Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Virginia Tech, William and Mary and ODU in action tonight

Quick thoughts on Wednesday's games:

Longwood (1-5) at William and Mary (3-2), 5 p.m.
Got a good look at the Tribe the other night. They didn't shoot the ball particularly well - credit Norfolk State for some of that - but it's clear they have a lot of ways to score and are capable of lighting up a scoreboard when everything's clicking. Norfolk State turned them over quite a bit, though, and if the Lancers can do the same, they may be able to stay in it. Otherwise, a Longwood team averaging just 49.7 points a game will be hard-pressed to keep pace. Don't want to make too big a deal of this, but...oh, what the heck. With a win tonight, the Tribe will have more wins this November than they managed last November, December, January, February and March combined (3-26). We drank the Kool-Aid on this Tribe team after the way they manhandled Virginia Tech, and we almost gagged on it Monday night when NSU almost took them down. But we saw the potential, so tonight, we're taking another swallow. William and Mary 78, Longwood 53

Old Dominion (1-6) at George Washington (2-3), 7 p.m.
This visit to the nation's capital is a relative walk across campus for a Lady Monarchs team that has already traveled to Atlanta, Stanford and the Virgin Islands. Of course, we doubt it feels that way to the players. Interesting fact about ODU freshman Ashley Betz-White: In the three games in which she's made her first shot, she's averaging 20 points on 15-of-29 shooting (51.7 percent). In the four games in which she's missed her first shot, she's averaging 4.3 points on 6-of-34 shooting. It's a small sample size, and the quality of the opponents certainly factors into the stark contrast. But just to be on the safe side, here's hoping ODU runs something to get Betz-White a good look early, just in case there's something to this. But while a strong offensive game from Betz-White will certainly help, ODU's biggest issues have been at the other end of the floor as the Lady Monarchs rank 331st out of 336 Division I teams in scoring defense (79.9 points allowed per game). The Colonials are coming off Saturday's 83-59 rout of Radford, a game in which they outscored the Highlanders 23-0 in the opening 10 minutes. GW isn't normally that potent, but the result proves the Colonials can run up a big number if ODU doesn't do something about it. As of Wednesday morning, there was no change in the status of ODU's Michelle Brandao, who is inactive while awaiting clearance from the NCAA. Finally, welcome home Chelisa Painter (George Washington sophomore and former star at Indian River High in Chesapeake. George Washington 75, Old Dominion 68

Virginia Tech (2-4) at Iowa (4-2), Big Ten/ACC Challenge, 8 p.m.
The few, the proud...the Hokies? Tuesday's announcement that reserve forward Taylor Ayers has decided to transfer leaves Tech with just eight scholarship players. We were concerned it might be down to seven upon learning that Latorri Hines-Allen was taken to a hospital after suffering an injury in Saturday's consolation game of the St. Mary's Tournament. But Hines-Allen was cleared to resume practicing this week and is listed as a probable starter in Tech's game notes. Tech enters on a three-game losing streak but gave an encouraging account of itself in Saturday's 65-64 loss to Minnesota. The Hawkeyes have gotten nice production from highly touted freshman Samantha Logic, who went for 16 points and 9 rebounds Saturday against powerful Texas A&M. Iowa crushed the Hokies 72-43 when these teams met a year ago on a neutral floor. It'll be closer this time, but on the Hawkeyes' home floor, you have to figure Iowa will prevail again. Iowa 71, Virginia Tech 56

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