Wednesday, January 26, 2011

JMU-Drexel highlights Thursday's CAA slate

First of all, congratulations to Dawn Evans for being nominated one of 10 finalists for the Lowe's Senior Class Award. Now, UConn's Maya Moore is also a finalist, so our first thought was, well, that's that. But the Lowe's Award "focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platforms in athletics to make a positive impact in their communities." No disrespect to Marvelous Maya, but we don't think anyone has done that last part as well as Evans. 

So if you think Dawn Evans better get that award, say, Ho! (Ho!)
Say Ho, Ho! (Ho, Ho!)
Somebody scream!

Oops, thought there was a party up in here for a minute. Seriously, fan voting is part of the deal, so click here to vote for Dawn. 

And now, for Thursday's games:

Georgia Tech (17-5, 5-1 ACC) at Virginia Tech (9-10, 0-5), 7 p.m.
The Hokies may not be able to beat Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets have won 14 of their last 15 games - the loss was to undefeated Duke - and this week finally cracked the AP Top 25. But there's a lot the Hokies can do. On Sunday, they were humiliated in a 72-37 loss at Virginia a tearful coach Beth Dunkenberger called "rock bottom." So tonight, the Yellow Jackets can't stop the Hokies from using whatever soul-searching they engaged in after the UVa. debacle to play as hard as they can possibly play. To exhibit the level of teamwork they've practiced and preached about since September. And to leave everything they have on the Cassell Coliseum hardwood, for themselves, Hokie Nation and the sitting-on-the-hotseat coach that brought them to Blacksburg in the first place. No,VTech may not have it in them to beat GTech. But a lot of what the Hokies need to do tonight - what they owe it to a lot of people to do tonight - is totally within their control. Georgia Tech 61, Virginia Tech 57

James Madison (13-6, 6-1 CAA) at Drexel (12-6, 4-3 CAA), 7 p.m.
A game with the methodical Dragons is almost guaranteed to come down to the final possession - prior to Sunday's 69-57 victory over Hofstra, Drexel had played four straight games decided by three points or less or in overtime. The one game that required the extra period was a 77-73 loss to these Dukes in Harrisonburg on Jan. 13. Drexel's Hollie Mershon tossed in a miracle 3-pointer at the buzzer to force overtime. The Dukes prevailed despite the absence of senior center Lauren Jimenez, who sat out with concussion-like symptoms. Jimenez has averaged 17.7 points and 7.5 rebounds in two games since her return, and her presence in the lineup tonight should allow the Dukes to hit the road and take down the Dragons again. But naturally, it'll be a close call. JMU 66, Drexel 64

Old Dominion (12-6, 6-1 CAA) at William and Mary (2-15, 1-6), 7 p.m.
The Lady Monarchs don't have many of their fabulous streaks of success against CAA foes left. But this one remains intact - ODU has won 50 straight games against the Tribe, the second-longest active such streak behind Stanford's 51 straight games reign over Washington State. We don't see that one ending any time soon, and while the Tribe snapped one streak (9 straight losses) on Sunday against George Mason, their run of futility against the Lady Monarchs seems likely to live on. ODU 66, William and Mary 52

Georgia State (7-11, 2-5 CAA) at Virginia Commonwealth (10-7, 5-2 CAA), 4 p.m.
Earning a split in games at Old Dominion and James Madison last week was nice work. What haunts the Rams - and the reason they're a game back of the three conference leaders, was that loss at Towson two weeks ago. VCU can't afford any more slip-ups in games they can win. The Panthers are a solid defensive team but have been held to 48 points or less in their last two games and in four of their seven CAA contests. VCU has too much firepower for these guys, especially at home. VCU 65, Georgia State 49

George Mason (8-10, 2-5 CAA) at Delaware (11-7, 4-3 CAA), 7 p.m.
Even without Elena Delle Donne, the Blue Hens have been a tough out. Only UNC Wilmington has had their way with them; their other conference losses are by three points to Old Dominion and three points at Drexel. Meanwhile, the Patriots simply haven't been able to get it done on the road; Sunday's 12-point loss at one-win William and Mary was Mason's seventh straight away loss since a 5-point victory over UMass in the Nov. 12 season opener.  Delaware 58, George Mason 52

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