Sunday, December 5, 2010

Richmond, Tech, JMU are winners


-Abby Oliver's 22 points and eight boards paced the Spiders past their crosstown rival.
-ODU's Jasmine Parker scores her 1,000th point with a 3-pointer in the second half. Parker scored 16 in the 30-point loss to Tennessee.
-No Evans? No problem for James Madison behind Courtney Hamner (14 points), Lauren Jimenez (12 points) and Tarik Hislop (12 points). 

Richmond 68, VCU 53: The Spiders (5-4) led by as many as 24 behind Oliver's great day, a season-best 14 points from Crystal Goring and 13 from Brittani Shells. As predicted Courtney Hurt got hers with 24 points, but no other Ram managed double figures. Only 593 turned out in the capital city to watch the Spiders snap a three-game losing skid.

James Madison 54, Liberty 51: On one hand, the Dukes (5-3) have to feel pretty good, earning the win with star guard Dawn Evans sidelined with illness. But a late 9-0 run turned routine into questionable when the Flames cut it to two with 2:56 remaining. Liberty even had a chance to win it, but the 3 from Devon Brown didn't fall. Hey, did you say Devon Brown? How great that the sophomore is on the floor for the first time all season after missing most of the semester with a knee injury. Brown played just 17 minutes but notched 14 points as maybe Liberty (3-5) is back in business with conference season approaching. Kudos to JMU's Courtney Hamner (14 points, seven boards) and Lauren Jimenez (12 points, nine boards) for picking up the slack in Evans' absence.

Virginia Tech 53, Winthrop 48: A win's a win, but we doubt the Hokies (5-3) will want to send highlights of this one out with the holiday cards. A late 11-0 Tech run helped Tech snap a three-game losing streak, but as coach Beth Dunkenberger noted, "We wait until the last eight minutes before we play hard."

No. 9 Tennessee 74, Old Dominion 44: The biggest crowd for women's basketball at the Constant Center (7,774, though we saw lots of empty seats) got to see a dud. There's never any shame in losing to the Lady Vols, who towered over the undersized Lady Monarchs (3-3), but we would have liked to see ODU attack with abandon and that wasn't the case. We watched the Lady Monarchs pass up shot after shot in favor of an extra dribble or an extra pass, which too often turned into a turnover. Old Reliable Jasmine Parker scored 16, but the Lady Monarchs need more players willing to take it to the hoop uninhibited. The Lady Vols went to the line 25 times compared to ODU's eight, and while there have been far better Tennessee teams to pass through here, this one was good enough to do pretty much whatever it wanted for the final 30 minutes. 

George Washington 67, George Mason 58: Another capital (or should we say capitol) matchup that didn't go the Patriots' way due to a 23-12 run in the final 7:53. GWU (4-3) shot 64 percent in the second half, as once again Mason (2-5) faded down the stretch. The bright spot: Brittany Poindexter scored a season-high 22, helping the Patriots to build a 13-point advantage. Only 457 turned out in D.C.  Guess too many folks stayed home to tune into the Redskins, speaking of disappointments.

Seton Hall 73, William and Mary 67 OT: We don't have a vote in Big East Player of the Week honors, but forget the voting. Just hand this week's award to Kandice Green, who scored 31 points and pulled down 23 rebounds in 43 minutes. The one-woman wrecking crew marred otherwise splendid efforts by Taysha Pye (21 points) and Kaitlyn Mathieu (10 points, 13 boards), and W&M is 0-6.

Gardner-Webb 68, Longwood 58: The Lancers' Brittani Billups scored 17, including 13 of 14 from the foul line, but it's awfully hard to win when you shoot 29 percent from the field.

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