Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Big shots: Tuesday's top stars

Big South Tuesday produced some slight separation at the top of the early league race as Liberty and Radford won battles of conference unbeatens to emerge as the only remaining undefeated teams in league play. The brightest stars:

3. KK Barbour, Liberty 

The sophomore forward produced 10 points, 13 rebounds (6 offensive), 3 blocks in a victory over Presbyterian that feature vintage Liberty work on the glass -. a 48-27 rebounding edge, a 24-11 advantage on the offensive boards and 21 second-chance points.

2. Jayda Worthy, Radford

Worthy's average through the first two Big South games:
17 points, 8 rebounds

Worthy's numbers Tuesday at Campbell:
17 point, 9 rebounds

Clearly, you know what you're going to get these days from Jayda Worthy. No wonder she's the reigning Big South Player of the Week.

1. Iva Ilic, Liberty

Another game, another freshman standout for the Lady Flames. Tuesday's rookie hero was Ilic, the freshman from Koprivnica, Croatia who led all scorers in the Presbyterian showdown with 17 points. More importantly, Ilic did some of her best work when things got tight, after the Blue Hose sliced an 11-point deficit to just two with less than six minutes remaining. Liberty scored the next eight points and Ilic had a hand in seven of them, feeding Audrey Rettstatt for a layup and burying a 3-pointer and a jumper to put the Blue Hose on ice.

Tuesday's results

Liberty 68, Presbyterian 60

Imagine you play for (or coach) another Big South team. You see Liberty with all these freshmen stumbling through loss after loss in the non-conference schedule and think, finally, here's our chance to get even for years of taking Liberty beatdowns!

Yeah, right.

Radford 61, Campbell 42

Powerful statement sent throughout the Big South by the Highlanders, who went on the road and throttled a Campbell club that had won seven in a row and came in with the top scoring defense in Division I. Defending champion UNC Asheville deserves its respect as the Big South's preseason favorite, but right now, Radford looks like the team to beat in this league.

Gardner-Webb 77, Longwood 43

Another tough outing at home for the Lancers, who shot a measly 25 percent from the field and suffered their third straight loss.

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 11-3, 3-0 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 8-7, 2-0 MEAC; Old Dominion 7-8, 2-2 C-USA; Norfolk State 6-7, 1-0 MEAC; Liberty 4-10, 3-0 Big South; Longwood 3-11, 0-3 Big South

Wednesday's games

No. 15 Virginia Tech at No. 14 Miami, 7 p.m.

We've called this the game of the night in Division I women's basketball and, given that it's Wednesday's only game involving two AP Top 25 squads, we're standing by that assertion. Miami has won 10 straight in the series since the Hokies prevailed 73-69 in Coral Gables on Jan. 24, 2010. Tech almost ended that streak last year (Feb. 21, 2016) when the Hokies took the Hurricanes to overtime before falling 67-56. After the game, then-Hokies coach Dennis Wolff praised his team's effort but acknowledged the Hokies didn't quite have enough firepower. With Tech now having five players averaging at least 10 points per game, that issue seems to have been addressed. If the Hokies can get the same level of effort, they may finally have enough offensive juice to successfully scale the Hurricane hurdle.

George Washington at George Mason, 11 a.m.

It's School Day at EagleBank Arena and hundreds of local elementary school students will be on hand. A lot of schools shape their schedule to have this kind of event against a team they're likely to beat. The Patriots are doing it against the defending Atlantic 10 champs. No one can accuse Nyla Milleson of taking the easy way out.

VCU at St. Joseph's, 11:30 a.m.

Another early start as 1,200 young students are expected for the Hawks' "Field Trip To the Fieldhouse" game. The Rams will be looking to regroup after Sunday's home setback against Saint Louis.

Richmond at Fordham, noon

The matinee madness continues in the Bronx. Richmond has won four of its last five but will need to find some answers for Rams forward G'mrice Rice, who averaged 20.5 points and 13.5 rebounds in a pair of games last week to claim Atlantic 10 Player of the Week honors.

Savannah State (2-12, 0-2 MEAC) at Norfolk State (6-7, 1-0), 5:30 p.m.

Game was originally scheduled for Saturday but was postponed due to inclement weather. The Spartans haven't played since last Wednesday and likely missed practices for at least a couple of days because of the storm so it will be interesting to how sharp NSU is, particularly early. The Tigers are coming off Monday's 75-46 loss at Hampton. Savannah State has now lost 11 straight games since downing Alabama State on Nov. 15.

No comments:

Post a Comment