• The CAA returns to the court after the holiday break with a 57-53 record against non-conference foes.
• Seven CAA teams are scheduled to play in a holiday tournament this week, while Old Dominion will face back-to-back SEC members when they visit Kentucky and Vanderbilt.
• Three CAA women’s basketball games will be aired on television this week, including ODU’s visit at Kentucky, George Mason’s match-up versus Winthrop in Fairfax and Drexel’s contest against American at the Palestra in Philadelphia.
• CAA women’s basketball is ranked ninth in the nation in the RPIRatings.com rankings through games of Dec. 22. Old Dominion leads the conference at #8, while James Madison jumped to #27. VCU (#48) and UNC Wilmington (#55) also stand in the top 55 of the rankings.

• Old Dominion made the AP Top 25 home for the third consecutive week as they steadied at No. 25. The Lady Monarchs first appeared in the Top 25 at No. 24 on Dec. 3. ODU fell one spot after falling to top-ranked Tennessee on the road.
• James Madison put its 30-game win streak at home on the line on Thursday when they fell to #4 Maryland. The Dukes led as much as 10 points in the second half, but the Terps’ strong foul shooting paced Maryland past JMU, 71-65. The Dukes’ win streak was the longest current streak in the nation.

Holly Mahan • Towson

Queens, N.Y./Francis Lewis, Sr., Guard

Towson senior guard Holly Mahan received CAA Player of the Week honors leading the Tigers to a pair of home victories last week. The senior averaged 22 points, seven rebounds and four steals in her two starts. Mahan finished the week shooting 71.4 percent from the floor, 61.5 percent from three point range and was perfect from the free throw line. She poured in a career-high 26 points and dished out a six assists in the win over UMBC on Wednesday, before an 18-point performance against North Carolina Central on Saturday. In her outing against NNCU, she was a perfect 7-of-7 from the field and made all four of her shots from three-point range.

Britne’ Rodgers • Hofstra

Virginia Beach, Va./Princess Ann, Fr., Forward

Hofstra freshman forward Britne’ Rodgers earned CAA Rookie of the Week after surpassing her career highs in both scoring and rebounding. The freshman poured in a game- and career-high 23 points in the Pride’s tough seven-point loss to Southern Methodist. Rodgers also pulled down a game- and career-high seven rebounds. The Virginia Beach native was 8-for-12 from the field and sank seven of her nine free throw attempts. Rodgers played 33 minutes and added a pair of assists in the game.

CAA CONFERENCE PLAY SET TO BEGIN: CAA teams have just over two weeks to prepare for their first conference game of the 2007-08 season. All 12 teams will play their first conference game on Sunday, Jan. 6. Georgia State will host Old Dominion in a 3:30 p.m. match-up on Sunday, Jan. 6, which will be the first CAA women’s game of the season to be broadcast on television. The game will be carried by Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic and Comcast SportsNet Southeast.

CAA VS. 2007 NCAA TOURNAMENT TEAMS: The CAA have posted an even 11-14 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 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. George Mason defeated UMBC at home in a close 58-57 victory. Old Dominion fell to #2 Connecticut and #4 Stanford at the Paradise Jam. The Lady Monarchs finished the tournament defeating #22 Purdue. The Tribe of William & Mary then fell to Marquette in a road contest, 79-61. James Madison improved to 5-0 with an 80-55 victory over #14 George Washington on Nov. 27. ODU defeated #19 Michigan State, 79-73, on its home court on Dec. 2. The Lady Monarchs continued their strong non-conference schedule, but fell to #1 Tennessee, 83-51, on Dec. 5 and Towson dropped a 76-63 decision to New Mexico on the road. Towson defeated UMBC, 69-61, at home on Dec. 19. The Lady Monarchs defeated Delaware State, 70-28, but JMU fell in a close contest at home to #4 Maryland, 71-65, on Dec. 20. Delaware fell to Bowling Green, 64-54, on Friday, Dec. 21. Georgia State lost to cross-town rival Georgia Tech on Dec. 22, 79-67.

The CAA is currently 3-7 against ranked teams, as Old Dominion has defeated #22 Purdue and #19 Michigan State and James Madison upset #14 George Washington. The Lady Monarchs fell to #2 Connecticut and #4 Stanford at the Paradise Jam over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. George Mason fell to #9 Georgia, Georgia State lost to #6 North Carolina, and Delaware fell to #3 Maryland. ODU recently fell to top-ranked Tennessee last Wednesday evening on the road. No.4 Maryland was challenged by James Madison in Harrisonburg, but the Terps came out on top with a 71-65 win on Dec. 20.

