Thursday, November 18, 2010

Virginia at Tennessee headlines Thursday's card

Old Dominion, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Radford all take the court tonight in games with varying degrees of difficulty.


North Carolina A&T (1-1) at Old Dominion (1-0), 7 p.m.
After Sunday's rousing victory over Georgia Tech, you'd think a date with a MEAC opponent would be a cinch for the Lady Monarchs. But last year ODU struggled with consistency, and this is the kind of game that could make Wendy Larry lose sleep. ODU should win here and win impressively, particularly if the Lady Monarchs play at the level they showed themselves capable of versus Georgia Tech. The Aggies fell to Central Michigan 119-71, the worst defeat in Pat Bibbs' career there, but rebounded to defeat Winthrop. Picked to finish second in the MEAC, they face a slate of daunting foes including Rutgers, Virginia and Charlotte. ODU needs to watch out for Alishia Mosley, one of six freshmen on the team, who scored 22 on Sunday, including five 3s. Norfolk's own Lamesha Deal (Maury High), who hasn't played in either game, is among the freshmen. Old Dominion 77, North Carolina A&T 59

Virginia (2-0) at #4 Tennessee (2-0), 7:05 p.m.
It's been an encouraging start to the 2010-11 season for the Cavaliers, who have seen improved play from veterans and significant contribution from newcomers. Now comes the ultimate test - a typically talent-rich Lady Vols team on a court where Tennessee teams have won 20 straight and gone 325-20 lifetime. A already potent Tennessee team has been bolstered by the addition of freshman Meighan Simmons, who is averaging 24 ppg and "may be the quickest guard to ever play in this program," according to Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt. With 6-foot-6 Kelley Cain in the low box, the Lady Vols played inside-out to the tune of 15 3-pointers in a 103-43 thrashing of Chattanooga on Monday. If Tennessee gets that hot from distance again, no one's going to stop them. But Louisville was able to get into the Lady Vols defensively, forcing 29 turnovers. If the Cavaliers are disciplined and active on defense, they may be able to disrupt the Lady Vols' rhythm. But it's a tall task, especially at Thompson-Boling Arena.  Tennessee 72, Virginia 55

Elon at Virginia Tech (2-0), 7 p.m. Old friend Karen Barefoot has the Phoenix off to its first 2-0 start (wins over Fordham and Troy) since 2005-06 thanks in part to an active defense that has forced 65 turnovers. But Elon hasn't faced anything like the athleticism the Hokies will display. Freshmen Nia Evans and Monet Tellier have injected energy and considerable production into the mix. Barring a series of breakdowns, the Hokies simply should have too much firepower. Tech prevailed 82-46 when these teams met last season.  Virginia Tech 77, Elon 52

Radford (1-0) at Howard (0-2), 7 p.m.
The Highlanders will be looking to avenge last season's 44-39 loss to the Bison, a game in which Radford blew a double-digit lead and scored just four points over the final 6:28. Howard has a stud in All-MEAC forward Saadia Doyle, who is averaging 26 ppg and 12.5 rpg. But as was shown in losses at Buffalo and Vanderbilt, Doyle getting hers doesn't mean the Bison can't be tamed.  Radford 55, Howard 48

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