Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hampton, Radford open seasons today

After Friday's full court press of activity, just two season openers on the docket today:

Hampton at Pittsburgh, 2 p.m.
The first of five straight road games for the Lady Pirates, who won't play at home until Dec. 3 (Ironically, Pitt will spend the entire month of November at home). The Panthers, the only Division I team without any juniors or seniors, are billing themselves as the youngest team in Division I. The Lady Pirates have a lot of fresh faces, too, most notably forward Alyssa Bennett and transfer Ariel Phelps. In All-American Jericka Jenkins, Choicetta McMillian and Melanie Warner, the Lady Pirates return a strong nucleus from last season's runaway MEAC champions. But this is clearly a different team, and it remains to be seen how long it will take for the newcomers to assimilate and allow this team to reach its significant potential. Hampton teams are an impressive 17-10 in road games in Six's two seasons, including 11-4 last year. Also, Pitt wasn't terribly impressive in its lone exhibition. These Lady Pirates aren't what they're going to be, but we think they still have enough to get out of Pitt with a win today. Hampton 62, Pitt 57

Eastern Mennonite at Radford, 3 p.m.
Expectations are high at Eastern Mennonite, where the Royals return four starters from a 15-11, fifth-place ODAC squad. But let's be honest, the Highlanders scheduled this game with the idea of ensuring a strong, victorious season opener. Given they'll be breaking in six newcomers, we can't say we blame them. Here's hoping they all get significant chances to get their feet wet today. Radford 68, Eastern Mennonite 47

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