Women's Hoops Blog

Inane commentary on a game that deserves far better

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Once again, ladies, gentlemen, and those of you who eschew such old-fashioned categories, please allow the Women's Hoops Blog to present the Mid-Majors at Mid-Week report.

America East: The Terriers of Boston University, true to their name, are hanging on to that unblemished A-East record. After that dramatic OT win last week, BU traveled to Hartford and picked up another crucial win, coming back from a twelve-point deficit to force OT and take the Hawks 80-75 behind 27 points from Christine Kinneary and a critical three from Kristi Dini. With three to play, Boston U has a two-game lead on Hartford for the top seed in the America East tournament... which is played at Hartford. The Terriers host Maine on Sunday.

Atlantic 10: When last we left Xavier, they had spanked LaSalle and looked quite, quite dominant. A narrow win over St. Louis might have been a warning sign. But, as Helen has said, the #13/#13 Musketeers got disembOWLed on Wednesday night at Temple. Fans stormed the floor after the Owls' 74-65 win over Xavier on Senior Night. Three-pointers and bench play were key. Xavier finishes the regular season on Saturday with a visit to Fordham; they own the tie-breaker over Charlotte and thus have sewn up the top seed in the A-10 tourney down in Charlotte.

Atlantic Sun: Florida Gulf Coast still has their lead on East Tennessee State, improving to 16-3 in conference with their 57-48 win over North Florida and Kelsey Jacobson's three to beat Jacksonville 68-67. The Eagles finish their regular season at Campbell on Thursday night, while the Mocs have to contend with 11-7 Kennesaw State and 11-7 Mercer.

Big Sky: Montana's forged a tie with Portland State here. The Lady Griz and the Vikings both sit at 12-1 in conference after Montana and Big Sky co-PotW Sonya Rogers stomped Idaho State 73-39 Every game is critical for both teams: the second tiebreaker gets messy and involves teams lower in the standings. Montana hosts Northern Colorado tonight. Meanwhile, further west, Portland State rejoices in their All-American recruits and whacked Northern Colorado 89-71. Looking forward to that March 7th game more and more...

Big South: Liberty is still undefeated, running their mark up to 12-0 and clinching the Big South regular-season title with a 77-44 win over Coastal Carolina and a 81-59 whooping of Charleston Southern on 70.2% shooting. (Dear LU: may I suggest moving up in conference class? You guys must be bored by now.) Next lamb to the slaughter: UNC-Asheville on Saturday, at Liberty.

Big West: It's been a rough week for the Gauchos. First there was the 59-50 loss at Pacific that dropped their conference record to 12-1, and then the bad, 70-51 loss to Oregon State in out of conference play. But at least their unique Pink Zone event went well. UC-Riverside is now within striking distance for the Big West's regular-season crown. The game on March 5th between these teams will be big, but Santa Barbara oughtn't look past Cal State-Northridge on Saturday, nor should Riverside overlook Cal State-Fullerton on Thursday and UC-Irvine on Saturday.

Colonial: Drexel and VCU are still tied, each at 13-2, two games up on James Madison. VCU, after beating Georgia State 63-60 at home, took their act on the road, coming back against Hofstra to win 55-43 in front of 519 people and one set of game notes. Meanwhile, Drexel put the clamps on Delaware in a 55-34 win, then needed OT to pull off a 58-53 victory over Northeastern on Sunday. Tonight, the Dragons and the Rams throw down in Philly to break the month-long tie atop the CAA standings.

Conference USA: Folks, we got us a red-hot mess here. Southern Methodist, Southern Mississippi, and UTEP are all tied at 10-4 in conference and 17-10 outside it- and Houston and UCF lurk at 9-5. The Golden Eagles dropped two straight road games, 77-60 to Tulane and 105-87 to UTEP; the Mustangs of Southern Methodist picked up a 63-41 win against Rice; UTEP, riding a major hot streak, knocked Central Florida down the ladder with a 61-49 win and the aforementioned offensive explosion against Southern Mississippi. Southern Miss hosts UAB; Southern Methodist hosts Tulane; UTEP visits Tulsa. If you're as confused as I am, don't feel bad; it'll clear up next week, when C-USA's regular season is done and we can sort out who did what.

Horizon: Wisconsin-Green Bay still dominates here, with a 15-0 record that guarantees at least a share in the regular-season title; a win tonight at Valparaiso or a loss by Butler clinches the whole enchilada for Horizon PotW Kayla Tetschlag and her team. Their trip to Chicago resulted in a 73-52 victory over UIC. An 88-44 whomping of Loyola followed that.

Ivy: Dartmouth is still undefeated, running their record to 9-0 after defeating Penn 55-36 on Friday and Princeton 43-42. Next up: the New York road trip, Friday at Cornell, Saturday at Columbia. (As an aside, does anyone else love reading Ivy League write-ups as much as I do? They're so refreshingly interesting.)

Metro Atlantic: Still two games up on Canisius with one to go, Marist has clinched the regular season title, thanks to wins over Manhattan (91-82) and Siena (78-49). And what's this? A blog report from a women's game? Nice work, Travis Miller! The Red Foxes finish the regular season at Rider on Saturday night.

