged in a three-point shot.

Matee Ajavon leads all scorers with 13 points. Asjha Jones leads Connecticut with 10 points.

6:58 left in the Second Quarter: Comets 31, Sun 22.

Matee Ajavon's eight points thus far have sparked a 10 to 4 Comets' run to help Houston stretch the lead to nine points. Ajavon has made 5 of her 7 field goals thus far including drawing a flagrant 1 foul on Connecticut's Amber Hold. Ajavon drew an "And 1" on the play and the Comets will keep possession of the ball.

Comets are 13 for 23 (56.5%) from the field and Connecticut is 8 for 21 (38.1%).

End of the First Quarter: Comets 21, Sun 18.

Balanced scoring (five players scored in the first period) and rebounding (10) helped the Comets to lead at the end of the first period. Tamecka Dixon and Shannon Johnson each scored six points in the period. Asjha Jones scored six points to lead the Sun.

Pts in the Paint: Comets 6. Sun 4.
2nd Chance Points: Comets 4. Sun 6.
Fast Break Points: Comets 0. Sun 5.

4:55 left in the First Quarter: Comets 11, Sun 7.

Despite a poor start, the Comets 5 for 8 field goal shooting has the team ahead with about one-half of the first quarter remaining. Connecticut is just 3 for 10 (30.0%) from the field.

After the team committed three turnovers on their first three possessions of the game, Comets' center Michelle Snow (2 fouls) was taken out of the game 90 seconds into the game. Mistie Williams replaced Snow.

Houston's Tamecka Dixon leads the Comets with four points.

HOUSTON, TX -- The Houston Comets (14-17) will try to snap a five-game losing tonight -- as well as stave off elimination from the WNBA playoffs -- versus the Connecticut Sun (20-11). The Comets "tragic" number is one which means another loss by the Comets or simply one win the Sacramento Monarchs eliminates the Comets from the postseason.

The Sun lead the Eastern Conference and have won seven of their last eight ball games.

Tonight's Starters and Officials

Connecticut Sun
#15 Asjha Jones
#00 Tamika Whitmore
#41 Kerri Gardin
#1 Amber Holt
#13 Lindsay Whalen

Inactive Players: Danielle Page and Jamie Carey.

Houston Comets
#15 Roneeka Hodges
#7 Tina Thompson
#2 Michelle Snow
#20 Tamecka Dixon
#41 Shannon Johnson

Inactive Players: Sancho Lyttle and Hamchetou Maiga-Ba.

#6 Bonita Spence
#50 Shelley Nakasone
#4 Sua Blauch
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Owls Announce Conference Slate

HOUSTON, TX -- Rice Owls head coach Greg Williams announced the 2008 - 2009 Conference USA portion of their schedule today.

The Owls open conference play at defending regular-season champion UTEP (Jan. 9) followed by a trip to Tulane (Jan. 11), host of the 2009 C-USA Tournament.

"Our conference is going to be a wide-open race again this season," Williams said. "We had seven teams receive first-place votes in the preseason poll (last season) and it wouldn't surprise me if that happens again this season."

Earlier this summer, the Owls released its non-conference schedule which includes marquee home games against NCAA Tournament participant Baylor (Nov. 23), Pac-10 foe UCLA (Dec. 17) and NCAA Sweet 16 team George Washington (Jan. 5).
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Saturday, September 06, 2008

Comets vs. Sparks

Note: Although it was her first game back since suffering a left ankle sprain at Seattle (8/28), Sancho Lyttle suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter and is still being assessed by physicians.

Post-game Quotes.

Final: Comets 66, Sparks 84.

The Comets are now 14 and 16 on the season while the Sparks improve to 19 and 13 with the win.

Four straight losses for the Houston Comets as Houston loses to the LA Sparks 84 to 66. LA outscored the Comets 26 to 24 in the paint. The Comets once led the Sparks 24 to 16 in the paint.

Houston shot 5 for 14 from the foul line in the fourth quarter.

Box score.

2:38 left in the Fourth Quarter: Comets 63, Sparks 77.

