Saturday, November 27, 2010

Virginia, Norfolk State post big victories


Kaitlyn Mathieu, William and Mary

Freshman forward averaged 19.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg, and 2.5 bpg while shooting 60% from the field in two games and earned all-tournament honors during the Cancun Thanksgiving Classic.


   - Virginia racked up a season-high 16 assists in its 59-55 victory over No. 21 TCU, three more than its combined total against Iowa State (6) and West Virginia (7).

   - Norfolk State avenged last season's loss to Wofford and improved to 4-1 for the first time since 2001-02, the year in which they went on to claim the MEAC Tournament title.

   - State teams were just 2-9 in Thanksgiving tournaments this year, with Virginia (over TCU) and James Madison (Montana) producing the lone victories.


Told ya! - Norfolk State 66, Wofford 51. We said - Norfolk State 65, Wofford 57

Uh, we can explain... - Virginia 59, TCU 55. We said - TCU 69, Virginia 63

Saturday's record: 2-3. Overall record: 45-17.


Virginia 59, No. 21 TCU 55: Hailed for her vocal leadership during the offseason, Chelsea Shine led by example Saturday. With Virginia's offense reeling, Shine went for a season-high 20 points against the Horned Frogs before fouling out. Shine made Virginia's last field goal with 3:33 remaining, and the Cavs hung on by making 7-of-8 free throws over the final 1:03. As well as Shine played, though, the biggest story regarding the Cavaliers offense was the way they shared the ball with the 16 assists. The Cavs averaged 13.5 assists per game in getting off to a 3-1 start; it was only upon arriving in the Virgin Island that things started to bog down. Lexie Gerson added 10 points, 5 assists and 0 turnovers, Paulisha Kellum also scored 10 points and Telia McCall had 9 rebounds and 3 blocks. The Cavaliers played without guard Ariana Moorer, whose unavailability was apparently a coach's decision. Moorer had 0 points and 6 turnovers in 19 minutes of Friday's 57-43 loss to West Virginia. Virginia is now 4-3 with a victory over a ranked team, not bad through seven games given their schedule. Enjoy it, Cavs...then get ready for Ohio State on Thursday in Columbus.

Norfolk State 66, Wofford 51: The transformation of NSU women's basketball continued with this made-it-look easy performance. We're not quite sure what kind of offense Wofford runs because the new-look Spartans kept taking the ball away from them before they could run it. NSU forced 23 first-half turnovers which led to 25 of their 34 first-half points. For the game Wofford turned it over 36 times. Freshman Rae Corbo led a balanced NSU offense with 13 points (read our feature on Corbo on this site Sunday). Whitney Long added 12 points and Sarah Daily chipped in 11 as the Spartans (4-1) matched their victory total for the entire 2009-10 season.

No. 25 Michigan State 76, Richmond 52: This was one heck of a game through most of the first half; the Spiders even led 25-23. From that point, though, it was as though the Spartans figured out what worked against the Spiders and squeezed Richmond to death with it. Brittani Shells rebounded from Friday's 4-point performance with a team-high 16 points Saturday.

Buffalo 66, William and Mary 56: The Tribe (0-5) have yet to play a home game, so maybe this group just doesn't like traveling. We're sure they're sick of Buffalo's Kourtney Brown, who schooled them for 25 points and 9 rebounds. About the only on-court things worth remembering about this trip to Cancun are the breakout performances of Tribe freshman Kaitlyn Mathieu, who averaged 19.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg, and 2.5 bpg while shooting 60% from the field in the two games and earned all-tournament honors.

Jacksonville 49, Hampton 42: The Lady Pirates clamped down on the Dolphins defensively, but all the defense in the world can't bail out 25.8-percent shooting. No disrespect to Jacksonville (4-1), but this is a very disappointing result for a Lady Pirates team that, injuries notwithstanding, is still capable of a better performance on its home court.

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