Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hoops notes: VCU, Richmond, Liberty, honor roll

We were happy - although not surprised to see James Madison's Dawn Evans, the nation's leading scorer (25.2 ppg) and one-woman Virginia vanquisher - on the Wooden Award midseason Top 20 list.

But what about VCU's Courtney Hurt? We don't want to start coming off like Hurt's press agent - VCU sports information does a fine job with that - but the Rams junior only leads the nation in rebounding (13.2 ppg) and double-doubles (12) while ranking second to Evans nationally in scoring (24.3 ppg). Sounds like a Wooden Award candidate to us.

The Wooden Award folks did note that whittling their list to 20 was especially difficult this time and that there were 6-7 others who were deserving beyond the 20 selected. Gotta believe Hurt was in that group.

So just keep ballin', Courtney. The folks at have recognized. One of these days, maybe the Wooden voters will, too.

RICHMOND: Those of you that can get the CBS College Sports channel will be able to watch tonight's 8 p.m. game between UMass (5-11, 1-0) and the Spiders (10-5, 1-0) at the Robins Center. Richmond is 4-0 at home but hasn't played in their own building since they crushed Old Dominion 65-43 on Dec. 12. Tonight's game could be a long-range shooter's delight as UMass began the week ranking 7th in Division I in 3-point percentage (39.6) while the Spiders drained 12 triples in Saturday's 68-55 victory over George Washington. The Minutewomen turn it over a lot, though, and the Spiders feast on turnovers. We think that'll be the difference. Richmond 72, UMass 60

LIBERTY: Speaking of games, we missed on Sunday when the Lady Flames moved their scheduled Monday game against UNC Asheville up a day because of weather concerns. At first we were just going to pretend it didn't happen, but that's silly. Then we thought, let's write something now and "predict" the actual score, then post it and say, "Wow, we nailed that one!'' Of course, that's even sillier.

So, three days after the fact....

Liberty 61, UNC Asheville 44: A vintage Liberty victory, featuring balanced scoring, rebounding superiority - at least in the second half - and some suffocating defense. Avery Warley led the way with 11 points and 11 rebounds, but four other Lady Flames scored between 8 and 11 points as Liberty (8-7, 3-0 Big South) won its fourth straight and moved above .500 for the first time this season.

Da'Naria Erwin Spencer, Radford: Sophomore led Radford to victories over Gardner-Webb and High Point by averaging 20.5 ppg, 6 rpg and 3 spg. The surprising Highlanders are tied with Liberty atop the Big South.

Tia Lewis, Old Dominion: Named CAA Co-Player of the Week after averaging 17 points and 11 rebounds while shooting 52.4 percent from the field in a pair of CAA victories.

Courtney Hurt, VCU: Named CAA Co-Player of the Week for the third time this season after averaging 26 ppg and 10 rpg in two games.

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