Monday, February 20, 2023

Kelsey Plum Bests Cheryl Miller, but USC Rallies 65-57

 Kelsey Plum started the clash of two of the greatest players ever by drawing a foul on Cheryl Miller. She then hit both free throws - the second on a roll of "18" on the 20-sided due, which we assumed was a miss only to see her range is 1-18 good 19-20 miss as a 90% free throw shooter. 

Two trips later Plum hit a 3-pointer and the 2017 Washington team had a 27-20 lead over Millers's 1983 USC champs that inspired a movie. (click for free Value Add Basketball Game)

Washington had an edge these opening 7 possessions when we usually play reserves, because Plum, Natalie Romo and Chantel Osahor all have stamina of 44 or higher so were all three in for all 44 possessions, while Miller was the only USC player to do that.

Plum, who was third in WNBA MVP voting this year and is Tom Brady's favorite WNBA star, lead all scorers with 21 points to go with two blocks and steals, but more importantly drew five fouls on Miller to the bench. Miller already had 13 points, 7 rebounds and 4 steals. From Plum's Facebook page: The actual video of her opening the surprise gift.

Miller may have the best player card in the game, and is one of two ladies in our game who used to defeat their brothers as children - the other being Dennis Rodman's sister for Louisiana Tech the year before this USC season.

After Miller left the USC lead dwindled from 11 points to 4, but they held on for a 65-57 win.

However, this game might have come down to the wire except for four "home job" calls (in the game the home team can flip a 36 or 66 roll which calculates to the average home advantage in real games).

Home Job calls

At the end of the half Plum was call for a phantom foul on Miller, who went to the line and tied the game 29-29 at halftime.

The second possession of the 2nd half, Aair McDonald was called for a phantom foul and Cynthia Cooper cashed in at the line to make it 34-30 USC 

With 18 possessions left Plum actually drew a 5th foul on Miller, but the call was missed to let her get in several more crucial possessions.

With 8 possessions left Osahor drew a foul on Pam McGee that was missed.

This is the second game in which the home court advantage may have changed the result. The other was Britney Griner's three point opening round win in which two calls were missed.

The better seed in our first two rounds of this all-time great women's tournament get home court advantage, but the elite 8 will be neutral court games.

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