Saturday, January 9, 2010

Sunday dribble: Big day in the CAA

Saturday's results

Richmond 65, LaSalle 52: As we predicted (and it wasn't that hard), ACC scoring leader Brittani Shells dominated with 23 points on 10-of-18 shooting. One thing we like about this game. It only had 29 free throws. And the teams combined to make 28 of them. Too often women's basketball unravels into 50-plus free throws making it anything but a spectator sport.

Bethune Cookman 79, Norfolk State 61: The Spartans (2-8, 0-2) dig themselves a hole by trailing 23-6. Junior Jalisa Isaac, who averages 11.2 ppg, goes off for 26 points, scoring 10 of those in the initial 7:48. Spartans do a nice job on the boards only being outrebounded by one but draw no closer than nine in the second half.

Coppin State 58, Hampton 52: We expected more from the Lady Pirates here, but when you shoot 24.2 percent you probably won't beat even to fair-to-middin' MEAC teams. Hampton (4-9, 0-2 MEAC) has some nice pieces and routinely flummoxes opponents with their pressure defense (they turned Coppin over 33 times). If only they could put the ball in the basket....

Liberty 67, Winthrop 38: A quintessential Lady Flames Big South victory - 50-percent shooting (they're 64-0 under coach Carey Green when they make at least half their shots), dominance on the boards (37-21), a defense that grounds opponents into hamburger and success at home in January - Liberty has won 39 straight during the first month of the year at the Vines Center.

High Point 78, Radford 67: No disgrace in losing to the Panthers, but this one will sting for a while as the Highlanders (2-11, 1-1 Big South) led by 15 in the second half, blew that, rallied to tie the game at 67 with 3:14 left and then gave up the game's last 11 points.

Sunday's games

Drexel (8-5, 2-0) at Old Dominion (3-9, 1-1), 2 p.m.
The road trip is over for the Lady Monarchs, who got decimated at Tennessee, won a thriller at Delaware and stumbled in triple overtime against Northeastern. Here's the bottom line in this one. ODU has turned it over 66 times in its last two games to mar otherwise impressive shooting efforts. They can't do that against a disciplined Dragons team that turns it over an average of 15 times per game and eeked out a pair of victories against James Madison and William and Mary to start the CAA season. Gabriela Marginean is the new leading career scorer in conference history and she's scored 60 points the last two times the teams have met. Scoreless stretches have plagued Drexel throughout this young season, and if ODU can capitalize, the Lady Monarchs have a chance to top the defending CAA champions. Drexel 74, Old Dominion 65

George Mason (7-6, 0-2) at JMU (11-2, 1-1), 2 p.m.

The Patriots are still looking for their first road win. JMU hasn't dropped a game at home. The Dukes have won the last nine in this series, which means they haven't lost with Dawn Evans on the team, though they only beat the Patriots by five the last time the teams met in Harrisonburg. NCAA scoring and three-point leader Evan isn't likely to let it get that close today. James Madison 84, George Mason 67

Towson (8-5, 2-0) at VCU (-5, 2-0), 2 p.m.

The Rams led by engines La'Tavia Rorie and D'Andra Moss average 70 points a game to Towson's 58. The Tigers have traditionally been a difficult foe for VCU, which has dropped four of its last five to the Tigers, but one the only meeting last season. As much as we love the athleticism and scoring prowess of Shanae Baker-Brice, we suspect she'll need some help against the Rams. VCU 73, Towson 55

William and Mary (8-5, 1-1) at UNC Wilmington, (5-8, 0-2) 2 p.m.

Baylor, Syracuse, UConn ..... and W&M. The Tribe ranks fourth in the nation in field goal percentage defense (32 percent) and has held its last four opponents to under 50 points. They would like to avoid the slow start that hurt them against Drexel, which beat the Tribe by three on Sunday. The Tribe has been terrific in the second half of both of its CAA games, outscoring its opponent by an average of 31.5 points. To feed the fire, the Seahawks have only scored 107 in their first CAA two games. William and Mary 82, UNC Wilmington 68

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