Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Thursday dribble: ACL bug bites VCU's Rorie

More devastating ACL injury news: VCU senior La'Tavia Rorie is out for her college career after wrecking a knee late in Sunday's 75-51 rout of Towson. Rorie had started 79 of VCU's last 81 games and was averaging 13.8 points per game. "She literally never missed a practice or an individual workout from the day she arrived," VCU coach Beth Cunningham told the Richmond Times-Dispatch's Vic Dorr. "It's so disappointing to see her career end like this. I just feel awful for her." In a Twitter post earlier Wednesday, Rorie wrote: "Nobody knows how I feel, but I am very thankful for the support. It all feels like a nightmare that I am waiting to wake up from."

The injury comes as VCU was playing its best ball of the season. The now Rorie-less Rams will try to remain the only unbeaten team in CAA play tonight when they visit Georgia State. Elsewhere around the league, ODU tries to start a streak by winning two in a row for the first time this season; George Mason seeks its first road win; William and Mary looks to win its fourth home game and JMU would like to extend its dominance over a Towson team that is 6-1 in its own building. And in ACC play, Virginia Tech would love to upset a powerhouse and they'll have several opportunities over the next two weeks.

Thursday's games

Northeastern (6-8, 1-2 CAA) at William and Mary (8-6, 1-2 CAA), 4 p.m.
Tribe had held four straight opponents to 48 points or less before Sunday's 70-63 loss at UNC Wilmington. W&M must deny Huskies dribble penetration and force them to settle for contested 3-pointers, which Northeastern shoots often (120 more attempts than any other CAA team) but not particularly well (26.9 percent). In its last 8 games, Northeastern, which is 1-6 in its last seven games, has played one overtime, one triple-overtime and two double-overtime contests (Huskies are e 2-2 in those games). W&M has shot 45.5 percent from the free throw line in three CAA games. Thursday's game kicks off a two-game homestand for the Tribe (W&M hosts VCU Sunday). W&M is 3-1, 1-0 at home this season. William and Mary 55, Northeastern 53

JMU (12-2, 2-1 CAA) at Towson (8-6, 2-1 CAA), 7 p.m.
Game could boil down to which team's pint-sized superstar receives the most help. On Sunday, 6-5 senior Shanae Baker-Brice, the CAA Co-Player of the Week, scored 28 of her team's 51 points in a 24-point loss to VCU. Baker averages 18.5 ppg; no other Tiger averages more than 7.3. As for the Dukes, 5-7 junior Dawn Evans leads the nation in scoring (26.8 ppg). But the Dukes are at their best - and Evans her most efficient - when at least two from a group led by Tarik Hislop, Lauren Jimenez and Sarah Williams contribute double-figure scoring. Towson prevailed 61-51 the last time these teams met at the Towson Center on Jan. 29, 2009. Tigers have won four straight at home (6-1 overall), while JMU has lost its last 2 road games (at Duke, at Drexel). Tigers don't resemble Duke or Drexel, and while we love Baker-Brice's aggressiveness, our nod goes to Evans and the Dukes. JMU 66, Towson 63

VCU (10-5, 3-0 CAA) at Georgia St. (10-4, 1-2 CAA), 6 p.m.
Prepare for a track meet - both times like to go up and down and thrive on picking pockets to ignite the running game (Ga.State and VCU rank 1-2 in the CAA in steals). The Rams have won five straight - all impressively - since last month's Duel in the Desert debacle, but this road game figures to be their most significant test yet and the impact of Rorie's absence remains to be seen. Having said that, suspicions that the Panthers' record and lofty individual stats were severely schedule-inflated were given weight by their lifeless performance in Sunday's 58-49 loss at Hofstra. Bottom line - tonight should tell us a lot about both teams. VCU 72, Georgia State 68

No. 10 North Carolina (13-2, 1-0 ACC) at Virginia Tech (10-5, 0-1 ACC), 7 p.m.
The first in a brutal four-game stretch for the Hokies - Virginia, Duke and Miami are up next - and matchup-wise this may be the most challenging. The Tar Heels have won 9 straight in the series, as like most teams the Hokies have been unable to slow the Carolina running game. The Tar Heels have scored 90 or more points in four of the last six games against Tech. This year's Tar Heels rank 5th nationally in scoring (83.3 ppg). North Carolina 81, Virginia Tech 71

George Mason (7-7, 0-3 CAA) at Old Dominion (4-9, 2-1 CAA), 7 p.m.
ODU is a close as whisker to being undefeated in the CAA after defeats of Delaware and Drexel and a heartbreaking triple overtime loss to Northeastern. The Patriots are winless on the road (0-6) in large part because they simply can't threaten an opponent offensively. In the all-important CAA-only stats, Mason is averaging just 46.7 ppg, seven fewer than any other league team. The Patriots also shoot just 32 percent from the field and have made only four three-pointers in their 3 CAA games. Unless the Lady Monarchs cough up a rash of unforced turnovers -and we can't totally rule that out with this team considering they had a school record 40 against the Huskies - we can't see how Mason will keep up. That said, keep in mind that a far worse Mason team stunned the Lady Monarchs last year 63-57 at the Patriot Center to halt GMU's 44-game losing streak to ODU. ODU 72, George Mason 52

No comments:

Post a Comment