Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rivalry Night

It's the first of two "Rivalry Nights" in Centennial basketball this season. Tonight, some of the top matchups in the Conference are renewed, including Haverford-Swarthmore, Muhlenberg-Ursinus, and Dickinson-Franklin & Marshall. But the night's biggest women's games take place in Chestertown and Gettysburg, as Johns Hopkins and McDaniel come to town, while Allentown is the place to be on the men's side.

McDaniel at Gettysburg (Women's Basketball)
This is the 77th time that the Green Terror (9-2 CC, 10-4) and the #24 Bullets (8-1, 13-1) have met on the hardwood and one of the first times that first place in the Conference is on the line. McDaniel has won 10 straight games, inclduing an overtime win at No. 9 Muhlenberg last week, but the Terror is 0-3 in its last three trips to the Battlefield. Gettysburg is looking to bounce back from its first loss of the season, falling at home to the Mules. The Orange and Blue has won five straight in the series but trails all-time, 42-34. Two of the Centennial's top players will take center stage tonight in McDaniel's Ali Moreland (14.9 ppg) and Gettysburg's Caitlin Moser (15.4 ppg). Expect a full house, as Gettysburg is promoting the game as "Orange Crush Night." Watch the game online.

Johns Hopkins at Washington (Women's Basketball)
The Blue Jays (5-5, 7-7) and the Shorewomen (4-5, 6-9) meet in a contest that does not have implications on the top spot in the Conference, but certainly on the playoff chase as we close in on February. Hopkins, Washington, F&M, Ursinus and Swarthmore are all within one game of the fifth and final playoff spot at the halfway mark. A win tonight gives one team a leg up on the pack. Hopkins has a 21-1 all-time mark against Washington, but the Shorewomen' only win came in the teams' last meeting last season at the Cain Center (66-58). Keep an eye on the inside battle between JHU's Lyndsay Burton (7.9 rpg) and Washington's Erin Kile (8.5 rpg).

Ursinus at Muhlenberg (Men's Basketball)
There are more natural rivalries among Centennial schools, such as Haverford-Swarthmore, but in terms of competitiveness, this one could be unmatched. Muhlenberg (6-2, 8-6) leads the all-time series with Ursinus (5-3, 9-6), 59-36, and the teams have split the series since 1994, winning 16 games apiece. Twelve of the last 20 games between the teams have been decided by nine points or less with three contests determined in overtime. It will be a contrast of styles, as the Mules like to power the ball inside to Peter Barnes (11.8 ppg, 8.6 rpg) and Spencer Liddic (12.6 ppg, 9.4 rpg), while the Bears possess the backcourt strength of Matt Hilton (16.9 ppg, 48.5% 3pt FG) and Remy Cousart (15.4 ppg).

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