Friday, November 26, 2010

Virginia, NSU, Hampton, Richmond and W&M in action Saturday


Will Norfolk State match its entire win total for 2009-10 with a victory today?

Will Virginia break 50 points in a game before leaving the Virgin Islands?

Can William and Mary's Tribe play a first half the way they play the second?

Note - all five local teams are coming off a loss

Jacksonville (3-1) at Hampton (1-3), 2 p.m.
Hampton's record is due in part to the quality of their opponents, as James Madison, Charlotte, South Dakota State and Richmond all have legitimate NCAA Tournament hopes and are WNIT-bound at the least. But it also indicated how much the Lady Pirates miss injured guards Bernadette Fortune and Jericka Jenkins. We're not expecting either player to go today, and, judging by how the Lady Pirates looked in Tuesday's 73-41 loss to Richmond, it's going to take Hampton a little time to figure out how to play without them. Still, we expect Hampton still has enough to successfully defend its home court today.

Wofford (2-3) at Norfolk State (3-1), 4 p.m.
Another good opportunity for the Spartans in their home opener against the similarly rebuilding Terriers. NSU can't afford to take anything for granted, though; the Terriers are no doubt looking at this game as a good opportunity, too. NSU's chances should be enhanced if freshman forward Rachel Gordon is available. Gordon went for 20 points and 11 rebounds in NSU's season opener against St. Paul's but has been sidelined since with a back injury. With a victory, NSU will match its entire win total for the 2009-10 season (4-23). As for Wofford, we're sure its coaching staff is happy to be in Hampton Roads. Wofford's head coach, Edgar Farmer Jr., is from Newport News, and his assistant, Ed Geth, is a Norfolk native who went on to play for North Carolina. We remember Geth as a star player at Granby High in the early 1990s; he now has a 10-year-old daughter. Where does all the time go? Norfolk State 65, Wofford 57

Paradise Jam, the Virgin Islands
Virginia (3-3) vs. No. 21 TCU (3-2), 2 p.m.
All along, we sort of felt this would be the Cavaliers' best chance at a Paradise Jam victory. Now, of course, it's their only chance. But even if they don't win, if the Cavs can find some offensive rhythm they can still leave the Virgin Islands feeling as though they accomplished something. We certainly expect a bounceback effort from Ariana Moorer after her 0-for-6, 0-points, 6-turnover line in Friday's 57-43 loss to West Virginia. Problem is, the Cavaliers are playing for the third time in three days - as are the Horned Frogs - so the execution might look a little ragged on both sides. By the way, the Cavaliers shouldn't feel too badly about giving up 9 3-pointers to Iowa State on Thursday. The following day, the Cyclones shot 14-of-25 from behind the arc in a 64-59 victory over these Horned Frogs.  TCU 69, Virginia 63

Cancun Thanksgiving Classic, Cancun, Mexico
William and Mary (0-4) vs. Buffalo (2-3), 5 p.m.
The Tribe aren't really giving themselves a chance. In their four games, here are the first-half deficits they've faced - 15 down against Wisconsin, 14 down against Wake Forest, 11 down against Davidson, 15 down against Bradley. Again, those are first-half deficits. The Tribe have staged a couple of nice late rallies. They're just leaving themselves way too much ground to make up.  William and Mary 58, Buffalo 55

Central Florida Thanksgiving Classic, at Central Florida
Richmond (3-2) vs. No. 25 Michigan State (4-1), noon
If the Spiders have a healthy, on-her-game Brittani Shells, this one could get interesting. Shells can not only get hers against anyone, but she can open things up for everyone else. Plus she's Richmond's best perimeter defender; heck, she's one of the best perimeter defenders in the country. But if the Shells who scored 4 points in 17 minutes in Friday's 79-53 loss to UCF shows up, big trouble. This isn't meant to slight the rest of the Spiders. But how many teams can upset a nationally ranked foe without their best player doing her thing? Michigan State 75, Richmond 60

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