CAA NO. 9 IN RPI RANKING (Dec. 22): The CAA is ranked ninth among the nations 32 Division I conferences in women’s basketball according to the RPI report compiled by Collegiate Basketball News through games of Dec. 22. Old Dominion leads the CAA ranked eighth in the report. The Lady Monarchs are followed by James Madison at 27, VCU is ranked 48 and UNC Wilmington at 55.

TOUGH SCHEDULE: The Old Dominion Lady Monarchs has the fifth toughest schedule in the nation, according the Collegiate Basketball News, through games of Dec. 16. The Lady Monarchs have already faced five members of the Top 25 and three members among the Top Five. James Madison follows at 33rd and Delaware has the next toughest schedule in the CAA at 65th.

RETURNING TALENT: Seven of the 15 members from last year’s All-CAA teams returned 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.

The CAA 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.

After six weeks of play, Northeastern stands third with an 82.6 free throw percentage, while Drexel (79.2) follows at seventh. Also among the top 10, VCU’s defense is ranked fifth giving up only 49.4 points per outing. Drexel leads the conference and is ranked 12th in the nation averaging 14.1 turnovers per contest, while Northeastern follows in the same category at 15th (14.3 tpg). The Rams of VCU are ranked 15th dishing out 17.9 assists per outing. James Madison’s rebound margin (14.9) improved to fourth in the nation. William & Mary averages 8.1 three-point field goals per game and stands sixth among Division I teams.

Averaging 3.0 three-point field-goals per game, Old Dominion’s TJ Jordan is ranked 10th. JMU’s Tamera Young is ranked 17th averaging 10.6 rebounds per outing. Drexel’s Gabriela Marginean has shot 90.3 percent from the free-throw line and is ranked 19th.

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.

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. The first CAA match-up on television this season is set to air on Jan. 6 when Georgia State hosts Old Dominion in Atlanta. The 3:30 p.m. contest will be carried by Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic and Comcast SportsNet Southeast.

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.

The CAA Championship will be hosted by the University of Delaware for the second straight season March 13-16, 2008. All 12 teams will participate in the thrilling event, which will be held at the Bob Carpenter Center.

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.

DELAWARE (1-9, 0-0 CAA)
The Blue Hens dropped its ninth straight game with a 64-54 loss to Bowling Green on Friday at home. Delaware, coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance a year ago and owners of seven 20-win seasons in the last eight campaigns, is off to the program’s worst start, surpassing the mark of 2-7 by the 1981-82 squad. Sophomore guard Corinthia Benison netted a career-high 16 points and added six boards to lead the Hens, who gave Bowling Green all it could handle until the Falcons pulled away late. Meanwhile, senior guard Kyle DeHaven matched her season-high with six steals, enough to move her past UD alum Tyresa Smith for fourth on the all-time CAA list with 345. The Hens dropped their fifth straight home game, the team’s longest skid at the BCC since they lost seven in a row in the 1996-97 season.

DREXEL (3-6, 0-0 CAA)
Drexel earned a 60-41 victory over cross-town rival Penn on Thursday evening. With the win the Dragons have won two consecutive games. Six different Dragons contributed to the team’s season-high output from distance. Drexel hit a season-high 12 three-pointers in the win. Sophomore guard Alison Lupariello led the barrage finishing the game scoring a season-high 12 points, all in the season half on 4-of-4 shooting from long range. Sophomore forward Gabriela Marginean finished with a team-high 16 points and eight rebounds for the Dragons, while Narissa Suber poured in 11 points and added a game-high three steals. Junior forward Nicole Hester distributed a career-high-tying six assists while driving to open up her teammates, as well as threading pin-point passes into the post for easy Drexel layups. The Dragons held Penn to just three field goals (3-for-18) and 15 points in the second half on Thursday. Drexel is back in action after the holiday break, taking on American at the Palestra on Penn’s campus. The 3:30 game will be the front-end of a doubleheader with the men’s team. Both games will be televised on CN8.

