Monday, January 17, 2011

Big nights for Radford, Hampton

We bow our heads to Hampton, shake our heads about Norfolk State and offer this heads up about Radford: These guys are pretty good!

Radford 62, Liberty 53
A year ago the Highlanders (7-11, 4-1) lost three times to this team, including a 66-33 drubbing. Radford hadn't won in Lynchburg since '96, and suffered a disappointing performance against Winthrop over the weekend and trailed by nine at the break of this one. We don't know why we're telling you any of this, because Radford flattened Liberty (9-8, 3-1) in the second half. The Highlanders outscored the Flames by 20 in the period, using a 20-4 run in the final 4:43 to change their bad karma at the Vines Center. Eight of Liberty's 29 turnovers came in the final 5:36. Da'Naria Erwin-Spencer had 15 points on an off shooting night, but nailed all six of her foul shots. Radford nailed its final 10 free throws, and suddenly looks like a real contender in this league. Liberty's Devon Brown was limited to 6 points. "I'm really proud of this team," said Radford coach Tajama Abraham Ngongba. "I'm really proud of our defensive effort. We were down 14 points and we could have folded."

 Howard 65, Norfolk State 43
In Burr Gymnasium, brrrr for the Spartans. Twenty-one percent against Howard? (no offense, but the Bison defense isn't exactly Duke). Sarah Daily, Rae Corbo and Whitney Long finished a combined 3 of 26. The Spartans had 5 assists. This is a disappointing effort for NSU, which had some momentum going into the MEAC with a winning nonconference record. Spartans need to find the fuel in a hurry as this conference season is starting to resemble the futile last two years.

Hampton 71, North Carolina A&T 36
What figured to be a tough challenger in the MEAC turned into a pushover for the Pirates. Can NSU borrow Nicole Hamilton? Because if you want to talk about instant offense, this girl is it, scoring 23 in this one. The freshman from Phoebus High was the lone player for either team in double figures. Jaleesa Sams, averaging 15 for the Aggies, was held to seven.

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