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.

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