Thursday, February 25, 2010

Friday dribble: ODU in CAA driver's seat

The CAA regular-season title - does such a thing really exist? - is Old Dominion's to lose. Thursday's results, most notably losses by Drexel and VCU, put clear separation between the Lady Monarchs and the rest of the pack, and now ODU needs just one victory in its final two games to clinch the top seed in the CAA tournament.

Also, nice effort by Delaware, which played without Elena Delle Donne (twisted ankle) but still outlasted Northeastern 60-49. So the third-largest crowd in Blue Hens history (3,142) didn't get to enjoy who they came to see. But they did get to witness something they probably didn't expect - a Blue Hens victory with their franchise player wearing a walking boot.

In Thursday's games involving Virginia schools:

Old Dominion 70, William and Mary 52: The victory boosted the Lady Monarchs' conference record to 13-3; Drexel, VCU and James Madison all have five CAA losses with two games remaining. While the outcome of this one never really seemed in doubt, the contest offered yet another example of how important Jasmine Parker is to ODU's fortunes. When Parker left the game after picking up her third foul at 11:28 of the second half, Janine Aldridge quickly led the Tribe to within five. Parker returned at 10:45 and on consecutive possessions hit a 3-pointer and made a steal and a layup to vault ODU back up by 10. Parker scored 13 of her team-high 17 points in that final 10:45. A tip of the hat also to Mairi Buchan, who hit a pair of Tribe-trumping jumpers on a couple of other occasions when William and Mary got frisky.

James Madison 79, VCU 72: One week ago, the Dukes were trailing Delaware in overtime and just minutes from falling into fifth place. Three rousing victories later, they're in a three-way tie for second and clearly the "it" team in the CAA. The Rams led 49-45 with just over 12 minutes left, but Dawn Evans scored JMU's next seven points to put the Dukes in front to stay. A 13-0 JMU run then sealed the deal, and the components of that burst are revealing - the Dukes made five layups; the Rams missed four jumpers. For the game, the Rams shot just 34 percent and were unable to produce the high-volume steals that trigger their transition game. The Dukes, meanwhile, got it done inside and out, as Evans went for 34 and 7 assists while post players Jalissa Taylor and Lauren Jimenez combined for 25 points and 13 rebounds.

Virginia Tech 70, Clemson 69: Wild Senior Night at Cassell as the Hokies (15-13, 4-9 ACC) tossed away (13 second-half turnovers) an 18-point second-half lead, then rode seniors Brittany Gordon, Lindsay Biggs and Utahya Drye to their second straight victory. It was also a potentially season-extending victory, as Tech needs to have a .500 or better record to be WNIT-eligible. The Hokies are now covered even if they lose Sunday's regular-season finale at Virginia and in the first round of the ACC Tournament.

George Mason 63, UNC Wilmington 53: Bye-bye, 10-game losing streak. Nice to see a Patriots group that has been battling hard for the past several games without success finally get a payoff.

No comments:

Post a Comment