Sunday, February 13, 2011

Liberty, Hampton prevail, maintain conference leads

Saturday's results

Liberty 56, Gardner-Webb 51: The Lady Flames used a superior rebounding effort to close out the Runnin' Bulldogs and widen their Big South lead. Avery Warley grabbed 20 boards, the most by a Liberty player since 1992, as the Lady Flames won the battle of the boards 65-34. Of course, it takes a lot of missed shots to produce those kinds of numbers, and the fact that both teams shot 33 percent from the field and less than 45 percent from the line reveals that each team tossed its share of bricks. But the Lady Flames got just enough key baskets, including a layup by Jelena Antic with 1:42 remaining that gave Liberty a 54-49 lead and effectively eliminated the ice-cold Bulldogs. Tomu Omatola scored 17 points and Devon Brown added 16 for Liberty (15-8, 9-1 Big South), which won its season-high 6th straight and moved a game and a half ahead of idle Radford atop the Big South.

St. Joseph's 71, Richmond 61: Result spoiled a superior effort by Spiders center Crystal Goring, who poured in a season-high 22 points on 9-of-15 shooting and had 8 assists. Richmond (15-10, 6-5 Atlantic 10) also got 16 points from Abby Oliver and 12 from Brittani Shells. But the Spiders struggle to contain the Hawks, who shot 52 percent in the second half and used two key runs after the break to pull away. The second of those runs, a 9-0 spurt after the Spiders had pulled to within 54-53, sealed the decision. The loss was Richmond's fifth in seven games, with all the defeats coming against quality A-10 teams. But the Spiders should have good opportunities to win their final three conference games - home contests against George Washington and Saint Louis and a road game at LaSalle.

Hampton 74, Norfolk State 53: On Jan. 15, Hampton hosted Norfolk State and won by 21 points. Saturday,  Hampton traveled to Norfolk State and won by 21 points. The Spartans can argue they're not really 21 points worse than Hampton, but, well, actually, at this point they can't. Jericka Jenkins scored 22 points and Choicetta McMillian hit 6 3-pointers and notched 20 points for the MEAC-leading Lady Pirates (18-6, 10-1 MEAC), who won their sixth straight and 10th in a row against NSU. Marian Brooks (11 points) was the only player in double figures for the Spartans (8-13, 1-10 MEAC).

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