Saturday, February 19, 2011

Liberty visits Radford in key Big South matchup

Saturday's games

Liberty (16-8, 10-1 Big South) at Radford (10-13, 7-3 Big South), 3 p.m
The Highlanders rallied from a 15-point second-half deficit to stun the Lady Flames 62-53 in Lynchburg on Jan. 17. Liberty has been unbeatable since, rolling up 7 straight wins in often-dominant fashion. Radford, meanwhile, comes in on a 2-game losing streak. The Highlanders average 13.1 steals per game - nearly 3 more per contest than any other Big South team - and in the teams' first meeting, Radford forced 29 Liberty turnovers, 21 in the second half. If Radford can create that kind of havoc with the Lady Flames offense again, they can set themselves up for another win. If not, Liberty's superiority inside and on the boards should carry the day. This is Radford's Pink Zone Game to promote breast cancer awareness, and it's also Radford's Senior Day. The Highlanders will honor Kaylyn Crosier, Ciara Hayes, Brooke McElroy and Denay Wood prior to tip-off. Liberty 62, Radford 53

George Washington (8-17, 3-8 Atlantic 10) at Richmond (15-10, 6-5 Atlantic 10), 2 p.m.
The Spiders have won five straight in the series, including 68-55 decision at GW on Jan.8 in the teams' A-10 opener. The Colonials led that game by five at halftime, but Brittani Shells scored 19 of her game-high 30 points after the break to rally the Spiders. Shells ranks second in the A-10 in scoring (19.4 ppg) and enters this game 47 points shy of 2,000 for her career. The Colonials are coming off an 89-34 shellacking by Temple on Wednesday. Prior to that game, though, GW had won 3 of 4 by playing much tougher defense. Richmond 73, George Washington 56

Norfolk State (8-14) at North Carolina Central (4-21), 2 p.m.
The Spartans appear to be a team that has hit the collective wall as they have lost six straight and each of the last four have come by at least 17 points. But if they can re-discover the competitive form they displayed in throughout November and December, they can find some success today and Monday night at South Carolina State. The Spartans scored wins over both teams over a three-day span in January at Echols Arena. Of course, road wins have been elusive for NSU. Also, the Lady Eagles are coming off their best two-game stretch of the season, as they snapped a 13-game losing streak last weekend by beating Coppin State and Morgan State. Norfolk State 61, N.C. Central 53

Longwood (6-18) at Cal State-Bakersfield (15-11), 5 p.m.
The Lancers used a 14-3 run over the game's final 4-plus minutes to upend the Roadrunners 77-65 when these teams met in Farmville on Feb. 2. But Longwood is just 1-11 on the road this season, and this is about as long a road trip as a Virginia team can take and still be in the continental U.S. Cal State-Bakersfield 75, Longwood 65

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