Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Has Virginia Tech finally found its mojo?

Got caught up doing other things and missed a bunch of the games last night. So we're left with a few questions:

Has Virginia Tech turned a corner?
After last week's opening-day loss to Cincinnati in the Hokie Classic, Tech coach Dennis Wolff praised his team's effort over the final 12 minutes. We thought it might be a simple case of trying to put lipstick on a ugly loss. Then the Hokies rebounded with a win over a solid UMBC team. And on Monday night, they blitzed Clemson by opening the game with a 17-0 run and storming out to a 32-3 lead en route to a 55-33 victory. Tech now has back-to-back victories for the first time this season. There's still plenty of rebuilding to do in Blacksburg. But if this effort level keeps up, maybe we'll all look back at those last 12 minutes against Cincinnati as the point where a lot of good things finally kicked in.

Is this the real Alyssa Bennett?
After spending the past two years getting her mind, body and grades in order, the former ESPN Top-40 recruit from Hampton got off to an understandably quiet start at the Division I level for the Lady Pirates (5.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg through her first 11 games). But on Monday, Bennett opened up a can on East Carolina with a season-high 18 points on 9-of-15 shooting in Hampton's 76-48 victory. If this is a signal that Bennett is ready to take off, the rest of the MEAC had better recognize.

When will China Crosby return from her knee injury?
It's still unclear. After Virginia's 77-66 loss at Duke Monday, Cavaliers coach Joanne Boyle said the following:

"She's going to have a scope on Wednesday. They're going to look in there and see what's going on. They took an MRI, but they're not really sure. It's not clear what's going on, so hopefully we'll know more on Wednesday." The Cavaliers junior point guard suffered the injury 30 seconds into Virginia's game against James Madison on Dec. 20 and has been sidelined ever since.

Virginia knew it would be facing Duke without Crosby. But midway through the second half, they also lost forward Chelsea Shine when she took a blow to the mouth. "She got two of her teeth knocked back, and they were just sitting there," Boyle said. "They were able to talk to a dentist over the phone and get them back in place. We'll get her to a dentist (Tuesday)."

Physical game. Tough kid.

Click here for more on Norfolk State's 60-57 victory over George Mason.

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