Monday, December 28, 2009

Tuesday dribble

Lots to get to tonight, so let's jump right into it....

Monday's results

No. 23 Virginia 69, (Fred) Samford 60: Two reasons for the tougher-than-expected result - a rusty post-break Virginia and Samford's 13 3-pointers. Special kudos to Monica Wright, who posted a 28-point, 9-rebound, 6-steals line despite still grieving the loss of her grandmother, who passed away shortly after Christmas.

Liberty 70, Cornell 40: More suffocating defense from the Lady Flames (7-2), who held the Big Red to 27-percent shooting and a measly 13 points in the first half.

No. 23 Georgia Tech 63, Hampton 54: Another remarkable effort by the undermanned and undersized Lady Pirates (3-8), who succeeded in getting the game played on their gritty, pressurized defensive terms and almost stared down a Top 25 team. Hampton actually led by one with less than nine minutes left before 3-3-pointers from Tech's Alex Montgomery highlighted a 13-0 Yellow Jackets run. "They were small," Tech's Brigitte Ardossi said of the Lady Pirates, "but they definitely played big."

VCU 84, Longwood 64: No Christmas break hangover for the Rams (6-5), who jumped on the Lancers with 50-percent first-half shooting and turnover-inducing defense and went on to register a performance coach Beth Cunningham termed "as close to a perfect game as we could (play) and certainly the best we've done all year." Leading the way: first-team All-Name guard La'Tavia Rorie (a career-high 25 points) and Courtney Hurt (a career-high 17 points).

Tuesday's games

Liberty (7-2) vs. No. 23 Virginia (8-3), final of Cavalier Classic, 7 p.m.
Big keys will be which team best handles the quick turnaround and whether Virginia can diversify their offense enough to solve a legitimately stingy Liberty defense. Of course, there's no defense for Monica Wright, but we've seen the Cavaliers attack stagnate when their star has to do all the work. Familiarity shouldn't be a problem, as these teams met in a closed scrimmage during the preseason. By the way, if anyone has any details of that scrimmage, please let us know. Virginia 62, Liberty 56

Richmond (8-3) vs. Chattanooga (6-6), first round of St. Peter’s Classic, 5 p.m.
The Spiders won by 18 when these teams met a year ago behind 22 points from Brittani Shells. This season, Shells (16.1 ppg) has led the Spiders in scoring in all but one game. The winner plays Tuesday's St. Peter's-Morgan State winner for the title. Richmond 73, Chattanooga 63

Hampton (3-8) vs. Bryant (6-6), consolation game of the FIU Sun and Fun Classic, 2 p.m.
A winnable opportunity for the Lady Pirates under most circumstances. But since they rely so heavily on so few, we're concerned about how much juice they'll have left after Monday's valiant near-miss against Georgia Tech. Still, we doubt Bryant has seen the kind of pressure they're about to face from Fortune, Jenkins and Co. Hampton 56, Bryant 52

Lafayette (2-9) vs. No. 25 JMU (8-1), first round of the JMU Invitational, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Dukes coach Kenny Brooks was so dismayed by his players' post-Christmas lethargy he threw them out of practice. We wouldn't be surprised if Brooks cooked up this idea Saturday night - what better way to get the Dukes' attention than to jump right on them as soon as they get back? Either way, we doubt he'll have too much to complain about after this one. Western Michigan and UNC Asheville round out the field. JMU 88,, Lafayette 58

NJIT (3-7) vs. Virginia Tech (7-4), first round of Tech's Hilton Garden Classic, 7 p.m.
Prior to last season's 45-43 championship-game loss to Liberty, the Hokies had won their own holiday tournament 10 straight times. No disrespect to NJIT, but we suspect the Hokies will start a new streak today - Tech's victory margin in this event's first round the past 12 years is 31.3 points. With that in mind, we'll call it...Virginia Tech 81.3, NJIT 50


  1. Most interesting game of the night is Liberty-UVa. If it's played in the 50s to low 60s as you predict, the Flames have an excellent chance at the upset.

  2. I do believe the Lady Flames can keep it close, but I'm not sure they have a player who, in crunch time, can make a play late in the shot clock or when everything else breaks down. Obviously, the Cavaliers have such a player. Devon Brown may develop into that kind of weapon for Liberty, but right now it's a lot to ask from a freshman.

  3. At 28-22 Liberty with 2:54 in the half, I'm afraid I may have jinxed something with my comment from yesterday...

  4. Wow you were really close with the score. Great job, glad the Hoo's were able to close with a win!

  5. Sounds like a pretty interesting game. I can't wait to see how this young Cavaliers team develops over the course of the ACC season.