Tuesday, January 31, 2012

RANDOMNESS with William and Mary's Emily Correal

We know how to pick great subjects. And that surely is the case with zany William and Mary junior Emily Correal (14.4 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 22 blocks), who shared lots of fun thoughts with us for the latest edition of RANDOMNESS.

So we hear you are addicted to Temple Run?

I was when I first tried it. Now I love "Words with Friends." I haven't lost since the first time I played. I played against my sister. I played against all of my teammates. I played against one of my old coaches.

So we confess, we spied W&M's 20 questions with you. In it you mention liking Justin Bieber....

Well, I saw the Justin Bieber movie, and I was impressed with how talented he was as a child. He used to sing lots of oldies. I'm not really a Justin Bieber fan now.

You take 700 shots a week, eh? Whatcha working on most? 

Either my short jumper or finishing around the rim.

Your signature shot?

Either a turnaround jumper in the post, the hook or faking it one way and going to the other side.

Was it always basketball for you?

Actually I danced for about 12 years: tap, jazz, ballet, points, hip hop. I was into the performing arts. I mainly did recitals, but I was with this group called Steel City Kids. We went to DisneyWorld once. I also took voice lessons.

Tell us about your voice.

I love singing Patsy Cline (we asked her to sing her fave, "Walkin' After Midnight," but she declined citing "stage fright," recalling an episode in middle school).

I sang The Star-Spangled Banner before a game, my voice cracked, and I just started laughing.

You chose basketball over the arts?

It was crazy doing both, so I had to make a choice. I danced until middle school.

What else is on your Ipod?

I like Adele, Beyonce. I used to like the Dave Mathews Band.

Your favorite website (besides LadySwish)?

If Twitter doesn't count, I'd say stumble upon.com

You're from Steeler country. Who is your favorite player?

I like Hines Ward. I watched when he was on "Dancing with the Stars," and he won. I also like Tim Tebow. I met him. When were were playing a tournament in Florida my freshman year, he was playing at Florida. I told everybody I would meet Tim Tebow. Everybody just laughed at me, and said, 'OK, Emily.' " The last day we were there we were outside of Florida's stadium and everybody was on the bus except me. Then I saw him. He just turned the corner. He had just showered after practice. I wish I could have acted mature, but I acted like a crazy fan and started shouting, "Tebow! I love you!" I got my picture taken with him and then the team got their picture taken with him.

You like "The Kardashians"?

I like Kourtney Kardashian. She's so cute with her son. He's adorable.

Speaking of kids, you're going to be an aunt?

A first-time aunt. My sister (Sarah) is pregnant, due May 12. My mom and I were in the bookstore looking at a cute Tribe cheerleading outfit.

Your favorite meal is the hamburger stew your mom makes. If you could share that meal with three others, who would they be?

Tim Tebow, Bob Marley -- we listen to his music all the time on the way to the beach -- and my grandmother, who just passed away.

What was it like to get that win over Old Dominion?

For me, it was like any other game. I was just so happy to win because we had been in a losing slump. I knew we could beat them. It was good for our program. Everybody in the area was so excited for us. People in the community came up to me and congratulated me.

Who do you like to watch?

I'm one of these people who can't standing watching, I want to play. When I do watch, I like women's college basketball, but my favorite player is Candace Parker.

A movie you watch over and over?

"Clueless." And I love all the sappy love stories -- "The Notebook," "A Walk to Remember."

You're a marketing major. What's in the future?

I want to play overseas. I want to be a broadcaster -- the next Erin Andrews. Maybe an actress. I'm overly ambitious.

Bet you didn't know.....

I cut my hair myself when I was a little kid and hid it in my dollhouse.

Why W&M?

I made my decision on my visit. I also visited Richmond and Delaware. I got along really well with all the girls, and that was important. I love the campus; I love the prestigious academic reputation, and I love the coaches. Everything just clicked.

Dukes vs. Duke? EDD vs. UConn? Maybe, says ESPN's Creme

Charlie Creme's latest bracketology is out, featuring a feast of possibilities for NCAA Tournament basketball in the state and in the CAA. Among Creme's predictions:

*Delaware as a No. 4 seed, which would pit the Blue Hens against Penn State in the second round, a team they already beat in Newark. Looking really far ahead Creme sees a Sweet 16 featuring UConn vs. Delaware. Now wouldn't Husky fans have their fun heckling Elena Delle Donne? Creme's first-round game has the Hens facing long-range bombers Florida Gulf Coast -- hardly a patsy of a matchup.

*James Madison returning to Norfolk, a host for first and second round games. Creme makes the Dukes a No. 10 seed and matches them up against South Carolina. We think Kenny Brooks and company would be delighted to return to the Constant Center, as they brought a swarm of purple fans there two years ago in the NCAA tournament's first round. The Dukes, a No. 9 seed in 2010, fell to Temple 65-53. The fun would be if the Dukes won and played No. 2 Duke.

*Creme has high-octane Hofstra at No. 10 against No. 7 North Carolina. Although the game would be in Chapel Hill, we like the Pride's chances versus an unpredictable Tar Heel team.

*Virginia as a No. 8? We think the Cavaliers would be thrilled to be back in the NCAA Tournament, although we suspect they could do without a first-round game against Joanne Boyle's former team, Cal, in the first round. We've already been through that.

No dancing for Richmond, predicts Creme. He has the Spiders among the first four teams out. JMU, by the way, is listed among the last four in.

Stay tuned. Bracketology is bound to change as March inches closer.

Monday, January 30, 2012

We want your ideas for the CAA midseason report

We've got our ideas; you read them all the time.

We'd like to hear yours. We're at the halfway point in the CAA. Who's on your first team? Who's the Rookie of the Year? Team that's overachieved? Team that's underachieved?

Who is the most underrated player? We won't ask who your Player of the Year is, though Courtney Hurt must wonder why she has to be doing amazing things at the same time Elena Delle Donne is tearing up the CAA and the NCAA, for that matter.

Also, in making its choices, the CAA considers all stats. We wonder: Should conference-only stats be the guide?

So comment on this post or let us know your thoughts on our Facebook page (and while you're at it, like LadySwish on Facebook if you don't already) or slip us an email at ladyswishing@hotmail.com

We'll print your thoughts and ours later this week.

Hampton, Liberty, Radford prevail, Norfolk State caught from behind

Monday's results:

Liberty 78, Gardner-Webb 51: Used to be this was the marquee matchup on the Big South schedule, a duel of finalists in the conference tournament the past three seasons. The Lady Flames still have that kind of team, but rebuilding Gardner-Webb no longer bears any resemblance to the group that took down Liberty in the 2011 Big South tournament final. So after a relatively close first half, Monday's game took on a predictable tone as the Lady Flames outscored the Running Bulldogs 24-6 in the first 10 minutes after the break to take a 30-point lead. Reagan Miller (a career-high 5 3-pointers) scored 18 points, Devon Brown added 14 and Avery Warley chipped in 13 points and 12 rebounds as Liberty cruised into the midway point of the Big South schedule on a seven-game winning streak. What we're left with is essentially a two-team race for the No. 1 seed in the league tournament between first-place High Point (14-6, 9-0) and Liberty (13-7, 8-1), which has engineered six of its eight conference victories by at least 20 points. No other Big South team has fewer than four conference losses. On Monday, High Point will host Liberty in a rematch of the Jan. 7 showdown the Panthers won 73-69 in overtime in Lynchburg.

Hampton 74, Morgan State 60: The Lady Pirates scored 32 points off turnovers in this nationally televised affair (ESPNU) to bounce back from Saturday's overtime loss to Morgan State. It's strange to see Hampton's usually stifling defense surrender 60 or more points in back-to-back games, and the Lady Pirates' 36.1 field goal percentage surely isn't where they'd like it, either. But hey, they can't all be masterpieces, right? Jericka Jenkins had 25 points and 8 assists with just one turnover and Melanie Warner added 20 points for Hampton (16-4, 8-1 MEAC), who will have a full week to fine-tune some things before returning to the court Monday at Delaware State. The Lady Pirates are currently in second place in the MEAC behind Florida A&M (15-5, 8-0). The two teams will meet just once in the regular season, on Feb. 25 in Tallahassee, Fla.

Coppin State 61, Norfolk State 58: A disappointing result for the Spartans, who led by 9 in the second half and by 7 with just under 10 minutes to play before surrendering their advantage by going the next 5:20 without scoring a point. A Rachel Gordon jumper with 1:52 left got NSU to within one, but Rae Corbo, who has been money in late-game situations or the Spartans all season, was unable to connect on three jumpers and committed a turnover on NSU's final four possessions. Gordon finished with 10 points and a school Division I record-tying 21 rebounds - this two days after she hauled down 19 rebounds in a loss to Morgan State. The loss dropped the Spartans (8-12) to 3-6 in the MEAC, but four of the losses were by 7 points or less. So the Spartans should have chances to dramatically improve that record if they can avoid some of the scoring droughts that have cost them during the first half of the MEAC schedule.

Radford 72, UNC Asheville 62: Back-to-back 3-pointers by Ashley Buckhannon in the opening 1:06 of the second half launched the Highlanders (10-10, 4-5 Big South)to their second straight road victory and third win in a row. Buckhannon finished with 20 points, Da'Naria Erwin Spencer led all scorers with 21 and Victoria Hamilton chipped in 11 for Radford. The Highlanders also racked up 12 steals - its fifth straight game of 10 or more - and forced 19 turnovers while committing only nine. UNC Asheville fell despite a huge night from Shonese Jones, who drained five 3-pointers and finished with 30 points.