The Comets' playoff hopes are fading away. The Comets are an awful 2 for 10 from the free throw line in the fourth period. Their defense has broken down and resulted in lay-ups for the Sparks on LA's last two possessions.

Tina Thompson is the only Comets' player in double-figures. Thompson has 18 points on 7 for 17 from the field; however, Thompson also leads the Comets with seven turnovers. Michelle Snow fouled out with nine points; three rebounds; and two assists. Sancho Lyttle has eight points and eight rebounds in 24 plus minutes.

DeLisha Milton-Jones leads four Sparks' players in double-figures with 14 points. Candace Parker has 12; followed by 10 points each from Lisa Leslie and Temeka Johnson.

Note: 51 fouls have been called in the game thus far.

5:57 left in the Fourth Quarter: Comets 59, Sparks 69.

The Comets refuse to go away; but, the Sparks are doing just enough to keep Houston at arms' length such as swinging the ball around to find to result in a wide open jump shot which was made by Sidney Spencer.

Sparks: 26 for 51 (51.0%) from the field. 11 for 16 from the line. 19 assists. 14 turnovers.
Comets: 20 for 50 (40.0%) from the field. 15 for 22 from the line. 15 assists. 15 turnovers.

End of the Third Quarter: Comets 51, Sparks 63.

LA's Shannon Bobbitt put on a spinning display with two reverse dribbles followed by a pass to DeLisha Milton-Jones who capped off the special play with a baseline jumper. After the Comets pulled with 46 to 41, the Sparks responded with 17 to 10 finishing kick to cap off the quarter.

Houston's Erica White was called for a flagrant 1 foul on LA's Temeka Johnson late in the quarter. White was faked off her feet and wrapped her arms around Johnson who was attempting a fast-break lay-up.

LA: 24 for 46 (52.2%) from the field. 9 for 14 (64.3%) from the free throw line.
Houston: 16 for 41 (39.0%) from the field. 15 for 18 (83.3%) from the free throw line.

Thompson leads the Comets with 15 points on 6 for 15 shooting.

Parker and Milton-Jones lead a very balanced scoring attack for the Sparks with 10 points a piece.

4:58 left in the Third Quarter: Comets 41, Sparks 53.

The Sparks are currently on a 7-0 run. Shannon Bobbitt picked up two great assists so far this quarter to give her six in the game.

LA is still shooting above 50 percent in the game. The Sparks are 21 for 38 (55.3%) and 4 for 5 thus far in the period. Kiesha Brown just capped off a four-point play with a made free throw to give the Sparks the 12 point lead.

The Comets continue to struggle from the field shooting just 12 for 33 (36.4%). Tina Thompson leads the Comets with 10 points followed by nine points from Shannon Johnson. Johnson also has five assists.

Halftime: Comets 34, Sparks 42.

Despite all of the turnovers, the Comets are fortunate to trail the Sparks by just eight points. Houston is just 9 for 26 (34.6%) from the field; but, the team is 14 for 17 from the free throw line. Tina Thompson leads the Comets with eight points and five turnovers.

DeLisha Milton-Jones leads the Sparks with eight points. Ten Sparks played in the first half -- nine scored at least one point. LA is 17 for 33 (51.5%) from the field but just 3 for 7 from the foul line.

2:47 left in the First Half: Comets 26, Sparks 38.

Comets are 8 for 21 from the field (38.1%). Despite seven assists on the eight made buckets, the offense looks out of sync. Three players have scored four points each.

Houston has only turned the ball over one time this period.

The Sparks are 15 for 29 from the field with 11 assists on the buckets. Marie Ferdinand-Harris has six points in the game. LA has gotten 17 points from their bench -- led by Ferdinand-Harris' and Spencer's six points.

7:14 left in the Second Quarter: Comets 18, Sparks 31.

Comets are shooting 6 for 12 (50%); but, that's the only positive from the game for the team so far.

The Sparks are shooting 12 for 23 (52.2%) and all nine players who've played in the game have scored. LA has 10 assists on the 12 made baskets. Sidney Spencer leads the Sparks with six points (2 for 3) from the three-point line.

End of First Quarter: Comets 11, Sparks 21.

