Friday, February 12, 2010

Saturday dribble: Hampton, NSU go at it again

Saturday's games

Savannah State (9-18) at Longwood (6-17), 2 p.m.
It will be Senior Day at Willett Hall, but they should just go ahead and call it "Becky Fernandes Day" as the former Bishop Ireton star and Fairfax Stars AAU Hall of Famer is the Lancers' lone senior. The 5-7 Fernandes recently scored her 600th point and ranks fifth on the school's all-time assists list. Perhaps more importantly, Fernandes has been the on-court face of the program, a rare constant in something of a revolving-door era of Longwood hoops. Today's game will mark her 102nd career start; here's hoping Longwood fans show up and show love. And those not in the Farmville area that want to see Fernandes in action can check her out as Longwood is providing free streaming video of all remaining Lancers men's and women's basketball games. Longwood 59, Savannah State 49

Norfolk State (3-16, 0-10 MEAC) at Hampton (12-10, 7-3 MEAC), 4 p.m.
The Lady Pirates barely escaped Norfolk with a 63-59 overtime win on Jan. 16 but have been locked in ever since and will bring a six-game winning streak into the rematch. The Spartans, meanwhile, are coming off an 0-4 homestand during which their closest game was a 13-point loss to 4-19 Delaware State. It's possible the rivalry aspect of this game will bring out the best in NSU, but frankly we've long believed this "Battle of the Bay" series means much more to the fans than they do to the players. No question the Spartans will go in knowing they can hang with these guys. But given the closeness of the last meeting, there's also no question Hampton won't take the Spartans for granted. Hampton 67, Norfolk State 55

Rhode Island (9-15, 2-7 Atlantic 10) at Richmond (15-8, 4-4 Atlantic 10), 7 p.m.
The Spiders come in off an unexpected six-day layoff between games as their Wednesday contest at George Washington was postponed indefinitely because of the snowstorm. But they should be able to successfully play through any rust against a reeling Rams team that has dropped seven straight. Brittani Shells continues to lead the A-10 in scoring (16.9), but lately the Spiders have also benefited from the newfound potency of Abby Oliver. Oliver averages 8.1 per game but has produced at a 15-ppg clip over her last three games and scored a career-high 19 last Sunday at No. 6 Xavier. Richmond 61, Rhode Island 48

Radford (5-15, 4-5 Big South) at Winthrop (9-14, 3-6 Big South), 7 p.m.
Monday's 84-80 double-overtime loss to conference-leading Gardner-Webb was the Highlanders' fourth straight setback. But it also marked the third game in this span that Radford has fell despite leading at some point in the second half. If the Highlanders can discover a way to close games out, they're otherwise good enough to handle anyone in this league. The Highlanders prevailed 57-48 when these teams met at Radford on Jan. 11. Radford 62, Winthrop 60

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