Mid-American: Bowling Green still leads both the West Division (by a lot) and the conference (not by a lot). After leaving Akron with an 81-70 victory, they hosted Buffalo in what became the the highest scoring OT in NCAA history, prevailing 89-82. Nobody wants to see BGSU in the MAC tourney. Next up: a Saturday tilt against Kent State.

MEAC: How things change in a week. When last we saw the Hornets of Delaware State, they'd closed to within a game of North Carolina A&T. But two straight losses for them, combined with two straight wins for NC A&T, 84-46 over Winston-Salem and 83-74 over South Carolina State, have dimmed their hopes. One more Aggie win, or one more Hornet loss, gives NC A&T the MEAC regular season title outright; they'll take their first shot Saturday afternoon against Howard.

Missouri Valley: Illinois State has extended its lead over Creighton to a game and a half after a controversial 71-68 win at Southern Illinois and a dramatic, gutsy 67-54 victory at Evansville. They'll host Bradley tonight.

Mountain West: Things are getting a little tight here after Utah's 68-55 loss at UNLV. The Utes now have only a half-game's lead on TCU, and only a game on San Diego State. Two big MWC games on Saturday: while TCU and SDSU sort out who's in second, Utah gears up for arch-rival BYU.

Northeast: Sacred Heart continues its UConn impression, running their conference record to a perfect 17-0. They clinched the NEC regular season title on Saturday at Monmouth, 70-50, then followed that up with a 81-62 drubbing of Central Connecticut State (in second place, four and a half back). They'll host Bryant on Saturday, and wrap up their regular season in Brooklyn on Monday.

Ohio Valley: Murray State looks to be asserting control over the OVC, with a one-game lead over Eastern Illinois and a season sweep of the Panthers with an 84-69 OT win. That probably made up for the 69-51 loss to Southeast Missouri State back on the 19th. They followed that up with an 82-68 win over Tennessee-Martin in a makeup game. Next up for the Racers: a visit from Morehead State on Thursday, the first team to beat them in conference.

Patriot: The Mountain Hawks have been busy. After a physical 73-58 victory at Lafayette, they clinched the Patriot League's regular season title by beating Bucknell 69-60. At 11-2, they lead second-place American by three games. Lehigh finishes its regular season hosting Holy Cross on Saturday.

Southern: Does it get better than a regular-season finale for all the marbles? Western Carolina played the equalizer, first visiting Chattanooga and beating them 56-52, then heading out on the road again and taking out Samford, 55-53. Saturday's game at Samford will decide if the Mocs of Chattanooga or the Bulldogs of Samford get the #1 seed and the regular-season crown in the Southern.

Southland: It's an old-fashioned Texas duel here. UT-Arlington and UTSA are tied at 11-2 in the conference after Arlington's 98-69 win over Central Arkansas and 66-59 win over Lamar (and how many coaches have won a game barefoot this year?), while UTSA beat Sam Houston State 85-54 and Northwestern State 74-69. UTSA will be at Lamar on Saturday; Arlington will be at Sam Houston State Saturday.

Southwest: Prairie View A&M has extended its lead over Southern to three and a half games, 13-1 to 10-5. They beat Mississippi Valley State 74-53 and Arkansas-Pine Bluff 70-53 this past week. They'll visit Alabama State on Saturday.

Summit: Those wascally Wabbits just can't shake Oakland. At 14-2, the Golden Eagles are just a game back of South Dakota State- and with that loss on January 5th, SDSU can't afford any missteps. SDSU put a 70-36 hurtin' on North Dakota State Saturday night. They'll finish at Centenary on Saturday and at Oral Roberts on Monday; Oakland plays UMKC on Saturday and Southern Utah on Monday. Meanwhile, the Argus Leader calls out some BCS schools on their BS.

Sun Belt: Another 0 turned into a 1 this past week after Florida Atlantic's stunning 73-70 upset of Middle Tennessee state. The Lady Raiders struck back at Florida International, notching a 74-54 win that gave them the regular-season title and the #1 seed in the Sun Belt tournament. MTSU will finish its regular season slate on Sunday at home against Western Kentucky.

West Coast: Note to self: if I am ever enmeshed in a battle for the top spot in my conference, I will not go to Pepperdine. The Waves crashed down on Portland first, then on Gonzaga, keeping the separation between the first place Bulldogs and the second place Pilots at one game. The last round of WCC games is coming up, with travel partners Santa Clara and San Diego visiting the Pacific Northwest. Portland hosts Santa Clara on Thursday and San Diego on Saturday; reverse the schedule for Gonzaga.

Western Athletic: Fresno State's half-game lead is still intact, but the 9-3 Bulldogs face a new challenger, the 9-4 Lady Techsters, who in turn have a one-game lead on a three-way tie. Fresno State was idle this week; they'll face Nevada on Friday. Last time out, Louisiana Tech visited Hawai'i and came away with an 89-71 victory. The Lady Techsters host Utah State on Saturday- and then it's on the road to Fresno State on March 2nd, and all eyes in the WAC will be on that one.