Sunday, January 23, 2011

Spiders fall to Dayton; Hampton stunned by Bethune-Cookman

Saturday's games

Dayton 66, Richmond 55: The Spiders have played so well so often you had to figure they were due for "one of those nights." Granted, senior center Crystal Goring displayed star-stuff with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Otherwise, the best shooting team in the Atlantic 10 missed layups, free throws (6 of their 9 in the first half) and 3-point shots (13 of their 15 for the game and all 10 in the second half) en route to a season-low 32.2 percent field-goal shooting. Richmond coach Michael Shafer suggested his players had tired legs after a week in which they played at Rhode Island and Duquesne before Saturday's game at the Robins Center. We'll buy that, but these same Spiders played with tremendous energy on defense, causing 22 turnovers and harassing the Flyers into a subpar shooting night themselves. Richmond couldn't do anything about Dayton's free throw shooting, though. The Flyers split their first two, made 20 straight, finally missed another one then connected on their final 8. The loss was the Spiders' first at home and dropped Richmond (13-6, 4-1 A-10) into third place behind Xavier (5-0) and Temple (4-1) in the A-10 standings. Then again, no one expected Richmond to run the A-10 table. The key now will be to rebound quickly with Charlotte due in on Wednesday. Given how well the Spiders have recovered after their previous losses, there's little reason to think they won't do so again.

Bethune-Cookman 55, Hampton 51: With 11:26 remaining in the second half, Jericka Jenkins nailed Hampton's 7th 3-pointer in 13 attempts and boosted the Lady Pirates' lead to 17 at 45-28. So how did Hampton (12-6, 5-1 MEAC) manage only 5 more points? By going 0-for-10 from the field, 0-for-5 from 3-point range and 5-for-13 from the free throw line the rest of the way in a stunning collapse for any team, let alone a team of Hampton's caliber. Full credit to the Wildcats for rallying to produce their second straight win over the Lady Pirates in Daytona Beach. But up 17 with less than 12 minutes to go? This one's on Hampton.

Radford 49, Presbyterian 45: We like this comeback a lot better. Down 35-22 with 13:04 left, the Highlanders (8-11, 5-1 Big South) figured if their offense couldn't do it, their defense would. They then proceeded to force 10 turnovers and limit the Blue Hose to 1-of-9 shooting in turning the 13-point deficit into an 8-point advantage with 23 seconds left. For the game, the Highlanders scored 29 of their 49 points off 30 Presbyterian turnovers.

Norfolk State 66, N.C. Central 55: Freshman Rae Corbo scored a career-high 21 points for the Spartans (7-8), who snapped a four-game losing streak and improved to 4-2 at Echols Arena. N.C. Central, meanwhile, fell to 2-16. Remarkably - and we hate to bring this up - one of those victories was over Liberty. A key in this one was bench scoring. The Spartans got a combined 29 points from reserves Batavia Owens, Tyisha Bridges, Whitney Long and C.C. Chambers. The Eagles subs managed just 2 points.

Liberty 63, Charleston Southern 46: Another strong defensive effort from the Lady Flames (10-8, 4-1 Big South), who held the Lady Buccaneers to a season-low point total and 29-percent shooting. Avery Warley notched her fourth consecutive double-double (15 points, a season-high 16 rebounds) and Jelena Antic added 14 points and 7 boards for Liberty.

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