Saturday, January 8, 2011

Richmond, Hampton, Radford, Liberty come up big

Saturday's games:

Radford 57, Gardner-Webb 50:
We erred in our pick and our hat is off to the Highlanders (5-10, 2-0), who had the edge in shooting from the field and at the line and three fewer turnovers. Da'Naria Erwin Spencer set the tone with 17 points and 7 rebounds, and for the Bulldogs, ex-Lady Monarch Sierra Little got the start along with 15 points and seven assists. The Bulldogs were picked second in the Big South, but just like last year, Radford has a regular-season win over them.

Richmond 68, George Washington 55:
Let's see. Brittani Shells scores 30; Abby Oliver, 16. The pair of them combined for nine of the Spiders' 12 3-pointers to take this A-10 opener for both teams. Richmond (10-5, 1-0) wins sixth straight, while Colonials lose sixth straight. Shells moves into second on Richmond's all-time scoring list, surpassing Kate Flavin, who was in attendance.

Hampton 76, Coppin State 56:
Sometimes we worry about how much David Six rides his starters, but in this one, we give credit to the bench for Hampton's seventh victory in eight games. Freshman Nicole Hamilton scored a career-best 22, going 5-of-9 beyond the arc (in fact HU shot better from long distance, touting a 54 percent mark). Freshman Chikilra Goodman accounted for 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting. Give starter Quanneisha Perry some credit, too, for an 11-point, 11 rebound afternoon that made up, at least a little, for her seven turnovers. Pirates improve to 10-5, 3-0 in the MEAC.

Bethune-Cookman 52, Norfolk State 50:
Spartans (6-5, 0-2) had a chance in a game they trailed in by as many as 17 in the second half, but Sarah Daily's layup didn't fall in the waning seconds. NSU forced 17 turnovers in the second half alone, but the Wildcats shot 58 percent with Jasmine Elum scoring 22. Nice game from Rae Corbo (16 points, 5 steals, 4 assists). This one wasn't meant to be, but we believe NSU will pick up that first conference win soon.

 Liberty 51, Presbyterian 40:
Offense wasn't exactly aplenty in this one obviously (Liberty shot just 32 percent), but here's something we love to say. The Flames are tied with Radford for first in the Big South, a boost for our state. Devon Brown led Liberty (7-7, 2-0) with 13, and the Flames held the Blue Hose to six field goals in the second half.

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