Monday, December 20, 2010

Virginia visits JMU, Richmond visits W&M

Let's start with the important stuff. Tonight's Virginia-JMU game in Harrisonburg will feature fundraising for NephCure, the non-profit foundation that funds research into finding effective treatments and provides support for patients suffering from the kidney diseases FSGS (Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis) and Nephrotic Syndrome. Dukes star Dawn Evans, an ambassador for NephCure, has been suffering from FSGS since December, 2009.

NephCure Awareness bracelets will be sold at the game, with all proceeds going to the charity. Other in-game promotions will also have a NephCure theme. "Sign on for Dawn (, an online fundraising campaign, has already raised more than $3,000.

And now, the games:

Virginia (7-4) at James Madison (5-5), 7 p.m.
The players will probably say they're not focused on any rivalry. But let's face it, if you're a Cavalier you don't think you're supposed to lose to JMU, and the Dukes will want to prove that last season's 75-73 victory in Charlottesville was no fluke. Evans went for a school record-tying 38 points in that game and she's certainly capable of a night like that again. Also, Lauren Jimenez has blossomed into a real force inside. We're not sure what we're going to get from the other Dukes, though, and Evans and Jimenez by themselves probably won't be enough today just like it wasn't enough Saturday in Monmouth. By contrast, the Cavaliers' all-hands-on-deck approach has led them to a 6-0 record against non-ranked teams. Virginia 77, JMU 71

Richmond (6-4) at William and Mary (1-7), 7 p.m.
The Spiders haven't played since Dec. 12 and only once since Dec. 5 but ran roughshod over CAA teams in their last two games - an 18-point win over VCU and a 22-point rout of Old Dominion. The Tribe, on the other hand, will be playing for the third time in six days, with two of those games being decided in overtime. The Tribe are short on depth, though, so while we can see William and Mary getting off to a good start, we expect the much deeper Spiders to get better as the game goes on. Meetings between these teams date back to 1920 and it's believed to be the second-oldest currently played series in women's basketball, trailing only the Stanford-California that includes the first-even women's intercollegiate basketball game (April 4, 1896). Richmond 73, William and Mary 63


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