Monday, January 18, 2010

Tuesday dribble: UVa. tops Tech

Virginia stopped its bleeding - thank you, Monica Wright - and Virginia Tech came back to earth in Monday's regionally televised Commonwealth showdown.

No. 24 Virginia 70 , Virginia Tech 56: The Hokies (11-6, 1-2 ACC) looked good early but when Monica Wright got hot, they went cold and were unable to ride the momentum from last week's stirring victory over North Carolina. The Hokies led 27-25, but Ariana Moorer bumped the Cavaliers (12-5, 1-2 ACC) ahead, and they did not trail again thanks to 17-second half points from Wright. Utahya Drye scored 18 with 7 rebounds and 6 assists for Tech, but the Cavaliers defense held Lindsay Biggs (4-of-11 for 11 points) in check.

Radford 59, Presyterian 34: We want to give the Highlanders (5-11, 4-1 Big South) all the respect they're due for the win, but just the same, it's remarkable to point out that Presbyterian's only field goal in the first half was at the 4:43 mark. Radford, meanwhile, shot 50 percent in the half, so that pretty much explains the outcome. We will add that the five points in a half is the fewest ever in Presbyterian history. One nod to the Blue Hose, though. They do know how to rebound. They outdid Radford on the boards and put together a 21-6 run in the second to shoot a respectable 41.7 percent.

Liberty 82, UNC Asheville 40: Another dominating defensive effort by the Lady Flames (12-4, 3-1 Big South), who hold their fourth straight opponent to under 35 percent shooting from the field. Liberty coach Carey Green is thrilled with his team's ability to rack up steals on the stat sheet; the Lady Flames had 18 in this game. "With that we're getting runouts and good transition, some easy points, "Green said. "A lot of defensive energy is creating a lot of offense." Devon Morgan, Rachel McLeod and LaKendra Washington had four steals apiece. Five different Lady Flames drained 3s and four of them canned two apiece for a 9-of-17 arc mark. Lady Flames close out the five-game homestand 5-0.

North Carolina A&T 82, Hampton 81: The Lady Pirates (6-10, 2-3 MEAC) have now lost four games by four points or less. And this one may sting the most, and not just because it's a conference game. In addition to wasting a career night from forward Quanneisha Perry (31 points on 14-of-20 shooting and 14 rebounds), the Lady Pirates fell despite setting a season high for points and obliterating their previous high in field goal percentage (50.7 percent, just the third time all year the Lady Pirates have exceeded 40 percent). But you can't score if you don't have the ball, and after tying the game with 1:41 to play, the Lady Pirates turned it over on their next two possessions and weren't even able to let one fly until Whitney Hill's desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Howard 55, Norfolk State 46: Pretty nice second-half effort by the Spartans (2-11, 0-5 MEAC), but not enough to recover from the 15-point hole they dug for themselves in a shaky opening stanza. It was NSU's fifth straight loss, but a couple of winnable opportunities are ahead this weekend with road games at Winston-Salem St. and South Carolina St.

Utah Valley 75, Longwood 60: In November, the Lancers (4-15) beat these guys by 22. Amazing the difference a couple thousand miles can make. The victory allowed the Wolverines to snap a school record-tying 10-game losing streak. Longwood is now mired in a seven-game losing streak.

Tuesday's game

George Washington (3-12, 0-3 Atlantic 10) at Richmond (13-4, 2-0 Atlantic 10), 7 p.m.
The sizzling Spiders have won five in a row and if their current form holds, they should find this little more than a tune-up in advance of Saturday's showdown at Dayton. Injuries have crippled the Colonials; on Nov. 27 GW had a 2-1 record and was leading then-No. 25 Michigan State when freshman point guard Danni Jackson, the former Forest Park High star, went down with a broken leg. The Colonials went on to lose that game and 10 of the other 11 since. Jackson's injury is one of three season-enders suffered by the Colonials, who are expected to dress only seven players for tonight's contest.

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