Thursday, December 15, 2011

Richmond, William and Mary, Liberty and Longwood in action Thursday

Quick hits on Thursday's games:

Longwood (2-6) at Marshall (6-2), noon
The Thundering Herd is riding a five-game winning streak and is coming off an 8-point win over the Big East's Cincinnati. Marshall has been particularly adept at preventing teams from scoring, which makes this a particularly tough matchup for a Longwood team that has often struggled to score. Plus it's on the road, and we all know how much trouble the Lancers tend to have away from home. Marshall 67, Longwood 54

North Carolina A&T (6-2) at William and Mary (4-3), 4:30 p.m.
Potentially dangerous game for the Tribe. We call this A&T team "The Young and the Restless" because they're loaded with underclassmen that may not know exactly what they're doing yet but play all-out and have considerable skill. Both teams are highly adept at getting steals - and, unfortunately, committing turnovers - so no possession will be safe at either end. We'd feel better about this game for the Tribe if it wasn't their first after their exam break. But we have it on good authority that the Tribe are really focused in on this game, so we're giving them the benefit of the doubt in what should be an entertaining contest. William and Mary 75, North Carolina A&T 71

The Lady Flames have lost their first game after their exam break in each of the last two seasons - including last year's 50-49 setback at North Carolina Central. Can't imagine that streak going to three in a row, though, against a Virginia Union team Liberty smacked 71-19 last season. This year's Union club, which features former Old Dominion player Vicki Collier, is considerably better than last year's edition, but they simply can't match Liberty's personnel, particularly inside. Liberty 70, Virginia Union 38

Richmond (7-2) at North Carolina State (6-2), 7 p.m.
The Spiders downed the Wolfpack last year when these teams met in Richmond. But N.C. State seems well-equipped to get some payback, particularly at home where they've gone 5-0 this season with an average victory margin of 23 points. The Wolfpack have been one of the nation's best rebounding teams this season so the Spiders need to find some way to stay active on the boards. Richmond freshman Amber Battle's father, Frank, was a member of N.C. State's 1983 men's basketball national championship game, and her mother, Debbie Shugart, played for N.C. State's women's team under the late Kay Yow. Also, Spiders sophomore Amber Nichols is a Raleigh native. N.C. State 77, Richmond 69

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