George Mason snapped a two-game losing streak with a win over American on Wednesday, 57-49, and is currently on a two-game winning streak as they defeated Fordham, 76-74, in overtime on Saturday. Against American, sophomore Rashauna Hobbs paced Mason with a career-high 18 points, including 12 points from beyond the arc. Joining Hobbs in double figures was senior Lateisha Wade, who chipped in 10 points, six coming from the free throw line in the final 44 seconds of the game. Senior Moni Akintunde led the Patriots off the glass with seven rebounds. Senior Casey Quigley dished out a team-high four assists. On Saturday in a close overtime victory over Fordham, Akintunde netted 24 points, one shy of her career best, to lead all scorers with her largest offensive outburst of the season. Joining her in double figures for the Patriots were Wade and Hobbs, who each chipped in 11 points in the victory. George Mason will play its third consecutive game at home when they host Winthrop on Sunday, Dec. 30. The 1:30 p.m. match-up against Winthrop will be broadcast on MASN as part of a Mason TV doubleheader with the men’s program, which will play Liberty at 5:30 p.m.

Georgia State fell in both of its outings last week as they returned from a 10-day break and fell to Winthrop, 67-57, on the road on Monday evening and then dropped a 79-67 contest at home to cross-town rival Georgia Tech. Winthrop, who is third in the nation in field goal defense (31.4 percent) and 39th in points allowed (55.9) kept the Panthers in check with 35 percent (21-of-60) and 57 points. GSU was led by 16 points and nine rebounds from sophomore forward Shay Rawls and 13 points from junior guard Brittany Hollins. State held a 41-39 rebounding advantage. On Saturday, the nip-and-tuck first half ended with visiting Georgia Tech clinging to a 37-35 halftime advantage. Tech’s trio of leading scorers answered with key free throws to help the Jackets continue their fast season start of 10-1 and votes in the national rankings. Georgia State got 15 points from Hollins and freshman guard Traci Haltiwanger, as well as 11 points from junior forward Stacie Young. Hollins also dished out a game-high eight assists and snatched four steals. Junior Notre Dame transfer, Chandrica Smith, played in her first game in nearly a year and a half and responded with 4-of-8 field goals for eight points to go with four rebounds, four steals, and two assists. Georgia State shot 52.7 percent for the game and 57.7 percent in the second half. The Panthers will have a short holiday break and return to host the Georgia State Invitational on Dec. 28-29. The Panthers will play Mississippi Valley State on Friday before facing Alcorn State or Campbell on Saturday. GSU will look for its fourth title in the past five years and 10th in the 14-year history of the event.

HOFSTRA (2-7, 0-0 CAA)
Junior guard Niki Williams and freshman forward Britné Rodgers each established new career-highs with 23 points, but Hofstra was unable to overcome 32 turnovers as they dropped a 77-70 decision to Southern Methodist at the Mack Sports Complex on Friday afternoon. With the loss, the Pride dropped its sixth straight game. The Pride shot a season-high 52.9 percent from the field in the game, but 32 turnovers proved to be too much in the narrow loss. The only returning starter from Hofstra’s WNIT Quarterfinalist squad, junior guard Niki Williams was 9-14 from the field, including 5-9 from three-point range. Williams, who has now made 30 straight starts, bested her previous high of 16 points set against Stony Brook on December 4. The Pittsburgh native added five assists and a game-high five steals, while playing 36 minutes against the Mustangs. Making her third consecutive start, freshman forward Britné Rodgers more than doubled her previous season-high as she tied Williams for game-high honors with 23 points, while also pulling down a game and career-high seven rebounds. The Virginia Beach native was 8-12 from the field and sank seven of her nine free throw attempts in Hofstra’s tough seven-point loss to Southern Methodist. Rodgers played 33 minutes and added a pair of assists in the game. Her previous high was 11 points against Hartford on December 9. Senior forward Linn Quamme finished with 15 point and six rebounds for the Pride, while freshman guard Candice Bellocchio had a Hofstra individual season-high seven assists in the contest. The team’s nine three-pointers were a season-high as well. Hofstra returns to action next weekend when they take part in the FIU Sun and Fun Classic in Miami, Florida. The Pride will take on host Florida International on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. and either nationally-ranked Georgia or Florida State on Sunday.

