*Complete PDF version of report located at the bottom of this article*
QUICK HITS FOR THE UPCOMING WEEK:
• With just over a month left of non-conference play, the CAA women’s basketball squads look to improve on their 31-23 start to the 2007-08 season.
• William & Mary travels to Milwaukee to play Marquette on Monday night. The game will be televised in the Milwaukee, Minn., market on the Time Warner channel. The Old Dominion Lady Monarchs will host Penn State on Thursday. The game will be broadcast on WSKY in the Norfolk, Va. area.
• James Madison, who has not played a game in nine days, will host #15 George Washington on Tuesday evening. The Dukes will look to defend their 28 game winning streak at home which is the best current run in the nation.
• Old Dominion will face its fourth ranked team of the season when they host Michigan State on Sunday.
• Drexel’s Nicole Hester will be honored by CAA Commissioner Tom Yeager on Wednesday (vs. Siena) with the 2007 Randolph Inspiration Award, which recognizes individuals who through strength of character and human spirit serve as an inspiration to all to maximize their potential and ability for success.
QUICK HITS FROM LAST WEEK:
• The CAA improved on its 31-23 record. James Madison, which was idle last week, UNC Wilmington and VCU remain unbeaten with 4-0 records.
• Old Dominion completed the week with a 4-2 record, with losses to #2 Connecticut and #4 Stanford. The Lady Monarchs defeated #22 Purdue in their final game at the Paradise Jam Tournament. Senior guard TJ Jordan averaged over 13 points an outing for ODU. The Lady Monarchs received 30 votes in last weeks AP Top 25 poll, while also receiving votes in the ESPN/USA Today poll.
• On the week, Drexel’s Gabriela Marginean led the CAA averaging 24.5 points in a pair of losses. Northeastern’s Lucia Pablos and VCU’s Quanitra Hollingsworth posted 22 points in each of their outings. Towson’s Holly Mahan led all squads while grabbing a conference-high 13 rebounds in the loss to Duquesne, while teammate Kandace Davis and Hollingsworth recorded 12 boards each.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Lateisha Wade • George Mason
Willingboro, N.J./ Willingboro/Marshall University, Sr., Guard
George Mason senior guard Lateisha Wade earned CAA Player of the Week honors leading the Patriots to back-to-back victories last week. The senior hit the two final free throws to seal the victory over UMBC on Tuesday. She repeated the feat again versus Longwood as Wade posted four points in the final minute of action to hold off the Lancers in her first start of the season. The Willingboro native finished the week averaging 18 points per outing and added 5.5 rebounds per game and recorded seven assists, one block and three steals. Wade has led the Patriots in scoring in all five games this season and is fourth in the conference averaging 16.6 points per game at the start of the 2007-08 season.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Brittany Blackwell • UNC Wilmington
Raleigh, N.C./Carey Academy, Fr., Forward
UNC Wilmington freshman forward Brittany Blackwell received CAA Rookie of the Week after nearly capturing a double-double on the week averaging 13.5 points and nine rebounds in the Seahawks pair of victories last week. The rookie tallied 12 points on a 6-for-9 effort from the floor against the College of Charleston on Monday. She finished the week with 15-point performance in the home victory over Elon. Blackwell also averaged two steals and two assists to help UNCW to a 4-0 start on the season.
CAA VS. 2007 NCAA TOURNAMENT TEAMS: The CAA have posted a 7-8 mark against teams which made an appearance in the 2007 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship. In the opening week, Delaware defeated Delaware State, James Madison was victorious over Harvard, Northeastern collected a win over Coppin State, and Old Dominion defeated Middle Tennessee. Three wins came on CAA home courts, while Northeastern earned a victory over CSU on a neutral floor. George Mason fell to #9/10 Georgia in Athens, Ga. In week two of the new season, the Dukes posted a victory over UMBC, while Delaware fell to both #3 Maryland and TCU in the Preseason WNIT. In week three, the CAA squads played some of the toughest teams in the nation. Georgia State dropped a tough match to #5 North Carolina, while Hofstra fell to Harvard in the championship game of the Dead River Classic and Delaware lost to Louisville at the Panera Bread Challenge. Old Dominion fell to #2 Connecticut and #4 Stanford at the Paradise Jam. The Lady Monarchs finished the tournament defeating #22 Purdue.