Virginia Tech's Tellier named ACC Player of the Week

Virginia Tech's Monet Tellier became just the third Hokies player to earn ACC Player of the Week honors Monday, a tribute to her sizzling performance in last week's mega-upset at No. 7 Maryland.

Tellier tied her career high with 31 points - including a career-high five 3-pointers - as the Hokies stunned the Terrapins 71-65. The Hokies sophomore guard also scored 18 points in a loss at Miami, and 16 in Sunday's setback to North Carolina State.

Tellier joins Lindsay Biggs (2009-10) and Shanel Harrison (2010-11) as the only Hokies to receive ACC Player of the Week honors. Tech joined the conference starting with the 2004-05 season.

In other Virginia Tech news, check out the team's new fanpage. We did, and we now know that Tellier plays basketball with chapstick in her sock.

The vibe behind Hampton women's basketball

ESPNW presents a behind-the-scenes look at the show surrounding the show that is Hampton women's basketball at the HU Convocation Center.

"It's a vibe, a groove, a relationship we all have with each other," director of Hampton's university bands Rasan Holmes said. "The basketball team gives us energy with the way they play, and we give it back to them with the way we play. We're all here to support each other. And when it's going right, you feel the goose bumps."

Also, check out the Lady Pirates in action against Morgan State Monday at 4:30 p.m. on ESPNU.

Delaware-JMU lives up to the hype

No. 15 Delaware 72, James Madison 65

Now that was fun, wasn't it?

That was one heck of a show No. 15 Delaware and James Madison treated Convocation Center fans and a regional television audience to Sunday night. The Blue Hens (18-1, 9-0) proved they can take a punch - several of them, in fact - regroup and prevail in a hostile environment. Meanwhile, the Dukes (15-5, 6-3) showed that for about 32 minutes they can stand up to, and for large stretches outplay, one of the nation's elite teams..

But if the Dukes want to make this a special season, they need to get those final eight minutes under control against top competition. So far, we'd say the two best teams the Dukes have played are Virginia and Delaware. See if you can spot any similarities in how the two games unfolded:

Dec. 20, at Virginia
   - JMU led 30-22 at halftime
   - JMU up by 6 with 8:22 remaining
   - JMU outscored 17-5 the rest of the way

Jan. 29, vs. Delaware
   - JMU led 38-33 at halftime
   - JMU up 7 with 7:19 to play
   - JMU outscored 21-7 the rest of the way

It's only two games, so perhaps it's just coincidence. Still, we can't help but wonder, do the Dukes play so hard that they wind up burning themselves out down the stretch? Does foul trouble mount to the point where starters become passive to avoid fouling out? We don't have the answers, but we're sure the law firm of Brooks, Smith, Brown and O'Regan (plus Clark) is already on the case.

   - Delaware superstar Elena Delle Donne's shot 5 for 17 from the field Sunday night. The last time she faced JMU, in the 2011 CAA Tournament final, she was 6 for 20. The time before that, she made 4 of 16 shots. That's 15 for 53 shooting (28.3 percent) over a three-game span for one of the nation's most prolific offensive weapons. To Delle Donne's credit, she's been crafty enough to get to the free throw line 40 times in the three games (including 15 times Sunday night), and the Dukes haven't been able to do anything to stop her from converting 36 times. Still, it seems clear that the Dukes make it tougher for Delle Donne to get hers that just about anyone else. Which is just the latest reason why we're starting to wonder....

   - Shouldn't Nikki Newman make the All-CAA team? We used to say, well, if she just scored a few more points..." But the Dukes keep assigning her to the their opponents' most dangerous scorers, and those players keep having "off nights." And it occurs to us that a player that can make that kind of defensive impact night in and night out is probably just as valuable - perhaps even more so - than a lot of the players that are averaging 15-18 points a game and get their names in  the first paragraphs of the game stories. So we're starting a campaign - Nikki Newman for All-CAA.

The only problem is, we don't have numbers to back this up. So hey, Nikki, if you get a chance, could you just score a few more points?

   - It's a shame these teams won't meet again in the regular season. The key for JMU now is to delay any potential postseason meeting with the Blue Hens for as long as possible. Sunday's loss dropped the Dukes into a third-place tie in the conference standings with Drexel (which already owns a win over JMU). Let's say the Blue Hens hang onto their CAA lead and claim the tournament's No. 1 seed. If the Dukes wind up as the No. 4 seed, they'd be slated to meet Delaware in the semifinals. After the performance the Dukes turned in Sunday, we're sure they're eager for a rematch. They just don't want it to happen that soon.

   - Finally, kudos to the 4,637 that turned out at the JMU Convocation Center to create a big-game atmosphere. It looked great on TV; sounded even better. Bet CAA officials were thrilled to have this as its showcase game.

Here's hoping for even more drama in the second half of the CAA schedule.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

ODU, VCU rally for victories; Virginia upends Florida State

VCU's Hurt: 28 points, 20 rebounds

Sunday's results:

Old Dominion 71, George Mason 68
The Patriots (10-11, 4-5 CAA) have never won in Norfolk, and Sunday was no different thanks to some gritty play by the Lady Monarchs, who trailed by eight with six minutes to play. ODU dominated the boards, particularly on the offensive end with a plus-10 advantage. Jo Guilford tied her career high with 20 points, and Tia Lewis notched her seventh double-double of the season with 14 points and 13 rebounds. After misfiring on her first six shots, Taleia Moton finished with 28 for the Patriots, who had to be disappointed in finishing 9-of-17 from the foul line. Kudos to ODU freshman Ashley Betz-White with 16 points, including 4-of-6 from behind the arc. It was a 3 by Betz-White that gave ODU the lead for good with 1:50 left. Jackie Cook gave ODU a cushion, going 6-of-6 from the foul line, but back-to-back 3s from Moton almost spoiled it for the Lady Monarchs (7-14, 4-5). A final three-point attempt by Moton bounced off the rim to keep ODU 26-0 in Norfolk against George Mason. "I just played my game," Guilford said. "That's all I did."

NC State 65, Virginia Tech 53
Shooting and scoring continued to plague Tech (7-15, 3-6 ACC), which shot 29 percent from the field and managed just 19 points in the first half. Aerial Wilson and Monet Tellier each came away with 16, but Tellier came up empty on 19 of her 24 attempts. The Wolfpack outscored the Hokies by 10 from the free-throw line and got 20 from Kody Burke. "I told the kids, 'I'm disappointed for them,' " said Hokies coach Dennis Wolff. "They did enough things in a basketball game to have a better shot at winning the game. Unfortunately, we didn't shoot well." LaTorri Hines-Allen pulled down a career-best 13 rebounds and Tech had a season-high 22 boards, but turned just nine of them into points.

Northeastern 82, William and Mary 71
It's fun to go to Boston unless it's a CAA road trip. Just ask the Tribe, who could not stop Deanna Kerkhof (29 points) and Jewel Tunstull (22 points) from notching career highs along with Jamie Conroy (school record 16 assists). W&M (9-11, 2-7), second in the league in offense, scored just 23 first-half points and never led after the initial two minutes. Janine Aldridge led W&M with 27 points and four assists, and Emily Correal came away with 12 points. Taysha Pye, so explosive in Thursday's win over ODU, finished with just nine, as Northeastern came away with its second conference win.

VCU 75, Georgia State 70
Can anyone figure out the Panthers, whose bench outscored its starters 45-25? Courtney Hurt, the Rams all-time leading scorer, isn't hard to figure, just tough to guard. Hurt's 28 and 20 boards led the Rams, who won their 13th straight in this series, the longest active winning streak in the CAA against a conference opponent. A 20-3 run put this one away for the Rams (12-8, 5-4), who scored 27 of the first 34 points in the second half. Noted coach Beth Cunningham, "We had a stretch there in the second half that put us over the hump."

Virginia 62, Florida State 52
The Cavaliers (16-7, 4-5 ACC) snapped their four-game losing streak to the Seminoles (12-11, 4-5), who committed 23 turnovers. Florida State had a better day from the floor (46 percent) than from the line (40 percent) where they were outscored 20-6. Ariana Moorer paced Virginia with 15 and Lexie Gerson scored 13 and 5 assists.

Delaware-JMU: As good as it gets

A prime-time tipoff, with television cameras rolling. A nationally  ranked juggernaut (Delaware) vs. the two-time defending conference champions (James Madison). The nation's most dynamic offensive player against those defensive wizards in Harrisonburg.

Oh, and if you get there soon enough, a free bobblehead of former JMU great Dawn Evans.

For a Colonial Athletic Association regular-season game, does it get any sexier than this? No titles will be on the line when No. 15 Delaware (17-, 8-0 CAA) visits JMU (15-4, 6-2) Sunday night at 7 p.m. (Comcast TV, check your local listings). But in terms of storylines, star power and the anticipation factor, we can't imagine a better way for the CAA to wrap up the first half of conference play.

As an appetizer, here are a few things you should know about this tantalizing matchup:

  - The Dukes have won six straight in the series and all four with Blue Hens star Elena Delle Donne in the lineup.

   - The last time Delaware beat JMU, on Feb. 22, 2007, Delle Donne was a junior at Ursuline Academy (Del.).

  - The last time Delle Donne played at the JMU Convocation Center, she poured in a program-record 54 points.

   - JMU won anyway (88-83 in overtime).

