Saturday, December 4, 2010

Virginia, Hampton prevail, NSU, Radford fall

Virginia recovers well after a quick turnaround while Hampton regains its point guard and its mojo.

Saturday's games

Virginia 63, Drexel 54: The Dragons run their stuff well and force teams to defend for the entire shot clock, so it's to the Cavaliers' credit that they were able to lock these guys down after having just played Ohio State Thursday night. Chelsea Shine had 17 points (14 in the first half) and 9 rebounds for the Cavs (5-1), who shot 50 percent from the field and had only 11 turnovers. Drexel fell for the first time this season; the Dragons' 5-0 start was the best in program history.

North Carolina A&T 74, Norfolk State 58: For the most part a closer game than that score indicates, as the Spartans led 35-33 at the half and were still ahead by two early in the second half before A&T's Jaleesa Sams (26 points) and Crystal Murdaugh (17) took over. The Spartans (4-2) also shot just 26.3 percent in the second half. On the plus side, NSU got another big game from MEAC Rookie of the Week Rae Corbo (17 points), and Sarah Daily added 13. But freshman Rachel Gordon, who scored 20 points in NSU's season opener and is capable of making a huge impact on this team, logged only 8 minutes and did not score.

Davidson 71, Radford 62: Told ya Sophia Aleksandravicius was no joke. The 6-4 sophomore finished with 31 points (of 11 of 16 shooting), 9 rebounds and 6 blocks as the Wildcats pulled away in the second half. The Highlanders actually shot 51 percent after intermission. They simply had no answer for Sophia A. But let's also give it up for Radford's Da'Naria Erwin Spencer, the reigning Big South Player of the Week who followed up games of 17 and 18 points with a career-high 21 Saturday. A lot of players have one big scoring game. But when you do it three times in a row, that must be who you are.

Hampton 68, Howard 52: While we thought Hampton would find a way to win, we frankly weren't expecting a whole lot of the injury-riddled Lady Pirates. But that's because we didn't know that Jericka Jenkins, the player coach David Six calls his most important, was good to go again. The 5-4 point guard, who has been sidelined by an ankle injury since the first half of Hampton's second game, had 17 points and 6 assists Saturday in a robust 40 minutes (that ankle really must be OK). And just like that, Hampton looks like Hampton again. Bet Six would like to call South Dakota State, Charlotte, Richmond and Jacksonville - the teams that beat Hampton when Fortune was unavailable - and say, hey, how 'bout a do-over? Saturday's game also marked the return, albeit briefly, of Bernadette Fortune, Hampton's other 5-4 starting guard and a preseason All-MEAC selection. Fortune logged just 7 minutes, though, so it appears as though her foot problems remain an issue.

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