Sunday, February 13, 2011

Virginia stuns Maryland; ODU outduels UNCW

James Madison remains in first and Old Dominion separated itself from UNC Wilmington atop the CAA standings. Meanwhile, in the ACC, could Virginia be rounding into a dangerous team come tournament time?

Sunday's results

Virginia 60, No. 12 Maryland 57: Hard to imagine a better two-game sequence by the Cavaliers, who followed up Thursday's buzzer-beating win in four overtimes at N.C. State by staring down the nationally ranked Terrapins in their own building. Ariana Moorer, who hit the game-winner at N.C. State, led Virginia with 17 points and Whitny Edwards added 13 points. The result also allowed the Cavaliers (15-12, 4-7 ACC) to avenge last month's overtime loss to Maryland and provided a showcase for how much this team has developed in the time since. In that game, the Cavaliers were in position to win by couldn't seal the deal. On Sunday - and for that matter, in Thursday's game, too - Moorer, Simone Egwu, Ataira Franklin and finally Edwards all made plays in the final three minutes so the Cavaliers could pull this one out.

CAA standings
James Madison         19-6   12-1
Old Dominion           17-7   11-2
UNC Wilmington      18-6   10-3
VCU                        14-9     9-4
Delaware                  15-9     8-5
Hofstra                     14-10   6-7
Drexel                      14-10   6-7
George Mason         11-13   5-8
Georgia State           10-14   5-8
Northeastern             8-16    3-10
Towson                    8-16    2-11
William and Mary     2-21    1-12

James Madison 53, George Mason 40: One look at that score tells you that this wasn't pretty. But one of the main reasons JMU has won 10 straight is that even when the Dukes throw in an offensive clunker, they play enough defense to prevail anyway. This time they survived a 32.8 percent shooting performance by holding the Patriots to a measly 24.1 percent effort. Lauren Jimenez scored 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting, but hers are the only offensive numbers worth citing, for either team. If Kenny Brooks wanted to be mean, he could make his players watch film of only their offensive sequences in Sunday's game. Then again, they've won 10 straight. Give 'em a break, coach.

Old Dominion 68, UNC Wilmington 60: Cynthia Cooper-Dyke's Seahawks are for real, gang, but the Lady Monarchs still made it 42-for-42 against UNCW with the type of gritty, poised-under-pressure performance that has become their signature in 2010-11. An aggressive Shadasia Green came out looking for her offense and found it often enough to produce a game-high 19 points. Russia Voronina attacked decisively in the low post and added 17 points, although for some reason, she didn't attempt a shot after the 14:34 mark of the second half. Tia Lewis chipped in 14 points and hit two huge free throws to bump ODU's advantage to 5 with 57 seconds left. Also, the Lady Monarchs had their way on the offensive glass (20 o-boards) and harassed UNCW into 21 turnovers. Yet it took all of this to hold off the new-and-improved Seahawks. Led by Brittany Blackwell, smooth lefty Martha White and talented pint-sized point guard Alisha Andrews (think Jazzmin Walters 2.0), the Seahawks pestered ODU throughout and forced the Lady Monarchs to come up with the goods over the final two minutes. You got the sense that the Seahawks left the Constant Center thinking, you know what, guys, we should have won this game. They certainly gave it a great shot, though. For now, though, they're still 0-for-Old Dominion.

VCU 85, Hofstra 76: Nice bounce-back effort by the Rams, who responded to Thursday's 20-point home loss to JMU by outrunning the run-and-gun Pride. Courtney Hurt had 26 points and 15 rebounds for her NCAA-leading - and VCU school-record - 19th double-double, Andrea Barbour added 15 points and Jennifer Lane chipped in 10 for the Rams, who also overwhelmed Hofstra with a plus-21 rebounding advantage.

Delaware 70, William and Mary 66 (OT): Moral victories don't count, of course, but at least it's clear that even after so many things have gone wrong, the Tribe still has plenty of fight left. Funny, but we almost picked William and Mary to win this game because they always seem to play the Blue Hens tough in Williamsburg. So we weren't surprised to see the Tribe use a season-high 9 3-pointers to position themselves for a victory. Given the way their season has gone, though, it unfortunately also wasn't surprising to see their effort fall just short. Elena Delle Donne scored 33 points - a total bolstered by a 17-of-19 effort from the free throw line - to drop the Tribe to 0-3 in overtime games this season. Emily Correal led the Tribe with 13 points, Taylor Hilton added 12 and Taysha Pye and Katherine DeHenzel each had 9 for William and Mary.

Other CAA scores
Drexel 70, Northeastern 63
Georgia State 67, Towson 56

Savannah State 60, Longwood 34: Whoa. Not sure what happened here, but the Lancers were held to 22.1 percent shooting and produced a season-low point total. We weren't surprised when Maryland held them to 38 points. But 34 points against Savannah State? Maybe it was just one of those days....

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