   - Said Dukes coach Kenny Brooks after that game: "I now know what it's like to coach against Kobe Bryant."

- In the teams' most recent meeting, JMU held off Delaware 67-61 in the 2011 CAA Tournament final.

 - Delaware has won all eight of its CAA games this season by double figures, with the closest spread being 11 points against Drexel.

  - Although this year's JMU team has a well-earned reputation for playing defense, Delaware actually allows fewer points per game (54.8 to 55.4).

   - In two meetings against JMU last season, Delle Donne shot a combined 27.7 percent from the field (10 for 36).

   - Delle Donne is shooting 55.2 percent from the field this season.

   - The Dukes enjoyed rebounding advantages of plus-7 and plus-10 against the Blue Hens in the two games last season.

  - Delaware currently leads the CAA in rebounding margin (10.1), nearly double that of the next-best conference team (VCU, 5.5).

- JMU has won four straight games since a Jan. 12 loss to Drexel.

   - Delaware has won seven straight games since a Dec. 29 loss at Maryland.

As you can see, recent history favors the Dukes, recent form points to Delaware. A Dukes victory would no doubt send shock waves throughout the women's college basketball world - not to mention raise JMU's profile considerably for a potential at-large NCAA Tournament berth. But we doubt anyone wearing a Dukes uniform will be too surprised.

For them, beating Delaware is all they know.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Liberty, Radford, Richmond win, but what? Hampton falls to Coppin

Saturday's results:

Coppin State 69, Hampton 66 OT
Streaks snapped. Hampton had won 20 in a row against MEAC foes, 16 in a row at home and its last six overall. The Lady Pirates had already beaten the Eagles two weeks ago by 26. But like we said when Tech shocked Maryland two days ago, that's why they play. Coppin State (11-10, 6-2) dominated the paint and free-throw line (28-of-44 to HU's 13-of-19) to pull off the upset, spoiling a monster afternoon by Melanie Warner (21 boards, 10 points). Ten ties and 10 lead changes led to the OT, which the Eagles controlled and capped with a free throw to seal the win. Choicetta McMillian scored 25, albeit on 7-of-22 shooting, and Jericka Jenskins added 17 points and 9 assists. We fear the NCAA committee won't look too fondly on this loss for the Pirates, (15-4, 7-1) who shot just 27 percent.

Liberty 78, UNC Asheville 56
The Lady Flames trailed by three at the break but outscored UNC Asheville 51-26 in the second half, finishing with a plus-18 advantage on the boards. We thought Kelli Riles (who averages 11.4 rpg) would be a match for Lady Flame Avery Warley (10.7 rpg), but Warley pulled down 11 to Riles' 8. While we're impressed with Devon Brown's 25-point afternoon that paved the way for Liberty's sixth straight win, it's the free-throw disparity that catches the eye in this one (and remember, this game was in Carolina). Asheville (7-12, 3-15 Big South) went the line five times compared with Liberty's 31 trips there. Liberty (12-7, 7-1) won its 15th straight at UNC Asheville.

Morgan State 75, Norfolk State 68
Ah, free throws. Seems like we've mentioned those a couple of times in this post, so why not a third? The Bears (6-14, 3-4) connected on 23-of-27 from the stripe, including eight in the final minute, while NSU misfired on 13 of its 28 attempts. That was the downfall for the Spartans (8-11, 3-5)Ω, who held a 26-6 advantage in offensive rebounds and got 18 points from Sunday's birthday girl, Whitney Long (Long is just 13 shy of 1,000 points for her career). It was another nice effort from Rae Corbo with 13 points, Batavia Owens (13 points, 16 rebounds) and Rachel Gordon (16 points, 19 boards) for the Spartans, who meet Coppin State on Monday.

Radford 63, Gardner-Webb 50
The Highlanders came in 1-6 on the road, but Gardner-Webb was 1-6 in the conference, now 1-7 after a comfortable win by Radford (9-10, 3-5 Big South). Da'Naria Erwin Spencer's 20, including 8-of-8 from the line, paced Radford as did a career-high 16 from Sarah Tabb. The Highlanders scored the first 12, and let their defense dictate, scoring 30 points off turnovers.

Richmond 63, Saint Louis 45
Total team effort by the Spiders (16-5, 4-3 A-10), who shot 50 percent to the Billikens' 27 percent. Abby Oliver scored 15, Becca Wann 12 and freshman Liz Brown came off the bench for 10 on 5-of-7 shooting. Richmond led 36-17 at the break, never allowing Saint Louis to get into the game.

Richmond, Big South and MEAC teams in action Saturday

Saturday's games:

Liberty (11-7, 6-1 Big South) at UNC Asheville (7-11, 3-4), 2 p.m.
Game features a prime-time rebounding matchup between Liberty's Avery Warley (10.7 rpg, 11th nationally) and UNC Asheville's Kelli Riles (11.4 rpg, 5th in Division I). The Lady Flames have won five straight games, and have prevailed in their last 14 trips to UNC Asheville.

Coppin State (10-10, 5-2 MEAC) at Hampton (15-3, 7-0), 4 p.m.
The Lady Pirates have won six straight this season and 20 in a row against MEAC opponents. The Eagles have won three straight and eight of their last nine, but the lone loss in that span was a 76-50 defeat to these Lady Pirates on Jan. 14 in Baltimore.

Morgan State (5-14, 2-4 MEAC) at Norfolk State (8-10, 3-4), 4 p.m.
Spartans sophomore forward Rachel Gordon has delivered several stellar performances this season but has struggled offensively in her last two games (a combined 0 for 10 from the field). Gordon nearly had a double-double (9 points, 14 rebounds) when these teams met in Norfolk two weeks ago (a 76-75 NSU victory). Look for her to snap back to that form today.

Radford (8-10, 2-5 Big South) at Gardner-Webb (2-15, 1-6), 5 p.m.
Radford has dug quite a hole for itself in the Big South race and now faces a stretch of four straight road games, where the Highlanders are just 1-6 this season. The good news is that Radford is coming off one of its better performances of the year, Monday's 56-29 destruction of Presbyterian.

Richmond (15-5, 3-3 Atlantic 10) at Saint Louis (7-13, 1-4), 7 p.m.
The Spiders did a nice job of bouncing back from their loss at the buzzer to Temple in their conference opener and will look for a similar rebound after Wednesday's overtime loss at Dayton. Both games proved that the Spiders are a match for anyone in the A-10. But the fact that Richmond still lost both leaves the Spiders no margin for error if they want to avoid having to play a first-round game in the Atlantic 10 Tournament (the top four seeds earn byes).

Thursday, January 26, 2012

JMU dominates Georgia St., George Mason crushes Towson and Drexel slows VCU

Thursday's games:

JMU 76, Georgia Stae 45: Kirby Burkholder made 6 of 8 3-pointers and scored a career-high 22 points and Tarik Hislop chipped in 16 in a dominating Dukes effort at both ends in Harrisonburg. JMU (15-4, 6-2 CAA) maintained at least a 20-point lead from the 1:15 mark of the first half and stayed ahead by at least 30 over the final 14:30. The Dukes moved into a second-place tie with Hofstra and Drexel in the CAA race, and will take their shot at league-leading Delaware (17-1, 8-0) Sunday in Harrisonburg. The Panthers (7-13, 0-8) remain the CAA's only winless team.

George Mason 78, Towson 54: The Patriots led by only 30-27 at halftime, but blistered the nets at a 54.8 percent clip after the break to steamroll the Tigers and collect their third straight win. Amber Easter continued her strong play of late with 21 points, 12 rebounds and six assists. Taleia Moton added 20 points for the Patriots, who also dished out 23 assists on 31 field goals. Not sure what Jeri Porter is saying to these guys in the halftime locker room, but this is the third straight game in which the Patriots (10-9, 4-4 CAA) have shot lights out after the break. They scored 47 points on 51.4 percent shooting last Thursday in a victory over William and Mary, and got 36 points on 59-percent shooting Sunday in a win over VCU. All three of these games were at the Patriot Center, so the trick now is for Mason to reproduce this level of play on the road. Their first shot at doing this comes Sunday at Old Dominion. The Patriots prevailed 85-69 when these teams met on Dec. 4 in Fairfax.

Drexel 47, VCU 41: Courtney Hurt became VCU's all-time leading scorer on an otherwise disappointing night in Richmond for the Rams, who have now dropped three straight. Hurt finished with 9 points (and 15 rebounds) and now has 1,755 in her career, eclipsing the 22-year-old school record set by Kelly Hoover. Andrea Barbour led all Rams with 14 points, but VCU (11-8, 4-4 CAA) hurt itself with 19 turnovers, way too many in the type of low-possession game the Dragons force opponents to play. Surging Drexel (10-8, 6-2) prevailed for the fifth time in six games.

Also Thursday: Elena Delle Donne had 41 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists as No. 15 Delaware roared past Hofstra 84-66. It was the Blue Hens' seventh straight victory.

William and Mary snaps 52-game losing streak against ODU (barely)

William and Mary 83, Old Dominion 80

Talk about a game of runs. The Lady Monarchs built up a 12-point halftime second-half lead. The Tribe roared back to go up 11. Then ODU sliced that deficit to 2 and had the ball with 10 seconds left. But Taysha Pye deflected a Jackie Cook pass, setting up Katherine DeHenzel to make 1 of 2 free throws and leave ODU just four seconds to work with. Ashley Betz-White's desperation 3-point try didn't connect and the Tribe had survived for their first victory over ODU since 1975.

