QUICK HITS FOR THIS WEEK:
CAA teams will enter the week with a 68-62 record against non-conference opponents.
Old Dominion made the AP Top 25 home for the fifth consecutive week as they jumped from No. 23 to No. 19, its highest showing in the AP Top 25 this season. The Lady Monarchs earned their spot after defeating a pair of SEC teams on the road at Kentucky and No. 21 Vanderbilt last week.
CAA women’s basketball is ranked ninth in the nation in the RPIRatings.com rankings through games of Dec. 31. Old Dominion leads the conference at #8, while VCU jumped to 33. James Madison (#46) and UNC Wilmington (#86) finish out the CAA teams in the Top 86 of the rankings.
QUICK HITS FROM LAST WEEK:
VCU improved to 10-1 overall and 6-0 at home as they defeated Morgan State, 70-56, and Boston University to claim the title at the Rams’ own VCU SportsCenter Holiday Classic.
No. 23 Old Dominion defeated both Kentucky and #20 Vanderbilt on the road this past week. The win was ODU’s first “true” road victory over a ranked team since 2002 NCAA Tournament when the Lady Monarchs defeated Purdue in the second round.
George Mason continued strong at home as they improved to 5-0 at the Patriot Center with a win over Winthrop on Sunday before heading into conference play. In addition to VCU and Mason, Northeastern, Old Dominion and UNC Wilmington also have a perfect record on their home court.
CO-PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
TJ Jordan Old Dominion
Portsmouth, Va./Wilson, Sr., Guard
Old Dominion senior guard TJ Jordan received CAA Player of the Week honors after leading the Lady Monarchs to a pair of wins over SEC teams on the road. The senior, who had missed ODU’s previous two outings with a foot injury, returned to the hardwood to lead the then-ranked No. 23 Lady Monarchs averaging 18.5 points per game in victories over Kentucky and No. 20 Vanderbilt. She shot 56.5 percent from the floor and 56.3 from three-point range. Jordan led all scorers with 22 points in her first game back versus Kentucky and then netted a team-high 15 points, all coming from downtown, in the win over the Commodores.
CO-PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
Tamera Young James Madison
Wilmington, N.C./Laney, Sr., Guard/Forward
James Madison senior Tamera Young earned CAA Player of the Week honors after averaging 27.0 points per game as the Dukes split on the week. The senior poured in a game-high 32 points in JMU’s tough loss to Pitt at the Wagner Classic on Friday. Young also led all scorers in JMU’s victory over Wagner with 22 points. She finished the week averaging 7.5 rebounds per game, shooting 53.1 percent from the floor and dishing out five assist on the week. Young completed the week with 1,660 career points and moved to second place on JMU’s all-time scoring list and ninth among the CAA’s career scoring leaders.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Brittany Blackwell UNC Wilmington
Raleigh, N.C./Cary Academy, Fr., Guard/Forward
UNC Wilmington freshman Brittany Blackwell was awarded CAA Rookie of the Week after leading the Seahawks on the week averaging 12.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game at the Radford Christmas Classic and was named to the all-tournament team. The rookie also averaged 3.5 steals and 1.5 assists. Blackwell posted her first career double-double with 10 points and a career-high 10 rebounds in the Seahawks 63-48 victory over Kent State. She matched a career-high with five steals against the Golden Flashes. The freshman finished the week with a 15-point, seven rebound effort against Radford.
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 12-16 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. On Dec. 29, James Madison fell to Pittsburgh, 69-61. CAA women’s basketball wrapped up the non-conference schedule against 2007 NCAA Tournament teams as #23 Old Dominion defeated #20 Vanderbilt, while Hofstra fell to a tough Florida State squad on Dec. 30.
CAA VS. RANKED TEAMS: The CAA is currently 4-8 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. Delaware dropped a 62-49 decision to #23 Arkansas at the Blue Sky Tournament on Dec. 29. No. 23 Old Dominion earned an 80-65 road victory against #20 Vanderbilt on Dec. 30.
CAA NO. 9 IN RPI RANKING (Dec. 31): 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. 31. Old Dominion leads the CAA ranked eighth in the report. The Lady Monarchs are followed by VCU at 33, James Madison is ranked at 46, and UNC Wilmington at 86.
TOUGH SCHEDULE: The Old Dominion Lady Monarchs has the 11th toughest schedule in the nation, according the Collegiate Basketball News, through games of Dec. 31. The Lady Monarchs have already faced six members of the Top 25 and three members among the Top Five. James Madison follows directly behind the Lady Monarchs at 12th and Delaware has the next toughest schedule in the CAA at 26th.
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.
TOP STATISTICAL LEADERS RETURN: 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.
CAA TEAMS AMONG THE NCAA STATISTICAL LEADERS (Top 15): 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.
CAA INDIVIDUALS AMONG THE NCAA STATISTICAL LEADERS (Top 20): 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.
FLASH BACK - CAA MAKING HISTORY IN 2006-07: 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.
CAA 2008 CHAMPIONSHIP: 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.
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.
