Monday, February 17, 2020

Three Beautiful Things 02/16/20: Ducks Overwhelm USC, Ducks Blast Utah, One More Maureen Lawson Episode

1. I am emotionally committed to the success of the Oregon Ducks women's basketball team more than I am committed to any other college basketball team in the whole USA.

Even though the Ducks have an extraordinarily talented team, I always find reasons, it seems, to be anxious before every game. This afternoon, my concern was that the Ducks might come on the court a little flat after defeating 7th ranked UCLA on Friday night and, to my eyes, looking a little tired in the later stages of that game.

As this matinee contest got underway, Oregon, in fact, did seem sluggish and USC quickly demonstrated that they have two very talented freshmen, guard Endyia Rogers and forward Alissa Pili. And, sure enough, the Ducks had trouble scoring early. They fell behind 7-0. Gradually, they shook the cobwebs and by quarter's end were ahead, 20-15, led by Satou Sallaby's buckets sunk near the hoop as well as a couple from distance.

As the game progressed, all of the parts of the Duck's offense clicked. Ionescu and Moore dished out multiple assists, especially to Ruthy Hebard, and the Ducks' outside shots started to fall. In the second half, Erin Boley caught fire -- she burst into flames -- and drained, by game's end, seven three pointers on her way to scoring 25 points.

It wasn't long, in the second half, before the sheer talent of the Ducks overwhelmed and dominated the Trojans and Oregon zoomed to a resounding 93-67 victory.

2.  As it turned out, the men's team for Oregon also played today, facing Utah in an evening tilt at Matthew Knight Arena. These Ducks did not start out even a little sluggish. They were hot as a blast furnace.  Led by Payton Pritchard and Will Richardson, the Ducks scorched the twine in the first half, raced to a 44-30 halftime lead, and kept their collective feet on the proverbial gas pedal the rest of the way and overwhelmed Utah, 80-62.

3. Christy and Everett needed to cancel Family Dinner and Carol decided she'd also prefer staying home to rest.

I fixed myself a tomato and zucchini pasta sauce to put over penne and, after the Oregon/Utah game, decided to watch the one remaining episode I hadn't seen this week of A Touch of Frost featuring Sally Dexter playing the role of Maureen Lawson. The case was grisly. Two women in their seventies were murdered in their homes.

Late in this episode, Lawson confides in Jack Frost that she doesn't go home at night to a "fella". Her lover is a woman. Had I been watching this program twenty-five years ago, I would have thought this would be a rich story line to develop. But, by the end of the next episode in Season 2, Maureen Lawson was relocated to Cornwall. She returned for one episode in Season 11.

In the brief amount of time that Sally Dexter worked in this series, I thought her characterization of Maureen Lawson brought depth to the series. She contributed gravity, seriousness, intelligence, frankness, and insight to her partnership with Jack Frost. She seemed to understand Jack Frost's eccentricities right from the start and he respected her work and insights. The two inspectors worked very well together professionally and were in the early stages of caring for one another's personal lives.

I don't know how these things are decided -- which characters stay, which are written out of television shows, but I wish Sally Dexter had stayed with A Touch of Frost longer and I could have watched her delve deeper into the character of Maureen Lawson.

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