The Houston Roundball Review is an online basketball publication
by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Lowe's Senior CLASS, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.
Stealth beats Spirit, 78-66, in Pro CupMarch 30, 2004
One team lives to play another day, and one team is done with this NWBL season.
In a game that meant the world to two teams, only 3 players stepped up with double digit scoring performances. And the one player who really outshone all the players on the court was the one who should have been in bed asleep. Tina Thompson, after flying all night and day from the other side of the world, came to play. She embarrassed all the other players with a double-double performance; 37 points and 10 rebounds. And the stat sheet says she played 39 minutes, but she took a well-deserved breather for a couple of minutes in the first half, so she really only played 37 minutes, and so matched her minutes in points. Not many players can consistently claim that statistic, but Tina certainly does.
The only other two players scoring in double digits were Stacey Clinesmith (19) and Rita Williams (16) for the Springfield Spirit. Those two were the worst threat to the Stealth's hopes of continuing on in the championship tournament. They were deadly shots from inside and outside the arc, scoring 5 long balls between them to the Stealth's 2.
The Stealth took the lead early in the game, then the Spirit fought back, overtaking the lead late in the first half, but Houston's spirit was too much for Springfield's Spirit. The second half definitely belonged to the Stealth, as they outscored by 10 points to complete the win.
The teams were fairly evenly matched in shooting percentages, although the Spirit made more of their 3-point shots, and evenly matched in rebounds. But the Stealth won at the charity stripe, scoring 24 to the Spirit's 7.
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