Friday, March 11, 2011

So much tournament action, so little time....

First, a few idle thoughts after a full day of tournament hoops....

Tiny hardware
The CAA Player of the Year award is a big deal, right? So how come the trophy is so small?

In notching her 17th double-double of the season, Liberty's Avery Warley grabbed as many rebounds (19) as the entire Coastal Carolina team. Tell us again why Warley wasn't Big South Player of the Year?

Tough day for No. 2 seeds, as Old Dominion (CAA), Radford (Big South) and Morgan State (MEAC) all bit the dust.

Fans at the MEAC tournament can also enjoy the conference cheerleading championships, a jazz show, and old-school party, a Hall of Fame brunch, a college fair and several other activities. What do the fans at the CAA Tournament do when the ball stops bouncing? And isn't that a big part of the where-are-all-the-fans problem?

Hey, Lauren Jimenez, that was a pretty good Dawn Evans impression you did from the 3-point stripe today. Now, can you do Obama?

VCU senior Jessica Taylor averaged 4.2 points and 2.4 rebounds this season. She racked up season highs of 17 points and 11 rebounds today. Young lady really doesn't want her season to end, does she?

Hampton's Jericka Jenkins is to coach David Six as the blanket is to Linus. Even with a 24-point lead against Coppin State, less than a minute to play and four other reserves on the floor, Six still had his starting point guard out there running the show. Strange, huh? Then again, when we remember what Hampton looked like when Jenkins sat out those four early season games, Six may have a point after all.

Radford shot just 22 percent in its 59-38 Big South quarterfinal loss to Winthrop. What a terrible time to have your worst shooting night of the year.

And finally, just noticed that McNeese State beat Central Arkansas to win the Southland Conference tournament. Norfolk State beat both of those teams. So that's NSU's problem - the Spartans are playing in the wrong conference!

Friday's results
CAA quarterfinals
No.1 James Madison 70, No. 9 Georgia State 51: It wasn't pretty. But a 19-point win before 2 p.m. and spending the rest of the day letting the other teams tire themselves out? The Dukes will take it.

No. 4 VCU 87, No. 5 Hofstra 75: On this day, VCU's Big Two was a Big Three thanks to senior Jessica Taylor.

No. 7 Delaware 72, No. 2 Old Dominion 55: Elena Delle Donne went for 31 points and 10 rebounds in this surprisingly one-sided affair.

No. 3 UNC Wilmington 63, No. 6 Drexel 51: The transformation of UNCW hoops continues as the Seahawks reach the semifinals for the first time since 2002.

MEAC semifinals
No. 1 Hampton 70, No. 5 Coppin State 46: Lady Pirates cruise to their 12th straight win; 7 of those victories have come by at least 20 points.

No. 6 Howard 55, No. 2 Morgan State 51:  The Lady Bears focused on stopping MEAC Player of the Year Saadia Doyle; Howard guard Cheyenne Curley-Payne made them pay by scoring a game-high 18 points.

Big South quarterfinals
No. 1 Liberty 51, No. 8 Coastal Carolina 44 - Freshman Emily Frazier splashed a huge 3-pointer during a dominant final 3 minutes for the Lady Flames, who needed to rally for their 36th straight victory over the Chanticleers.
No. 4 High Point 77, No. 5 Charleston Southern 49 - Tournament hosts gave semifinal foe Liberty plenty to worry about with a devastatingly effective wire-to-wire effort.

No. 7 Winthrop 59, No. 2 Radford 38 - The Highlanders made just 5 of 33 field goal attempts in the second half; outgoing Winthrop coach Bud Childers lives to coach another day.

No. 3 Gardner-Webb 69, No. 6 UNC Asheville 58: First-team All-Big South guard Dominique Hudson leads the way with 23 points and 10 assists.

Saturday's schedule
MEAC final, 
Joel Coliseum, Winston-Salem, N.C.
Hampton vs. Howard, 5 p.m.

CAA semifinals,
Show Place Arena, Upper Marlboro, Md.
No. 1 James Madison (24-7) vs. No. 4 VCU (19-10), noon
No. 3 UNC Wilmington (23-7) vs. No. 7 Delaware (19-12), 2:30 p.m.

Big South semifinals, 
Millis Center, High Point
No. 1 Liberty (21-9) vs. No. 4 High Point (16-14), 4 p.m.
No. 3 Gardner-Webb (21-10) vs. No. 7 Winthrop (13-17), 6 p.m.

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