Saturday’s victory over Barry was the first women’s basketball game I’ve attended. These are my first impressions.
Kym Taylor replaced star center Sheena Walton who got into foul trouble in the first five minutes of the half.
Taylor recorded six rebounds as well as a block and a steal, not bad numbers against a fresh Barry offense.
Although remaining scoreless, she was a threat down low which stretched the defense and allowed Hailee Sullivan to make her only two threes of the game.
As good as Kym Taylor was, what Sheena Walton brought to the court was intensity.
Walton recorded three blocks which improved her streak to 46 consecutive games with at least one block.
Her speed transitioning back to defense and the passion with which she defended when in position will likely continue that streak indefinitely.
However, it wasn’t blocks that won the game on Saturday.
It was foul shots.
Tampa forced Barry’s team foul count up with underneath passes to Walton who still managed to post a team high 13 points despite the physical play.
With 8:41 still to play, Hailee Sullivan was shooting one and one.
The Spartans were shooting two with 3:15 on the clock.
Angela Guiu sunk the last two to seal the Tampa victory in the final seconds of the game.
Tampa had made 76.2 percent, nailing 16 of 21 attempts.
Seven free throws were made as a result of Barry’s team foul count. A big help when you win the game by five.
So what difference did Sheena Walton’s intensity? In this case, the difference between winning and losing.
— Bobby Winsler can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org