James Madison’s 30-game home winning streak was spoiled by #4 Maryland on Thursday evening. The Terps rallied from a 10-point second-half deficit to defeat the Dukes, 71-65, in Harrisonburg. The Dukes held the longest active home winning streak among NCAA Division I teams at 30 games (over three seasons) before losing to Maryland. It was JMU’s second-longest streak ever behind the school record of 39, which also spanned three seasons (1986-86 through 1989-90). Prior to the home loss to Maryland, the Dukes last home loss was on March 3, 2005, when Delaware beat the Dukes 79-72 in the team’s final home game of the season. JMU has won 37 of its last 39 home games. JMU senior guard Tamera Young, who started her 100th career game, scored a game-high 28 points and passed the 1,600-point mark in the loss to Maryland. She now has 1,606 career points and needs two points to move into sole possession of third place on JMU’s career list and 11 points away from sole possession of second place. Also in double figures for the Dukes were freshman point guard Dawn Evans with 11 and senior guard Jasmin Lawrence with 10. Evans led JMU with six assists. Trailing 57-47 with less than nine minutes remaining, the Terps outscored JMU 17-6 in a five-minute span. Coleman scored six of Maryland’s points, including a layup at 3:40 that gave her team only its second lead of the half, 64-63. Maryland opened the game with a 6-0, lead but the Dukes stormed back with a 21-6 run for a 21-12 lead with 10:03 remaining. JMU scored nine points off turnovers during the run. Six players scored in the rally, led by Young’s seven points. The Dukes enters the Wagner Classic having lost its last three games. That’s the longest stretch of defeats for JMU since the 2004-05 season, when JMU dropped consecutive games at home to ODU, at VCU and at George Mason in January. In Kenny Brooks’ six seasons at JMU, the Dukes have never lost more than three straight contests. The Dukes will play Pittsburgh on Saturday before playing host Wagner on Monday.

UNC Wilmington improved to 7-1 with a 67-60 victory over East Carolina at home on Thursday. The Seahawks are off to their best start during the Ann Hancock era, equaling the 7-1 start the 2002-03 squad opened the campaign with. The win over ECU game UNCW head coach Ann Hancock her 100th career victory, making her one of the only two coaches in the Seahawks’ program history to amass 100 wins while in the Port City. UNCW used a 9-0 run over a 2:30 span late in the contest to pull away from East Carolina and defeat the Pirates. Junior forward Sahsha Taylor recorded her fourth double-double of her career with game-highs of 24 points and 12 rebounds. Taylor also established a new career-best with five steals and equaled her personal-high with four blocks. Freshman Brittany Blackwell chipped in 15 points and nine rebounds, while sophomore Greta Luksyte added 10 points. Sophomore Candace Walker pitched in eight points and nine rebounds. The attendance, aided by a visit from a local elementary school, was 1,081, making just the seventh time in school history that the Seahawks have drawn more than 1,000 fans for a home game. UNCW will be off for the Christmas holiday before making its first trip outside of the Carolina’s for the Radford Christmas Tournament Dec. 28-29. The Seahawks will open the two-day event with an 8 p.m. contest against Kent State. UNCW will face either host Radford or Presbyterian in the second round on Saturday.

Northeastern won its second consecutive game on Saturday afternoon with an 82-69 victory over Stony Brook at home. The Huskies had four players score in double figures, led by Lucia Pablos who had her second straight big game with game highs of 24 points and eight assists. Senior guard Shaleyse Smallwood poured in 18 points and eight rebounds, while sophomore forward Kendra Walton chipped in 17 points and nine rebounds. Junior guard Ashlee Feldman added 15 points shooting 5-of-9 from beyond the arc. Smallwood’s 18-point performance was the first time she had scored double figures since Nov. 19 against Boston University. The senior guard moved into 11th place all-time on Northeastern’s career scoring list, and is just two points from tying for the 10th spot. The Huskies also played strong defense, holding Stony Brook to just 38.2 percent shooting, and they also forced Stony Brook into 19 turnovers, scoring 20 points off those turnovers. Northeastern will visit Boston College on Dec. 31 before kicking off the conference schedule on Jan. 6 when they visit VCU.