"It's an exciting night for our program," William and Mary coach Debbie Taylor said. "It was a long time coming."

That Pye would make a pivotal play late was fitting as it capped a second half in which the senior guard scored 19 of her team-high 23 points and - perhaps more importantly to Taylor - defended with passion. Emily Correal added 18 points and 8 rebounds and Janine Aldridge chipped in 15 as the Tribe snapped a five-game losing streak.

Tia Lewis went for 23 points and 8 rebounds and Betz-White had 22 points and hit 4 of 7 3-pointers, including back-to-back bombs in the Lady Monarchs' late-game flurry. But ODU hurt itself with 22 turnovers, which led to 30 William and Mary points. The Tribe also got to the free throw line 35 times (making 28), as opposed to just 17 times for ODU (they made 14).

Virginia Tech stuns No. 7 Maryland in College Park

Virginia Tech 75, No. 7 Maryland 69

So we're monitoring this game, regularly checking the scores, and early in the second half, we're like, "Hey, look, Virginia Tech's only down 6 at Maryland. Nice to see them putting up a good fight."

Then it was, "Hey, the Hokies are only down one. Even if they don't hang on, you have to give 'em credit for...

"What's that? Tech's leading?

"Tech won? Get out of here!"

This is why we love sports, right? Because for all we think we know, once the two teams step on the court, you just never know.

Monet Tellier scored a career high-tying 31 points, Aerial Wilson added 15 and Porschia Hadley stepped up with 14 as the Hokies stunned the heavily favored Terrapins in College Park. How stunning was it? Consider:

- Maryland (18-3, 5-3 ACC) came in with an 11-0 record at home and had won six straight over the Hokies;

- The Hokies (7-14, 3-5) came in averaging just over 49 points a game and hadn't scored more than 48 in their last six games;

- Tech came in on a five-game losing streak, with each loss by at least 13 points.

None of that mattered Thursday, though. With Tellier scoring 15 first-half points and the Hokies getting 14 points off 12 Maryland turnovers, Tech made a game of it early and went into the half down by just three at 34-31. The Terrapins bumped their advantage up to eight by the first media timeout, but three straight 3-pointers - two from Tellier, one from Wilson - kept Tech within range. Maryland continued to nurse a 1-3 point lead, though, until the 5:26 mark when a Tellier jumper lifted the surprising Hokies to a 62-61 lead. Tech would never trail again, as they made clutch baskets down the stretch and just enough free throws in the final minute to cement one of the biggest upsets in Division I this season.

 Forcing turnovers were a huge asset for the Hokies, who scored 26 points off 20 Maryland turnovers. Tech also held its own on the boards with the one of the nation's best rebounding teams. Maryland came in with a plus-15 rebounding margin, but managed just a 36-35 advantage on the glass against the Hokies.

The Terrapins played without star Alyssa Thomas (17.2 ppg), who sprained her thumb in practice this week.  Still, you had to figure Maryland would still have enough weapons to prevail at home against the Hokies. So take nothing away from Tech; with or without Thomas, Maryland remains a handful.

The victory was Tech's first over a Top-10 team since Jan. 14, 2010, when the Hokies overpowered No. 10 North Carolina 79-64.

ODU, William and Mary search for better 2nd-half play

For Old Dominion, it's the first five minutes of the second half.

For William and Mary, it's the last 10.

These have been problem areas for the two teams, things each will attempt to address Thursday night at 7 p.m. when the Lady Monarchs visits William and Mary.

The Tribe (8-10, 1-6 CAA) has been one of the best teams in the CAA - for 30 minutes or so. Then strange things happen. Sunday against JMU, William and Mary led 38-28 with 10:30 remaining before being outscored 22-2 the rest of the way. In the previous game, they were down one at the 10:38 mark to George Mason. They went on to lose by 12. And while clutch play by Hofstra and a controversial traveling call on Taysha Pye in the final minute cost the Tribe in their 100-97 loss to Hofstra, the fact remains that with 9:55 remaining, William and Mary had a 9-point lead.

You might expect numbers like this from a team with a short bench, but William and Mary is one of the deeper teams in the CAA. Inexperience? Every starter is a junior or senior. Not sure what the problem is. But if the Tribe can ever play the last 10 minutes the way they play the first 30....

ODU's issues start earlier. For whatever the reason, the Lady Monarchs have tended to find themselves in worse shape after the first five minutes of the second half than they were in at halftime. Sunday against UNC Wilmington, ODU trailed by five at intermission. With 15 minutes remaining in the second half, they were down 12. Two games ago against Hofstra, the Lady Monarchs took a five-point lead into the halftime break. By the 14:48 mark, they faced a five-point deficit. The game before that, ODU had a nine-point lead at halftime at VCU. Five minutes into the second half, the game was tied.

This isn't just a recent phenomenon, either. Against Richmond on Nov. 20, ODU went from six down at the break to 16 down over the next 5:42. A couple weeks later, 10-point deficit became a 16-point deficit five minutes into the Lady Monarchs' game at George Mason. The margins haven't always been this dramatic. Still, ODU has outscored its opponent over the first five minutes of a second half only four times in 19 games.

Not sure which team will slay its own in-game demons tonight. But we do know this - if ODU produces a good second-half start and William and Mary delivers a strong second-half finish, we're all in for one heck of a game.

NOTE: ODU has won 52 straight games against William and Mary dating back to 1975, the second-longest active streak in Division I. The longest is Stanford's 53-game streak against Washington State, which the Cardinal extended last Thursday with a 75-41 victory. The Lady Monarchs have won all 47 times the teams have played as CAA members, and William and Mary is the only CAA team that has yet to defeat ODU.

Other games Thursday

Virginia Tech (6-14, 2-5 ACC) at No. 7 Maryland (18-2, 5-2), 7 p.m.
  - The Hokies' fourth straight game against a ranked opponent.

Georgia State (6-12, 0-7 CAA) at James Madison (14-4, 5-2), 5 p.m.
  - First half of a doubleheader with the Dukes' men's team, which will take on William and Mary at 8 p.m. JMU has won all 10 meetings with Georgia State.

Drexel (9-8, 5-2 CAA) at VCU (11-7, 4-3), 7 p.m.
  - The Rams desperately need to right themselves after back-to-back losses at UNCW and George Mason.

Towson (12-6, 3-4 CAA) at George Mason (9-9, 3-4), 7 p.m.
  - Reigning CAA Player of the Week Taleia Moton has scored at least 28 points in each of her last three games.

Hofstra (14-4, 6-1 CAA) at No. 15 Delaware (16-1, 7-0), 7 p.m.
  - If the Pride plays its usual high-possessions style and Blue Hens star Elena Delle Donne gets in a groove she may get about 45 in this one.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dayton nips Richmond; Virginia falls at Georgia Tech

Rough night for the state's teams:

Dayton 81, Richmond 78: More tough meat to chew on for the Spiders (15-5, 3-3 Atlantic 10), who dropped an Atlantic 10 heartbreaker for the second time in six games. On Jan. 7, the Spiders watched a 7-point lead evaporate in the final minutes and fell to Temple by a point at the buzzer. On Wednesday, it was Richmond that staged the great rally, wiping out a 10-point deficit in the second half and pulling ahead by three in the extra period. But Dayton star Justine Raterman hit back-to-back jumpers with less than two minutes to play to nudge the Flyers ahead to stay. Raterman, who finished with a team-high 19 points, also hit a pair of free throws with five seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime. The Spiders got huge performances from Abby Oliver (a career-high 28 points), Rachael Bilney (17 points, all in the second half and OT) and Becca Wann (16 points, 11 rebounds). But the Spiders were hurt badly by an inability to control the defensive boards. Dayton (13-5, 5-1) grabbed 23 offensive rebounds (to just 8 by Richmond). The most damaging was a second-chance by Raterman in the final seconds of regulation that led to her being fouled and sent to the line for the game-tying free throws. Oliver had a chance to send the game into a second overtime with a 3-pointer in the final seconds, but, well, we'll quote from the Spiders' official release: "The unstoppable Oliver took the last shot, a three on the wing, but had it partially blocked for what looked like a foul but no call was whistled."

Georgia Tech 63, Virginia 53: The Cavaliers pulled to within four at 52-48 on a Jazmin Pitts layup with 8:37 left but went scoreless for the next five minutes while the Yellow Jackets extended their advantage to 13. Ariana Moorer had 14 points but was the only player in double figures for a shorthanded Virginia team that continues to search for answers offensively en route to their third loss in four games. To their credit, the Cavaliers (15-7, 3-5 ACC) kept grinding away on defense, as usual, and excelled at making steals (12), forcing turnovers (20) and scoring points off those turnovers (21). But in addition to suspect shooting, Virginia was hurt by an inability to get to the free throw line (4 of 6) or keep Georgia Tech rebounders off the boards at either end (48-28 Yellow Jackets rebounding edge, 20-12 on the offensive glass). Sasha Goodlett had 14 points and 11 rebounds to lead Georgia Tech (15-6, 5-3), which is ranked No. 24 in the latest ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll.

Eastern Kentucky 80, Longwood 62: Crystal Smith scored 18 points, Brittanni Billups added 17 and Heather Tobeck chipped in 12, but the Lancers (5-19), who forced 27 turnovers but still couldn't keep pace with a sharp-shooting Colonels team that hit 53.3 percent of its field goals.

