The game may be meaningless in terms of playoff spots or even matchups, but when the Houston Comets played the Sacramento Monarchs in Strahan Coliseum Monday night it was serious business. The “home team” Houston Comets were displaced by Hurricane Ike and San Marcos became their home away from home. Reportedly 90% of the Houston area was knocked off the power grid as a result of Ike, and that, combined with the 9PM curfew, made playing the Comets’ final home game in Houston impossible. As a result, Texas State University hosted the first-ever professional sporting even in San Marcos.
The playoff-bound Monarchs wasted no time as they rolled up a 13-4 lead in the first five minutes of play. Nicole Powell (6’3″ G/F-Stanford) knocked in 9 of the first 11 points for Sacramento. Four-time WNBA champion, Tina Thompson (6’2″ F-USC) hit five of the next seven points to bring Houston to within six (15-9.) The Comets cut their deficit to one (15-14) when Mistie Williams (6’3″ F-Duke) hit one of her two free throw attempts. The Monarchs extended their lead to 21-16 by the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter again saw the Comets fighting back after falling behind further, and again, it was on the sheer hustle of Tina Thompson. With 8 minutes remaining in the half, Thompson hit a free throw to complete a three-point play and tie the game for the first time since the opening tipoff. Just one minute later, Thompson’s three-pointer gave Houston their first lead of the game 27-25. By the 3:40 mark, Houston had extended their lead to eight 41-33. The teams traded buckets until the end of the first half with Houston leading Sacramento 47-41. The Comets were paced in the first half by Tina Thompson’s 19 points.
Houston opened the third quarter by extending their lead to a game-high 11 points (54-43) before Sacramento fought back to cut the lead 56-53 with just over 4 minutes remaining in the period. The Comets edged ahead 63-58 on a clock beater by Tamecka Dixon (5’9″ G-Kansas) just before the end of the third period.
The Monarchs fought hard in the opening minutes of the final quarter to bring the score to within two (68-66) as Thompson watched on the bench, resting for the final push. Both teams traded scores until the 5:58 mark, when Tina Thompson again took the floor. Thompson’s presence on the court seemed to energize her teammates as they stretched the Comets advantage to eight (79-71) with 1:43 to go in the game. In the final seconds, the teams traded buckets, but Houston ended up winning the game with a final score of 90-81. This first-ever professional basketball game in Strahan Coliseum turned out to be a great final home victory for the Houston Comets. The win lifted the team to .500 for the season (17-17) and took some of the edge off a very stressful weekend for the Comets organization.
SCORE BY QUARTER
Monarchs 21 20 17 23 – 81
Comets 16 31 16 27 – 90
Scoring – Tina Thompson (31), Roneeka Hodges (14), Tameka Dixon (10)
Rebounds – Michelle Snow (10), Tina Thompson (5), many (3)
Steals – Tina Thompson (3), many (1)
Scoring – Nicole Powell (20), Adrian Williams-Stron (15), Kara Lawson (11)
Rebounds – Adrian Williams-Stron (6), many (3)
Steals – Crystal Kelly, Adrian Williams-Stron, Ticha Penicheiro (2)
Tina Thompson launches a three
The Houston Comets hang tough in their road “home” game.
Photos by Colter RayEmail | Print