Friday, March 5, 2010

Virginia tanks, Richmond survives

First of all, congratulations to Christopher Newport, which ran its record to 29-0 by whipping Washington & Lee 68-51 in the first round of the NCAA Division III tournament. The Captains will host Roanoke in second-round action Saturday at 7 p.m.

Now, about those Cavaliers....

ACC Tournament
Greensboro Coliseum
Announced attendance: 8,061

N.C. State 66, Virginia 59: Pretty close score considering Virginia played one against five:
- Monica Wright - 12 of 26, 32 points
- Ariana Moorer, Lexie Gerson, Simone Egwu, Paulisha Kellum, Chelsea Shine, Telia McCall, Whitny Edwards, Britny Edwards, Jayna Hartig combined: 9 for 36, 27 points
What makes the loss sting even more is that, with #2 Florida State losing about a half hour before the Cavs tipped off, Virginia's was staring at an excellent opportunity of advancing to Sunday's final. Wright played as though she was determined to get there. But offensively, the rest of the Cavaliers simply didn't show up.

Today's semifinals
#4 Georgia Tech vs. #1 Duke, 1 p.m.
#7 Boston College vs. #6 N.C. State, 3 p.m.

Atlantic 10 Tournament
Show Place Arena, Upper Marlboro, Md.
Announced first-round attendance: 1,019

Richmond 54, UMass 47: Abby Oliver led the way - for the fifth time in the last eight games - for the Spiders (19-11), who feasted on second-chance points and points off turnovers and held the Minutewomen off. Let's hope they then got plenty of rest, for they'll need it today at noon against No. 1 Xavier. Will the Spiders get crushed? Perhaps. But are they also capable of pulling off what would be a monumental upset? Surprisingly, yes. Consider:
- Although the Spiders lost by 12 when the teams met in the regular season in Ohio, Richmond actually led by a point with less than four minutes left;
- The Spiders stayed in it despite opening the game by missing their first 17 shots;
- Richmond's pressure defense seems to bother Xavier; the Spiders had 13 steals in that first matchup;
- The Spiders competed well despite a quiet night from Brittani Shells, the A-10's leading scorer who put up only 10 points against the Musketeers.
Now "if" the Spiders can make a few shots early and "if" their defense can get into the Musketeers again and "if" Shells can knock a few more down.... OK, that's probably too many "ifs". But we're not ruling Richmond completely out, either.

Today's other A-10 quarterfinals
#4 Charlotte vs. #5 St. Joseph's, 2:30 p.m.
#2 Dayton vs. #7 St. Bonaventure, 5:30 p.m.
#3 Temple vs. #6 Duquesne, 8 p.m.

Other state result

Liberty 66, Radford 33: Another defensive beatdown by the Lady Flames (23-5, 13-2 Big South). And here's the worst part for Radford (6-21, 5-11) - in the first round of the conference tournament, they get to play Liberty again.

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