Silent Majority rankings (through Jan. 24)

Haven't done this for a few weeks, and quite a bit has changed since our last edition including our No. 1 team (barely):

1. Green Bay (17-0, 7-0 Horizon)
Why No. 1: Debated this one quite a bit, as Delaware has a higher RPI and has been equally impressive against a tougher schedule. Ultimately, though, we couldn't argue with undefeated.
Star turn: Junior forward Lydia Bauer responded to a rare off night from Phoenix star Julie Wojta by pouring in 19 points in a victory over Youngstown State.
Dribbles and bits: Talk about balance: Five players scored in double figures for the Phoenix in Saturday's 80-58 rout of Cleveland State, the fourth time this season that's happened. Not surprisingly, Green Bay averages 18.1 assists per game. But our favorite number is 25.4, the average number of turnovers forced by the Phoenix per contest. Green Bay's opponents typically have about 75 possessions per game. So roughly 35 percent of the time they have the ball, they don't even get off a shot. ... The 17-0 start is the best in school history. Green Bay has also won 37 straight regular-season games and 33 in a row against Horizon League foes.
Burning question: Can the Phoenix go undefeated? Green Bay will be clear favorites in its 12 remaining.regular-season games and will likely host its matchups in the Horizon League Tournament. The Phoenix are determined to not take their eye off the one-game-at-a-time ball. But at this point we'd be surprised if these guys aren't 32-0 on NCAA Tournament Selection Monday (March 12).

2. Delaware (16-1, 7-0 CAA)
Why No. 2: Because we don't have a 1A.
Star turn: Last Thursday, Lauren Carra became the first player other than Elena Delle Donne to lead the Blue Hens in scoring this season when she tied for team-high honors with 15 points in a 65-46 victory at Towson. The player she tied with? Delle Donne.
Dribbles and bits: Vice president Joe Biden was part of a sellout crowd of 5,021 that took in the Blue Hens' 60-49 victory over Drexel Sunday. It was the largest crowd for a Delaware women's basketball home game that wasn't part of a doubleheader. Quick aside: Was it me or did Biden do a lot of fidgeting during the State of the Union? ... Sports Illustrated served up its second feature on Delle Donne in its latest issue. The magazine also weighed  in on the Blue Hens superstar in 2009 after - to the delight of hoops fans everywhere - Delle Donne decided to stop spiking that volleyball and pick up a basketball again. ... Delaware continues to lead the nation in free-throw percentage (82.4). ... Although it's often overlooked - but surely not by Blue Hens coach Tina Martin - the Blue Hens are defending the heck out of teams, allowing just 49.7 points per game in CAA play.
Burning question: Can Delle Donne go 50-50-90? Not sure if anyone has ever shot at least 50 percent from the field, 50 percent from 3-point range and 90 percent from the line for a season (certainly no one that stands 6-foot-5, right?). Delle Donne is currently at 55.8 FG, 47.2 3FG and 92.2 FT. We're sure this is the last thing on her mind, but for some reason, we're fascinated by the prospect.

3. St. Bonaventure
Why No. 3: A seven-game winning streak, an 8-0 road record, wins over St. John's, West Virginia, Marist, Temple and Richmond, no bad losses (Delaware, Villanova)...what's not to like?
Star turn: Sweet-shooting Jessica Jenkins earned Atlantic 10 and United States Basketball Writers Association National Player of the Week honors after setting a conference record for career 3-pointers. Jenkins has now connected on 293 bombs after making four against Richmond and six more against Charlotte.
Dribbles and bits: The Bonnies play at one of the slowest paces in Division I - they rank 335th in Division I in possessions per 40 minutes - but have obviously been wildly effective at getting the games played on their terms. So while their scoring average (64.1 ppg) appears pedestrian, their points-per-possession stats reveal them to be a very potent offensive team. ... Saturday's 68-63 victory at Charlotte required the Bonnies to rally from a 13-point deficit over the final 16:30. ... In back-to-back victories over Saint Louis and Richmond, the Bonnies committed just 12 turnovers in the two games combined. They average a Division I-low 11.9 turnovers a game.
Burning question: Are the Bonnies getting enough respect? Not really; we've been arguing the Bonnies should be ranked in the Top 25 for weeks. They're not complaining, though, and we're starting to think the team may actually thrive with a "we'll show them" chip on their shoulder. We've noticed how the game stories on their official website never fail to point out whenever the Bonnies, projected to finish seventh in the conference's preseason poll, beat a team picked to finish higher than them. So far, that's happened three times.

4. BYU (18-3, 7-1 West Coast)
Why No. 4: The Cougars have won seven in a row since a Dec. 31 loss to St. Mary's. Gonzaga's lone conference loss also came to St. Mary's. The difference? BYU lost to the Gaels on the road. Gonzaga's setback came 10 days ago in its own building.
Star turn: 6-7 sophomore Jennifer Hamson, the daughter of BYU Hall of Famer and former Division I national scoring champion Teresa Spaulding Hamson, had a season-high 14 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocks in BYU's 76-55 pounding of Portland.
Dribbles and bits: The Cougars cracked the AP Top 25 poll for the first time since Nov. 27, 2006 this week, checking in at No. 23. ... Gonzaga is one notch higher at No. 22, giving the WCC two Top-25 teams for the first time in league history. ... Statistically the Cougars are above average in virtually every category and are particularly adept at sharing the ball (19.4 assists per game, 4th in Division I). BYU averages a robust 72.9 points per game despite the fact that no Cougar scores more than 10.9 per game (Lexi Eaton). On Jan. 12, Jeff Judkins became the winningest coach in program history when the Cougars beat Pepperdine 80-56. Judkins was a star player at Utah and was a second-round draft pick by the Boston Celtics in 1978. The Celtics used one of their first-round picks that year to select Larry Bird.
Burning question: Can these guys knock off Gonzaga? The teams meet twice in February, and perhaps once more in the WCC Tournament. Hate to hedge here, but since their profiles so far virtually mirror each others, we'll answer this in mid-March.

5. Gonzaga (17-3, 6-1 West Coast)
Why No. 5: The Zags have won 12 of their last 13 games and own one of the top wins by a non-BCS team this season, a 71-68 neutral-court win over current No. 15 Georgia.
Star turn: Senior forward Katelan Redmon is the reigning West Coast Conference Player of the Week, largely on the strength of her career-high 32-point performance in a victory over Santa Clara.
Dribbles and bits: In addition to being No. 22 in the AP poll, the Bulldogs are also No. 20 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. ... Gonzaga's 66-63 loss to St. Mary's on Jan. 14 snapped the Zags' 40-game conference winning streak in which all but one of the wins came by double figures. ... The Zags have a well-earned reputation for pinball-like scoring but proved they could win ugly in Saturday's come-from-behind, 55-44 decision over San Diego.
Burning question: Is the WCC the strongest non-BCS conference? The Atlantic 10 is probably the deepest, and conference RPI numbers have favored the CAA. But as with individual teams, the RPI works best as a tool, not the end-all. In terms of overall quality, we'd probably rank them A-10, WCC and CAA, in that order. But just the fact that the WCC is even in this discussion speaks volumes about how far the league has come.

6. Princeton (13-4, 3-0 Ivy)
Dribbles and bits: Tigers last played on Jan. 15 and won't return to action until Feb. 3 because of the school's exam break...Tigers star Niveen Rasheed (16.9 ppg, 9.1 rpg) has been named Ivy League Player of the Week four times this season...Princeton's rugged non-conference schedule appears to have the team primed to tear through the Ivy: the average score from the Tigers' three conference victories is 80-39. Harvard, which has wins over St. John's and America East leader Boston University, has positioned itself as the Tigers' most formidable obstacle.

7. Florida Gulf Coast (17-2, 9-0 Atlantic Sun)
Dribbles and bits: Their schedule degree of difficulty (277th in Division I) isn't that intense - although in the Eagles' defense we doubt quality teams are tripping over themselves for a shot to play these guys - but you have to respect a team that has won nine straight since a Dec. 28 neutral-court setback to N.C. State. ... The Eagles continue to lead the nation in 3-pointers made per game (11.9), but proved they have the toughness to prevail on nights when the shots aren't falling on Monday by beating a good Stetson team on the road despite 28.3 percent shooting (22.6 from 3-point range).

8. Hampton (15-3, 7-0 MEAC)
Dribbles and bits: Elite defensive team that ranks fourth in Division I in fewest points allowed (48.8 ppg)... The emergence of former prep star Alyssa Bennett and sharpshooter Nicole Hamilton has boosted Hampton's offensive arsenal. ... Point guard Jericka Jenkins has 38 assists in her last three games and is averaging 7.7 dimes on the season.  ... Hampton's 52-39 victory at Howard Monday was its 20th straight against MEAC competition.

9. UTEP (17-2, 6-0 Conference USA)
Dribbles and bits: The Miners' seven-game winning streak includes impressive victories over Memphis and at Tulane. ... UTEP's two losses, to UCSB and Arizona State, were by a combined three points and came in back-to-back games (Dec. 21 and 28). ... On Wednesday, the El Paso Times reported that Miners freshman Chrishauna Parker (5.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 8 starts) and reserve guard Ryah Lacy (1.8 ppg, 1.2 rpg) have been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules. But this still leaves the extremely deep Miners with 10 players averaging double-figure minutes.

10. Fresno State (15-4, 3-0 Western Athletic)
Dribbles and bits: Winners of four straight and 10 of their last 11, a stretch that began with a 69-66 victory over then-No. 24 Oklahoma ...The Bulldogs rank second in Division I in 3-pointers made per game (9.7) and are 16th in the nation in scoring offense (75.3).

