Saturday, November 22, 2008
We're at the halfway point of the WCBA season. There are 12 teams in the Chinese League, and each team plays the other twice - once home and once away. Teams play in the second half of the season in the exact same order as they did in the first half.
It looks like in order to make it to the playoffs - eight of the 12 teams go to the postseason - a team will need at least a .500 record. Beijing (6-5) needed to crawl a little further from that questionable margin, and they made it, beating Hayao (6-5) on the road by a score of 73-69.
The translated boxscore of the game is here.
Hayao only put seven players on the floor, and immediately began to fall behind, losing the first quarter 23-15 and going into halftime down 39-33 to visiting Beijing. Hayao managed to close the gap to within three points at the end of the third quarter, 55-52, but Beijing managed to hold off the shorthanded home team and move to one game above .500.
Both teams shot evenly well, each team in the mid-forties. Beijing clearly won rebounding battle with 18 offensive rebounds. Hayao turned the ball over four more times, but they were also sent to the line more frequently. Most likely, rebounding was what gave Beijing the victory.
Liu Jiacen most likely had the best performance of the Hayao players, scoring 19 points and 10 rebounds. Miao Lijie picked up 25 points and four assists, and the only other player in double figures for Hayao was Gao Song, with nine points and six rebounds.
Beijing was able to field an entire team, and to spread the burden of the scoring around to four performers, all starters. Zhang Fan led all players with 17 points and eight rebounds. Jennifer Lacy had 16 points and eight rebounds, but it was a so-so game for her - she was 6-for-16 from the floor and one for two from the line. Zhang Wei would also score 16 points and Zhou Honghua added 10 points and seven rebounds for winning Beijing.
I don't know if pictures will ever be found for many of these games. For now, I'll just try to make sense of it all.