Saturday, November 22, 2008
Dean Oliver, a basketball stats maven, once wrote that there is more to be learned when two teams with identical records play than there is when two teams, say 8-2 and 2-8, play. Jiansgu (7-4) was tied with Guangdong (6-5) going into Saturday's game, but in the second half of the game the two teams were in no way even. Home team Jiangsu beat Guangdong 91-73.
The win puts Jiangsu in third place by itself in the WCBA. Only Bayi Telecom (8-3) and Liaoning (9-2) are ahead of Jiangsu, and these are the only two teams to win WCBA championships in its short history.
The boxscore is here.
Hometeam Jiangsu took a 21-16 lead after the first ten minutes and would keep the lead for the rest of the game. Guangdong closed to within four by halftime, 44-40. Jiangu would begin to extend its lead in each of the following quarters and by the end, Jiangsu was threatening to win by twenty.
Each team shot extremely well. Jiangsu shot 51 percent and Guangdong shot 47 percent. It was the sheer volume of shots that gave Jiangsu the edge. Their number of two-point attempts exceeded all of the shots Guangdong took. Add to that the fact that Jiangsu scored 17 offensive rebounds and that Guangdong turned the ball over 25 times, and Jiangsu's victory was almost a foregone conclusion. I'd love to see the first half stats of this game and compare them with the second half.
Xu Song led Jiangsu with 22 points and nine rebounds. Five players would score in double points for Jiangsu, among them Bian Lan. Lan, an important figure in women's basketball in China, came very close to a triple double - 16 points, eight rebounds, 10 assists.
What about Ann Strother? She started and played 33 minutes, but only scored five points and four rebounds. She was 2-for-7 in shooting, a subpar day for Ann.
Chasity Melvin would lead all players from Guangdong with 19 points and eight rebounds. Melvin plays for the Chicago Sky of the WNBA. Zhu Lin would also scored 10 points and seven rebounds, bu talso turned the ball over six times for Guangdong.