Sunday, January 31, 2010

ODU, VCU, Drexel survive atop CAA

Enjoy free-flowing, pretty basketball and lots of offense? Our condolences, then, if you braved the elements and took in any of these games. We exempt JMU from this rant because the Dukes were the one team that really put it together. George Mason is excused, too because, well, Mason has trouble scoring all the time. But this was also a day where ODU and VCU barely broke 50 points, and VCU threw in 27 turnovers. Virginia Tech and Longwood didn't even reach 50. And Virginia got only one half of scoring from one of the nation's top producers. Then again, finding a way to win on days when the shots aren't falling is the mark of a good team. On this day, ODU and VCU hit the mark; Virginia and Virginia Tech fell a bit short.

Sunday's games

Old Dominion 51, Hofstra 46: No style points again. But we're actually starting to enjoy the awkward resilience of these Lady Monarchs (10-9, 8-1 CAA), the way they continually work themselves into trouble, then figure their way out. As is usually the case, today's solution involved Jasmine Parker (14 points, 4 steals), who darted out on a fastbreak and fed Carolann Cloutier for the go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:33 remaining. Parker continues to make a lot of things happen at crunch time, most of them good. Also, we wonder what magic words Wendy Larry delivered at halftime to Tia Lewis, who was a non-factor early but went to the basket strong and scored all 12 of her points after the break. And we hope Jackie Cook's nose is OK; she took a pretty good elbow to the schnozzola at 8:22 of the second half. Finally, congratulations, Lady Monarchs, on delivering the program's 900th victory. But when you hear about how only ODU, Tennessee and Louisiana Tech have that many wins, that's just the NCAA trying to co-op women's basketball history again. For example, Wayland Baptist's Flying Queens, who now play in the NAIA but were once a power in the AIAW, has more than 1,300 victories. But the NCAA sometimes acts as though if it doesn't happen on their watch, it doesn't happen at all. Again, full credit to ODU for their 900. This is just a reminder that there was a lot of good basketball before the NCAA decided to take the sport seriously, too - and some of those teams are still ballin'.

VCU 53, Georgia State 39: Love the headline writers for the VCU website. When Kita Waller went for 35 Thursday, they offered up "Waller the Baller." And Sunday, they termed Waller's 28 points "The Ki-Ta Victory." Can't wait to see what Waller, and the headline folks, come up with next. By the way, prior to Thursday, Waller's career high was 23 points. The victory was the ninth in 10 games for the Rams (15-6, 8-1 CAA).

Drexel 60, Delaware 58 (OT): Marisa Crane's jumper with three seconds left kept the doing-it-the-hard-way Dragons (14-6, 8-1 CAA) tied with VCU and ODU atop the CAA race at the midway point. Elena Delle Donne, who sat out Thursday's second half against Towson with an elbow injury, never left the floor Sunday and finished with 31 points and 11 rebounds. But the result was yet another heartbreaker for the Blue Hens, whose four CAA losses are by one point against ODU, one point against VCU, in double OT against Drexel in addition to today's OT loss to the Dragons.

JMU 67, Towson 35: Ah, the Dukes of December are back! You remember, the team that rocked Georgetown and Virginia and inserted itself into the Top 25? We were wondering what happened to those guys. Well, they showed up on Sunday, scored the first 11 points and generally treated the Tigers like redheaded stepchildren. Granted, Towson cooperated with 19 percent (!) shooting. But we've also got to believe the Dukes (16-4, 6-3 CAA) were humbled by Thursday's overtime loss to Hofstra on their own floor and set out Sunday to do something about it. Best of all, JMU thrived by establishing some often MIA low-post offense and without relying primarily on Dawn Evans, who wound up shooting less (14 points) but enjoying it more (9 assists). Nice job, Dukes. Now let's see if you can keep it up Thursday at VCU.

Northeastern 70, George Mason 57: The Patriots (8-12, 1-8 CAA) executed well in the first half. But Northeastern must have figured them out during the break as the Huskies opened the final 20 minutes with a 14-0 run. A disappointed coach Jeri Porter called it an "effort issue", or more accurately an lack-of-effort issue, that left the Patriots flat-footed after intermission. A lack of Brittany Poindexter issue certainly didn't help, either - Poindexter sat out the game with an injury. Two weeks ago, the junior guard had 14 points and 10 rebounds in a 72-61 victory over these same Huskies in Fairfax.

UNC Wilmington 69, William and Mary 59: Result capped a disappointing two-game set of home games for the Tribe (10-10, 3-6 CAA), who on Thursday got blown out of Kaplan Arena by Old Dominion. The Lady Monarchs might be the best team in the CAA, but these Seahawks presented an excellent winning opportunity the Tribe failed to capitalize on. The lone bright spot - Tiffany Benson had two blocks and is now the CAA's all-time leading shot blocker (237).

Wake Forest 64, No. 20 Virginia 57: It's a challenge to win any conference road game, but frankly we expected a better showing from a Cavaliers team that had appeared to find its stride. We're also not sure what happened to Cavs star Monica Wright (13 points) in the second half, as the Cavaliers' most dynamic weapon - and one of the best in the country - failed to score over the final 19:10.

No. 25 Georgia Tech 61, Virginia Tech 47: If we told you Nikki Davis didn't play, Lindsay Biggs didn't make a field goal and the Hokies (12-9, 2-5 ACC) barely shot 30 percent from the field, you wouldn't expect them to do much against the No. 25 team in the nation, right? Well, Nikki Davis didn't play, Lindsay Biggs didn't make a field goal....

Maryland 85, Longwood 40: No disrespect to either of these teams, but if anyone out there knows why the Terrapins signed up to visit Farmville in late January, drop us an e-mail.

Morgan State 70, Norfolk State 55: Tough matchup for the Spartans (3-13, 0-7 MEAC) as the Lady Bears are one of the best teams in the MEAC. But NSU competed well throughout the first half before Morgan exerted its superiority after the break. Game was originally scheduled for Saturday but was postponed because of the snowstorm. This means two games in two days for the Spartans, who will host Coppin State Monday.

1 comment:

  1. What happened to Monica Wright? Hmmm, lets see face guarded the entire game, double teamed and her teammates still couldn't hit open shots. A coach who didn't run any screen plays for her. That's just a few should I continue?