#25 OLD DOMINION (7-3, 0-0 CAA)
The Lady Monarchs returned to the court on Thursday and defeated Delaware State in an 11 am match-up at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Old Dominion was led by three players with double-doubles en route to a 70-28 victory over the Hornets. Senior Megan Pym, junior Tiffany Green, and sophomore Jessica Canady all collected double-doubles for ODU. Canady, in her first double-double of her career, and Pym, tying her career mark for the third time, each registered a game-high 12 points. Green meanwhile netted 11. Canady, Pym, and Green combined for 37 of the Lady Monarchs’ 62 rebounds. Together the three Lady Monarchs outrebounded the Hornets by nine as Delaware State was limited to only 28 boards the entire game. Canady led the rebounding corps with 13, which included 10 boards at the half, while Green and Pym each hauled in 12 apiece. The 28 points scored by Delaware State was the fewest points scored by an Old Dominion opponent since they defeated Towson, 66-27, back on February 3, 2002. It was the 15th time in school history holding an opponent to less than 30 points. Freshman Jasmine Parker and junior Jen Nuzzo each dished out six assists. It was a new career high for Parker, while Nuzzo tied her career mark. Following the holiday, the Lady Monarchs will wrap up 2007 with back-to-back SEC road games. ODU will travel to Kentucky on Friday December 28th and #19 Vanderbilt on Sunday, December 30th. The game against the Wildcats will be aired on Fox Sports South and was recently picked up by WSKY-4 in the Hampton Roads area.

TOWSON (6-3, 0-0 CAA)

The Tigers are currently on a two-game winning streak as they earned a non-conference win over UMBC, 69-61, on Wednesday evening and defeated North Carolina Central, 72-40, on Saturday. The win over UMBC was the first at home this season. Against the Retrievers, senior guard Holly Mahan scored a career-high 26 points and had eight rebounds to lead the Tigers. Mahan shot 8-of-14 from the floor, including a 4-for-9 effort from three-point range. She also made all six of her free throw attempts and had a game-high six steals. Senior guard Jamell Beasley tallied 15 points and sophomore guard Shanae Baker-Brice added ten points and a game-high seven assists. On Saturday, Mahan scored a game-high 18 points and added six rebounds against the Eagles. Mahan made all seven of her field goal attempts, including a perfect 4-for-4 from three-point range, as the Tigers pulled away late in the first half to earn the victory. During the last two games, Mahan has made 14-of-21 field goal attempts, including 8-of-13 three-point tries. Mahan was one of two Tigers to score in double figures as sophomore forward Kandace Davis added ten points and four rebounds. Sophomore guard Alexis Abraham came off the bench to score a season-high eight points. Freshman forward Dovile Miliauskaite and freshman guard Omara Parker each recorded a career-high eight rebounds as the Tigers held a commanding 41-28 rebounding advantage. The Tigers will finish their three-game homestand on Friday night when they host Loyola College in the Towson Center at 7:00 p.m.

VCU (8-1, 0-0 CAA)

Virginia Commonwealth University defeated Longwood on Friday, 64-48, in Farmville. Sophomores D’Andra Moss, Kita Waller and La’Tavia Rorie combined for 36 points, 17 rebounds and six assists. Moss, Waller and Rorie ignited the Black and Gold in the second half outscoring the Lancers 35-18 in the second half to pick up their eighth win on the season as they improve to 8-1. Moss was stellar throughout the contest notching career highs in points with 20 and rebounds with 12, while blistering the nets on 6-of-8 shooting and a perfect 6-of-6 from the charity stripe. Jones registered her first double-digit performance of the season with 11 points, while also hauling in a season-high seven rebounds. Vaughn scored in double figures for the eighth time in nine games, chipping in 10 points. The Rams have a short break for the holiday before returning to the Siegel Center to host the VCU Roundball Classic, beginning on the 27th with a 5 p.m. contest featuring Boston University and Georgia Southern, while the Black and Gold host Morgan State in the nightcap at 7:30 p.m.

WILLIAM & MARY (5-5, 0-0 CAA)

The William and Mary women’s basketball team rallied back from six points down in the final two minutes but fell to Duquesne, 61-60, on Thursday evening at Kaplan Arena. Junior guard Courtney Portell led the Tribe with a game-high 21 points and equaled a school record with seven three-pointers, going 7-of-12 from long range. It marked the second consecutive game in which Portell has connected on seven long balls. Senior forward Kyra Kaylor nearly earned a double-double with 13 points and nine rebounds, while sophomore Tiffany Benson finished with six points, 12 rebounds, five blocks and four steals. The Tribe will return to action when it plays at the Bank of Hawaii Invitational on Dec. 28-29 in Honolulu. The Tribe will face Iona on Dec. 28 before facing either the host Hawaii or UC Irvine on Dec. 29.