The scrimmage was divided into two sections: the team played against a group of men, then competed in an intrasquad scrimmage. The scrimmage against the men was divided into four six-minute sections, with players being substituted liberally. The clock stopped for fouls, substitutions, and Coach Curry instructing the players.
Against the men, the women "won" the first scrimmage 11-6, won the second 12-8, lost the third 15-16, and won the fourth, 14-8. Here are some impressions:
First scrimmage: Shereka, Lindsey, Erika, Beth, and Emily started and the men outrebounded them from the start. Beth shot a pull-up 3 on a fast break, and Shereka had a pull-up J in the lane. The team doubled down in the post throughout the scrimmage and it started early with this group. Shereka repeatedly beat all the players down the floor and converted almost all of her shots, although I think the men made a point not to attempt to block shots. Carol came in and immediately got physical on the boards, grabbing an O-board and getting a jumper in the paint. Erin was hurt almost immediately, returning to the bench with her hand covering her mouth. It seemed like something happened with a tooth, but she later had something pressed to her nose, as if that had been bloodied. Ashley made some nice steals by stripping her opponent. Again, the women "won" this quarter, 11-6.
The second quarter began with Aya, Emily, Katie, Sabrina, and Erika on the floor. The Boilers were more active on the board and began to show their transition game, especially after the men made a basket. It seems the tactic of getting a transition hoop after the opposition scores is going to be used regularly. Aya penetrated into the lane for a jumper and Sabrina seemed quick in the paint. The team "won" this quarter, 12-8.
The third quarter was the highest scoring quarter; Beth, Aya, Katie, Shereka, and Emily started this quarter. The team used zone a couple of times, one was a 2-1-2 and the other seemed to be a 2-3. It didn't really matter which zone they used, however, as the men dissected it for easy inside hoops on a number of occasions. The team did have active hands on D when they played man-to-man and continued to get a few steals. A 1-4 offensive set was used during this quarter, but it was stagnant: little ball movement, little player movement. When fresh players came in, the offense really heated up as Aya, Lindsey, and Katie nailed 3-pointers during this time. Shereka got inside and was aggressive with her shot. Aya went down during this quarter and left the court. Again, the zone defense wasn't effective as the men nailed a 3-pointer near the end. The team "lost" this quarter, 15-16.
The fourth quarter pretty much was like the first three: many double/triple teams in the post for the women on defense, but the men got some easier shots on the inside now: the results of tired legs for the team? The transition game after a made basket continued as well. The team won this quarter, 14-8.
There was a break, then the intrasquad scrimmage began. On the Gold team was Shereka, Lindsey, Emily, Beth, Indi, and Sharika. The Black team was comprised of Erika, Katie, Hannah, Sabrina, Ashley, and Carol. The Gold won, 16-6. Beth had a couple of steals and played nice defense, Shereka had a pull-up jumper on the baseline. Carol ended the scrimmage by stealing a pass in the frontcourt and going in for an uncontested layup.
After the scrimmage, the players shot free throws throughout Mackey; I'd heard that Katie is automatic from the line, so I watched her closely. She hit 10 FTs in a row at one point (players shot 5, then rotated if they had a partner at the basket). Basically, it's a quick dribble for Katie, then up in the air with the shot. Once she was in rhythm, she was automatic. The subtle thing about Katie is that she shoots from the line, rather than having a shot-putting motion which made her mechanics that much smoother. Because Erika is one of the program's all-time best FT shooters, I watched and saw her make 7 in a row. She's much more deliberate at the line than Katie, but clearly just as effective.
The scrimmage was sparsely attended, with Mackey Arena's lower nest no more than twenty percent full. Sitting in a section to my left was a group of girls that I guessed was from South Bend St. Joseph HS. After the scrimmage some of the players, including Shereka, Emily, Katie, and Hannah, went into the stands to talk with a few fans.