Monday, July 12, 2010

Postcards from ODU's Buchan, Allison and Virginia Beach's Williams

   It's a big week for Old Dominion's Mairi Buchan and Becca Allison, who will vie for a European Championship title starting Friday in Kavadarci, Macedonia. The two Lady Monarchs and native Scots -- Buchan is a junior and Allison a redshirt freshman -- are part of Great Britain Standard Life Under-20 team competing for a European Basketball Division B title.

Last week Allison scored nine in a 70-35 exhibition victory over Austria in Baden, Austria - a feat considering the team departed Britain for Austria at 3 a.m., 12 hours prior to tipoff. In a second game against Austria,  Buchan led the scoring with 10 points, though the British team lost 49-48.

Buchan aad Allison scored 12 apiece against Bulgaria on Friday in another tuneup won by the Brits 55-44.

The real test begins Friday against Belgium, followed by games against Hungary on July 17, host team Macedonia on July 18 and the Czech Republic on July 20.

Buchan and Allison are the lone collegiate players from Virginia on the U20 team. Other teammates from American Division I programs are Mary Durojaye (Robert Morris), Kashmere Joseph (Seton Hall), Katrin Chiemeka (Davidson), Charlotte Stoddart (Fordham) and Kathryn Taylor (Colgate). 

Also in international competition, Princess Anne High School's Elizabeth Williams (Virginia Beach) led the way for the 2010 USA U17 Women's World Championship team, which finished its exhibition schedule over the weekend as the winner of a round-robin, pre-world championship event in Alagon, Spain.

The 6-3 Williams ranked fourth among all participants in scoring (11.3 ppg) and rebounding (6.7 rpg), tied for third in blocked shoots (1.3 bpg) and tied for fifth in shooting percentage (50 percent) in the three-day tournaments. Her efforts earned her MVP honors; the USA team finished 2-1.

Noted Williams: "It's cool to be named MVP, but I still think it's better we won the tournament as a team. It's a nice feeling, but at the same time, we still need to get better if we want that world championship trophy."

On Monday the team heads to Rodez France, for the start of the inaugural FIBA U17 World Championship for Women, which begins Friday.

The rising senior at Princess Anne, considered the top prospect in the class of 2011, remains mum about her college decision, though speculation has centered around Duke, Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia as her favorites.

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