Sunday, February 6, 2011

James Madison alone atop CAA standings; George Mason, VCU also win

James Madison is alone atop the CAA.

Seven games on Sunday (counting the Super Bowl) and we picked three of 'em wrong. Our apologies to George Mason, which topped Hofstra.......As for upsets, we sure would not have picked Georgia State over Wilmington, but the Panthers shot 54 percent to knock the Seahawks out of first. That means, as Eric Carmen would sing, JMU is "All by Myself" in first place in the CAA.

That's because........

James Madison 67, Old Dominion 58
Dukes (17-6, 10-1)  control their own destiny in the CAA and seized control of the conference before 6,099 at the Convo Center. Dawn Evans had something to do with it, scoring 25 with 6 boards and 6 assists and nailing the free throws when ODU had whittled a 20-point deficit down to four. After the opening minutes, the Dukes looked like they owned this game and were on their way to a comfortable win but weathered an 18-5 Lady Monarch run that made it a 4-point game with 1:39 left. Evans was then called for a 5-second violation only to have ODU blow the opportunity when Jasmine Parker turned it over with 2 seconds left on the shot clock. Evans connected on a pair from the line, and ODU (15-7, 9-2) never scored again. Kquanise Byrd attempted two 3s that failed to fall and Evans blocked a Parker shot, leaving Parker without a field goal (0-of-8) in the game. Tia Lewis scored 18 for ODU, but where was everybody else?  Eight straight wins for JMU, the defending  champion in this conference tournament.

VCU 82, Northeastern 55
Courtney Hurt plus Andrea Barbour plus Sonia Johnson equals 21 plus 17 plus 16 -- that's already 54 for a Rams team that got better as the game went along. We know it's Super Bowl Sunday, but the attendance listed is 64. Guess folks in Boston are still interested in the Super Bowl minus Tom Brady.

Towson 66, William and Mary 55
Three players in double figures vs. two players in double figures. That's essentially what this came down to as the miserable season continues for the Tribe (2-19, 1-10 CAA). One day after her birthday, Taysha Pye scored 18 and the Tribe hit all six free throws, but they don't have enough offense to pick up wins.

George Mason 76, Hofstra 70
Heck of an offensive output by the Patriots (14-8, 6-5 CAA), who had four players in double figures led by Brittany Poindexter with 20. GMU, which has now won four of six, shot 47 percent and nabbed eight more rebounds.

Wake Forest 60, Virginia Tech 55
The Demon Deacons dominated the free-throw line and send the hapless Hokies (9-14) to an 0-9 conference mark in front of nearly 3,000 in Blacksburg. With an ACC sked that reads at Clemson, NC State, at Duke, at Maryland and Virginia, we're not confident in Tech producing a conference win this season.

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