RETURNING TALENT: Seven of the 15 members from last year’s All-CAA teams will return for the 2007-08 season. Three of the five first-team honorees are back: Old Dominion’s TJ. Jordan, William & Mary’s Kyra Kaylor and James Madison’s Tamera Young.
TOP STATISTICAL LEADERS RETURN: The CAA should be loaded once again as the conference welcomes back 13 of its top 20 scorers from last season. Also back are 12 of the CAA’s top 20 in rebounding and 10 of the top 15 in assists and steals.
ODU CAPTURES 16TH STRAIGHT CAA TITLE: Old Dominion edged James Madison 78-70 in another thrilling title game to capture its NCAA record 16th consecutive CAA championship. The Lady Monarchs have never lost a CAA Tournament game since joining the league back in 1991-92. With the win, ODU advanced to its 24th NCAA Tournament, which ranks as the third-most appearances in Division I behind only Tennessee and Louisiana Tech. The Lady Monarchs have won 20 or more games during all 16 seasons as a CAA member.
CAA MAKING HISTORY: For the first time in CAA history, three women’s basketball teams advanced to the 2007 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. Old Dominion, which earned the CAA’s automatic bid, was joined by James Madison and Delaware in the field of 64. Hofstra represented the CAA in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament, which marked the second straight season the CAA had four women’s basketball teams advance to postseason play. The Lady Monarchs made their 16th straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament and 24th overall. James Madison made its seventh NCAA appearance, but first since 1996--the last time the CAA had more than one team in the NCAA Women’s Tournament. Delaware made its second trip to the “Big Dance” which was its first since winning the America East automatic bid in 2002. Hofstra made its second straight appearance in the WNIT. Hofstra advanced to the quarterfinals of the WNIT with wins over Seton Hall and South Carolina. The Pride fell to Western Kentucky, 72-54, in the quarterfinals.
HOME SWEET HOME: James Madison continued its success at home as the Dukes defeated Wake Forest on Sunday. The Dukes own the longest current winning streak on their home court with 28 victories dating back to the 2005-06 season. JMU will next test their strength at home again on Nov. 27 when they host #14/12 George Washington.
TV EXPOSURE: CAA women’s basketball increased its television exposure with 21 games on the air this season. All 12 teams will make least one television appearance. This week William & Mary’s contest against Marquette on Monday will be broadcast along with Old Dominion’s home game against Penn State on Thursday.
2007-08 DEAL WITH THE AMERICA CHANNEL: Colonial Athletic Association Commissioner Tom Yeager announced that the league has entered into an agreement with The America Channel, which will provide live television coverage of a minimum of 18 women’s basketball games and several other CAA Championships beginning in 2008. The America Channel® is a new programming network that will explore and celebrate our communities, campuses, real heroes, and ordinary people who accomplish the extraordinary. The America Channel’s SportsLife ™ initiative merges life and sport – combining broadcast of over 200 NCAA sports games and matches, with real-life drama about the aspirations, achievements, challenges, adventures, community service, and lifestyles of students and student athletes from numerous NCAA conferences.
MAJORITY OF STARTERS RETURN: CAA teams return 55% (33-of-60) of their starting line-ups from a season ago. Drexel, George Mason, Northeastern, Towson and William & Mary only lost one starter from the 2006-07 season. UNC Wilmington and VCU, which both had all five starters back a year ago, return three starters this season.
TOP 10 IN THE NATION: Old Dominion’s TJ Jordan averaged 3.1 three-point field goals per game which ranked her fourth nationally at the completion of the 2006-07 season. Georgia State’s Brittany Hollins finished the season ranked fifth in steals, averaging 3.3 per outing.
