Saturday, February 11, 2012

Liberty, Richmond, Hampton, Radford continue win streaks

Reagan Miller

Saturday's results:

Liberty 77, Charleston Southern 69 2 OT
The magic number would be 23. That's 23 points from freshman Reagan Miller and 23 rebounds from Avery Warley -- both career marks. Miller forced overtime with a three-pointer with 53 seconds left in regulation. Charleston Southern's Rachelle Coward then pushed the game to a second extra session, making three free throws with four seconds remaining in OT. Danika Dale's 3 finally notched the win for Liberty (16-7, 11-1), now on a 10-game win streak. Charleston Southern has lost the last 18 to the Lady Flames. It was the first double OT game for Liberty in eight years. And Liberty received an extra bonus when Campbell thumped suddenly reeling High Point 89-68. The Lady Flames now lead the Big South by a full two games over second-place Panthers, who have dropped their last three games.

Hampton 68, Norfolk State 46
Something about the Spartans brings out the best in the Pirates from long range. Last time the teams met Hampton dumped 13 3-pointers on the Spartans (HU won 92-43); on Saturday it was 11. Eight of them were courtesy of Choicetta McMillian, who scored 28 to help Hampton improve to 18-4, 10-1 in the MEAC. NSU trailed by nine midway through the second half before a 13-0 Hampton run put this one in the sack. Melanie Warner scored 21 points with 10 boards for Hampton; Tyisha Bridges led the Spartans (9-14, 4-8) with 11. HU's Jericka Jenkins, averaging 8 assists, dished out 11. The victory, coupled with Howard's 68-61 decision over previously conference unbeaten Florida A&M, moved Howard into a first-place tie with FAMU (17-6, 10-1) atop the MEAC standings. Florida A&M and Hampton will meet for the only time this regular season on Feb. 25 in Tallahassee.

Richmond 63, George Washington 51
Hot start? We'll say. The Spiders opened the game going 10-of-10, and the Colonials never recovered. The win gave the Spiders (19-5, 7-3 Atlantic 10) the series sweep and kept their own win streak alive at eight. Saturday's game featured a matchup between two multi-sport athletes in Division I: Spider Becca Wann (basketball, soccer) and Colonial Jamie Armstrong (basketball, volleyball). (Wann got the better of the matchup, blocking one of Armstrong's shots and finishing with 12 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals. In Armstrong's first collegiate game, she scored two with three blocks and three boards. Richmond spread around the love: Rachael Bilney had 15, Abby Oliver 11 and Genevieve Okoro 10 off the bench. The Spiders are now in sole possession of fourth place in the Atlantic 10 as Charlotte (15-10, 7-4) dropped a half game back after getting blitzed by Duquesne 81-55. Fourth place is an important spot for the Spiders to hang onto as the top four teams receive first-round byes in the Atlantic 10 Tournament.

Radford 55, Coastal Carolina 43
The Highlanders (13-10, 7-5 Big South) ended the first half on a 17-2 run and coasted to their sixth straight victory. The streak, fueled by 14 points from Ashley Buckhannon, is the longest since the 2006-07 season. That Radford defense we love to brag about limited the Chanticleers to just 27 percent shooting in both halves. Da'Naria Erwin Spencer added 10 for Radford with six assists.

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