Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Thursday dribble: Challenges await UVa., ODU, VCU

Potentially tricky games await the state's top teams tonight as Virginia visits Miami, VCU travels to Hofstra and Old Dominion hosts Delaware.

Wednesday's games

Gardner-Webb 84, Radford 80 (2OT): Not sure if it's a favorable matchup or the fact that the Highlanders (5-15, 4-5 Big South) really don't believe they should lose to these guys, but no Big South team plays the red-hot Bulldogs tougher. The key for Radford going forward, assuming that Gardner-Webb (20-3, 9-1 Big South) and Liberty finish 1-2 in the standings, is to position itself to be on Gardner-Webb's side of the bracket in the conference tournament. The Highlanders don't appear to match up well with Liberty; the Lady Flames' defense and rebounding prowess gave the Highlanders fits a couple of weeks ago. But another meeting with Gardner-Webb? The Highlanders will definitely take their chances with that.

Longwood 76, Troy 70: Result points out the marked difference is performance between the Lancers at home (5-4 record) and away/neutral (1-13); on Nov. 24 at Troy, Longwood lost to these guys by 17. And how 'bout that Brittanni Billups? The 6-1 sophomore led all scorers with a career-high 25 points; it marked the third time in her last five games Billups has posted a personal best. She had 22 points on Jan. 18 against Utah Valley and 24 two games later against Winthrop.

Thursday's games

VCU (16-7, 9-2 CAA) at Hofstra (13-10, 6-5 CAA), noon
Given the snowy conditions in Long Island, how many New Yorkers will show up for this matinee? Then again, it's "What I Want to Be" day for elementary and middle-schoolers. We bet if you ask the parents, they'll say what I want to be is warm. Pride has won five of seven, and VCU stumbled a week ago against James Madison, but boy, did they look good in routing ODU on Sunday. VCU 71, Hofstra 68

No. 21 Virginia (17-6, 6-3 ACC) at Miami (16-7, 3-5 ACC), 7 p.m.
Hard to figure these Hurricanes as they have wins over ACC powers Florida State and North Carolina State and losses to Wake Forest and (no offense intended) Virginia Tech. Should be a fun matchup as game features the top three scorers in the ACC as Miami guards Riquna "Bay-Bay" Williams and Shenise Johnson rank 2nd and 3rd respectively behind UVa.'s Monica Wright. When Miami struggles, poor rebounding is often a culprit so the Cavaliers could make hay by attacking the glass at both ends. Cavs have won six of seven and appear to be playing their best ball of the season. But this won't be easy; ACC road games rarely are. Virginia 78, Miami 72

Savannah State (9-17) at Virginia Tech (12-11), 7 p.m.
Nine victories at this stage is pretty good for an independent; only Cal State-Bakersfield and Chicago State have won more among the 10 Division I schools not affiliated with a conference. Problem is, they had eight of those wins by Dec. 17; a 13-game losing streak followed. But while a Tech victory isn't in question, let's hope the Hokies can use this game to start re-discovering the level of execution that led to wins over North Carolina and Miami last month. Virginia Tech 69, Savannah State 44

Delaware (15-7, 7-4) at Old Dominion (11-10, 9-2), 7 p.m.
Was Sunday's lethargic performance against VCU a blip? Let's hope not for the Lady Monarchs who remain tied in first atop the CAA with the Rams. The Lady Monarchs have averaged 56 points in their last three games. Pay little attention to the Hens CAA record. Two losses were by one point (ODU, VCU), one was in double overtime (Drexel) and the other in triple overtime (Dragons again). ODU's bigs must stay out of foul trouble given the damage that 6-5 Delaware sensation Elena Delle Donne can impose on an opponent. Never seen her play? We promise it will be a treat. ODU 62, Delaware 60

James Madison (18-4, 8-3 CAA) at William and Mary (10-12, 3-8 CAA), 7 p.m.
A maturity check for the Dukes, who are coming off routs of VCU and Drexel and will be playing a Tribe team that has lost four straight. A mature team will keep its foot on the pedal. Besides, we think the Tribe can still be dangerous. Also, the last time these teams met in Williamsburg, the Dukes had to rally from six down with 1:25 to play to escape with a one-point victory. JMU 72, William and Mary 65

George Mason (8-14, 1-10 CAA) at UNC Wilmington (7-15, 2-9 CAA), 7 p.m.
Given the teams have three CAA wins between them, it's hard to get too excited for this one. Seahawks seeking a win to hold on to 11th place. The Patriots are in 12th. We'll take the home team. UNC Wilmington 58, George Mason 50

No comments:

Post a Comment