DELAWARE (1-5, 0-0 CAA)
The Blue Hens lost their fifth straight as they fell to Boston College, 53-51, Louisville (80-55) and Murray State (62-46) last week. The five game losing streak is the program’s worst stretch since a five-game skid that stretched from March to late November in 2002. With the 1-5 mark, the Blue Hens are off to their worst start since the 1995-96 season. On Tuesday, the Blue Hens ran point-for-point with Boston College, but the Eagles finished the game with a one-tenth of a second put-back from Stefanie Murphy. The loss ended UD’s 15-game win streak against non-conference teams at home. Delaware senior guard Kyle DeHaven scored a team-high 11 points and dished out five assists in her first game back after breaking her hand in the opener. Courtney Irving added a season-high 10 points and sophomore Corinthia Benison collected a career-high nine points off the bench, but the Hens shot just 26.7 percent from the field (14 of 54). In the opening round of the Panera Bread Challenge, the Blue Hens were led by Benison’s 15-point performance, while teammate Vanessa Kabongo added 11. Against Murray State, the Blue Hens were led by guard Ethlynne Thomas’s career-high 10-point performance and Kabongo added 10 of her own. UD has shot below 30 percent from the floor in four of its six games this season. DeHaven, who returned to the court this week in a starting position after breaking her shooting hand in the team’s first outing of the season, collected seven steals on the week moving her into fifth place on the CAA’s All-Time list (330). Delaware returns to its home court when they host LaSalle on Wednesday for its only contest of the week.
DREXEL (1-4, 0-0 CAA)
Drexel fell to 1-4 on the season with a nail-biting 60-57 loss to Army on Tuesday night and a close 66-60 loss to Penn State on Sunday. Both outings where on the road for the Dragons and their opponents combined to lose just three games at home all of last season. Against the Black Knights, sophomore forward Gabriela Marginean finished the game with 24 points and nine rebounds, falling just short of her third straight double-double. Freshman guard Jasmina Rosseel scored a career-high 13 points on 3-for-7 shooting from deep. Drexel opened up with a strong showing in the first half, as the Dragons shot 45.8 percent from the floor and held Army to 27.6 percent shooting. Drexel edged Army on the boards 17-16 as Delise Johnson and Marginean combined for 12 of the Dragons caroms. In University Park on Sunday, Rosseel scored a career-high 16 points in her first career start at point guard, including 12-of-14 in a second-half run that cut a 10-point Penn State lead to just four with 32 seconds remaining. Marginean led all scorers with 25 points. The sophomore forward scored 16 of Drexel’s 28 first-half points and helped the Dragons enter the locker room nipping at the Lions’ heels 30-28. The teams played to a dead heat in the first 20 minutes. Both squads shot 45.8 percent from the floor, but the difference was Penn State’s 4-for-8 shooting from deep in the period. Senior guard Narissa Suber tied her career high with five assists against the Nittany Lions. The Dragons held All-Big Ten guards Tyra Grant and Kamela Gissendanner to a combined five points in the first half on Sunday. Nicole McCombs did some damage as she pulled down a team-high seven rebounds in just 11 minutes against PSU. The Dragons will host Siena on Wednesday, when junior Nicole Hester will be honored by CAA Commissioner Tom Yeager with the Randolph Inspiration Award. After playing four of their first five games on the road to start the season, the Dragons will play six of its next seven contests at home.
GEORGE MASON (3-2, 0-0 CAA)
George Mason extended its winning streak to three straight with a pair of home victories this week. The Patriots defeated UMBC on Tuesday night, 58-57, and earned a win over Longwood, 58-53, on Friday evening. Against UMBC, the Patriots were led by Lateisha Wade’s 19-point effort. Wade hit two free throws with 13 seconds remaining to seal the win for the Patriots. Joining Wade in double figures was freshman Brittany Poindexter, who doubled her previous best output with 12 points to go with a game-high eight rebounds. The Patriots shot 50 percent from the field in the second half to hold off the Retrievers. Mason dished out a season-high 12 assists in the UMBC match-up. On Friday evening, Wade, in her first start of the season, led all scorers with 17 points, while sophomore Rashauna Hobbs added 12, including four three-pointers, to pace the Patriot offense. Wade scored four points in the final minute of play to hold off Longwood in her first start of the season. Mason nearly matched its second half performance from Tuesday evening when they shot 47.8 percent from the field in the second stanza. The Patriots recorded a season-high five blocks against the Lancers. George Mason will visit Richmond on Saturday in hopes of extending its winning streak.
