Saturday, February 26, 2011

Senior Day at Richmond; Liberty, Hampton look to continue win streaks

Saturday's previews:

Saint Louis (7-21, 1-12 Atlantic 10) at Richmond (17-10, 8-5), 2 p.m.
This should be a pretty emotional day at the Robins Center, given it is senior day for Brittani Shells, Crystal Goring, Kara Powell and Rebecca Kretchman. The four will be honored at 1:45. Shells, the program’s second-leading scorer, is just 11 points shy of the 2,000-point milestone. She would be the second-ever Spider to record 2,000 points. (All-time leading scorer Karen Elsner has 2,367 points.) Shells (remember how the conference picked her preseason second team?) is just two steals away from becoming Richmond’s all-time steals leader. Shells and Spider man (we like the sound of that) are both at 1,989 career points and could become the first pair from the same team to eclipse the 2,000-point mark on the same day. (The Spider men are at Charlotte.)  Goring is averaging a near double-double at 10.4 ppg and 9.0 rpg. Goring’s 9.0 rpg is third in the A-10. Goring has 11 career double-doubles, six of which have come this season. Powell, a redshirt senior, has played in 121 games in her career, making 118 starts. Powell has amassed 306 assists in her five years, good for 10th all-time. Kretchman played two years for the Spiders before having to be disqualifed due to an injury.As if all this isn't enough, it's Richmond's pink zone game in support of breast cancer. As for the actual game, St. Louis is 1-9 in its last 10 games and isn't likely to interfere with the Spider fanfare today. Richmond 79, St. Louis 57

Liberty (17-8, 11-1 Big South) at Coastal Carolina (9-16, 3-10), 2 p.m.
Kimbel Arena has been a home away from home for the Lady Flames, who have won 14 straight there, a streak that ends after today's game because the Chanticleers are getting a new arena for next season. The streak over Coastal is even more impressive; Liberty has won 44 straight in this series, the seventh active winning streak over a single opponent in Division I. A win today is just gravy, as Liberty has clinched the No. 1 seed in the Big South tournament. Earlier this season the Chanticleers drained eight 3s against Liberty, which prevailed 58-54. Liberty 63, Coastal Carolina 55

Radford (11-14, 8-4 Big South) at Charleston Southern (12-13, 6-6), 2 p.m.
Once upon a time, the Highlanders were on top of this conference, but are now looking to stay in third. A win over Winthrop in their last game snapped a three-game skid. They have lost three straight to the Bucs at Charleston Southern, which is 8-1 at home this season. A Highlander win coupled by a Gardner-Webb loss (the Bulldogs play Presbyterian) would lead to a tie for second between the two schools, who meet March 4.  The Chanticleers boast two of the Big South conference’s top three scorers this season. Katie Tull is currently first in the Big South in scoring with 15.4 ppg, and Kelsey Wasmer is not far behind, averaging 13.9 ppg. Tull also ranks third nationally in three-pointers made. Charleston-Southern 63, Radford 59
Morgan State (15-10, 9-4 MEAC) at Norfolk State (8-16, 1-12), 4 p.m.
NSU almost picked up what would have been a confidence-building road win when the teams met in Baltimore this season, but fell 64-60. The Bears have won seven straight in the series and are holding onto the second spot in the conference race behind Hampton. Meanwhile, the Spartans have sputtered as the season winds down, particularly on the offensive end, where they average 58.5 ppg. The Spartans haven't won since Jan. 24, which makes it hard to pick them today. Morgan State 67, Norfolk State 53

Hampton (20-6, 13-1 MEAC) at Delaware State (9-17, 5-9), 5 p.m.
If you're counting, and we are, the Pirates have won nine straight and have already clinched the top seed for the MEAC tournament. (ESPN's Charlie Creme has the Pirates a projected 15 seed in the NCAA tournament and pits them against Duke, which just doesn't seem right for a team that started this impressive season with a win at James Madison.) Hampton, winners of five straight in this series, doesn't need a victory here, but we're banking on them getting it. Hampton 69, Delaware State 49

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