Comets fumbled the ball away 11 times in the quarter. Tina Thompson committed five of the turnovers.
Comets also shot 40% (4 for 10) in the period. Sancho Lyttle led the Comets with four points off the bench.

LA was led by five points each from Candace Parker and Shannon Bobbitt. Sparks made 8 of 18 (44.4%) shots from the field.

1:29 left in the First Quarter: Comets 11, Sparks 20.

Comets have 10 turnovers so far. Many of them aren't even forced. All five Sparks starters have scored at least three points.

HOUSTON, TX -- The Houston Comets (14-15) try to keep their slim playoff hopes alive tonight versus the Los Angeles Sparks (18-13) inside Reliant Arena. The Comets have lost three straight games -- including a very tough 90 to 87 overtime loss to the New York Liberty this past Tuesday -- while the Sparks are playing the second night of a back-to-back situation following last night's 76 to 58 to the San Antonio Silver Stars.

Here are tonight's starters and officials:

Los Angeles Sparks
F - Candace Parker

F - DeLisha Milton-Jones
C - Smooth (that's how it's written on the official list). Smooth is Lisa Leslie's nickname.
G - Kiesha Brown
G - Shannon Bobbit

Houston Comets
F - Sequoia Holmes
F - Tina Thompson
C - Michelle Snow
G - Tamecka Dixon
G - Shannon Johnson

#38 - Lamont Simpson
#53 - Jeffrey Smith
#49 - Kevin Sparrock

Inactive Players
LA Sparks: Margo Dydek and Christi Thomas.
Houston Comets: Latasha Byears and Hamchetou Maiga-Ba.
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Friday, September 05, 2008

Big 12 on FSN

The Big 12 Conference announced its 2008 - 2009 women's basketball telecast schedule on the Fox Sports Network (FSN). The league will make 26 (19 regular season games and seven conference tournament games) appearances on FSN.

Take a look at the schedule and mark your calendars.

I'm hoping to cover as many of the games in person as I possibly can.
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W Names new Comets COO

HOUSTON, TX -- This past Wednesday, September 3, Fox 26 Sports in Houston reported Tom Garrity was named as the new Chief Operating Officer of the Houston Comets.

Today, the WNBA made an official statement confirming the news.

Here's the release:

The Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) announced today that Tom Garrity has been named Chief Operating Officer of the league’s Houston Comets franchise, effective September 3. In this role, Garrity will be responsible for overseeing the club’s day-to-day business operations and will report to the WNBA league office, which is operating the club while new ownership is sought.

“Tom’s extensive knowledge of the Houston market, his proven track record and deep appreciation for the team’s ties to the community will be a significant factor in reestablishing the Comets rich traditions,” said WNBA President Donna Orender.”

Garrity formed Quan Sports Marketing earlier this month after a highly successful stint with Minnesota Sports and Entertainment where he most recently served as Vice President of Corporate Sales and Service for the National Hockey League’s Minnesota Wild and also as President of both the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League and Minnesota Swarm of the National Lacrosse League. In the latter role, Garrity earned the NLL’s executive of the year honors in 2008.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Wisc., who first joined the Aeros’ operation in July, 2003, engineered a turnaround that saw the club increase its attendance in each of five consecutive seasons. In that span, the Aeros surged to rank among the top five in attendance in the AHL behind Garrity’s unique and creative marketing campaigns. He had similar success with the Swarm, spearheading a double-digit percentage growth in attendance in 2006-07. Prior to joining MSE, Garrity spent four seasons with the AHL’s Cincinnati Mighty Ducks, including two as president, during which time the club set franchise records for sponsorships, season tickets and group sales. Garrity’s 15-year career in professional sports also includes stints with the NHL’s Minnesota North Stars and Dallas Stars, the National Basketball Association’s Minnesota Timberwolves, Major League Soccer’s San Jose Clash and at the collegiate level with the University of Minnesota.
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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Petition to Save Comets

HOUSTON, TX -- I received an email this evening started by a dedicated Houston Comets fan. The email linked to a BRAND NEW petition started by this fan to keep the Comets in Houston.

