Friday, November 19, 2010

Hampton, JMU in WNIT consolation action


Hampton (1-1) at Charlotte (1-1), 7 p.m.
The final Preseason WNIT consolation game for both teams. Hampton will be playing its third straight road game, all at tough venues (JMU and South Dakota State were the others). Last season, the 49ers won 13 straight at their Halton Arena before falling in the second round of the WNIT. Injuries to starting guards Bernadette Fortune and Jericka Jenkins will obviously hurt Hampton. But few teams know who they are and what they can and cannot do better than these Lady Pirates under coach David Six. So there's no reason to think Hampton won't be extremely competitive no matter who's on the court. Charlotte 62, Hampton 58

High Point (2-1) at Longwood (1-1), 7 p.m.
The Lancers defeated Campbell in their opener and lost to Marshall in the season opener despite a double-double by junior Brittanni Billups (21 points, 14 rebounds). High Point leads this series 12-11 but lost last year's meeting 76-68. High Point comes in with defensive bragging rights, having held Southern Virginia to 23 points, the lowest for an opponent since 1983. Perhaps more impressively, they nearly upset VCU, falling by a point in their season opener. This is the Panthers' first road test and we think they just might pass. High Point 68, Longwood 59

William and Mary (0-1) at Davidson (0-2), 7 p.m.: The Tribe managed just 36 points in a season-opening loss at Wisconsin and will no doubt face an easier test here as W&M begins a stretch that will include four games in the next eight days. While the Tribe is 4-0 versus the Wildcats, we know coach Debbie Taylor will remember the game the two played a year ago when W&M had to erase a 23-point deficit to win.  As for Davidson: Try saying this name three times fast: Aleksandravicius. Better yet, spell it. Sophia do-we-have-to-type-that-name-again? is their 6-4 go-to through two games. We think W&M can handle her and Davidson. W&M 60, Davidson 52

Norfolk State (1-0) at Houston Baptist (0-2), 4 p.m. The Comfort Inn and Suites Invitational, eh? (Isn't exactly the State Farm Tipoff, but hey. We hope the Spartans got discounted hotel rooms.....). This one will be played at Morehead State and Houston Baptist comes in battle-tested after just two games. While the Huskies committed 61 turnovers and gave up 196 points in those games, we're not holding it against them considering the foes: Louisville and TCU. NSU has never played this team or the others in this tournament (Central Arkansas, Morehead State). We were happy to see the Spartans handle St. Paul's routinely in their opener and expect they'll come out on top. Norfolk State 66, Houston Baptist 50

St. Francis (0-2) at James Madison (0-1), 7 p.m.
How strange is it that St. Francis played a game (a 10-point loss at Towson) in between games of the preseason WNIT? The Red Flash fell at Toledo in their opener and now has a date in Harrisonburg. For Dukes fans, all eyes will be in the paint as JMU continues its search for consistently effective low-post play. We suspect the Dukes have worked on getting the ball inside and (especially) finishing just a tad since the post players underachieved in last week's 69-64 loss to Hampton. Look for Dawn Evans to make a concentrated effort to get her bigs going early tonight.  This WNIT consolation round game will be preceded by a clash between UCF and Iona at 4:30 p.m. at the Convocation Center. All four teams will play a final consolation round on Saturday at JMU. James Madison 82, St. Francis 60

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