11. James Madison (14-4, 5-2 CAA)
Dribbles and bits: Winners of seven of their last eight. ... The gang can't shoot straight on some nights but is a lock-down defensive unit virtually every night...Held Middle Tennessee State to 46 points, Duquesne to 49, VCU to 43 and Hofstra, which averages about 80, to 63 in the Pride's own building... Dukes' resume has some holes, most recently a 60-43 home loss to emerging Drexel. But their body of quality wins stacks up nicely with virtually any team on this list.

12. Middle Tennessee State (16-5, 8-0 Sun Belt)
Dribbles and bits: Blue Raiders' 10-game winning streak includes the most glamorous victory of any team in these rankings, a 70-58 triumph over then-No. 6 Kentucky. ... Sophomore Ebony Rowe earned Sun Belt Player of the Week honors after averaging 23.5 points and 9.5 rebounds in a pair of road victories. ... MTSU took a 57-1 record in home conference games over the past seven years into Wednesday's game against Troy at the Murphy Center.

13. Temple (11-8, 4-1 Atlantic 10)
Dribbles and bits: Don't be alarmed by that loss total as the Owls' almost-sadistic non-league schedule featured Ohio State, Rutgers, Duke and Texas A&M, among others. Temple has won six of its last seven games with victories over Richmond, Duquesne and Dayton. The loss was to St. Bonaventure. A year ago, the Owls also took similar lumps during their non-conference season, then won 15 in a row in January and February. So there's clearly a method to Tonya Cardoza's (scheduling) madness.

14. Hofstra (14-4, 6-1 CAA)
Dribbles and bits: The Pride laid an egg at home last week in an 81-63 loss to James Madison, but it was a rare stumble in a season in which Hofstra has beaten St. John's, Kansas State, Marist and Drexel. ... Hofstra star Shante Evans, a member of the U.S. Pan-Am Games team last fall, is averaging 18 points and 10.4 rebounds and has registered double-doubles in nine of her last 10 games. ... The Pride will have a chance to make some national noise Thursday at mighty Delaware.

15. St. Mary's (15-6, 6-2 West Coast)
Dribbles and bits: We had these guys slotted much higher before Monday's 66-64 loss at San Francisco (4-17), and the 17-point loss to San Diego gives us pause, too. But this team also beat BYU and won at Gonzaga within a 15-day span. If those teams are in the AP Top 25, somebody had better recognize these Gaels are no joke, either. Consistency of performance does appear to be an issue, though.

On the verge: Marist, San Diego State, Dayton, Bowling Green, Wichita State, Tulane, Richmond, Memphis, UAB, Idaho State.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Who is that masked woman? It's JMU freshman sensation Giggetts

She broke her nose in the early minutes of her first college practice, which wasn't exactly the news her mother, Liz, wanted to hear on the other end of the phone.

But a broken nose and the protective mask she wears haven't slowed Norfolk native Toia Giggetts, a freshman at James Madison, who again was named CAA Rookie of the Week this week.

The 6-0 forward came off the bench to average 14.5 points and 10 rebounds in the Dukes' victories over Hofstra and William and Mary. Against the Pride she scored a career-best 21 points to go with another career high of 11 rebounds, all in 27 minutes.

Last week, Giggetts was also CAA Rookie of the Week behind 12 points and 8 rebounds against Towson.

Overall Giggetts averages 11 minutes (we see that going up), 3.8 ppg and 4.4 rpg. She is right behind teammate and team leader Lauren Whitehurst in FG efficiency, shooting .483 (Whitehurst is at .493).

LadySwish chatted with Giggetts, asking her initially about that claustrophobic-looking mask. "I'm comfortable with it now," she said. "When I first got it, it was hard. There's a lot of sweat."

The secret is she doesn't really need it anymore, but grins when she says, "They didn't like the way I played without it."

Giggetts hated sitting on the bench early, and it's no wonder. Team MVP of Lake Taylor High in 2009 and 2010 (the Titans won the Group AAA state championship in 2010), Giggetts finished a stellar high school career with 1,119 points and 891 rebounds.

"I wanted to be part of the team and contribute in some sort of way," she said. So she told herself, " 'This could be easy. I'm making it hard on myself.' "

And admittedly, there was an adjustment, especially, "Learning scouts and plays. In high school, we didn't run that many plays. We just did what we did. In college I had to learn the plays better, and I had to remember the scout."

Coach Kenny Brooks wasn't exactly easy on her. Calling it "tough love" is kind, Brooks said, noting, "From day one, she displayed a mentality she could help us in so many different ways. It was a matter of her understanding what physical condition she had to be in to play at this level, and she's done that."

Responds Giggetts: "He knew I could do better and he wanted more out of me. He didn't want me to just be a freshman."

Giggetts certainly isn't "just a freshman." She's an integral cog in the Dukes' improving offense and shines on a defense that continues to impress by stymieing opponents with its slap-happy style. Giggetts is thrilled she chose JMU (she also visited East Carolina). Rooming with teammate Crystal Ross is a blast and she enjoys friendly Harrisonburg.

Her game will improve even more, she promises. Though she is fond of her signature hook, "Handling the ball and working on my shot" are in the works. She's listening to Brooks' words, which so often are, "Be tighter."

"He says I'm too loose on everything like defense," she said.

One day Giggetts wants to own her own restaurant, but for now, "I want to be a factor" for JMU basketball.

Consider it done.

ODU's Lewis invited to pro free agent camp

A few months ago, with her undergraduate degree in hand, Old Dominion's Tia Lewis  had a decision to make - move on to the next phase of her life, or re-join the Lady Monarchs for one final season.

Looks like she made the right choice.

The 6-3 center/forward has flourished under new coach Karen Barefoot and will be evaluated by WNBA coaches and staff during the ProHoops Free Agent Camp on March 31 in Denver.

"Tia is leaving her own legacy here at Old Dominion and is continuing to (have) a huge impact on a young team in a rebuilding process," Barefoot said. "Her competitiveness, focus, dedication, leadership and passion for the game will lead her to fulfill her dreams. I enjoy coaching her and look forward to seeing her finish the season strong while marching to her future goals."

A third-team All-CAA selection last season, Lewis is averaging 18.3 points - more than six points higher than last season (12.1) - and 8.8 rebounds while shooting 51.4 percent from the field. She has scored 1,451 points and is tied for sixth on the Lady Monarchs' all-time rebounding list with 1,008.

Honor roll in the ACC, CAA and MEAC

A rundown of the weekly awards in the leagues we care the most about:

Elizabeth Williams
Player of the week: Chelsea Gray, Duke
The Blue Devils' sophomore guard went for a career-high 17 points and 11 assists in a victory over No. 8 Maryland - Duke's 34th straight win at Cameron Indoor Stadium - and contributed 16 points in a road victory over Georgia Tech.

Rookie of the week: Elizabeth Williams, Duke
Maybe they should start naming this award after the former Princess Anne High star. Williams copped the honor for the third straight week and sixth time this season after averaging 18 points, 9 rebounds and 3.5 blocks in the wins over Maryland and Georgia Tech.

Taleia Moton
Player of the week: Taleia Moton, George Mason
 The explosive senior guard was white-hot in December, then cooled a bit but has caught fire again. Moton singed William and Mary for a game-high 28 points, then dropped 29 on VCU while shooting a school- and Patriot Center-record 87.5 percent from the field (12 of 14). Moton now has three straight games with at least 28 points.

Rookie of the week: Toia Giggetts, James Madison
The former Lake Taylor High star claimed this award for the second straight week largely on the strength of the 21-point, 11-rebound performance she threw down in JMU's stunning 81-63 victory at Hofstra.

Jericka Jenkins
Player of the week: Jericka Jenkins, Hampton
Jenkins had 16 points, 12 assists, 5 rebounds and 4 steals in a win over Morgan State, then hit Norfolk State for 12 points and a career-high 17 assists.

Rookie of the week: Tiffanie Adair, North Carolina A&T
The sophomore forward had 20 points and 9 rebounds in an overtime loss to Morgan State.

Co-defensive players of the week: Ariel Phelps, Hampton and Antonia Bennett, Florida A&M
Phelps, formerly of Tallwood High, had 16 rebounds, 5 blocks and 2 steals (along with 15 points) in two victories. Bennett contributed 16 rebounds, 3 blocks and 4 steals to a pair of Lady Rattlers wins.

Player of the week: Cheyenne Parker, High Point
Parker averaged 18 points and a ridiculous 19.5 rebounds for conference-leading High Point in victories over Coastal Carolina and Charleston Southern.

Rookie of the week: Shatia Cole, Coastal Carolina
Averaged 17 points and shot 54 percent from the field in two games.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Hampton, Liberty, Radford roll to victories, Virginia Tech, Longwood fall

Monday's games:

Hampton 52, Howard 39:  We knew that even Hampton's defense couldn't hold Howard to just eight points in a half again the way the Lady Pirates did on Jan. 7 in Hampton. And we were right - this time Howard scored 12 points in the first half as the Lady Pirates held them scoreless for the final 10:29 before the break. Ariel Phelps and Nicole Hamilton came off the bench to fuel Hampton to a 23-12 halftime lead, and Alyssa Bennett (a team-high 16 points) asserted herself in the second half as the Lady Pirates (15-3, 7-0 MEAC) captured their sixth straight victory. Jericka Jenkins contributed 12 points and 9 assists in the win. Also on Monday, Jenkins was named MEAC Player of the Week after averaging 14 points and a remarkable 14.5 assists in a pair of Lady Pirates victories, and Phelps shared conference defensive player of the week honors with Florida A&M's Antonia Bennett.

