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September 15th, 2008
Houston Comets make history in San Marcos

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.

 Chris Doelle
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SCORE BY QUARTER
Monarchs      21    20    17    23    –   81
Comets          16    31     16    27    –   90

TEAM LEADERS
Houston Comets
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)

Sacramento Monarchs
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 Ray

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0 thoughts on “Houston Comets make history in San Marcos

  1. Great photos and story. Thompson had a great game, about 12 points more than her average. I’m also a big Nicole Powell fan and will se plenty of her when the Monarchs play the Silver Stars in the first rounf of the WNBA Playoffs.

  2. I am a novice at WNBA basketball but took advantage of seeing a game here in San Marcos. I was very impressed with the level of ability the teams showed and watched some great basketball. I made this comment to a season ticket holder of the Silver Stars and she said, “Of course, they are professionals”. They indeed were professional level players. As to Tina Thompson I made a comment when she was shooting a free throw and wondered out loud how she could even shoot with all the bandages and tape she had on her hands. A lady turned around and told me that Tina had broken her finger in a game by falling into a folding chair against the Silver Stars. She had the finger taped and continued playing. That is one tough gal!! The other hand was also taped and wrapped but she had a great night of scoring.
    I was looking at the small turnout and wondered why more high school and college level players weren’t there to see the top of the line basketball players for women. There were a good number of young women there but I expected to see quite a few teams represented. The ones that had a good turnout were the senior citizen level of women who probably played in the very beginning of full court women’s basketball. They still love the game and support it and even took part in the time out antics – they have all the new moves to music down pat. All in all it was a great experience and I plan on watching more WNBA games – on TV and in person.

  3. Moe,

    I;m a huge fan of the WNBA and especially of the Silver Stars. When I tell most people I like the WNBA, they often make a joke out of it. For anyone that is skeptical and says it would be boring, I usually just tell them to go to a game and give it a chance, especially since the tickets are cheap enough. I’m glad you did just that. If you are interested in the Silver Stars, I’m working on a site and podcast that will start getting busy very soon. It’s called Silver Stars Central and available at http://silverstarscentral.com. My firend Stephanie, also a season ticket holder, is helping me with writing along with photos and videos from games and the forum should be up by Thursday for the first game of the playoffs. By the way, I’m guessing the reason many people didn’t go is because the Cowboys were playing a Monday Night Football game.

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