Thursday, November 18, 2010

Virginia scares Tennessee, ODU, Tech survive


Ariana Moorer, Virginia
   - Scored 24 points as the Cavaliers threw a scare into 4th-ranked Tennessee before falling by 12 in Knoxville.


   - Tennessee's Angie Bjorklund led all scorers with 26 points and splashed 6 of the Lady Vols' 10 3-pointers.

   - Tia Lewis scored 15 points and Jackie Cook added her first double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds as ODU got past North Carolina A&T

   - Shanel Harrison scored 16 points as Virginia Tech rallied from a 10-point deficit to hold off Elon

Told ya! - ODU 79, North Carolina A&T 65. We said: ODU 77, North Carolina A&T 59

Uh, we can explain... - Howard 54, Radford 46. We said: Radford 55, Howard 48 


#4 Tennessee 85, Virginia 73
Terrific opening by the Cavaliers, who made their first eight shots, dumped the Lady Vols into an early 17-9 hole and were down by just two at halftime. But after being aired out by Pat Summitt at halftime, the Lady Vols scored the first eight points after intermission and held on. "I warned my team that they were going to come out with much better intensity, and I knew that they would come out a little more organized, and sure enough they did," Virginia coach Debbie Ryan said. "I felt like that was where they game was decided." In the big picture, though, given the quality of the opposition - not to mention the venue - this should be considered an encouraging outing by a Cavaliers team we find ourselves feeling better about with each outing. After all, any time you can get Summitt angry with her own team, you must be doing something right.

Old Dominion 79, North Carolina A&T 65
The Lady Monarchs (2-0) will certainly take a 14-point win. But this game offered a vivid reminder that there's still a lot of work to be done. After rolling out to a 14-3 lead by the first media timeout, the Lady Monarchs appeared to lose the crispness and fire that marked Sunday's win over Georgia Tech. And we suspect today's practice will feature a heavy emphasis on the transition defense that failed them repeatedly Thursday night. Full credit to North Carolina A&T for making a game of it. But the performance ODU turned in is a CAA loss waiting to happen if it shows up again in a couple of months. Having said that, we continue to be impressed by the offensive emergence of Russia Voronina. Last season, Voronina established herself as primarily a defensive menace, a banger. But guess what? Russia's actually got skillz! Now sleeker and more athletic-looking, Voronina (a career-high 14 points) is performing like a woman determined to script a memorable senior campaign.

Virginia Tech 73, Elon 66
Once again, the Hokies (3-0) struggled with a team we thought they'd pulverize. But you know what? We're going to look at the bright side. Tech is now 3-0, and a lot of young players have gotten some valuable minutes. We're sure it takes time for a team with 10 freshmen and sophomores to come together. So we're going to stop criticizing the Hokies for winning ugly and just watch how this develops. By the way, nice effort by Alyssa Fenyn, who tied a career high with 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting.

Howard 54, Radford 46
Ouch. Like last season, the Highlanders (1-1) saw a halftime lead evaporate against the MEAC's Bison. Found this quote from Radford coach Tajama Abraham Ngongba a bit curious: "I was very proud of how hard we as a team fought through everything tonight. We stayed composed throughout the game and played as hard as I've ever seen us play in red." Not sure what the adversity was; hope no one got hurt. And frankly, we thought if the Highlanders played really hard, they'd have enough to handle a MEAC also-ran like Howard, even on the road. Guess we didn't give the Bison enough credit. And credit the Highlanders for leaving it all out there. I mean, that's all we can really ask, isn't it?

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