Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hoops notes, previews and picks

Liberty's Avery Warley
Liberty pounded Virginia Union on Tuesday and Richmond and VCU open their home schedules on Wednesday. But before we get to those, a few notes to chew on:

   - Hampton's victory over James Madison apparently didn't impress many of the voters in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll. The Lady Pirates failed to crack the list; JMU slid from third to ninth. Meanwhile, Old Dominion vaulted from 11th to 5th on the strength of its 65-63 triumph over Georgia Tech. Liberty fell to No. 21; Green Bay replaced Gonzaga as the overall No. 1.

   - In other Hampton news, the Lady Pirates will visit Charlotte in a Preseason WNIT consolation game on Friday at 7 p.m. Also on Friday, James Madison will host St. Francis (Pa.) at 7 p.m., then host either Iona or UCF on Saturday.

   - Radford announced a five-player recruiting class. “This is a great group of ladies that understand the importance of being a student-athlete and the expectations of being a Highlander,” Radford coach Tajama Abraham Ngongba said. “It is a very talented class with a lot of different scoring looks that will definitely add to our ability of being competitive.”

   - Virginia announced the signing of St. Anne's-Belfield's Sarah Imovbioh, the No. 56-ranked recruit in the country according to ESPN's Hoopgurlz.com. She'll join Top 10 guard Bria Smith in Virginia's 2011 class. "Our fans are really in for a treat with Bria and Sarah," Cavaliers coach Debbie Ryan said. "They are both remarkably gifted student-athletes who will be fan favorites the minute they hit the floor."

Now for the games:

Tuesday's result

Liberty 71, Virginia Union 19: That score kind of says it all, doesn't it? So let's refrain from commentary and just trot out a few notes...The Lady Flames (1-2) opened their home schedule by coming within one point of the program record for fewest points allowed, a mark set last year against Winthrop...Turnovers continue to be a problem, though, as even against the overmatched Lady Panthers Liberty coughed the ball up 26 times..Jelena Antic led the victors with 17 points and Avery Warley checked in with 16 points and 13 rebounds...Devon Brown (foot) was a DNP once again...The Lady Panthers fell to 0-3.

Wednesday's games

Appalachian State (2-0) at Richmond (1-1), 7 p.m.
The Spiders' home opener where they will be looking for their fourth straight victory in the series. When these teams met last year in Boone, N.C., the Spiders' pressure was at its disruptive best as Richmond made 20 steals and forced 27 turnovers en route to a 78-56 rout. Unless the Mountaineers can hang onto the ball a whole lot better, this one figures to get away from them, too. It would also help if they could cool off Brittani Shells. The reigning Atlantic 10 Player of the Week Brittani Shells is averaging 29.5 ppg. Richmond 78, Appalachian State 68

Winthrop (0-2) at Virginia Commonwealth (1-0), 7 p.m.
After Friday's 65-64 victory over High Point, the Rams' Big South Tour continues with this visit from the rebuilding Lady Eagles, who are led by former JMU coach Bud Childers. The Rams are doing some fairly major rebuilding of their own, so Winthrop would seem to be an ideal opponent for this group's home opener. VCU 75, Winthrop 52

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