Colorado Chill (1-1) vs. Chicago Blaze (1-0) Game Notes
A look at the teams: This game is a replay of the last game these teams played. They matched up on Chicagos home court last Sunday, when the Blaze came away with an 84-70 win. In that victory, Jamie Redd led all scorers with 27 points on 8 of 13 shooting. Tamika Catchings had 17 points and 10 rebounds. For the Chill, four players scored in double figures. Katie Cronin led the way with 16 points. Catchings will not be making the trip to Colorado this weekend due to previous commitments.
The Chill is in its inaugural season in the National Womens Basketball League (NWBL). Chicago is in its third season with the four-year-old league.
The NWBL: The NWBL is comprised of six teams: Colorado, Chicago, Dallas Fury, Springfield Spirit, Houston Stealth and Birmingham Power. The season runs through March 23, and a four-team, single-elimination playoff begins April 1 at sites to be determined.
In the league: Ruth Riley tops the NWBL early stats look in free throw shooting with 87.5 percent (14 of 16). Katie Cronin is fifth with 6.5 rebounds a game and seventh with 2.0 steals a game. Helen Darling is fifth among all NWBL players with 4.0 assists per game.
Former teammates: Helen Darling and Maren Walseth are teammates for the second time. They played three years together in college at Penn State. Becky Hammon and Katie Cronin were teammates all four years at Colorado State; they were teammates with Angie Nelp during her freshman year; and with Teresa Hinz for one year while she was a senior. Nelp and Hinz were never teammates.
Unusual situation: Edna Campbell got thrown out of the game Sunday against Chicago for the first time in her career. She's had a few technicals in her life but never been tossed.
Radio partner: KSXT AM 1570 is the home station for all 21 of the Chills games. Dave Maurino (play-by-play) and Scott McVay (color commentary) are the announcers for home games. On the road, Maurino will do play-by-play with Chill general manager Dave King providing color. The majority of the games will be broadcast live, but some games may be delayed a few hours.
Coachs show: Fans can tune into the weekly Chill Coachs Show from 5-6 p.m. Mondays. Dave Maurino is the host with Chill coach Jade Strohm, and fans are invited to call the KSXT station with comments and questions.
On the mend: Becky Hammon, the Chills franchise player, is recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her knee. She suffered the injury June 27 in a WNBA game and had surgery July 7. Hammon, who was voted to her first All-Star Game roster for her efforts before the injury, is expected to return to the court during the Chills season.
Injury update: Allison Curtin, another Chill player who suffered an ACL last summer, is suffering from tendonitis in her knee (a previous injury) and saw limited practice time this week. She is expected to play against Chicago.
Five Old, One New and One Relocation: Of the six teams in the National Womens Basketball League, five were members of the league in 2003, although one of the five has now relocated. The four teams that have remained intact are the Birmingham Power, Chicago Blaze, Houston Stealth and the Springfield Spirit. The Tennessee Fury is the fifth team that played in the league last year, but on Dec. 23, 2003, the league announced the team was bought by a Dallas group and would relocate to Texas and be called the Dallas Fury. The lone new team to join the NWBL is the Colorado Chill. The Chill became the sixth team in the league, replacing the Grand Rapids Blizzard.
All-Star Game: The Colorado Chill will host the NWBLs first-ever All-Star Game on Feb. 16, Presidents Day. Contests and events begin at 1:30 p.m., followed by the game at 3 p.m. at the Budweiser Events Center. The game will feature the top players as voted on by the league coaches.
A family affair: The Colorados roster features five moms, including coach Jade Strohm, whose daughter is 2-year-old Sydney. Center Jill Chapman-Daily has a seven-month-old daughter, Addison; Helen Darling has 17-month-old triplets: Ja-Juan, Jalen and Nevaeh; Teresa Hinz has a 2-year-old daughter Kylie; and guard Edna Campbell is the veteran of the bunch with a 19-year-old son, David.
WNBA connections: Nine players on the Chill roster have ties to the WNBA, including five who played in 2003. Current players are Ruth Riley, MVP of the 2003 WNBA Championships with the Detroit Shock; Allison Curtin, first-round draft choice with the Detroit Shock; Edna Campbell, a starter with Sacramento; Helen Darling, a starter with Cleveland; and Becky Hammon, a five-year veteran with the New York Liberty. Jill Chapman-Daily spent 2002 with Detroit before taking last year off to have a baby; Katie Cronin has been in training camp with New York and Seattle; Teresa Hinz was in training camp with the Utah Starzz; and Maren Walseth has been on roster with the Washington Mystics and in other training camps as well.
The Budweiser Events Center: The Budweiser Events Center opened in September 2003 to high praise and early success. Two other tenants join the Colorado Chill in calling the BEC home: The Colorado Eagles hockey team and the Colorado Venom arena football team. In addition, the BEC hosts concerts, ice shows, conventions and stage productions. The BED seats 6,000 for basketball and features 24 suites, full concessions, a restaurant and bar and club seats. It is the premier building of The Ranch, located just south of the Windsor exit on Interstate 25.
Tickets: Call 1-877-544-8499 for tickets, or go to the ticket window at the Budweiser Events Center, or log on to www.nwbl.com.
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National Women's Basketball League Stories from January 21, 2004
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