Saturday, December 5, 2009

Daily dribble - Super Sunday edition

No, it's not the Super Bowl. But today's card features the top four teams in the Ladyswish poll going head-to-head, not to mention an ODU team trying to get up off the canvas against a fast-starting team from the powerful SEC. In short, it's the most interesting day of hoops the young season has coughed up so far. And that's pretty super to us. But first....

Saturday's recap

Liberty 86, Glenville St. 45: Box score full of goofy stats: Liberty won despite 33 turnovers; Lady Flames won the rebounding battle 60-26 and Glenville St. shot 7 of 49(!) from the 3-point line. Just shows what happens when run-and-gun goes awry, or to be more accurate, gets in over its head.

Radford 72, Southern Virginia 36: Nice job out of the Highlanders (1-4). And don't snicker at the opponent. Better to beat someone - anyone - than allow that winless streak monkey to turn into a gorilla. Just ask the 2008-09 Norfolk State Spartans - and let's hope we don't have to ask this year's Old Dominion Lady Monarchs.

North Carolina A&T 81, Norfolk State 51: Result shows how far the Spartans still must climb to be competitive with the best teams in the MEAC.

Howard 48, Hampton 47: Just when it seemed as though the Lady Pirates were about to nail down their first road victory of the season, Howard's Zykia Brown nails a 3-pointer with two seconds left to steal the decision. As Sammy Davis Jr. would have put it, ouch, babe.

Tulane 73, Longwood 58: As expected, the Big Easy Classic was anything but for these Lancers (2-7).

Sunday's games

James Madison (5-0) at Virginia (6-1), 4 p.m. THE premier intrastate matchup of the young season pits the Commonwealth's only undefeated team against its only nationally ranked squad. The Dukes engineered a solid win over Liberty Tuesday despite an illness-ravaged roster including most notably star guard Dawn Evans - who scored 13 points below her average - and center Jalissa Taylor. Tall, long teams that play zone have stymied the Cavaliers so far, but the feeling here is that JMU's style will bring out the best in UVa. Also, odds are Monica Wright won't have a third straight subpar game. Virginia 81, JMU 72

Richmond (6-2) at VCU (3-1), 2 p.m.
Wednesday's game at East Carolina was a bad news/good news deal for VCU: the Rams lost the game but regained the services of ace defensive guard Kita Waller (knee injury). The time off certainly didn't hurt Waller's shooting touch - she scored 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting from 3-point range. Despite the loss, the Rams still boast a 19-game home winning streak. But keep in mind that this year's team is responsible for only one of those victories. Meanwhile, the Spiders return essentially the same group that knocked off VCU 56-48 when these teams met at the Robins Center last season. Richmond 75, VCU 72

Ole Miss (6-1) at Old Dominion (0-5), 1 p.m.
The Lady Monarchs come in off their best half of the season and after a full week to regroup/gameplan. Tia Lewis and Shadasia Green both came up big against the Cardinals, and a return to form by Jasmine Parker would make ODU dangerous inside and out for the first time this season. They'll also need to ferociously guard the three-point line as Ole Miss has hit 10 or more treys three times this season, including 7 in one game by star guard Bianca Thomas. The Lady Monarchs surely remember Thomas; she scored 20 points and hit 4 of 6 3-pointers in the Rebels' 79-72 victory over ODU last season in Oxford, Miss. We doubt their memories will fail them. And since this game is much more important to ODU that to Ole Miss, we think (hope?) the Lady Monarchs will finally gut one out. ODU 71, Ole Miss 67

North Carolina Central (0-6) at Virginia Tech (4-3), 1 p.m.
After Thursday's debacle against Michigan, the Hokies' schedule serves up just what the doctor ordered - a soft touch virtually guaranteed to wipe that Wolverines' taste of out of their mouths. Tech won 81-45 when these teams met last year; with Tech feeling it has something to prove today, this one could get even more out of hand. Virginia Tech 88, N.C. Central 44

George Mason (5-2) at St. Joseph’s (2-5), 2 p.m.
The Pats are flying high on a four-game winning streak but still must prove they can play winning basketball away from the Patriot Center. It'll be a tough case to make today, though, as the Hawks have played competitively with Vanderbilt and taken Hartford to overtime in comfy Hagan Arena. St. Joseph's 68, George Mason 55

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