Sunday, January 8, 2017

Big shots: Sunday's top stars

Not as many options as we'd like on an overall disappointing day for the state's teams, but here are the three brightest stars from Sunday's games. Also, a quick look at Monday's lone matchup.

3. Regan Magarity, Virginia Tech

Another game, another double-double for the Swedish redshirt sophomore, who went for 14 points and 13 rebounds to help the Hokies knock off Clemson. Magarity, who had 24 points and 17 rebounds in Monday's ACC opener against North Carolina, has now posted a double-double in seven her her last eight games.

2. Samantha Hill, Virginia Tech

The senior guard tied for team-high scoring honors with 16 points as the No. 18 (with a bullet) Hokies remained undefeated at Clemson. She also spent significant time filling in at point guard for a foul-plagued Chanette Hicks yet committed only one turnover in 38 minutes. It's funny. Before the season began, we weren't sure what new head coach Kenny Brooks would do with Hill, who averaged just 2.5 points per game last season. Now, we're not sure what he would do without her.

1. Janelle Hubbard, Richmond

The senior guard was "the closer" for the Spiders Sunday, scoring 11 of her 16 points in the fourth quarter as Richmond held off St. Bonaventure 61-54. The biggest Hubbard hoop came with 45 seconds left when her driving layup boosted a three-point Richmond edge to five. It's also noteworthy that for the game Hubbard made five of her 10 field goal attempts After being mired in a serious shooting slump through the middle of last month, Hubbard has now made 50 percent of her shots in two of her last three games.

Sunday's results

Virginia Tech 78, Clemson 69
    - Brooks called it "probably my least favorite performance of the season." When you can say that about a near-double digit road victory in a league like the ACC, life's pretty good.

Richmond 61, St. Bonaventure 54
   - Fourth victory in five games for the Spiders. Richmond still didn't make a lot of shots (33.9 percent). But on this day, 20 of 59 from the field was just enough.

Towson 54, JMU 51
   - We had a weird feeling about this game.... Season lows in field goal percentage (30.0 percent) and 3-point percentage (2-21, 0.95 percent) helped do it the Dukes in Baltimore. The loss snapped JMU's five-game win streak this season, its 22-game winning streak against CAA foes and its 11-game winning streak against Towson. In other words, what happened Sunday hasn't happened often.

North Carolina 67, Virginia 58
- No shame in losing a close one in Chapel Hill; a lot of teams can relate. But in an all-too-familiar refrain, Cavaliers coach Joanne Boyle bemoaned the ill-timed turnovers that led to her team's demise. Virginia now has a combined 60 giveaways in its three ACC games.

Saint Louis 62, VCU 48
- The Rams were in decent position down just 48-44 after three quarters but made just one of 15 field goal attempts in a disastrous four-point fourth quarter. Overall a missed opportunity at home against an A-10 power.

What's our record?

Virginia Tech 15-0, 2-0 ACC; William and Mary 11-2, 1-1 CAA; Virginia 11-5, 0-3 ACC; Radford 10-3, 2-0 Big South; JMU 9-5, 2-1 ACC; VCU 9-8, 2-1 A-10; George Mason 9-8, 2-2 A-10; Richmond 8-8, 2-1 A-10; Hampton 7-7, 1-0 MEAC; Old Dominion 7-8, 2-2 C-USA; Norfolk State 6-7, 1-0 MEAC; Liberty 3-10, 2-0 Big South; Longwood 3-10, 0-2 Big South

Monday's game

Savannah State (2-11, 0-1 MEAC) at Hampton (7-7, 1-0), 5 p.m.

The very definition of a good matchup - a Hampton team that prides itself of gritty defense meets a Tigers squad that has been limited to 46 points or less in seven of its last eight games. Let's just say we're not expecting a shootout.

The South Carolina State-Norfolk State game originally scheduled for Monday has been postponed because of the weekend snowstorm. It will now be played on Feb. 15.

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