Thursday, January 6, 2011

CAA, ACC and Hampton on tap

Thursday's games: 

Hampton (8-4) at Wake Forest (8-7), 7 p.m.
The Lady Pirates haven't lost since Nov. 27 and will take a seven-game winning streak into play. No chance the Deacs underestimate the Lady Pirates simply because they're from the MEAC. Last March, MEAC regular-season champ North Carolina A&T humiliated Wake Forest 73-49 in the WNIT. Hampton's Quanneisha Perry, the reigning MEAC Player of the Week, needs just 8 points to reach 1,000 for her career. The Lady Pirates are 1-10 lifetime against ACC schools, with the lone victory coming at Maryland in 1998. Hampton 66, Wake Forest 57

Miami (14-1) at Virginia (10-5), 7 p.m.
One of several interesting matchups on the opening day of ACC play. Monday's tidy 75-62 victory over Richmond boosted the Cavaliers to 8-0 at John Paul Jones Arena, and they've won 6 straight against Miami. The Hurricanes have three players capable of going off for 20-plus points, so Virginia needs to make these guys take tough shots and, more importantly, limit them to just one shot. The Cavaliers are 9-1 when they outrebound their opponent. The Hurricanes have some gaudy stats - 13-game winning streak, the top two scorers in the ACC (Riquna Williams at 19.5 ppg and Shenice Johnson at 18.3), 2nd in the nation in steals (15.6) - yet it's tough to fully evaluate them because virtually all of their success has come at home. Miami is 13-0 in Coral Gables. That's one of the benefits of playing in a BCS conference - VCU, for example, will play 13 home games all season. Virginia 77, Miami 62

Florida State (12-3) at Virginia Tech (9-5), 7 p.m. The Hokies have been playing great ball, winning four of their last five behind Shanel Harrison and Monet Tellier. In the last five games, Harrison has averaged 17.2 ppg (8-of-13 from behind the arc) and Tellier, 15.8 ppg. The Seminoles have won their last three after being on the other end of all the UConn attention; they were the Huskies 90th victim. Four starters average double figures, and they will be ready for Tech says coach Sue Semrau. "They just beat Vanderbilt and we know what a tough team they are," she said. "Our eyes are open." Florida State 75, Virginia Tech 69

James Madison (8-5, 1-0 CAA) at William and Mary (1-10, 0-1), 7 p.m.: The Tribe was one of five CAA teams to defeat the Dukes a year ago, but prolific point guard Dawn Evans sat that game out. The national scoring leader at 25.6 ppg, Evans has led JMU to three straight. Freshman Kaitlyn Mathieu has improved the Tribe's post game, but other than a win over Norfolk State, W&M hasn't been able to get it done this season. Tribe guard Taysha Pye is 16 point shy of 1,000. James Madison 80, William and Mary 67

George Mason (7-5, 1-0) at Old Dominion, (7-5, 1-0) 7 p.m.: The Lady Monarchs are at home, where they have never lost to the Patriots. ODU has won two of its last three and got a whopping 25 career-high points from post Alena Voronina in her first game back from tearing ligaments in her elbow. The teams have the same record and the Patriots have won five straight but against a much lighter schedule. Mason was also beaten by a George Washington team that ODU held to 35 points. Old Dominion 71, George Mason 55

UNC Wilmington (9-3, 1-0) at Virginia Commonwealth (6-5, 1-0) 7 p.m.: The Seahawks surprised us by upending Drexel 69-61 in their CAA opener. Wilmington has won five of six and is opening eyes in the league as its top rated defense. At home we might give this to Wilmington. On the road we like the Rams, boosted by Courtney Hurt (who leads the nation in rebounding and double-doubles) and Andrea Barbour. VCU 60, UNC Wilmington 56

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