Liberty 74, Winthrop 49: Since losing in overtime to High Point on Jan. 7, the Lady Flames have won five straight games by the following margins: 39, 37, 15, 20 and now 25 points. Talk about shaking off a setback. Devon Brown scored 18 points while moving into seventh place on Liberty's all-time scoring list (1,194 points). Avery Warley contributed 13 points and 10 rebounds, Danika Dale chipped in 12 points and 9 boards and Terika Lunsford notched a career-high 11 points for the Lady Flames (11-7, 6-1 Big South). Liberty also rebounded its 45th straight opponent, although only by a 47-44 margin. The Lady Flames began play as the Division I leaders in rebounding margin (16.8).

Radford 53, Presbyterian 29: The Highlanders snapped a four-game losing streak by doing what they do best - stealing the ball. Radford began play ranked 19th in Division I in steals, and they swiped the ball from the Blue Hose 20 times Monday and scored 23 points off 25 Presbyterian turnovers. Ashley Buckhannon led the offense with 17 points and Da'Naria Erwin Spencer added 14.

No. 10 Miami 79, Virginia Tech 48: No surprises with that final score as the Hurricanes began play averaging 79.2 points a game while the Hokies averaged 49.5. Monet Tellier scored 18 points and Aerial Wilson added 15, but they couldn't prevent Tech from dropping its fifth straight game. Still, the 48 points are the most the Hokies have scored in six games. 

Murray State 86, Longwood 77:  The Lancers led by five at halftime before the Racers surged behind the play of Erica Burgess, who scored 25 of her game-high 31 points after the break. Still, it was a strong offensive showing by the Lancers as all five starters - Crystal Smith (18 points), Mieke Elkington (16), Chelsea Coward (16), Erin Neal (10) and Brittanni Billups (10) - finished in double figures. And no matter what happened in this game, Jan. 23, 2012 will always be remembered as a red-letter day for Longwood as it was announced Monday that the Lancers will join the Big South beginning in July.

Happy homecoming for Tyler Frese

Love this pic of Tyler and Markus.
Good news from Maryland coach Brenda Frese about her son, Tyler, who was in Johns Hopkins for 10 days due to a low blood count stemming from the leukemia he battles.

Writes Brenda: "So happy for him. He was confined to his room the entire time and was so good about it. We feel grateful for all of the amazing doctors and nurses who were treating him at Hopkins. I know his brother, Markus, can't wait to see him. He's already made many surprises for him and has truly missed him." 

LadySwish is happy to hear the news, Coach!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Patriots notch win over VCU; JMU rallies to beat Tribe; ODU beaten by Wilmington

Sunday's results and observations:

George Mason 71, VCU 58

James Madison 50, William and 40

UNC Wilmington 76, Old Dominion 54

*LadySwish had front-row seats for a truly bizarre game that for all the world looked like it belonged to the Tribe until the final 10 minutes. W&M led by 10 with 10:30 remaining, but crumbled offensively, managing just one more field goal the rest of the way -- a Taysha Pye jumper with 19 seconds left -- during a 22-2 JMU run. Now the Dukes offense didn't exactly light up the scoreboard, but we were impressed with their press in the second, which blocked and swatted away shot after shot, rattling the Tribe into turnovers. Debbie Taylor's team is 1-6 in the league, unable to pull out games that slip away down the stretch. The Dukes (14-4, 5-2) won for the seventh time in eight games, led by Tarik Hislop's 17.

*Wilmington's mark against Old Dominion stands at 1-42, after the first victory in program history for the Seahawks in this series. ODU, outscored by 17 in the second half, had no answer for Abria Price's career-high 20 points and 16 apiece from Jessica Freeman and Alisha Andrews. Tia Lewis got hers, scoring 16 to move into 16th place (surpassing Shareese Grant) on the all-time scoring list, but the Lady Monarchs (6-13, 3-4) endured too many scoreless lulls and couldn't overcome a season-best nine treys by Wilmington.

*"This might be the most complete game we played all season," said Patriots coach Jeri Porter, and admittedly we didn't see this coming. Senior Amber Easter scored 20 points in her first-ever victory over VCU (11-7, 4-3), noting, "We've struggled against stronger teams and going out there and winning really gets our confidence up." Speaking of confidence Taleia Moton led the way with 29, setting a Patriot Center shooting mark with a 12-of-14 effort from the field.  Also noted Porter, "We are really good when we share the ball," and George Mason (9-9, 3-4) did that, with 17   assists,   including nine by Rahneeka Saunders. The Hurt-Barbour show wasn't enough -- the duo combined for 32 points -- but Hurt was hurt by an uncharacteristic seven turnovers.

Also in the CAA:

We thought 16th-ranked Delaware might struggle against Drexel, but the Hens stayed unbeaten in the league with a 60-49 decision behind 21 points from Elena Delle Donne, who played 40 minutes. Vice President Joe Biden attended the game in Newark; hope somebody told him about LadySwish.

Hofstra stayed right on the Hens' heels, overcoming 10 3-pointers to beat Northeastern 72-66.

Friday, January 20, 2012

JMU shuts down Hofstra; Miami nips Virginia, ODU, George Mason prevail, VCU stunned at UNCW

Thursday's games:

James Madison 81, Hofstra 63: A tribute to the power of defense and rebounding, as the Dukes grabbed a season-high 64 boards - 19 more than than the Pride - while making yet another talented offensive team cry "Uncle!" Duquesne and VCU both got JMUed a couple of weeks ago, and a Pride team that came in averaging nearly 80 points a game suffered a similar fate Thursday against the much more physical Dukes. JMU runs into problems occasionally when it can't get an offensive performance to match this kind of defense. But the Dukes (13-4, 4-2 CAA) had no problems in that area this time - Tarik Hislop went for a career-high 25 points and Jasmine Gill added 21, 19 in the second half. Then there was precocious freshman Toia Giggetts, who seems to be developing into a quality Division I player with every dribble. Giggetts was the best player on the floor in the first half (15 points, 8 rebounds) and finished with career high totals of 21 points and 11 rebounds. The Hofstra team we saw Thursday bore little resemblance to the group that has lit up the scoreboard on its first five conference foes; the Pride (13-4, 5-1) shot just 31 percent for the game, and star forward Shante Evans was saddled with foul trouble and finished with modest totals (for her) of 14 points and 8 rebounds. But since we've seen JMU do this to teams before, we suspect Thursday's outcome was less about how Hofstra played than how JMU made Hofstra play. It appears as though film study doesn't do JMU's defensive prowess justice; it's one thing to see it on film, and quite another to be on the court and actually experience it. It'll be interesting to see if VCU and Hofstra can match the Dukes' intensity when they meet for a second time. This much seems clear - they'd better.

No.11 Miami 56, Virginia 53:  Stop us if you've heard this before - the Cavaliers battle hard, frustrate a ranked team and position themselves for a huge win, only to fall just short in the final minutes. This frustrating script played out yet again at John Paul Jones Arena, where the Cavaliers took a 53-51 lead on an Ariana Moorer layup with 2:32 left but went turnover, two missed free throws and turnover on their next three possessions.  Shenise Johnson's old-fashioned 3-point play with 1:04 left put the Hurricanes up 54-53, and Johnson made two free throws with 19 seconds left as Miami hung on. The Cavaliers (14-6, 2-4 ACC) were hurt badly but 11-of-24 free throw shooting, and by giving up an offensive rebound before Johnson's final free throws that cost them a chance to play for the last shot down by just one. But it was an otherwise superior defensive effort for Virginia, which forced 27 turnovers and succeeded in forcing the normally high-powered Hurricanes (16-3, 5-1) into a game in the 50s. In short, the Cavaliers once again did most of the things they needed to do to prevail. They just need to close the deal. 

UNC Wilmington 57, VCU 56: Shocking finish at UNCW's Trask Coliseum as the Seahawks rallied from 7 points down in the final 2:18 and won it on Alisha Andrews' runner off glass with 19 seconds left. Full credit to the Seahawks (10-7, 3-3 CAA) for stacking big play on top of big play in the clutch. But the Rams (11-6, 4-2) contributed heavily to their own demise with four turnovers in the final 2:02 and by, remarkably, surrendering an offensive rebound to the barely 5-foot-tall Andrews off a missed free throw with 32 seconds left and VCU clinging to a one-point lead. After a 30-second timeout, Andrews delivered the game-winner. The forgettable finish spoiled what was shaping up as a memorable night for VCU star Courtney Hurt, who grabbed her 1,000th career rebound and became the second player in program history to post 1,000 points and 1,000 boards. Hurt finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds; Jessica Freeman and Tawanna Lee each had 14 to pace UNCW.

Old Dominion 71, Georgia State 60: Mairi Buchan scored a career-high 16 points and drilled back-to-back 3-pointers in a 37-second span to break a 46-46 second-half tie and propel the Lady Monarchs (6-12, 3-3 CAA) to their second victory over the Panthers in 15 days. Buchan made 4 of her 6 3-pointers for the game, while Tia Lewis (12 points, 8 rebounds) became the seventh Lady Monarch with at least 1,000 career rebounds. Jackie Cook added 12 points and Jo Guilford chipped in 11 for the Lady Monarchs, who snapped a two-game losing streak. Alana Beroth scored 15 points on 7-of-7 shooting to lead Georgia State (6-11, 0-6), which remained the only winless team in CAA play.