Here's the link to the petition: "Help Save the Houston Comets".

Take a look at the "signatures".
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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Liberty vs. Comets

Post-Game Quotes

Houston Comets Head Coach Karleen Thompson

On Tonight’s Game

“We did a good job just continuing to fight and coming back to take it into overtime. We had some lapses in execution of plays. Also, not getting stops on the defensive end. Every single person has to come to play for forty minutes. We are shorthanded missing Sancho [Lyttle], Roneeka [Hodges], and [Hamchétou] Maïga-Ba. Those are key players but at the same time we have players that can step up. Mistie did a good job for us. We cannot allow teams to score that easy. We need stops and that has been our bread and butter before the break, we have to find that again.”

On the Absence of Maïga-Ba, Hodges and Lyttle

“It plays a factor but it is no excuse! I believe that we can step up and at anytime they can get it done. Mistie Williams was one of them and Sancho Lyttle gives us that rebounding edge over other teams. We just need other people to step up a little bit more. But as a team, we didn’t play complete basketball for forty minutes. Like I said we did not go to our bread and butter, our defense, for forty minutes.”

Houston Comets forward Mistie Williams

On Her Play Tonight

“Well first of all I thank God because I have been working really hard over the break. Just to be able to use my abilities to the best that I can and just have the opportunity. I went out there and it was all about being positive and just focusing on what I can do for the team. Just going into the game I was really focused and I just knew what the team needed and just based on that I tried to do what I could.”

New York Liberty Head Coach Pat Coyle

On giving the ball to Janel McCarville

“Yes, we tried to give her the ball. The thing about Janel is she makes great decisions. She’s not going to take a bad shot. She’s going to drive if she has it, if not she’ll kick it out to one of her open shooters. I thought she did really well tonight.”

On Lisa Willis Tonight

“She stepped up, which I expected her to. She had the chance to get extended minutes and she made the most of it.”

On New York playing their best when their backs are against the wall

“I think the team is all about that. When everyone counts them out, they’re at their best. I thought it was a great team win tonight. Collectively, I thought it was a great team effort.”

New York Liberty guard Lisa Willis

On tonight’s Game

“We knew that we had to get this victory. So, whatever we had to do to get it that’s what we needed to do.”

On her teammates looking for the shooter

“If somebody has a hot hand, you give them the ball. Just like with J-Mac we were trying to give her the ball. It seemed like nobody could guard her.”

New York Liberty Center Janel McCarville

On tying her career high point game

“I knew I had a lot of points at one point, I didn’t know it would be a career high. They just kept giving me the ball and wanted me to take it inside. So, I did and they just kept falling.”

On what Coach Coyle says during intense times

“She said to just keep our heads up. When they pushed it during the fourth quarter and tied it up, she just told us we have five more minutes to do our work, keep doing what we’ve been doing all game and we’ll be able to hold them off.”

Final: Comets 87, Liberty 90 --  Overtime.

The Houston Comets made valiant efforts tonight but it was not enough as the Comets lost to the New York Liberty 90 to 87 Tuesday night in front of an announced crowd of 5,166 fans. (No way that many people were in attendance.)

Tonight's loss is the third straight loss for the Comets (14-15) after the month-long Olympic break. Houston has five games left in the regular season and the team will probably have to win all five games in order to have a legitimate shot to qualify for the 2008 WNBA Playoffs. New York (16-12) ended a two-game losing streak with the victory.

Tina Thompson scored a game-high 34 points for the Comets. Rookie Matee Ajavon added 16 and Mistie Williams scored 12.

New York was led by Janel McCarville's 31 points (13 for 19 from the field). Lisa Willis scored a career-high 22 points. Catherine Kraayeveld chipped in 11 points.

The Comets trailed the Liberty 76 to 70 with less than one minute left in the fourth quarter; but, to their credit, the Comets fought back and tied the game with 2.2 seconds left thanks to two made free throws by Williams.

The Liberty scored the first seven points in overtime; but, once again, the Comets battled back to tie the game at 85. The Liberty simply could not put the Comets away. New York's Ashley Battle rebounded a missed shot attempt by McCarville and launched a three-point shot attempt which rattled in to give the Liberty the lead for good.

