The Seattle Storm returned from the month-long Olympics break on a high note when they soundly defeated the Phoenix Mercury 72-58 on Thursday, August 16. Camille Little led the Storm with 17 points and six rebounds. Tanisha Wright contributed 10 points and eight assists to help secure the win. The Storm led by as many as 18 points late in the game.
In a pre-game ceremony, Sue Bird was recognized for her contribution to the women's basketball team in the Olympics, where she helped her teammates win a fifth consecutive gold medal for the United States. Bird came down with the stomach flu and left the game in the second quarter.
Samantha Prahalis was the top scorer for the Mercury with 15 points. Alexis Hornbuckle scored 12. The Mercury have lost their last 7 games. Diana Taurasi of the Mercury did not play in Thursday night's game because she had not yet returned from London. She has missed 18 games with the Mercury this season due to a strained left hip flexor.
Lauren Jackson, who has missed the first half of the WNBA season to train for the Olympics with the Australian National Team, is expected to be back in Seattle on Monday. The Australians won a bronze medal in the Olympics after being defeated by the United States women's team. Jackson is currently back in her home country to celebrate the Australian women's Olympic bronze. She attained the impressive status of being the all-time leading scorer among women's basketball players in the Olympics.
Although Jackson is expected to return to Seattle on Monday, she is expected to miss a few games as she recovers from her travels and has time to adjust to the Storm.
The Storm have 14 regular season games left in the 2012 season. They currently hold the fourth place in the Western Conference, which would allow them to attain a spot in the playoffs if they can hold on to that position for the rest of the season. They will enjoy the home court advantage for the next six games. I am looking forward to some intense matchups against Los Angeles, Minnesota and Indiana. I cannot wait to hear the Seattle crowd erupt when Jackson makes her first appearance of the season.
Anne Bucher has been a devoted follower of the WNBA since its inception in 1997. A Texas native, she cheered the Houston Comets on to their four consecutive championship titles. Now she lives in the Northwest and roots for the Seattle Storm.