George Mason 82, William and Mary 70: The formerly sluggish Patriots offense went from pretty good in the first half to sensational in the second, producing 47 points after the break to snap a six-game losing streak. The Tribe led 41-35 at halftime and were down by just two with less than two minutes to play. But Moton scored eight of the game's final nine points and nailed a dagger 3-pointer with 1:30 to play to boost the Patriots' advantage to five. Moton scored 23 of her game-high 28 points after the break and Amber Easter (18 points), Janaa Pickard (12), Rahneeka Saunders (11) and Christine Weithman (10) all finished in double figures. The Patriots (8-9, 2-4 CAA) had been held to 59 points or less in six of their last seven games and hadn't scored anywhere near this many points since their 85-59 win over Old Dominion on Dec. 4. Katherine DeHenzel had 15 points and 10 assists, Emily Correal added 13 points and Taysha Pye chipped in 12 for the Tribe (8-9 1-5), who continue to have no trouble scoring. But William and Mary is allowing 85.5 points per game during its current four-game losing streak. The Tribe's offense is good, but not that good.

No. 24 North Carolina 56, Virginia Tech 37: The undermanned Hokies (6-13, 2-4 ACC) did a good job of staying connected to the Tar Heels for a half before they ran out of offensive answers. It was the fifth straight game in which Tech has been held to 40 points or less. Monet Tellier led Tech with 16 points and Porschia Hadley added 8. For the Tar Heels (13-5, 3-2), the victory was the 600th win at UNC for coach Sylvia Hatchell.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sports Illustrated does Delle Donne

Strong feature on Delaware star Elena Delle Donne in the latest issue of Sports Illustrated (the one with the San Francisco 49ers and Muhammad Ali on the cover). We particularly enjoyed the following passage:

(Delaware coach Tina) Martin has done a deft dance, acknowledging that the team has a clear-cut star but stressing the importance of complementary play; challenging Delle Donne but making sure basketball is "fun for Elena and kept in perspective." While she, too, can be reduced to an awestruck onlooker at times during games, the coach isn't above giving her best player some grief.

During a recent game, Delle Donne shook free of the defense and had a rare open look on a three-pointer. She dished to a teammate, who wasn't expecting a pass. As the ball dribbled out of bounds, Martin bellowed, "Elena Delle Donne, you shoot the ball or your ass is sitting on the bench!"

On Thursday, Delle Donne had a mortal (by her standards) 15 points on 4-of-11 shooting and 8 rebounds in the Blue Hens' 65-46 rout of Towson. In the two games since Delle Donne experienced pain in her left leg, she is averaging 18.5 points on 10-of-26 shooting (38.4 percent). Through her first 14 games, Delle Donne averaged 29.8 points on 57.1 percent shooting. No one, even the great Delle Donne, should be held to that level of performance every night. Still, here's hoping the leg injury hasn't thrown her off her game.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Red-hot St. Bonaventure cools off Richmond

St. Bonaventure 75, Richmond 59

With all due respect to Virginia and Florida Gulf Coast, this is probably the best team the Spiders have played all season, a veteran, well-drilled group that should have been in the Top 25 weeks ago. The Bonnies (17-2, 4-0 Atlantic 10) certainly played like a Top 25 team Wednesday as they doled out as comprehensive a beating as Richmond (14-4, 2-2) has suffered this season at St. Bonaventure. Led by Genevieve Okoro (21 points, 12 rebounds), the Spiders made a game of it early and were tied at 24 with less than 5 minutes remaining in the first half. But the Bonnies scored 14 of the final 18 points before the break to take a 38-28 lead into halftime, then pretty much maintained at least that much separation the rest of the game. Abby Oliver came on strong and scored 13 of her 17 points in the second half, but her output barely made a dent in the Bonnies' advantage. The Bonnies succeeded in part by neutralizing Richmond's vaunted 3-point shooting attack. The Spiders began play ranked third in the nation in 3-point percentage and averaging about 6 made treys per game, but were just 1 of 6 from deep Wednesday. Bilney, who splashed 8 3-pointers a week ago and ranked 6th in the nation in 3-point percentage, missed her only long-range attempt against the Bonnies and finished with just 2 points on 1 of 4 shooting in 35 minutes. The disciplined Bonnies also turned it over only 6 times - for the second straight game - limiting Richmond's transition opportunities. But perhaps Richmond's biggest problem on this night was an inability to string together defensive stops; three Bonnies finished in double figures and the team registered its third-highest point total of the season. None of this is a knock on Richmond but more a case of the Spiders catching one of the nation's best teams operating near peak efficiency.

Wednesday's result, coupled with Charlotte's victory over LaSalle, left St. Bonaventure and Charlotte tied atop the A-10 standings with 4-0 records. LaSalle, Dayton and Temple are next with 3-1 conference records, St. Joseph's is at 2-1 and Richmond and George Washington follow with 2-2 marks. The Spiders will host LaSalle on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Dribbles and bits with CAA coaches Brooks, Porter, Martin

Musings from CAA coaches Jeri Porter (George Mason), Kenny Brooks (James Madison) and Tina Martin (Delaware) from this week's league conference call.


On Taleia Moton, who is averaging 20.5 ppg, third in the CAA: We started her at point last year and that really isn't where she belongs. I joke and tell people she's an off guard trapped in a point guard's body. ... Now that we've allowed her to receive and create, it's been great for her.
Taleia Moton

On players the Patriots need to contribute more: Amber Easter (9.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg) can give us more on a more consistent basis. She's a kid we believe should have double-doubles every night. ...While we're getting that occasionally, we're not getting it as consistently as we'd like to see it

Evelyn Lewis (4.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg): We've talked to her about more defensive rebounding

Janaa Pickard (8.8 ppg, 5.6 rpg): (After the injury last year): She's just starting to get her rhythm back and her conditioning back.

On consistency: We've been good in spots and moments, but we have not been good consistently as a group. 

There is a mental toughness that goes into being successful at this level and in this league. Every conference game other than Delaware, where we were outplayed from start to finish, we've lost the game after leading at the half:  a 10-point lead at William & Mary , a 15-point lead at Northeastern and an early lead at Wilmington.

The nights we rebound, we don't take care of the ball. The nights we take care of the ball, we don't rebound. ... There's a measure of mental toughness and when you look up at the clock and there's four or five minutes left in a tie game, you've got to value those possessions.

On bench play: We've started going to our bench more and it has enabled us to get some production. We have a couple freshman post players whom we like and a couple of sophomore guards who are getting better and better with each game.

On transition: We're really good when we run. ... We're really good in the open court. We've got to get back to talking about that and getting the stops we need and getting on the boards, because it does jump start our transition game.

On playing against W&M on Thursday:  We've got to do a better job than we did in the first game. (GMU lost 76-66 on Jan. 5) ... (Taysha) Pye was really good off the dribble. We've got to do a better job staying in front of her, contesting shots. ... We've got to focus on the right things, which is to maintain the focus we need over a 40-minute stretch.


Toia Giggetts
On CAA Rookie of the Week Toia Giggetts (of Lake Taylor High in Virginia Beach), who had a career-high 12 points and eight boards against Towson: She's gone through a series of weeks where's she's been up and down and you expect that from a freshman. ... She reminds me of a former player I had in Kisha Stokes.

From day one, she displayed a mentality she could help us in so many different ways. It was a matter of her understanding what physical condition she had to be in to play at this level and she's done the necessary work.

We seem to be in foul trouble quite a bit and she comes into the game and gives us another versatile forward.

On Kirby Burkholder (9.9 ppg, 6.4 rpg): Kirby had probably the best offseason of any freshman I've ever had. (She's gone) from a role player to someone we're really counting. ...She emerged as a shooter almost by accident. I saw her shooting one day in practice and she just knocked down three-pointer after three-pointer.

On changing Burkholder's mentality as she's not a natural shooter: Courtney Hamner never met a shot she didn't like. Neither did Dawn Evans. I think (Kirby) has gotten a lot better with her mentality, her approach. ... She does so much more for us, though. She's one of our leading rebounders, one of our leading assist leaders. She really stuffs the stat sheet.

Life without Dawn: (Tarik Hislop) is doing a wonderful job. Tarik is not a natural point guard, and she's transitioning over to the point guard spot. ... She got caught up in the last few games where she thought her biggest asset to us was scoring, and it's not. It's leadership. 

On playing high-octane Hofstra (No. 1 offense in the CAA, averaging 78.4 ppg) on Thursday: We've done a little good job defensively in the last six or seven games with the exception of the second half against Drexel. ... Now we play two of the highest scoring teams in the conference. It's going to be a battle. I don't know if it's going to be like the Patriots vs. the Ravens.....We don't want to get into a track meet with them. I think it's been proven that nobody is successful when they get into a track meet with Hofstra because they are so good at what they do.


In case you missed it, we gave you the details of Elena Delle Donne's injury earlier this week.

On playing Towson on Thursday: It's a big week for us. Starting out at Towson, we've got to rebound the ball and we've got to defend smartly. ... They are 7-0 at home and defending their home turf very, very well. It's one of the games where we don't stay over. We don't get to shoot there. ... I always dislike that scenario.

On playing Drexel on Sunday: Obviously, Drexel is coming in here and I think right now they're the hottest team in the CAA, the way they're scoring and defending.