Top Plays, Moments, Venues and More, along with espnW highlights
ESPN is home to the most extensive women’s college basketball coverage and the 2012-13 season saw many memorable moments by play-by-play veterans Beth Mowins and Pam Ward, along with analysts Rebecca Lobo, Kara Lawson, Carolyn Peck, LaChina Robinson and Stephanie White. This top crew plus so many dedicated women’s basketball announcers called over 150 exclusive games across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3 during the 2012-13 regular season.
A look at the best games and moments they experienced, favorite stops along the way and top surprises.
Most memorable game
Lobo: The Connecticut at Notre Dame three-overtime game was this year’s highlight
Mowins: Notre Dame vs. Connecticut Big Monday three-overtime game
Robinson: Connecticut at St. John’s – game was tied at the half and it was a great game start to finish
Ward: UConn at Notre Dame’s triple-overtime game in Skylar Diggins’ last home game
Biggest surprise team
Lobo: Notre Dame and Tennessee – both lost a lot last year and came back strong
Mowins: Dayton out of the A10 with a 26-1 regular-season record
Peck: I am most surprised by the play and success of Notre Dame – I thought the Irish would have to go through some growing pains and rebuilding this season.
Robinson: Syracuse – they grabbed the three seed in tournament in the competitive BIG EAST
Ward: Dayton – after losing four starters from last year’s A10 Championship team – Dayton is one of only three one-loss teams in the regular season
White: Colorado of the Pac-12 at 24-5 in the regular season
Breakout player that you saw
Mowins: Notre Dame’s Kayla McBride and Connecticut’s Stephanie Dolson
Peck: Theresa Plausance of LSU increased her scoring from 4.5 to 17.0 points per game
Robinson: Notre Dame’s Kayla McBride
Ward: Alexis Jones of Duke – the freshman guard has filled a huge gap with Chelsea Gray’s season-ending injury
White: Cal’s Layshia Clarendon
Most memorable play or moment
Mowins: Brittney Griner’s spin dunk vs. Kansas State
Peck: The half-court shot by Brittney Sykes during the Syracuse vs. St. John’s game
Robinson: Half-court shot by Penn State’s Alex Bentley against Nebraska at the Bryce Jordan Center
Ward: Notre Dame’s Kayla McBride – whose 3-pointer sent the ND-UConn game into double-overtime – it was the first and only three ND hit all game
Game with the best crowd you witnessed
Lobo: Duke at Connecticut at Gampel Pavilion was an electric crowd
Peck: Maryland for the rematch with Duke – the crowd had been fueled by tweets after Maryland’s men upset Duke and rushed the floor
Ward: A difficult choice but the Louisville crowd for the Kentucky game – a fun early-season matchup
Favorite or most memorable non-game action moment
Mowins: The couple that changes outfits in a quick second
Robinson: Seeing North Carolina head coach Sylvia Hatchell shagging (dancing) at midcourt
Ward: No question – Quick Change, the couple who changes clothes in an instant throughout their show.
White: The dog races at Minnesota
Best venue to call a game
Lobo: Gampel Pavilion at UConn and the Purcell Pavilion at Notre Dame had the best environments Peck: It was fun to have our studio set at the XL Center for the Baylor/UConn game – I always enjoy when our whole game crew can be in the same place
Robinson: Syracuse’s Carrier Dome
Ward: Maryland’s Comcast Center is a palace, and I love the feel of Marquette’s Al McGuire Center – a perfect modern gym with an old-time feel
Best college town or favorite place you visited
Lobo: After the Stanford-UConn game, Doris (Burke), Dave (O’Brien) and I went to a great restaurant in San Francisco – great food and company – can’t beat that
Mowins: Visiting Syracuse for Dinosaur BBQ
Peck: I always enjoy the opportunity to go back to Nashville – there is no place like the San Antonio Taco Company
Robinson: In Chicago working the Louisville at DePaul game – we visited Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse
Ward: Montell’s in Nashville for food – great Southern food
When the cameras are not rolling….
Lawson: I like to sit back in studio and focus on the games that are going on
Peck: While watching games in studio, I make comments that crack up Kara (Lawson). When she laughs, her eyes water and she does everything she can to avoid messing up her makeup! And snacks are a must.
Robinson: Of course tweet – @Live2Inspire
Ward: I like to sit back and enjoy the atmosphere, while trying to bother Rebecca (Lobo) as much as I can
Big Monday Numbers Up
With more games on ESPN platforms, the ratings saw a boost in 2012-13.
- ESPN2’s Big Monday Presented by Bud Light series saw a 33 percent increase with a 0.4 household rating (11 games) compared to last season’s 0.3 rating (10 games)
- UConn’s two appearances in February were top raters this season as they matched up against the top two teams in the nation in No. 1 Baylor and No. 2 Notre Dame (three overtimes)
- The triple-overtime thriller between third-ranked Connecticut at No. 2 Notre Dame (ND wins 97-87) brought in a 0.6 household coverage rating
o The battle saw a rise in the rating each quarter hour, peaking at a1.0 rating in the final 15 minutes
o Combined, the final 45 minutes — featuring mostly overtime action — averaged a 0.9 household coverage rating
o In the Hartford/New Haven metered market, the game earned a 13.5 rating
- The matchup between top-ranked Baylor and No. 3 Connecticut (BU won 76-70) fetched a 0.7 rating
o It was ESPN2’s highest overnight rating (0.7 metered market rating) for a women’s basketball regular-season game since Dec. 30, 2010 when Connecticut-Stanford averaged 1.5 metered market rating
o In the Hartford/New Haven metered market, the game earned a 11.9 metered market rating
espnW had in-depth and complete coverage of the 2012-13 women’s college basketball season.
The top players in the nation – the “3 to See” trio of Elena Delle Donne (Delaware), Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame) and Brittney Griner (Baylor) made a preseason visit to ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., studios on October 17 for a preseason Car Wash through several ESPN platforms, including Mike & Mike in the Morning, First Take, SportsCenter and ESPN Radio.
Top writer Graham Hays spent quality time with the trio offering an in-depth look.
Also on espnW this season:
- Tennessee Total Access/Tennessee Questions
- For the first time, a National Player of the Week was named
- Stanford’s Chiney Ogwumike served as a guest blogger
- espnW featured video segments highlighting the accomplishments of five female athletes, including the most recent milestones set by Brittney Griner
- Hays’ mid-major rankings were updated bi-weekly
- Charlie Creme provided Bracketology updates leading up to Selection Monday Presented by Capital One
Women’s basketball coverage continues on ESPN with the exclusive live announcement of the 64-team NCAA Championship field as part of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Selection Special Presented by Capital One on Monday, March 18, at 7 p.m. ET, with ESPNU offering a bonus hour of coverage on the NCAA Women’s’ Basketball Selection Special Extended Coverage Presented by Capital One at 8 p.m. All 63 games of the 2012 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship will air on ESPN networks for the eighth consecutive year.