End of 4th Quarter: Game tied at 76. OVERTIME!

With 2.2 seconds left in the game, a loose ball foul was called on New York's Janel McCarville sending Houston's Mistie Williams to the free throw line with the Comets trailing the liberty 76 to 74. Williams a sub 60% free throw shooter knocked down both free throws to tie the game; and, after a Liberty time-out, New York's Erin Thorn left a pull-up jumper short.

Williams two free throws gave her a career-high tying 12 points in the point game.

Tina Thompson has scored 32 points thus far.

McCarville's 25 points leads the Liberty followed by 19 points from Lisa Willis. Willis has made 5 of her 7 three-point attempts.

End of 3rd Quarter: Comets 56, Liberty 61.

A sloppy first quarter by both teams turned into a sloppy second quarter by just the Comets to a well played third quarter by both teams.

The Comets shot 8 for 11 from the field in the third stanza and the Libs shot 8 for 17 in the period.

Houston's Mistie Williams scored six of her eight points in the third; and, Tina Thompson poured nine of her game-high 23 points in the third.

New York is led by 19 points by Janel McCarville and 13 points by Lisa Willis. Willis's 13 points are a part of 23 bench points by the Liberty.

Mid 3rd Quarter note:
New York's Janel McCarville is taking turns schooling the Comets' front court. McCarville has scored "And 1's" on Michelle Snow; Mistie Williams; and the overweight Latasha Byears. So far, McCarville has 18 points in the game on 7 for 10 shooting from the field.

Houston's Tina Thompson is schooling the Liberty's frontcourt players, too. Thompson leads the Comets with 20 points.

Halftime: Comets 29, Liberty 39.

Tina Thompson has 14 points and five rebounds to lead the Comets; however, no other Comets player scored more than five points in the opening 20 minutes.

New York's Janel McCarville also scored 14 points in the first half. McCarville scored 10 points in the second quarter. Lisa Willis added eight of her 10 first half points in teh second quarter, too.

The Comets shot a woeful 9 for 30 (30.0%) in the half including an awful 4 for 16 in the second quarter.

The Liberty made 10 of the 16 second-quarter shots and shot 50% (16 for 32) from the field in the half.

Houston committed five of its eight turnovers in the second period.

End of First Quarter: Comets 16, Liberty 14.

Both teams struggled offensively in the quarter. The Comets did not score until a basket until 6:19 was left in the period. New York scored the first six points of the game.

The Comets tied the game at eight and took the lead on a high-arcing rainbow three-point shot from Olympic gold medalist Tina Thompson.

The Comets shot 35.7% (5 for 14) from the field while the Liberty shot 37.5% (6 for 16) from the field.

Thompson's seven points led all scorers in the opening quarter.

HOUSTON, TX -- The Houston Comets (14-14) host the New York Liberty (15-12) tonight inside Reliant Arena. The Comets will look to snap a two-game losing streak after the team played poorly on the road versus the Seattle Storm (66-49 loss) and the Sacramento Monarchs (80-65 loss). Tonight's game is the first of four home games for the Comets. These four home games may be the last regular season games the Comets play in Houston.

Tonight's Starters and Officials

New York
17 - Essence Carson
33 - Catherine Kraayeveld
 4 - Janel McCarville
 5 - Erin Thorn
21 - Loree Moore

 4 - Mwadi Mabika
 7 - Tina Thompson
 2 - Michelle Snow
20 - Tamecka Dixon
41 - Shannon Johnson

#8 - Darryl Humphrey
#42 - Roy Gulbeyan
#45 - Tom Mauer

Notes - Injuries
Liberty: #3 Tiffany Jackson (tibial stress fracture, left leg) and #20 Shameka Christon (strained hamstring - not with team)

Jackson and Christon are on the Inactive List.

Comets: #15 Roneeka Hodges (fractured right toe); #21 Sancho Lyttle (left ankle sprain); and #99 Hamchetou Maiga-Ba (sprained left ankle)

Hodges and Maiga-Ba are on the Inactive List.
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