Monday, March 12, 2012

BFFs Stepney and Leary coming home for NCAA Tournament

BFFs Linda Stepney and Crystal Leary have played basketball together since they were 11 years old.

On Saturday they'll get to do it in the NCAA Tournament in their hometown.

The Lake Taylor High School (Norfolk) graduates will be at the Constant Center for first and second rounds. The high school buds are both freshmen at West Virginia University, which meets No. 9 Texas in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at 11 a.m. Saturday.

22 is Linda; 32 is Crystal
From Stepney's Facebook page (which has piles of pics of Leary....) "I need all my #757 people especially NORFOLK to come show some love Saturday!!!!!"

The Moutaineers received an at-large berth from the Big East after finishing fifth in that conference with a 23-9 record. That record includes one of the biggest wins of any team this season -- 65-63 at Notre Dame on Feb. 12. (The Irish, by the way, are a No. 1 seed.)

Just an FYI: LadySwish spoke to Stepney a few weeks ago and after initial homesickness, she said she is enjoying West Virginia except for the weather.

"It's always cold here," she groaned.

West Virginia will be playing a Texas team that could have easily been left out of the bracket were it not for a pair of wins over defending national champion Texas A&M, which received a 4 seed. The Longhorns are 18-13 and surely Gail Goestenkors remembers the last time she was in the Constant Center. Her Duke team fell to Minnesota in the Elite Eight in 2004.

Also in Norfolk, No. 1 Stanford vs. No. 16 Hampton (note our post about the Lady Pirates being "rewarded" for their 26-4 season by receiving a date with The Cardinal, albeit one across the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel, not across the country).

Led by NCAA assist leader Jericka Jenkins, Hampton won its third straight MEAC title on Saturday.

Stanford is 31-1 (the early-season loss is to UConn), and the act that is Nmemkadi Ogwumike and younger sis, Chiney, is pretty awesome up close. Nnemkadi averages 21.8 ppg; Chiney averages 15.8 ppg. Stanford beat Texas 72-59 in its season opener.

Stanford/Hampton tips off at approximately 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Monday's subregional final is at 7 p.m.

1 comment:

  1. Hampton was shipped to New Mexico last year. Stanford has been kept close to home since 1999 when they were in Norfolk as. 7 and lost.