Saturday, February 26, 2011

Norfolk State, Hampton, Radford, Richmond, Liberty (phew!); everybody's a winner

It was a day when everybody's a winner and we like those days at LadySwish.

Saturday's results:

Norfolk State 66, Morgan State 65
We of little faith picked the Bears (15-11, 9-5) and are glad to be proven wrong by the Spartans, who broke a month-long losing streak. Sarah Daily's jumper with nine seconds left was the gamewinner in a contest that entertained folks with 12 lead changes and three ties. Mahala Thomas, who already had 25, could have won it on a final shot, but it didn't fall and celebration NSU ensued. It was a balanced effort by the Spartans, with nine of 10 players getting into the scoring column led by Rae Corbo's 20. The Bears had won seven straight in this series and had plenty to play for as the MEAC's second-place team, so all credit goes to the Spartans (9-16, 2-12) for the feel-good victory.

Richmond 68, St. Louis 57
Brittani Shells is now the second leading scorer in Spiders history and has 2,006 points for her career with 17 of those coming in this one. (Spider man Kevin Anderson also joined the 2,000-point club on Saturday, scoring 20 in a victory over Charlotte.) Shells also became the school's all-time leading steals leader, having passed Jackie Israel, with two today. What was becoming a rout didn't exactly unravel into a nailbiter when St. Louis used a 10-0 run to cut it to 13 in the second half, but the rally was halted there. It's unfortunate that only 545 showed up for Senior Day, and speaking of those seniors, Crystal Goring had eight with 5 rebounds and Kara Powell scored four. SLU shot just 18 percent in the first half; Richmond ends the regular season at 18-10, 9-5 in the A-10, giving the Spiders a five-way for third.

Radford 81, Charleston Southern 78 OT
The Highlanders had a three-point advantage with 7.1 seconds left when Helen Terry stole the inbounds pass and dished off to Anicia Dotson, who picked up the assist when Kelsey Wasmer swished in a triple to force OT. Radford trailed by six 3:10 into the extra period but rallied behind Breshara Gordon and Kahealani Vick, who sealed it with free throws. The line is where the Highlanders (12-14, 9-4 Big South) made their money despite a ragged effort (23-of-41); Charleston Southern earned just six points there. The win coupled with Gardner-Webb's 73-65 loss to Presbyterian puts Radford in second place, for now at least. The Highlanders and Bulldogs play in North Carolina on March 6 (Highlanders won 57-50 on Jan. 8.)

Liberty 64, Coastal Carolina 44
The Lady Flames (18-8, 12-1) survived nine 3s from the Chanticleers to win their ninth straight. Liberty, which clinched a share of the Big South regular season title, limited Coastal Carolina to 28 percent shooting and won for the 15th straight time in Kimbel Arena, which will no longer be after this season. Liberty has held nine straight opponents below 60 points.

Hampton 77, Delaware State 64
Maybe it's just us, but we'd like to see Jericka Jenkins have a seat on occasion given the Pirates have wrapped up the MEAC already. But David Six sees it differently and he knows better than us. Jenkins played 40 minutes and scored 13 with 9 assists as Hampton (21-6, 14-1) cruised to its ninth straight win. Nice effort for Keiara Avant, who came off the bench for 15 points and seven rebounds.

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