Sunday, January 17, 2010

Old Dominion beats JMU in Harrisonburg; VCU remains on top of CAA

Virginia Commonwealth continues its win streak despite the loss of La'Tavia Rorie, but Old Dominion upsetting James Madison is the story of this day. Harrisonburg has been a dreaded place to play for ODU, which hadn't beaten JMU there since 2005 and lost there first CAA tournament game ever there last year against Drexel.

The Lady Monarchs have now won games at Delaware and at JMU and pronounced themselves as contenders in the CAA. We confess we picked against them, but we've stayed steady in repeating: Don't count out a program that has owned this conference 17 of the last 18 years.

Sunday's results:

Old Dominion 67, James Madison 58:

ODU exorcised the ghosts in Harrisonburg by defeating the Dukes there for the first time in five years. The Lady Monarchs (6-9, 4-1 CAA) were patient with the shot clock in ringing up a 15-point halftime lead behind six 3-pointers. They harassed weary Dawn Evans on defense (the NCAA scoring leader is coming off a double OT game versus Towson), and though the junior finished with 22 points and four assists (that's four of JMU's six assists), she struggled from the arc where she blanked on 12 of her 14 attempts. Evans' second 3 of the game came at the 2:04 mark to cut it to 64-56, but the Dukes (13-3, 3-2 CAA) failed to take advantage of a miss by Tia Lewis and an errant free throw from Shadasia Green and drew no closer. ODU got 13 second-half points from Green and 13 points and nine rebounds from Jasmine Parker, who handed out six assists.

George Mason 72, Northeastern 61:

We welcome the Patriots (8-8. 1-4 CAA) to the CAA win column and salute Amber Easter's 19 points. GMU snaps a five-game losing skid in taking advantage of a pair of first-half runs to take a 45-25 lead into the break. Critical in the stretch was a trio of 3s by Ashleigh Braxton. Huskies cut it to single digits with under a minute remaining, but the Patriots stretch their edge with free throws to improve to 8-1 on their home court.

Virginia Commonwealth 85, William and Mary 77

Rams(12-5, 5-0) remain atop the CAA at 5-0 after surviving a 16-5 Tribe run that erased a 19-point VCU lead. But the Rams come up big at the foul line, draining 27 of 35 shots (D'Andra Moss and Courtney Hurt combine for 12 of 14). Hurt scores a game-high 21 and VCU makes W&M (9-7, 2-3) pay for 29 turnovers and 29 personal fouls.

Drexel 70, Delaware 67 2OT
Elena Delle Donne rallied the Blue Hens(11-5, 3-2 CAA) to force overtime and scored nine points in the extra period but just missed from the foul line with seven seconds left in OT. Marisa Crane secured the Dragons' victory with a pair of free throws. Gabriela Marginean and Jasmina Rosseel each pour in 20 for Drexel (10-6, 4-1 CAA) and Delle Donne finishes with 25.

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