Sunday, February 26, 2012

Patriots spoil VCU's Senior Day; JMU thumps ODU; W&M, Richmond fall; Longwood wins finale

Senior Day for Courtney Hurt
Sunday's results (separate ACC post coming....):

George Mason 69, VCU 59
Results like this convince us of the fun waiting at the CAA Tournament. The Patriots played spoiler on Senior Day for the Rams. Honored were Courtney Hurt, Andrea Barbour and Chelsea Snyder. Jennifer Lane was not in attendance (we've inquired and are awaiting an answer). For the Rams, we've written this so many times it's on save-get. Hurt and Barbour got theirs combining for 37 points and 19 rebounds. VCU was never able to overcome an early double-digit lead by George Mason, who had its usual suspects in fine form also (Taleia Moton 20 points, Amber Easter 15). The win gives the Patriots a sweep in the series and their first win in Richmond since 2004. "I'm really excited and proud of this team," said Patriots coach Jeri Porter. "Just to be able to come in to a really, really difficult venue and get a win lets me know that the kids are locked in and ready to move forward."

James Madison 63, Old Dominion 44
Harrisonburg has never been welcoming to the Lady Monarchs (9-20, 6-11), but in the opening minutes, it looked like ODU was primed to pull out that win it should have gotten when the teams met in Norfolk. ODU, which did not start senior Tia Lewis and junior Jackie Cook, raced out to a 15-5 advantage before JMU took over for the duration. The Dukes (22-6, 13-4), who already had clinched the No. 2 seed in the CAA Tournament, held an opponent to under 30 percent shooting for the sixth time. The Lady Monarchs were without a field goal for 14 minutes in the second half, allowing the Dukes to go up by as many as 24. It's looking like the season has worn on a young ODU team that needs to turn it around in a hurry to avoid its first-ever first-rournd loss in the conference tournament (Lady Monarchs have never had to play in the first round before.) We pay tribute also to JMU's trio of seniors: Lauren Whitehurst (10 points, 10 boards), Rachel Connely and Kiara Francisco. Tarik Hislop led all scorers with 20 points.

Georgia State 74, William and Mary 62
This is one of those results that you look at and say, "How?" Taysha Pye's 22 and Emily Correal's double-double (18 points, 14 rebounds) weren't enough, as the rest of the Tribe (10-18, 3-14) hit an offensive wall against a team that had only won one previous CAA game. The Panthers led by 17 late in the second half, shooting 46 percent from the field. The Tribe has lost eight of nine -- too long of a streak for a team with that much height and talent.

Charlotte 77, Richmond 62
Size got the better of the Spiders (22-7, 9-5), but this game doesn't count as far as the Atlantic 10 Tournament seedings. Richmond, which had already wrapped up the No. 4 seed, meets the winner of No. 5 St. Joseph/No. 12 Fordham on Saturday. The 49ers shot 55 percent in the first half, an offensive pace the Spiders were unable to match despite 17 points from Becca Wann.

Longwood 69, NJIT 66
The Lancers (7-22) conclude the 2011-12 season by winning their final two. Brittani Billups scored 25 with nine rebounds and Chelsea Coward scored 18. The days of endless road trips are over for the Lancers, who begin a whole new era next season as a member of the Big South Conference.

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