Monday, March 22, 2010

Sunday scorecard

Highs and lows from a busy Sunday in women's basketball:


- The Temple defense: Long, physical and athletic, the Owls held James Madison to a season-low 53 points in a 12-point victory in the NCAA first round at ODU's Constant Center.

- Southern - for the first 39 seconds against UConn: OK, so it was only 2-0. But how many teams can even say they had a lead against the Huskies?

- The NCAA: A crowd of 6,325 at a subregional that didn't feature the host school? They couldn't have asked for a better turnout.

- Fans that came to see UConn's greatness: Huskies coach Geno Auriemma called the first five minutes of the second half of Sunday's 95-39 victory over Southern "about as good as I've seen us play all year." Said UConn star Maya Moore: "We weren't happy with our first-half play. We, as competitors, just wanted to respond."

- Virginia's Monica Wright: 34 points, 9 rebounds and 6 steals in the Cavaliers' 69-67 loss to Wisconsin-Green Bay (When was the last time you saw a Top-25 team force 30 turnovers and still lose?). Boy, are the Cavaliers going to miss her. And not just for what she did on the floor. While Cavaliers fans are no doubt still screaming for a foul call on Wright's last-gasp tip-in attempt, "It shouldn't have come down to that situation," Wright said.

- Temple guard LaKeisha Eaddy, the primary defender responsible for Dawn Evans' 6-for-20, 18-point, 7 turnover performance. "I've guarded some of the top players in the I knew I could minimize her impact," Eddy said. "I wasn't really worried about it because I knew it wasn't just my responsibility but the whole team's responsibility. Added Temple coach Tonya Cardoza: "Our guys did a hell of a job shutting down one of the top scorers in the country."

- Fans of a teacher-vs.-pupil coaching matchup: "This is the story everybody wanted," said Cardoza, who spent 14 years as an assistant to UConn's Geno Auriemma before taking over at the Atlantic-10 school. "Our guys are excited because you have made it such a big story. And if we win, it'll be an even bigger story."

Kita Waller and Courtney Hurt: VCU stars scored 27 points apiece to lead the Rams past Hofstra 84-65 in a WNIT second-round game.


- Fans of the Commonwealth's hoops teams: Three days ago, we had Virginia, James Madison, Hampton and Liberty to root for in the NCAA Tournament. Now there are none.

- The Ladyswish first-round bracket: We got eight wrong, which is clearly nothing to brag about in this tournament. Marist over Georgetown? Ugh.

- Southern's post-game comments: Coach Sandy Pugh couldn't seem to understand why her players struggled so much (maybe UConn had something to do with it, huh, coach?). And the players appeared to believe the officiating was their biggest problem.

- Virginia's supporting cast: Guys, you're on your own now.

- JMU's Lauren Jimenez' free-throw shooting touch: Normally a sure-shooter at the line, Jimenez went 0-for-6 Sunday against Temple. Dukes coach Kenny Brooks acknowledged that this affected JMU's desire to pound the ball inside and put more pressure on the Dukes' perimeter game.

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