GEORGIA STATE (2-3, 0-0 CAA)
Georgia State battled hard against No. 6 North Carolina, but dropped a 99-64 decision at Carmichael Auditorium on Monday night. The Panthers returned to its winning ways when they defeated Jacksonville State, 63-51, at home on Saturday. In the tough loss to UNC, junior guard Brittany Hollins led State with 14 points, nine assists and five steals. Freshman Danielle Anderson got her first playing time at the win and responded with 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting, while guard Monica Mann added 11 points and seven assists. Senior center Vatai Smith made two blocks at UNC to become the fourth Panther in history to block 100 or more career blocks. On Saturday, Danyiell McKeller scored 12 of her game-high 15 points in the second half to lead Georgia State. GSU got a career-best 15 rebounds from forward Shay Rawls, plus 12 points, five assists and five steals from Hollins, as well as 10 points and six assists from Mann. Rawls ranks second in the conference averaging 9.6 rebounds per outing. The Panthers defense has 10 or more steals in four straight games and is averaging 10.6 on the season. The defense is holding opponents to 37 percent of field goal attempts, which is ranked second in the conference, and under 25 percent outside the three-point arc (fourth in the CAA). Hollins finished the week leading the CAA in steals this season with 17 (3.40 spg) and second in assists with 30 (6.0 apg). The Panthers will seek to post back-to-back wins for the first time this season and get to .500 on the season when they play host to Jackson State on Tuesday night. Tuesday’s contest will mark the 499th of coach Lea Henry’s career.
HOFSTRA (2-2, 0-0 CAA)
Hofstra advanced to the championship game of the Dead River Company Classic (hosted by Maine) with a 54-51 victory over Quinnipiac on Friday evening. The Pride fell to Harvard in the championship match, 63-56, on Saturday. In the opening round, sophomore guard Sam Brigham had 16 points and senior forward Linn Quamme added 12 against the Bobcats. Junior center Jess Fuller joined the pair in double figures for the Pride as she tallied 11 points in the win. By holding the Bobcats to just 51 points, Hofstra has now won 13 straight and 59 out of its 64 games when holding its opponent under 60 points. Against Harvard, Brigham tallied a team-high 13 points and junior guard Niki Williams added 10 points and six assists. Quamme led Hofstra with eight rebounds, while also adding eight points. Junior center Kristina Campbell chipped in with six points and six rebounds for the Pride. Hofstra used its third different starting lineup in the Dead River Company Classic as Brigham entered the starting lineup after coming off the bench in the Pride’s first two games this season. The move seemed to fuel Brigham as she led the Price in scoring in both games. Williams averaged seven points, six assists and four and a half steals per game at the tournament. Quamme, who came into the year having scored in double figures just once in her career has already notched double digits twice this season. She is second on the team with 10.3 points per game and first on the squad with 7.5 rebounds per outing. Hofstra has just one game scheduled this week as the Pride will host the Blackbirds of Long Island on Wednesday.
JAMES MADISON (4-0, 0-0 CAA)
James Madison was idle the past week. Recently, Tamera Young passed 1,500 career points in the game and moved into fourth place on JMU’s all-time scoring list with 1,508 points. The 4-0 start is JMU’s best under Brooks and the Dukes’ first 4-0 start since the 1996-97 team under Sheila Moorman. Over the last 36 seasons only four other Dukes’ squads have had 4-0 starts. After playing its first four games in a nine-day span, James Madison took a nine-day break before the Dukes host #15 George Washington on Nov. 27. JMU looks to defend its 28-game winning streak at home when the Colonials come to Harrisonburg. The streak is the longest current streak in the nation. The Dukes will close a three-game homestand on Friday when they host Savannah State.
