Women's Basketball Games of the Weekend 2/18 - 2/19

Maryland at Miami Women's Basketball

Women’s Basketball Games of the Weekend 2/18 -2/19


There are a couple of strong contests to decide mid-major women’s conferences in the early half of the schedule, but all eyes are likely on Sunday when Duke faces one of its toughest tests of the season in Maryland. Otherwise, this weekend’s women’s schedule is full of potential mismatches, although an upset or two may emerge from the dust.


APPALACHIAN STATE at DAVIDSON (2:30 p.m. Saturday at Belk Arena in Davidson, North Carolina)

The Southern Conference race, unlike with the men, is not split into two divisions. The end result is a conference race that is down to three teams with four games to go. Appalachian State (21-3, 15-1) lost to Davidson 55-52 earlier this season, and if Davidson can repeat the feat then this conference could get mighty good in the closing games. The final game on Appalachian State’s schedule is February 27 – against Chattanooga. For now, the Mountaineers have won 10 in a row since the loss to Davidson. The Wildcats (18-7, 14-2) have losses to Wofford and Samford among their defeats, but Davidson has won seven in a row since falling to Samford by eight points in January.


ALBANY at BOSTON UNIVERSITY (3 p.m. Saturday at Case Gym in Boston, Massachusetts)

In a game that could decide the America East Conference title, Albany travels to Massachusetts to take on the Terriers. Albany (18-9, 12-2) is a game and a half behind Boston and has lost to the Terriers this season, 58-54. If Albany wins this game and beats Binghamton it would finish 14-2, and it would need Boston (20-6, 13-0) to lose two of its remaining three games to tie for the title. In short, there is a lot on the line here. Oh, did we mention Boston has won 13 in a row? Not quite a lucky number, but it just shows the uphill climb Albany has to face. It’s not impossible for Albany to pull this off, because Boston has games with UMBC and Hartford remaining and both teams are in the upper half of the standings.


ST. JOHN’S at No. 2 CONNECTICUT (7 p.m. Saturday at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Connecticut)

Just call St. John’s the little team that could. The Red Storm (17-8, 9-3) and West Virginia are tied for third place in the Big East Conference standings, two full games behind Connecticut and two and a half behind Notre Dame. St. John’s has lost to DePaul, Baylor and Notre Dame, among others, but it has beaten the likes of Louisville and Rutgers. In short, this is not a gimme game for the Huskies even though it’s being played in Connecticut. The Huskies (24-2, 11-1) have handled all ranked challengers with ease this season except Baylor and Notre Dame (and even those were close), so conventional wisdom says Connecticut should win big here. Should you be hearing about an upset Saturday night, however, come back to this column and don’t say we didn’t warn you.


UTAH STATE at FRESNO STATE (10 p.m. Saturday at Save Mart Center in Fresno, California)

The Western Athletic Conference race is winding down, but it could be over today for all intents and purposes if Fresno State can win. Utah State (17-7, 8-2) is a game and a half behind Fresno State with four games remaining, and Fresno did beat the Aggies 90-67 earlier this year. Since then Utah State has won six of seven, the lone loss coming to third-place Louisiana Tech. Fresno State (21-4, 9-0) has losses to USC and Stanford, schools that were ranked at the time the Bulldogs faced them, so Fresno State has played some tough competition. The Bulldogs have won 10 in a row and have five games yet to play.


No. 7 DUKE at No. 18 MARYLAND (3 p.m. Sunday at Comcast Center in College Park, Maryland)

This Atlantic Coast Conference contest definitely won’t be played for the championship, not with Maryland four games back in the standings. Still, there could be some tournament juggling on the line here. Duke (22-3, 13-0) will be without the services of Richa Jackson, who suffered a left knee injury during the game with Virginia Tech, so the Blue Devils will be down one more body. Duke only beat Maryland by eight points, 80-72, the last time around, so this game might be close. Duke’s losses have been to Notre Dame, Kentucky and Connecticut. As for Maryland (22-4, 9-4) its losses have been against Miami (twice), Duke and Virginia Tech.