Saturday, March 13, 2010

It will be a JMU/VCU clash in CAA semis

So who do you like in the second CAA semi on Saturday? James Madison (24-6) blasted UNC Wilmington 67-40 and VCU denied Hofstra 51-38 in Friday's quarterfinal to set up the state matchup.
The good news for JMU coach Kenny Brooks is that the Dukes won despite Dawn Evans playing 21 minutes. The junior got into early foul trouble and is pacing herself in this tournament due to a kidney ailment that increases fatigue. But JMU had plenty of firepower, led by Tarik Hislop with 18. And if you recall, the Dukes blew out VCU in the team's last meeting in Richmond, largely without Evans, who sprained an ankle eight minutes into the game and did not return.

VCU (20-11) without La'Tavia Moss has gone beyond our expectations and won't go down without a fight. Defensive CAA Player of the Year Kita Waller is playing her best ball of the season. But given JMU swept the series this season, we go with the Dukes again here in a house anticipating a meeting with ODU.

What we'd really like to see is some points between both teams. Wilmington could only manage 40 and Hofstra a mere 38? We credit the JMU and VCU defenses (picture above shows Moss and Hofstra senior guard Sam Brigham who had a ghastly 10 turnovers), but missed open layups and ill-timed shots have plagued not just the CAA, but women's basketball this season (we're not talking about UConn and Stanford, by the way). How about a little of "She shoots. She scores!"

And one more gripe. The 2010 Virginia 529 College Savings Plan CAA women's basketball championship doesn't exactly have a ring to it.

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