UNC WILMINGTON (4-0, 0-0 CAA)
The UNC Wilmington improved to 4-0 for the second time in the Ann Hancock era as they collected a 66-47 victory over College of Charleston on Monday evening and a 73-68 win over Elon on Saturday. The last time the Seahawks started a season 4-0 was during the 2003-04 campaign, when the squad opened with seven straight victories on its way to a 22-6 overall mark. Sophomore Greta Luksyte poured in a game-high 18 points and sophomore Candace Walker matched her career-high with 11 rebounds. The Seahawks remain undefeated as they improve to 3-0 for the first time since the 2003-04 campaign. Luksyte was 5-of-8 from the field, including 2-for-3 from three-point range, to pace the Seahawks attack. Freshman Brittany Blackwell joined Luksyte in double figures with 12 points on a 5-for-7 effort from the floor. Walker’s 11 boards highlighted a 43-20 edge on the glass for UNCW. Blackwell finished one rebound shy of a double-double with nine boards. In the victory over Elon, junior Sahsha Taylor poured in a team-high 19 points to lead three players in double figures as Luksyte and Blackwell chipped in 15 points a piece. The Seahawks shot a sizzling .587 (27-of-46) from the floor against the Phoenix, including .733 (11-of-15) from the floor in the second half. The .587 field goal percentage was their highest since a .583 (28-of-48) outing against South Carolina State (12-22-01). Junior Shade Smith dished out nine assists versus Elon, marking the third time this season that Smith has handed out six or more assists. Blackwell also grabbed a game-high nine rebounds as UNCW posted a 31-25 advantage on the boards. The Seahawks have out-rebounded all four opponents they have played this season. They hold a 12.5 rebounding advantage over their foes. Senior Becca Papach returned to the lineup against Elon after missing the first three contests with an injured foot. UNCW will look to remain undefeated this week as they host High Point on Tuesday before traveling to Southeast Conference foe South Carolina on Saturday.
NORTHEASTERN (2-2, 0-0 CAA)
The Huskies fell to Boston University 94-84 in a road contest on Monday evening. At 2-2, Northeastern is off to its best four game start since the 2003-04 season. Senior guard Lucia Pablos scored a team-high 22 points and led four other Northeastern players to double-digit points. Senior guard Shaleyse Smallwood posted 19 points, followed by freshman guard Jasmine Crew (12), sophomore forward Kendra Walton (11) and senior forward Stefanie Hodell (10). Hodell tied a game-high seven rebounds, while Smallwood dished out a team-high five assists. The Huskies have scored over 80 points twice this season, which already equals last year’s total, and one of those games last year game in a five overtime contest against conference rival Drexel. Northeastern has two contests set for this week as they visit Dartmouth on Thursday before traveling to Long Island on Saturday.
OLD DOMINION (4-2, 0-0 CAA)
The Old Dominion women’s basketball team went 1-2 at the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas taking on three consecutive ranked opponents in three consecutive days. The Lady Monarchs fell to #2 UConn, 43-86, hung in with #4 Stanford, 61-69, and defeated #22 Purdue, 66-53. Senior guard TJ Jordan averaged 13.3 points during the tournament, while senior forward Megan Pym averaged 7.0 rebounds. Against the Huskies, in the first meeting between the two teams since the 2002 Elite Eight, Jordan was the lone Lady Monarch in double figures with 13 points. Old Dominion was only down, 14-13 with 10:52 left in the first half, but Connecticut made its move. The following day against Stanford, in the first meeting with the Cardinal since the 1997 national overtime semifinal game, senior Jen Nuzzo poured in a career-high 14 points to lead the Lady Monarchs while Pym, fighting a sprained ankle, captured her first career double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. There were nine lead changes in the first half with Stanford with the Cardinal leading by two, 34-32, at the half. The Cardinal were unable to pull away until the final minute of the game by taking a 6-0 run, all on free throws. The Lady Monarchs’ two game slide ended on Sunday with its win over Purdue. Old Dominion improves its record against the Boilermakers to 5-0, including two second round NCAA Tournament victories in 1997 and 2002. Jordan had 17, including 10 in the second half. Junior Tiffany Green rebounded from her 0-10 performance from the floor against Stanford to score 11 points and grab 11 rebounds in the victory. The Lady Monarchs led 29-17 at the half, however Purdue make a run in the opening minutes of the second half to tie the game. Following the Boilermaker run, Old Dominion took control of the game with a run of their own and took a 44-29 edge with 9:30 left to play. The Old Dominion women’s basketball team returns to action at home putting its 12-game home win streak on the line. The Lady Monarchs take on Thursday, Nov. 29 against Penn State, and Sunday, Dec. 2 against Michigan State, in the first ever meeting with the Spartans.
