Sunday, January 15, 2012

VCU holds on over Tribe; JMU avenges loss to Towson; ODU, GMU, Tech fall

VCU 83, William and Mary 80
Nailbiter again, and at this point, the Tribe (8-8, 1-4) is down to its cuticles after three straight losses by a total of eight points. And we know there are no moral victories in sports, but after VCU looked to be on cruise control up 16, W&M actually trimmed that to one thanks to a surge of points from Janine Aldridge, who finished with 25. Aldridge scored nine of those in the last 37 seconds, burying her second trey of that run with eight seconds left to pull it to 81-80. VCU (11-5, 4-1) closed it with free throws, though the Tribe's Jaclyn McKenna had a chance for the tie, but her 3 didn't fall. Old Reliable Emily Correal turned in 16 points and 12 boards, and Taysha Pye, back in the starting lineup, added 16. Courtney Hurt's 28 and 15 boards led the Rams, who also got 18 from Andrea Barbour.

James Madison 67, Towson 57
Not this time, Tigers. JMU (12-4, 3-2) used a 16-5 run down the stretch to avenge its earlier defeat to Towson (amazing the Dukes have played only five CAA games and two of them have been to Towson). Kenny Brooks credited Tarik Hislop for getting out of a funk, noting, "She was a leader for us tonight. She really helped everyone out, set everyone up, really played like a point guard tonight." Hislop was one off her career high with 21 points, and freshman Toia Giggetts had a career-best 12 points with five boards.

Hofstra 81, Old Dominion 69
The Lady Monarchs tamed high-flying Hofstra -- but only for a half. Hofstra outscored ODU 44-20 in the second half to improve to 13-2, 5-0 in the CAA. Shante Evans scored 22 and Virginia Beach's own Marie Malone (Kellam High) tallied a career-best 20, but our favorite Pride player Nicole Capurso is who impressed us with 20 of her own. Capurso plays with those Pippi Longstocking braids, and she's a blast to watch -- the kind of kid who dives for the loose ball with her team up 20 and passes with the aplomb of a UConn guard all while nailing six 3s of her own. ODU got 27 from Tia Lewis and 15 from Jackie Cook but not enough from anyone else and had another horrid effort at the free-throw line, misfiring on 13.

UNC Wilmington 61, George Mason 53
Janaa Pickard and Amber Easter each scored 11, but the Patriots didn't have the fuel to match the Seahawks. GMU (7-9, 1-4) turned it over 20 times and sent the Seahawks to the line 26 times. UNC Wilmington only made 16 freebies, but the Patriots were just 9-of-11 from the foul line. Taleia Moton was held to nine for the Patriots, who were outscored 28-8 by the Seahawk bench.

Duke 61, Virginia Tech 34
Tech's ailing offense was no match for Duke (14-2, 5-0), which got 20 from only-a-matter-of-time ACC Freshman of the Year Elizabeth Williams. Said Hokies coach Dennis Wolff, "Teams that have been able to put pressure on our guards, who are statistically our leading scorers. So, if they get rattled, like they did early in the game, we get discombobulated. There has to be a mindset that we can play with these teams so that we don’t dig ourselves into these types of holes." Truth is few teams in the nation can compete with this Duke team that limited Virginia Tech to 20 percent shooting in the first half.

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