Saturday, November 28, 2015

What happened, what's ahead (Nov. 28)

Could the law firm of Hubbard, Tolson and Parson successfully close another case? Should we start calling her “Downtown” Keyana Brown? And was Liberty really leading mighty Ohio State in the fourth quarter?

Let’s check the highlights….

ICYMI – Friday’s results

Rutgers 60, Virginia 48 – You can’t win them all, right? The Cavaliers (5-1) got a career-high 18 points from forward Lauren Moses and 19 points off 19 Scarlet Knights turnovers, but it wasn’t nearly enough to offset an overall poor shooting night (28.8 percent FG, 65.8 percent FT) at the Paradise Jam.

Pittsburgh 67, Old Dominion 58 – Old Dominion’s second game at the Paradise Jam featured some encouraging signs for the Lady Monarchs (1-5) on offense. Jennie Simms had 9 assists to go with her team-high 17 points, Keyana Brown got white-hot from 3 (5-5) for the second time in three games and Destinee Young (13 points) added some much-needed scoring from a post player.  The attack whimpered down the stretch, though, as the Lady Monarchs made just one of their last seven shots as the Panthers pulled away. ODU has now been outscored in its last five fourth quarters and by a combined 66-37 in the fourth quarters during its four-game losing streak . Before the season began the Lady Monarchs boasted of outstanding conditioning, but so far that hasn’t translated into winning basketball at the business end of these games. More on Downtown Keyana Brown – DKB is now 8-14 from 3 over her last three games, and that includes an 0-4 effort in Thursday’s blowout loss to Maryland.

Richmond 60, Wichita State 48 – In the team’s FIU Turkey Slam opener, The Spiders’ sensational guard trio led the way again as Micaela Parson (a career-high 20 points), Janelle Hubbard (12) and Lauren Tolson (11) all scored in double figures for the third time in five games. Freshman forward Tuuli Menna chipped in seven points and eight boards as the Spiders cruised past a depleted Shockers bunch that is just a shell (shell-Shockers?) of the squad that won 29 games and the Missouri Valley Conference title last season. The Spiders’ 5-0 record marks the team’s best since 2008-09.

No. 11 Ohio State 75, Liberty 65 – Led by twin towers Ashley Rininger (18 points, 6 rebounds) and Catherine Kearney (11 points, 8 boards), the Lady Flames (2-3) gave the Buckeyes fits for three-plus quarters at the South Point Shootout and actually led 61-60 with 7:29 left. Ultimately, Ohio State’s ability to turn Liberty over (the Buckeyes scored 37 points off 29 Lady Flames giveaways) carried the day. Still, we doubt anyone who saw this game is still wondering what Liberty is doing in a tournament with Ohio State, California and Texas A&M.

No. 8 Mississippi State 94, Norfolk State 32 -  Koryn Lawrence led Norfolk State (0-5) with 12 points. Otherwise, the final score pretty much says it all.

Team records

Richmond 5-0; Virginia 5-1; Virginia Tech 5-1; William and Mary 4-1; JMU 3-1; VCU 3-1; Liberty 2-3; Radford 1-2; Longwood 1-3; George Mason 2-4; Old Dominion 1-5; Norfolk State 0-5; Hampton 0-5

Saturday’s games

Virginia vs. Tulane (3-3), 1 p.m. – Survival of the fittest as it’s the third game in three days for both at the Paradise Jam.  Tulane has gotten cuffed around in this event by Green Bay (a 21-point loss) and Rutgers (a 24-point setback). A little over a week ago, though, the Green Wave held its own in a six-point loss at Florida State, then followed that up with a one-point win over LSU.

Lees-McRae (0-5, Division II) at Radford, 2 p.m. – A year ago, Radford lost its non-Division I encounter. The humbled Highlanders regrouped and went on to have a successful season, but here’s hoping the team doesn’t learn its lesson the embarrassing way again.

Longwood at UNC Greensboro (2-3), 2 p.m. – The Lancers are coming off Tuesday’s 60-49 victory over North Carolina Central. UNCG is 0-3 against Division I programs (losses to South Carolina, High Point and Gardner-Webb).

George Mason at UNLV (4-0), 3 p.m. – The Patriots are winding up an 11-day odyssey that has taken them from Utah to Alaska before this two-day tournament in Las Vegas. Odds are the players have either formed an incredible bond or can’t wait to finally get away from each other.  Let’s hope it’s the former. UNLV has played all its games at home.

Liberty vs. No. 16 California (4-1), 5:15 p.m. - Another big challenge awaits the Lady Flames in the South Point Shootout (Las Vegas).

Old Dominion vs. South Dakota State (3-2), 5:45 p.m. – This will be the third of three games in the Paradise Jam for both. The quality of the Jackrabbits is evidenced by their extremely competitive losses to Notre Dame (by 11 points) and Maryland (7), teams that – as Old Dominion can attest – make a habit out of crushing folks by 40 or 50.

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