Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Wednesday dribble

We're bleary eyed after a jam-packed day of action around the state. Congrats to the Cavaliers, winners of their own tournament. Here's a look at a day when Naismith would be proud.

Tuesday's results:

Virginia 63, Liberty 54: Six ties and 17 lead changes later, the Cavaliers wrap up their Cavalier Classic and shock of shocks, Monica Wright is tournament MVP. Wright's double-double was particularly awesome given it was points (21) and steals (10). Liberty (7-3) hung close despite 30 turnovers that turned into 35 Cavalier points. Foul trouble haunted Flames freshman Devon Brown, who scored just nine. Also on the all-tournament team: Virginia's China Crosby and Liberty's Avery Warley.

James Madison 86, Lafayette 54: Dukes shake off a slow start (it was 31-30 at one point), to roll over Lafayette behind a 57 percent shooting effort. Not surprisingly Dawn Evans did her share with 27 points and 12 assists. Kenny Brooks might toss his team out of practice more often if the results are this good.

Chattanooga 78, Richmond 69 2OT: You gotta think when the Spiders signed up for the St. Peter's Classic, the last thing they had in mind was a consolation game with Morgan State. Here's the killer stat for the Spiders in this one. Richmond went to the line eight times and scored five points. The Mocs (7-6) set up shop there 32 times for 25 points. Richmond turned it over just 12 times to Chattanooga's 24 -- but it was all for naught in this nailbiter.

Hampton 68, Bryant 48: Hooray for the Pirates, who shot a season-high 40 percent (you read that right) and played a squeaky clean game, turning it over just 10 times. The Pirates rallied from a five-point first half deficit to outscore Bryant 42-17 in the second. Kudos to Jericka Jenkins, who buried five treys and rang up 17 points. Whitney Hill scored 22 and the Pirates improve to 4-8.

Virginia Tech 66, NJIT 51: This one was too close for Hokie comfort as Tech didn't lead until the 6:16 mark in the first half. Hokies make just 1 of 14 from three-point range and struggle to keep up with NJIT, whose scrappy guard play is its forte. We'll chalk it up to holiday rust.

Wednesday's games

Richmond (8-4) vs. Morgan State (3-7), third-place game, St. Peter’s Classic, 5 p.m.
If the Spiders have any gas left, they should win this one with ease. They're 4-0 against Morgan State, which hasn't won since Nov. 28. Spiders will have to work to keep the Bears' all-time leading scorer, Corin "Tiny" Adams (she's 5-7, so go figure the nickname), at bay. Richmond 66, Morgan State 45

Western Michigan (5-7) vs. James Madison (9-1), championship game, JMU Classic, 7 p.m.
The Broncos have a knack for winning close games. Until Monday's 64-53 defeat of UNC Ashville, their biggest margin of victory was seven points. Here's the scoop on this one, though. It won't be close, so the Dukes don't have to worry. James Madison 88, Western Michigan 65

Charlotte (6-6) at Virginia Tech (8-4), championship game, Hilton Garden Classic, 7 p.m.

We'll give Tech a pass for allowing NJIT to hang so close in Tuesday's game, though the 49ers will be no pushover. Charlotte has won four of its last five regular-season tournament championships and eased past Central Connecticut 66-51 in Tuesday's game. But Tech won this tournament 10 years in a row until last season's hiccup against Liberty. Hokies don't hiccup two years in a row...right? Virginia Tech 72, Charlotte 65

William and Mary (6-4) at Delaware State (1-10), 5:30 p.m.
The Tribe was hardly at its best when it defeated Norfolk State on Dec. 18 yet still won by 28. There's nothing to recommend Lady Hornets, who have dropped 10 in a row and scored just 58 points in their last two games combined, presenting W&M with even the slightest test. The Tribe have held three opponents to 41 points or less and are the top team in the CAA in field-goal percentage defense. William and Mary 84, Delaware State 48

Longwood (4-10) at Gardner-Webb (10-2), 7 p.m.
Who is this 10-2 Gardner-Webb team? The Lady Bulldogs are 6-1 at home and have victories over East Carolina and at Purdue. They're also 2-0 at Longwood without actually playing Longwood - the Lady Bulldogs downed Morehead State and Texas Pan-American at the Lancer Classic in late November. Longwood is 2-2 in its last four games, but on the road against a quality foe is going to be a tall order. Gardner-Webb 77, Longwood 51

Coppin State (3-6) at VCU (6-5), 7 p.m.
Welcome back, Rams and welcome home. Rams play only their fourth game at home this season and first home game in 18 days. Coppin State looks to be just what the doctor ordered for a feel-good victory. They're 0-5 on the road with just one player, Shante Cummings, averaging double figures (trouble is Cummings shoots a mere 38 percent from the field). Rams have dropped three of their last four, but all those were in the Vegas desert. We suspect they'll get it done at home. VCU 79, Coppin State 51

George Mason (7-3) at Appalachian St. (4-6), 7 p.m.
We'd love to see the Patriots earn their first road against the Mountaineers, who are 1-3 at home this season. GMU has lost all three of its road games by an average of 24.6 pts. And given they're not playing football, a Mason victory seems doable here against a team that has turned it over 74 more times than its opponents. Patriots need to watch out for leading scorer Sam Ramirez, shooting 36 percent from 3. Cool her off and this one should be road sweet road for the Patriots. George Mason 76, Appalachian State 71.

Old Dominion (2-7) at No. 3 Tennessee (10-1), 7 p.m.
Your struggling team gets back from break and what's on tap? Only a road trip to mammoth-sized Thompson-Boling Arena, where even your best teams have never won a game. That's what's on tap for the Lady Monarchs, who limped into the holidays with a 16-point loss at St. Joseph's. As well as Tia Lewis (13.9 ppg, 8.6 rpg) has been playing, she'll likely have her hands full against Kelly Cain. Guard play has plagued the Lady Monarchs all season, and those woes will no doubt continue on Wednesday against a Lady Vol team that thrives on hard-nosed defense. Still, how many CAA teams would like a shot at Tennessee? Tennessee 88, Old Dominion 55

Norfolk State (2-6) at McNeese St. (3-8), 8 p.m.
NSU went on the road and beat Savannah State a few weeks ago. Why not McNeese? This looks like a great opportunity for the Spartans to pick up road win No. 2. McNeese State has just one victory since Nov. 28 and that was over Paul Quinn College. They're dismal from 3, shooting a woeful 23 percent (Ne'Aisha Anderson is 17 of 75 from long range). Let's go Spartans. Norfolk State 67, McNeese State 59

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