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.

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