Monday, February 28, 2011

Big South No. 1 Liberty looks to make it official

Monday's games

Liberty (18-8, 12-1 Big South) at Charleston Southern (12-14, 6-7 Big South), 7 p.m.
The Lady Flames have won 9 straight and can clinch the top seed in the Big South Tournament with a victory tonight. Given that they've won 28 straight against Charleston Southern, we fully expect the Lady Flames to have a lot to celebrate by game's end. By the way, we read a ton of game previews from the schools in this state, and each of the schools does a fine job. But game-in and game-out, no one put out a more comprehensive look-ahead -or postgame report, for that matter - than Liberty. Lady Flames updates are always loaded with interesting nuggets, like this one:

 "During its last seven games, Liberty has done a nice job of neutralizing its opponents' top scorer, including Winthrop's Dequesha McClanahan, Gardner-Webb's Monique Hudson, High Point's Shamia Brown, Radford's Da'Naria Erwin Spencer and Coastal Carolina's Sydnei Moss. Those players are averaging just 6.1 ppg versus the Lady Flames over the last seven contests, while shooting only 20.5 percent (16-of-78) from the field."

We love learning stuff like this. But we don't imagine Charleston Southern's Katie Tull (15.7 ppg) finds this entertaining reading at all. Liberty 59, Charleston Southern 49

Radford (12-14, 9-4 Big South) at Presbyterian (9-18, 5-9 Big South), 7 p.m.
Big South Coach of the Year? How 'bout Radford's Tajama Abraham Ngongba, who has guided the Highlanders to double their win total from a year ago and has them on track for a No. 2 seed in the Big South Tournament (Radford was picked to finish 6th in the preseason). Tonight's game is no gimme, though. Presbyterian has improved almost as much as Radford, and when these teams met last month at Radford, the Highlanders had to rally from a 13-point second-half deficit to squeeze out a 59-45 decision. Radford 56, Presbyterian 50

Coppin State (10-16, 7-7 MEAC) at Norfolk State (9-16, 2-12 MEAC), 6 p.m.
The Spartans have broken many losing streaks in this renaissance season for the program. So Saturday's 66-65 victory over Morgan State sets them up with a chance to slay yet another demon - NSU has not won consecutive MEAC games since opening the 2006-07 season with victories over Hampton and Maryland-Eastern Shore. A shorthanded Coppin State team beat NSU 64-55 in Baltimore on Jan. 31. But NSU has gone 6-4 at home this season. Norfolk State 67, Coppin State 64

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