Sunday, January 16, 2011

ODU stays alone atop CAA standings; VCU, JMU, Virginia, Richmond win

Sunday's results:

Old Dominion 62, Delaware 59
What did we say, 60-59? The real pat on the back belongs to Kquanise Byrd, who scored a game-high 22 to keep the Lady Monarchs (11-5, 5-0) all by their lonesome atop the CAA. Jasmine Parker picked up two fouls in the initial three minutes and ODU bricked its way to an 18-point first half, but the good news there was Delaware only had 22 by the break. Strange game in that after Russia, Byrd, Parker and Tia Lewis, only one Lady Monarch had a field goal. Shadasia Green was a ghastly 0 of 5 and ODU did not have a 3-pointer despite nine attempts. You know what? They won on the road against a decent Blue Hen team, albeit one that desperately misses the ailing Elena Delle Donne. VCU next on Thursday when Wendy tries for her 600th at The Ted.

Drexel 59, William and Mary 58
We guess the Tribe (1-14, 0-5) didn't get the wire we sent about watching out for the 3. Because, man oh man, when you're up a deuce, the last thing you want to do is let Kamile Nacickaite get open beyond the arc. But that's the drama that unfolded at Kaplan Arena, as Nacickaite nailed a buzzer-beating 3 to spoil the Tribe's chances for winning their first league game. So many chances for the Tribe, which missed grabbing the loose ball with six seconds left (inbounds pass went to Nacickaite). Taysha Pye also missed a free throw that would have put W&M up four in the waning seconds. Hang in there, Tribe. We know it will come.

James Madison 83, George Mason 54:
Still no Lauren Jimenez for JMU, which shook off the Patriots with relative ease behind 24 from someone named Evans. Nikki Newman scored 10 off the bench in JMU's most lopsided win of the season.

VCU 79, Northeastern 58:
The Rams (9-6, 4-1 CAA) never trailed and it wasn't just Courtney Hurt, who inflicted 19 points and 13 rebounds of damage. Andrea Barbour added a career-best 17. VCU led by 21 at the half and Northeastern never threatened. "I thought our team did a great job responding today after Thursday's loss at Towson," said VCU Head Coach Beth Cunningham. "Our biggest challenge coming into today was how we were going to respond.  Our kids came out and played what might have been our best [first half] of the season." Should be a fun date with ODU on Thursday.

Virginia 54, Penn 45
We thought the Cavs (11-8) might score more here, but Chelsea Shine scored plenty with 20 (hey, that rhymes). What looked routine became a game again with three minutes left when the Quakers cut this thing to 3. But Penn didn't score again, allowing Virginia to stay perfect at 9-0 over nonconference opponents at home.

Duke 57, Virginia Tech 43
Much like we warned Debbie Taylor about the 3 from Drexel, we warned the Hokies about that pesky Blue Devil defense and a kid named Jasmine Thomas. OK, so Thomas only  got 12. And Tech did hold Duke starters to a mere 28 points. Trouble was the Hokies (9-9, 0-4 ACC) couldn't find their own offense, shooting 32 percent for the game and going to the free-throw line just four times.

Richmond 66, Rhode Island 53
Abby Oliver scored 24 and Brittani Shells 17 to keep the Spiders (12-5, 3-0) perfect in the Atlantic 10. Crystal Goring had her seventh double-double of the season, and Richmond turned it over just 12 times. After shooting an ugly 27 percent in the first half, Richmond surged to 64 percent in the second. That explains why the Spiders led by just one at the break, but the second half was all Richmond.

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