TOWSON (2-1, 0-0 CAA)
The Tigers dropped their first contest of the season with a 80-76 loss to Duquesne on the road on Sunday afternoon. The loss snapped Towson’s six-game non-conference win streak, which dated back to an 83-66 victory over Norfolk State last season. All five starters scored in double figures, marking the first time since Feb. 4, 2007 that the team has had at least four players score in double figures. Three players recorded a double-double in the loss on Sunday. Sophomore guard Shanae Baker-Brice led five Tigers in double figures by posting the first double-double of her career. She scored a game-high 20 points while recording a career-high with ten assists. Senior guard Holly Mahan added 11 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, while sophomore forward Kandace Davis posted 10 points with a career-high 12 rebounds. Sophomore forward Haliena Snowden scored a personal-best 13 points for the Tigers. It was the second time in three outings this season that the contest was decided by four points or less. The Tigers grabbed a season high 47 rebounds in the loss to Duquesne. The Tigers will begin their home schedule against Georgetown on Thursday before traveling to Rider on Sunday.
VCU (4-0, 0-0 CAA)
Virginia Commonwealth University improved to 4-0 as they defeated Appalachian State, 72-53, on Sunday. The Rams also extended their winning streak in the month of November to 16 games. The frontcourt duo of Quanitra Hollingsworth and Krystal Vaughn continued to be the offensive source for VCU as the tandem combined for 40 points and 19 rebounds in the victory. Junior transfer Radoslava Bachvarova notched her first double-digit performance of her VCU career pouring in 11 points and grabbing three rebounds. Senior LaKea Jones continues to show her leadership as she has dished out at least six assists in each of the Rams’ first four games of the season, helping the Black and Gold to a perfect 4-0 record. Hollingsworth notched a double-double in the win with 22 points and 12 rebounds, her third double-double in just four games this season. It was the 28th time the junior accomplished the feat, tying her for second all-time with Ram great Kristine Austgulen. The Rams will travel to Greenville, N.C. to play East Carolina at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
WILLIAM & MARY (2-2, 0-0 CAA)
William & Mary dropped its first contest of the season as the Richmond Spiders outlasted the Tribe in a 68-64 decision on Tuesday. The Tribe then team fell at Radford, 71-58, on Friday afternoon. Against the Spiders, senior Kyra Kaylor led the Tribe with a team-high 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting, while classmate Devin James totaled 17 points in 38 minutes of action. Sophomore Tiffany Benson also had a big effort and finished with 10 points, eight rebounds, three blocks and a pair of steals. On Friday, Kaylor led the Tribe with a team-high 16 points and nine rebounds. With seven boards at the defensive end, she increased her career total to 629 and is now the school record holder. Former Tribe star Tiffany Stone (1988-91) held the previous mark of 628. James also scored in double figures with 11 points, while junior Courtney Portell added eight points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals. The Tribe will visit Marquette on Monday, before hosting Maine on Thursday. W&M’s contest against Marquette will be televised on Time Warner Cable in Milwaukee.