Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Of Patriot Games and Triplet Fame

Let's talk hoops for a moment, shall we?

Here's an interesting double feature from Monday night, just in time to get December going:
MBB -- Liberty 69, George Mason 66 (OT)
WBB-- High Point 66, George Mason 55

Yes, it's been a bit of a roller coaster this year for out-of-conference play--with surprising upsets working for and against the Big South in these first few weeks...but the twin-killing over the GMU Patriots marked a good night for the Conference against the CAA.

In other hoops news this week, the Presbyterian men did their part Monday night by dispatching Army and ending a long road losing streak for the Blue Hose...meanwhile, the year's second Conference game in men's basketball was played in High Point, where Charleston Southern, led by Jamarco Warren and Omar Carter, downed the Panthers by ten (62-52).

Of course, the first Big South MBB game this year was the ESPN game with UNC Asheville easily dispatching Liberty (84-56). LU may be sitting at the bottom of the Conference with that loss for now, but overall the Flames have been torching all comers. Overtime wins over William & Mary and George Mason (with many thanks to Seth Curry, at right, making key shots) and the upset victory over Virginia would give Liberty better conference records in the Colonial (2-0) and ACC (1-0) than in the Big South (0-1)! Add in the wins over Montreat and Coker and you've got a 5-1 ballclub heading into its second Conference game Saturday against Gardner-Webb, to be televised on MASN.

Want more basketball talk? You can check out my end-of-November report on Big South men's basketball for the Rush the Court blog, which is posted now.

Not to get stuck in a Liberty gear, but there is more news on the LU front, with the Frazee triplets getting a sensational write-up in USA Today (Frazees photo at right from USA Today). With Molly out for the year with her ACL tear--completing the ACL cycle among the three girls--we won't see the three of them play out their senior year together on the court, but what tremendous impact they have had on that program and on women's basketball in the Big South!

Meanwhile, here's a round-up on the NCAA front for the fall sports champions:
Radford's women and Winthrop's men were bounced in the opening rounds of their soccer tournaments (to Duke and William & Mary, respectively), while Liberty's Sam Chelanga came in second among individual runners in the men's cross country championship. Liberty's volleyball team plays a first round match at Nebraska at the end of this week.

Have you been checking the Big South 25th Anniversary stories and videos? This week's spotlight is on High Point's Danny Gathings for his great act of sportsmanship in 2004. While we're on the subject of the "Best of the Best" from the Big South's first quarter-century, I have to ask: HAVE YOU VOTED (for YOUR choice as the Best of the Best)? You can vote once a day for your selection, and fan balloting will be combined with committee votes to determine the final order of these legendary moments in the spring of 2009.

As always, thanks for reading SHOUT--more coming soon!

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