Saturday, December 10, 2011

Richmond, Hampton, Radford and Liberty in action Saturday

Saturday's games:

UNC Greensboro (2-5) at Richmond (6-2), noon
The Spiders acquitted themselves reasonably well in their last outing, a 69-56 loss to a stingy Virginia team. We're never sure how a team will play in its first game after an exam break, particularly a team with a lot of young players. It should help that the Spiders are playing this game at home. The Spiders took on Virginia without freshman point guard Miah Register after the surprise announcement that she would transfer at the end of the semester. Register had started the Spiders' first seven games and was averaging 7.4 points per contest. Another freshman, Keri Soppe, started at the point against the Cavaliers, and senior Abby Oliver rotated in as lead guard as well. No reason was given for the move with Register, but after the Virginia game, Spiders coach Michael Shafer told the school's Collegian newspaper the following: "I really believe we have five kids on the floor that are on the same page. It may not have looked like it tonight in spurts, but in terms of buying in and understanding what it is we need to do, I don't question that with Abby, I don't question that with Keri." In addition to Register, the school also announced that reserve guard Leah Johnson, who played sparingly last season and had missed all of this year's games with injury, would also transfer after the fall semester. Richmond 69, UNCG 58

Radford  (4-3) vs. Wofford (6-2) in SoCon/Big South Challenge at UNC Asheville, 2 p.m.
The Highlanders have dropped their last three games by double digits, all on the road, and are 0-16 in December road games since coach Tajama Ngongba took over in 2008. The Wofford team when watched against Old Dominion Wednesday is exactly the type of team these Highlanders should be able to bother with their superior athleticism and defensive tenacity. But given their road woes, both this season and in their recent past, the Highlanders need to prove they can play like that away from home. It would help if the Highlanders can get off to a decent start, as they effectively played themselves out of losses to George Washington and Loongwood in the game's first 10 minutes. Wofford 62, Radford 53

Glenville State (6-2) at Liberty (3-5), 4 p.m.
The first of two straight games against Division II opponents for the Lady Flames. Run-and-gun Glenville State leads the nation in scoring at 101.9 points per game but has been held an average of 60 by Liberty in the teams' meetings the last two seasons.  Liberty 95, Glenville State 70

UMBC (5-4) at Hampton (6-1), 6 p.m.
In its 65-53 decision over George Mason Thursday, the Retrievers got big games from its usual stars, Michelle Kurowski and Erin Brown, but also got a big night from reserve Brittany Crowell. Hampton's defense specializes in taking stuff away from opponents, so we'd be surprised if even two of these players are able to get theirs tonight. The Lady Pirates have won four straight and have limited their last four opponents to 41 points or less. Hampton 65, UMBC 44

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