So last night I sat down and watched the NCAA Women's Tournament. Xavier and Stanford hooked horns in one of the more exciting women's games I've ever seen. After an incredibly exciting back-and-forth second half, Xavier found themselves in the driver's seat: tie game, holding the ball for the final shot. WORST CASE SCENARIO is overtime...
So they dribble the ball up the court and start some ball movement to get a good shot off in the 20 seconds they have left. The point guard passed it to the girl on the right wing, and what happened next was one of the most bizarre, depressing series of events in sports I have ever witnessed:
Click here for "Xavier vs. Stanford - THE FINISH"
Absolutely unbelievable. Xavier's Dee Dee Jernigan didn't just miss one WIDE OPEN lay-up...she missed TWO! She made two great cuts to the hoop, being a coach's dream as she moved well without the ball to find an open spot on the floor. And then it all went to hell...
Now, luckily for her, the attention will be given to the girl on Stanford (Jeanette Pohlen) who pulled a Tyus Edney and ran the length of the floor in 4.3 seconds to score the winning basket. It was certainly an incredible finish, but for the poor girl on Xavier, it is one she will not soon forget. She had two WIDE OPEN LAY-UPS (not jump shots, lay-ups) to send her team to the Final Four...and she blew them.
I felt absolutely sick in the pit of my stomach as I watched her crumble to the floor BEFORE the game was over. You don't see it in the above clip, but she fell to the ground, completely inconsolable, and at that point, they were still tied and needed to play defense for 4.3 seconds to go to overtime. But she was defeated. And I can't help but think some of her teammates expended a lot of energy as they watched her miss a shot that all of them probably learned when they were around 3-4 years old.
Jernigan is going to be haunted by this. Not only did she miss the shot(s) to go to the Final Four...she also missed her last shot of the season, and, worst of all, the last shot of her college career. See, Jernigan is a senior at Xavier, scheduled to graduate this spring. She will now have to cope with this as she continue her life away from basketball.
I feel for the girl. Pohlen came out the hero of the game, but her legacy would have never even been possible if it weren't for the girl on the other end of the court, collapsed on the floor with tears in her eyes. That's one assist Jernigan never wanted to give.
TwoDC Turns Five
4 years ago