Thursday, February 9, 2012

CAA Thursday: JMU moves into 2nd place; VCU roars past reeling Hofstra

Thursday's results:

JMU 56, Drexel 51 (OT): Tarik Hislop hit a game-tying jumper with 1:17 left in regulation and scored 8 of her game-high 22 points in overtime as the Dukes (18-5, 9-3 CAA) moved into sole possession of second place in the CAA race. JMU began the day tied with Hofstra, which lost at VCU. Hislop was a combined 4 for 37 from the field in the Dukes previous two games. But shooters keep shooting, and the junior guard made 8 of 22 in this one and was particularly strong with the game on the line. The Dukes prevailed despite a 10-for-25 effort from the free throw line. But at least they went to the line. Drexel did not attempt a free throw until there were only 52 seconds left in overtime and finished 1 of 2 from the line for the game. The Dragons (11-11, 7-5) also made just 30.6 percent of their shots and were outrebounded 59-41. The loss was Drexel's third straight at home; JMU improved to 7-1 since its 60-43 home loss to the Dragons on Jan. 12 in the teams' first meeting..

VCU 76, Hofstra 60: Here come the Rams? Could be, after the Rams (14-9, 7-5 CAA) notched their third victory in four games. Furthermore, while Hofstra appears to have hit a wall of late, this is by far the best team VCU has beaten all season. A big second half did the trick for the Rams, who trailed by three points at halftime before outscoring the Pride 51-28 the rest of the way. Andrea Barbour scored 21 of her game-high 26 points in the second half, and Courtney Hurt got 15 of her 20 after the break. Hurt also hauled down 15 rebounds to spearhead an effort that resulted in the Rams enjoying a 53-40 advantage on the boards. Shante Evans had 13 points and 7 rebounds for Hofstra (16-7, 8-4), which shot just 31 percent from the field. In the big picture, this loss pretty much ends the CAA's dream of putting three teams in the NCAA Tournament since back-to-back losses severely weakens Hofstra's case for an at-large bid. The Pride is just 3-4 in its last seven games and now finds itself in the same boat as every other conference team save Delaware and possibly JMU - win the CAA tournament title or settle for the WNIT, at best.

George Mason 75, Northeastern 62: Taleia Moton scored 16 points to lead four players in double figures as the Patriots (12-11, 6-6 CAA) won for the fifth time in seven games. Amber Easter recorded her fifth double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds, Rahneeka Saunders also scored 14 points and Janaa Pickard chipped in 11 points and 8 rebounds for the Patriots, who led 35-32 at halftime and gradually pulled away over the final 20 minutes. Christine Huber had 21 points and 10 rebounds for Northeastern (4-19, 2-10). But the Huskies played without sophomore forward Jewel Tunstull (12.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg), the team's leading rebounder. Not sure of the reason she didn't play yet, but the Patriots certainly exploited her absence as they outrebounded the Huskies 43-31 and scored 19 second-chance points thanks to 22 offensive boards.

 No. 12 Delaware 76, Old Dominion 63: Elena Delle Donne had 27 points, 15 rebounds and 3 blocks as the Blue Hens (21-1, 12-0 CAA) won their 11th straight. Delaware expanded a 10-point halftime lead to 23 with 13:30 remaining. But the Lady Monarchs fought back thanks in large part to freshman guard Myeisha Hall, who hit 3 3-pointers and scored all 14 of her points in the second half to help ODU cut the deficit to eight. But because the Blue Hens don't turn it over (just 13 for the game) and make their free throws (the Division I leaders 20 of 26 from the line Thursday), this is an extremely difficult team to rally all the way back against. Tia Lewis had 15 points and 9 rebounds and Jackie Cook added 11 points and 8 boards for ODU (8-16, 5-7).

Towson 56, William and Mary 50: Another close loss for the Tribe (9-14, 2-10 CAA), which dropped its third straight game by seven points or less. Six of William and Mary's CAA losses have come in this fashion. The Tribe came in averaging 71.1 points per game but didn't get the typical offensive production from leading scorer Janine Aldridge and Taysha Pye. Aldridge came in averaging 14.8 points but scored just 5 on 2 of 10 shooting in 25 minutes. Pye, who averaged 13.4, missed all six of her shots and didn't score at all while playing just 9 minutes off the bench. Deree Fooks and Krystal Parnell each scored 13 points to pact Towson (14-9, 5-7), which also beat William and Mary 77-75 on Jan. 12 in Baltimore.

Other CAA score

UNC Wilmington 72, Georgia State 69

CAA standings
Delaware                  12-0    21-1
James Madison           9-3     18-5
Hofstra                       8-4     16-7
UNC Wilmington       8-4      15-8
VCU                         7-5      14-9
Drexel                        7-5     11-11
George Mason           6-6     12-11
Towson                     5-7      14-9
Old Dominion            5-7      8-16
William and Mary      2-10    9-14
Northeastern             2-10    4-19
Georgia State            1-11    7-16

Also Thursday

N.C. State 74, Longwood 45: Erin Neal scored 15 points and Chelsea Coward added 10 for the Lancers (5-21).

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