Friday, December 11, 2009

Daily dribble

Friday's action

Florida (3-5) at Old Dominion (1-5), 7 p.m.

Will Jessica Canady make her much-anticipated return from her knee injury? On her radio show this week, Wendy Larry said the star forward has been practicing this week and could see action tonight. Of course, everyone wants to see Canady back on the floor. But practice is one thing. A real game, with adrenalin kicking in, is something else. One of the lasting images of ODU's season opener was watching Canady needing assistance to hobble back to the locker room late in the second half - this after everything seemed OK throughout that week's practices. Look, if Jess can give it a go tonight, fine. But if she still needs a bit more time, just knowing that it shouldn't be much longer is good news by itself.

Besides, if ODU plays the way it did Sunday against Ole Miss, the Lady Monarchs can compete with just about anyone, especially at home. That 75-66 victory featured:

- A tour-de-force inside by Tia Lewis (14 points, 17 rebounds)

- What is fast becoming a typical night from Shadasia Green (16 points)

- Timely shotmaking and poised overall play from newcomers Carolann Cloutier and Kquanise Byrd and formerly hard-luck forward Vicki Collier.

- A defensive tenacity somewhat reminiscent of vintage ODU play under Larry.

That last item will be key today, as Florida loves to shoot the 3-ball but - as the nation saw on ESPN Monday night against Rutgers - can be stymied by a defense that will get after the Gators shooters. We expect ODU to bring that kind of effort tonight - with or without Canady. ODU 72, Florida 58

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