Saturday, November 12, 2011

The opening night wrap-up

Quick takes on Friday's cavalcade of action:

No. 10 Georgetown 56, Longwood 45: It's not too often the losing team gets most of the attention in an Associated Press game story, but the Lancers deserved the love after standing up to the mighty Hoyas. “Moral victories? No,” coach Bill Reinson said. “But I told the girls in the locker room just now that they need to feel as good as they possibly can about losing a game because they came out and they battled from beginning to end.”

High Point 82, VCU 67: We'd heard High Point had an improved team, but we definitely didn't see this coming. Evidently neither did Rams coach Beth Cunningham. "We didn't defend like we're capable of defending; we didn't rebound like we're capable of rebounding," the coach said. "All the things that we need to fix, and that we talked about coming into this game, I feel like we know because we're better than this."

William and Mary 85, Cornell 54: Talk about a butt-whuppin'. And to think, with 1:50 left in the first half, this was a tie game. Leading the way for the Tribe was Janine Aldridge, who scored 24 points on 9-of-11 shooting (5-of-6 from 3-point range). And they did all this damage without All-CAA guard Taysha Pye, who was suspended for violating team rules according to the school newspaper. No word on when Pye's suspension will be up.

Liberty 61, UNC Greensboro 46: We figured Lady Flames coach Carey Green would ease freshman point guard Reagan Miller into battle. Green figured Miller (17 points) could handle all 40 minutes in her first college game. Guess that's why he's the coach, and we're sitting behind keyboards. Also, we'd almost forgotten just how much damage a healthy Devon Brown (20 points) can do. Thanks for the reminder, Devon.

Virginia Tech 77, Old Dominion 65: Looks like when Tech coach Dennis Wolff told us Monet Tellier (29 points) had a great preseason, he wasn't just whistling Hokie. Got the sense Wolff wasn't quite sure what to expect from this group in the opener, and understandably so. Have to believe he liked what he saw. As for Old Dominion, we were expecting an in-your-face pressure defense that would cause problems for the Tech guards. But the Hokies only turned it over 13 times. Nice debut by Ashley Betz-White (22 points, 5-of-8 from 3). Hope Jackie Cook (4 minutes) isn't hurt too badly.

Virginia 80, Appalachian State 48: In a way this is kind of what you expect when the Southern Conference visits the ACC. Still, given how much new stuff the Cavaliers have had to digest since the arrival of Joanne Boyle, they deserve big props for opening up the campaign in such a clean, emphatic way.

Richmond 56, Navy 39: Welcome back, Rachael Bilney (12 points, 7 rebounds and 4 steals in her first game after sitting out last year with an ACL injury).

Norfolk State 80, Texas Southern 58: Spartans, we weren't sure how you were going to explain losing that exhibition to Elizabeth City State. Now you don't have to. Rae Corbo went off for 26 points and three of her teammates also scored in double figures as the Spartans posted their highest point total in three years.

James Madison 81, Quinnipiac 73: In the rush to anoint the next great Dukes star this preseason, we weren't hearing the name Lauren Whitehurst too often. So consider the 17 points she produced Friday as her way of saying, "Hey, y'all, don't forget about me."

American 55, George Mason 51: We rarely worry about defense with these Patriots, but we often wonder if they can find enough points. Obviously, we're still wondering. I mean, Amber Easter gets 20 points (and 12 boards) and Taleia Moton adds 19, and the whole team finishes with 51?

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