Monday, November 30, 2009

Daily dribble

With several travel-weary teams easing into December, we're in for a few light nights on the hardwoods. But while we don't have quantity, JMU and Liberty should deliver high quality when two of the state's best square off in Lynchburg.

Monday's recap

George Mason 70, Fairfield 65: They had to overcome one of the great one-woman performances they'll see this season, as the Stags' Stephanie Geehan went off for 33 points and 17 boards. Ultimately, however, those heroics couldn't overcome another all-hands-on-deck effort from the surging Patriots (4-2), who knocked off an undefeated team, won their third in a row, remained unbeaten at home (4-0) and matched their victory total for last season in one ultra-satisfying result. Oh, and kudos to freshman Amber Easter, who on Monday was named the CAA Rookie of the Week.

Tuesday's showdown

JMU (4-0) at Liberty (5-0), 7 p.m.

Easily the most intriguing intrastate matchup of the young season features two unbeaten teams and the state's top two scorers in Liberty's Dawn Evans (26.8 ppg) and Liberty's Devon Brown (21.2). Athleticism and Liberty often don't fit comfortably in the same sentence, but the Dukes should be prepared for a more mobile Lady Flames group led by a slimmed-down Brown. As for the Lady Flames, their biggest concern is obviously Evans, but JMU freshman guard Tarik Hislop (13.3 ppg) can make Liberty pay for devoting too much attention to the Dukes' superstar. The home team has prevailed when these teams have met in each of the last three seasons, so this would seem to be Liberty's turn. But all other things being relatively equal, we'll lean towards the team with the best player. JMU 66, Liberty 63

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