Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday's games: NSU tries to play streak-buster again

Saturday's games

Norfolk State (8-8, 1-5 MEAC) at Morgan State (10-8, 4-2 MEAC), 2 p.m.
The Spartans wiped out one ugly streak by downing South Carolina State on Monday to snap a 24-game MEAC winless stretch (26 in you count MEAC tournament games). But another ugly streak remains intact - NSU has dropped 35 straight MEAC road games since a 69-59 win at Maryland-Eastern Shore on Jan. 3, 2007. Furthermore, their 3 conference losses this year have come by 16, 21 and 23 points. We're confident this Spartans team is good enough to finally prevail in another MEAC team's building. We're just not sure today will be the day they do it. Morgan State 67, Norfolk State 59

Richmond (13-7, 4-2 Atlantic 10) at Temple (14-6, 5-0 Atlantic 10), 2 p.m.
The Spiders can do themselves and all the other A-10 contenders a favor by bringing the red-hot Owls, winners of seven straight, back to the pack a bit. The matchup doesn't favor Richmond though, as Temple is a physical team that doesn't turn the ball over (13.2 per game, 9th in Division I). If Crystal Goring can continue her strong play (double-doubles in 3 of her last 4 games) and get help on the boards, the Spiders' starters can avoid foul trouble and Brittani Shells can shake out of a mini shooting slump, well, let's just say Richmond will need a lot of things to go right to get out of Philly with a W.  Temple 60, Richmond 57

Coastal Carolina (6-12, 0-6 Big South) at Radford (9-11, 6-1 Big South), 3 p.m.
The first-place Highlanders are off to their best Big South start in 13 years in large part because few teams in the country are as adept at taking the ball away from the other team. Radford averages 12.6 steals per game, 16th out of 333 Division I teams. Da'Naria Erwin Spencer (2.7 spg) and Brooke McElroy (2.2) are the chief thiefs, and Kahealani Vick is averaging 3.4 steals in her last five games. The Chanticleers struggle to score points anyway. With the Highlanders disrupting them, we're not sure they'll break 50. Radford 59, Coastal Carolina 49. NOTE: The Highlanders will honor Radford great Stephanie Howard at halftime. Howard scored a program-record 2,146 points from 1985-89. On Sept. 7, 1989, Howard became the first Highlander student-athlete in the program's 15-year history to have their jersey retired.

Delaware State (5-13, 1-5 MEAC) at Hampton (13-6, 6-1 MEAC), 4 p.m.
The Lady Hornets haven't just lost four straight games. They've lost four straight games at home. The last time they played on the road, they managed just 35 points in a 12-point loss at South Carolina State. Long story short, we like Hampton in this one. Hampton 69, Delaware State 53

Liberty (11-8, 5-1 Big South) at Winthrop (9-9, 3-3 Big South), 7 p.m.
The last time the Lady Flames visited Winthrop, they established a program record for fewest points allowed in a 52-18 rout. These Lady Eagles aren't those Lady Eagles, though. Winthrop has won 7 of its last 10 games and two weeks ago did something Liberty could not - beat Radford on its home floor. Both teams can get it done defensively so Liberty may not score many more than the 52 they got last year. The difference is this time, Winthrop will score a whole lot more than 18. By the way, belated congratulations to Liberty forward Avery Warley for earning Big South Player of the Week honors. The redshirt junior averaged 14.5 points and 14.5 rebounds in a pair of Liberty victories.  Liberty 58, Winthrop 55

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