Taking Care of Business in Hawaii
Nov. 26, 2000
HONOLULU, Hawaii - When Coach invited us to dinner at her house to kick off the season, she gathered us in a circle and asked us the question, 'Why are we going to be successful this year?' Among our answers were talent, determination, unselfishness, commitment, taking care of the ball, positive attitudes, and heart. However, I think the real question was answered this Friday and Saturday as both of our victories in the Rainbow Wahine Classic were blueprints for a successful rest of the season. Last year we had problems putting games away when we were ahead and winning the close games, but this year's team has proved it can take care of business on the court and do both.
Stephen F. Austin, our first opponent, had one of the best introductions at the banquets with a poem/rap and one of the rowdiest most coordinated warm-ups of the teams in the tournament, but their off-the-court business couldn't stop the depth or size of the Sun Devils on Friday. Co-captains Amanda Levens and Melody Johnson led the way with 45 points, however it was a total team effort to pull away from them in the end. Like our media guide says on the cover, 'It's all business,' and Friday we came 'dressed to impress.'
Saturday, against the University of Hawaii, we followed the same blueprint to success, but business came down to the wire. Being in a close game gave us the opportunity, however, to prove that this year's team has what it takes to finish close games. Brett Leonard's fire power from beyond the arc, Betsy Boardman's last minute pull-up and Melody Johnson's powerful play in the key were too much for the Rainbow Wahine to handle in the closing minutes. We've practiced end-of-the-game situations all preseason, yet nothing has compared to the feeling of winning a close game on the road.
However, success is a journey not a destination, and we have another challenge ahead of us on our journey that flew us across the Pacific. We face North Carolina State in the Championship game on Sunday afternoon, playing our third game in three days. My mom always says good things come in three's (hence my #3), however it's going to take a lot more than superstitious luck to keep our team undefeated in the preseason.