Sunday, December 13, 2015

What's on tap (Sun., Dec. 13)

JMU (5-2) at Richmond (6-2), 2 p.m.

   - In a game featuring two outstanding backcourts, the outcome could hinge on which team can get the most out of its young frontcourt players. The Dukes do have one veteran in the post in junior Da'Lishia Griffin, and she's gobbling up 9.9 rebounds a game so the Spiders will have a big challenge in dealing with her. The still-developing Dukes are just 1-2 in road games so far and are coming off Monday's 56-45 loss at St. Bonaventure. But JMU hasn't lost to an in-state opponent in more than three years, a stretch that includes home victories this season over Longwood and Liberty. The Spiders are 4-1 at home so far but will be without injured starters Lauren Tolson and Tuuli Menna.

Coppin State (2-6) at Virginia Tech (8-1), noon

   - The Hokies have won six straight since a Nov. 18 loss at Georgetown and are coming off Wednesday's 40-point win over another MEAC school, Morgan State. And while deadly 3-point shooting (8.3 triples per game) has been key, defense has been the bedrock of Tech's success as the Hokies have held five of their last six opponents to 47 points or less.

Maryland-Eastern Shore (3-6) at VCU (6-2), 1 p.m.

   - This game could mark the VCU debut of point guard and former Old Dominion standout GG Goodhope, whose Rams eligibility begins as soon as first semester grades are posted. VCU is 4-0 at home so far with victories over Coppin State, Campbell, Furman and UNC Wilmington and have yet to allow more than 45 points at the Siegel Center. The Rams will be playing without forward Camille Calhoun, who suffered an ACL injury in VCU's win at Arizona State and is out for the season.

UNC Wilmington (2-3) at Norfolk State (0-6), 6 p.m.

   - Leaky defense is mainly what's holding Norfolk State back as the Spartans are surrendering 80.8 points per game on 47.7 percent shooting (338th of 344 Division I teams). This seems like a good matchup for them since the undermanned Seahawks (eight healthy players) have yet to score more than 53 points against any of their four Division I opponents. Furthermore, UNCW is 0-17 in non-conference road games since 2012, a streak that includes losses at Richmond and VCU this season.
That said, the Seahawks compete hard, are good at forcing turnovers and are by no means an easy out.

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