Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday dribble: Logjam atop CAA with VCU, ODU, Drexel

Game of the day was Drexel/VCU, and this battle lived up to it, coming down to the final wire (seems that's happened a lot in the CAA of late). VCU's seven-game win streak ends, but the Rams remain in first, only they've got some company.

The state schools also won a pair of ACC games today, making it a super Sunday two weeks before the big day.

Sunday's results:

Drexel 57, Virginia Commonwealth 55
You win one buzzer beater, you lose another. Tied at 55 with 8 seconds left, Gabriela Marginean (who else would it be?) produced the gamewinning 14-foot jump shot and the Rams (12-6, 6-1 CAA) were unable to connect on a desperation 3. Four days ago, VCU (13-6, 6-1 CAA) eeked past Delaware on D'Andra Moss' 3 at the buzzer. Much like Dawn Evans, Marginean has a way of putting the ball in the net with the pressure on. Now the pressure is on in a CAA race that gets better every week. Drexel, VCU and Old Dominion are on top in a three-way tie, but who would overlook Delaware? Delle Donne and the Hens have lost to all three teams, two at the buzzer and one (Drexel) in OT. Pat on the back to us: We called it a two-point game in the Dragons' favor.

Old Dominion 57, Towson 50
Down 13, it looked as if ODU was going to suffer its first-ever loss to the Tigers. But the final eight minutes belonged to the Lady Monarchs (8-9, 6-1 CAA), who share their place atop the league with Drexel and VCU. One more time, you have to admire the resilance of this ODU team, which continues to make big plays down the stretch. Jasmine Parker had a personal 8-0 run, part of her 22 points, and Jackie Cook came up with a huge trey to keep these Lady Monarchs very much in the hunt.

Virginia 57, Georgia State 55
Cavaliers (14-5, 3-2 ACC) hold on despite not much preparation for one of the better teams in the ACC. Noted coach Debbie Ryan: "We only had one day to prepare for this game and you can see that it’s a tough team to prepare for in one day. We had to take a day off on Friday. We hadn’t gotten home until two in the morning because we got diverted to Richmond after the Boston College game, so it was our day of the week to take a day off. Because of all we have crammed in here, one of these games had to suffer in terms of preparation." Nonetheless, it was business as usual for Monica Wright, who scored 23. Tech (16-5, 2-3) mounted a comeback from 13 down, but never got closer than three and leaves Charlottesville yet again without a win.

Virginia Tech 73, Miami 69

Great win for the Hokies (12-7, 2-3 ACC) and scrapbook game for Nikki Davis, who had career highs in points (29), 3-pointers made (5) and free-throws (14-of-18, most made and attempted by a Hokie in an ACC game). Road wins are tough to come by in the ACC, and Tech, which had some underwhelming scores during nonconference, has announced itself as a threat in conference. Game-telling stat comes from long range: Tech was 6-of-11, Miami was 2-of-16.

William and Mary 69, George Mason 55

Most importantly, our sympathy goes to GMU's Ashleigh Braxton, who took a finger to the eye in the game and was taken to the hospital for precaution. As for the Tribe (10-8, 3-4 CAA), go figure. W&M dominated the Patriots (8-10, 1-6) in their own gym, placing four starters in double figures including Taysha Pye's 20. No league team would envy playing W&M, whose record isn't as daunting as its tall, lanky athletes, all of whom can shoot the ball and rebound. GMU got crushed on the boards 54-35 and is still seeking CAA win No. 2.

James Madison 67, Georgia State 61
How often have your heard this? Dawn Evans goes crazy for 30 points? Actually you've heard it 13 times before today, Evans' 14th 30-point game. This one was wilder than ever as Evans drained nine of 14 three-point attempts to rally the Dukes (15-3, 5-2 CAA) back from a three-point halftime deficit. Evans' day included six treys and 21 points in the second half. JMU also got some punch from its post game behind Sarah Williams (16) and Lauren Jimenez (10). Bad news is it was another anemic start for the JMU offense, which shot 29 percent in the first 20 minutes. Good news is, of course, Evans playing hero again.

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