Monday, December 21, 2009

Tuesday dribble

If you're VCU, you have to hope what happened in Vegas stayed in Vegas as three losses in Sin City have reduced the Rams to a .500 team that suddenly doesn't know how to close out games. Fortunately, JMU - rightfully still in the AP poll despite Friday's loss at Duke - William and Mary and Richmond all handled their business in style.

Monday's results

Arkansas 68, VCU 58: On Saturday, the Rams led UNLV by 6 with 12 minutes left and lost by 2. Sunday, they led Kansas State by 8 with 11 minutes to go and lost by 7. Monday, they led Arkansas by 6 with 10 minutes left and lost by 10. Sensing the pattern here? Not sure if it's lack of fitness, nerves or whatever, but because of their poor finishing kick the Rams (5-5) left three victories on the table at the Duel in the Desert.

JMU 85, Longwood 67: Credit the Lancers (4-9), who had won two straight coming in, for another competitive showing. But as usual, the No. 25 Dukes (8-1) countered with too much Dawn Evans, who torched Longwood for 32 points and 6 assists. Fun fact - in her last three games, Evans has scored 101 points in 101 minutes.

William and Mary 67, Southern 41: Shortly before the season, we interviewed Tribe freshman Taylor Hilton as part of our Newcomers series, but for various reasons (mostly self-induced), her profile didn't appear until Sunday. Since then, Hilton has flirted with a double-double against High Point, sealed the deal with a 16-point, 10-rebound effort against Southern in the third-place game of the Gators Classic and been named the CAA Rookie of the Week. Now we're not going to going to take any credit for Hilton's performances, but we are referring to this phenomenon as the "Ladyswish touch."

Richmond 74, Radford 40: Brittani Shells had a game-high 15 points and Crystal Goring added 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Spiders (8-3), who also clamped down on Radford (1-8) with suffocating defense. Then again, the Highlanders aren't that difficult to suffocate. Radford ranks 330th of 332 Division I teams in scoring offense, and Monday marked was the fourth time the Highlanders have been held to 40 points or less.

Tuesday's games

Old Dominion (2-6) at St. Joseph’s (3-7), 1 p.m.
The last game before Christmas break is often a tricky one, as players' focus can wander with holiday plans just a couple hours away. But the Lady Monarchs really need to lock in on this one, as they've yet to win on the road and want to consolidate the gains they made in Sunday's 19-point victory over Hampton. A key will be keeping center Tia Lewis on the floor. On Sunday she scored nine points in the first five minutes and appeared on her way to a monster night. But foul trouble limited Lewis to just seven first-half minutes. Lewis has shown she can be effective against virtually any team, but she can't help ODU from the bench. ODU 65, St. Joe's 59

George Washington (2-6) at George Mason (6-3), 5 p.m.
GW dubs this matchup the "Battle of the Orange Line" in reference to the Metro train line that connects the two schools. But it may not be much of a battle, as the Patriots are a school-record 6-0 at home while the rebuilding Colonials have lost six straight and haven't played in 14 days.
Adding spice to the contest: Patriots reserve guard RaShauna Hobbs is the daughter of GW men's coach Karl Hobbs. George Mason 62, George Washington 55

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