DELAWARE (1-11, 0-0 CAA)
The Blue Hens of Delaware fell in a pair of contests at the Blue Sky Classic. With the setbacks, Delaware extended its school-record losing streak to 11 games - the longest streak in school history. The Hens have now dropped 13 of their last 14 non-conference games dating back to last season. Delaware competed well against No. 23 Arkansas team, closing to within eight points with just under five minutes left before falling to the unbeaten Razorbacks, 62-49, on Saturday evening in the first round of the Blue Sky Classic at Dartmouth. Freshman guard Tesia Harris scored a career-high 12 points for the Blue Hens. Sophomore guard Corinthia Benison finished with 10 points in the defeat, her third double-digit performance in four games, while Kyle DeHaven notched six points, eight rebounds, and three steals for the Hens. Delaware stood tall in the paint matching the Razorbacks on the boards with 40 rebounds. UD has shot below 35 percent from the floor in nine of its 11 games. On Sunday, the Blue Hens suffered a late run from Dartmouth to fall, 48-41. DeHaven recorded the first double-double of her career with 10 points and a career-high 10 rebounds, adding six steals to bring her career total to 354. Sophomore guard Corinthia Benison matched her backcourt mate with 10 points, her fourth double-figure performance in five games. Junior guard Ethlynne Thomas tallied six points and seven rebounds for Delaware, while senior forward Courtney Irving added six points and eight boards. The Hens shot 27.7 percent from the floor and were shut out from beyond the arc. UD managed just one assist on the night, the lowest total in school history. Delaware will return to the court on Jan. 6, when they open their CAA season with a trip to George Mason.
DREXEL (4-6, 0-0 CAA)
Drexel extended its winning-streak to three games as the Dragons earned a 75-52 victory on Monday as they defeated American at the Palestra. The last time the Dragons won three straight was at the close of the 2005-06 regular season when the team beat Hofstra and William & Mary before winning their opening-round game at the CAA Championship against Towson. Senior guard Narissa Suber turned in another virtuoso performance from beyond the three-point stripe, knocking down 6-of-10 for a team-high 18 points. She led three Dragons in double figures and also snared a career- and game-high seven rebounds and three steals. Sophomore Gabriela Marginean poured in 16 points for the Dragons and junior Nicole Hester turned in her best all-around game of the season with 15 points, five assists, three rebounds, two blocks and two steals. Playing without starting point guard Jasmina Rosseel, who missed the game due to illness, the Dragons did a good job taking care of the basketball. Alison Lupariello distributed a career-high six assists with just one turnover while the Dragons as a team dished out 23 assists with just 13 turnovers. Drexel’s defense forced the Eagles into 20 giveaways in the game and converted them into 21 points on the other end of the court. Transfer sophomore Brooke Cornish hit career highs with eight points and four rebounds and she also blocked two shots. Drexel shot a season high 51.7 percent in the win over American and .500 (11-of-22) from deep. The Dragons are hot from behind the line as they have knocked down 23 trey’s in their last two contest. Head coach Denise Dillon and the Dragons will play one last non-conference match-up on Jan.3 when they host Mount St. Mary’s before entertaining Hofstra in Philadelphia to open their CAA schedule on Sunday, Jan. 6.
GEORGE MASON (6-4, 0-0 CAA)
George Mason became the first Patriot team to open a season 5-0 at home in the program’s history when they defeated Winthrop, 67-56, on Sunday afternoon. With the victory, Mason extended its winning streak to three games. Senior Lateisha Wade poured in a career-high 27 points to lead the Patriots to its fifth-straight home victory in as many tries. Wade, who led all scorers on a day in which she swiped a career-high six steals, was joined in double figures by classmate Casey Quigley, who chipped in 10 points in her first start since November 21. Off the glass, freshman Brittany Poindexter registered seven rebounds as the Patriots outrebounded the Eagles, 34-31. George Mason won the turnover battle over Winthrop by a 25-to-15 margin, and shot a season-high 50 percent (13-of-26) from the field in the first half. The 35-24 halftime lead was the largest of the season for the Patriots, as was the 11 point margin of victory. Mason will to look to extend its season-opening home win streak to six when it opens CAA play on January 6 against Delaware.
GEORGIA STATE (3-8, 0-0 CAA)
Georgia State snapped a four-game losing streak as they earned a 64-63 victory over Mississippi Valley State in the first day of the Georgia State Invitational on Friday afternoon. The Panthers fell to Alcorn State in the championship contest, 53-52. On Saturday, sophomore forward Shay Rawls was perfect from the free throw line going 10-of-10, including the two game-winning free throws with 8,7 seconds left. She finished the contests with 16 points and 12 rebounds for her third double-double of the season (fourth in her career). Junior guard Brittany Hollins also tabbed 16 points in the win. The Panthers received a double-double from freshman forward Chandra Harris’ 10-point, 10-rebound effort. Georgia State hit 19-of-26 from the line and MVSU 18-of-27 as those two free throws were the difference. On Saturday, Alcorn State came from behind to defeat the Panthers. Alcorn State won both games of the invitational by a single point. Georgia State got another double-double from Rawls with 15 points and 10 rebounds while Hollins added 10 points, while both were named to the All-Tournament team. Hollins has scored in double figures in five straight games and nine of the 11 this season, giving her 41 career double-figure games. The junior played in her 70th career game and scored her 700th career point Saturday. The Panthers will next prepare for its first conference game of the season when they host a tough top-25 ranked Old Dominion squad on Sunday, Jan. 6. The contest will be aired on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic and Comcast SportsNet Southeast.
HOFSTRA (2-9, 0-0 CAA)
The Pride slipped to 2-9 with a pair of losses at the FIU Sun and Fun Classic. The Pride dropped a tight 62-56 decision to host Florida International on Saturday before dropping a 72-54 decision to Florida State in the consolation game on Sunday. Hofstra got a pair of career efforts from juniors in the two contest as junior guard Niki Williams led the way on Saturday and junior forward Natty Fripp was the star on Sunday. Against the host Golden Panthers, Williams had her first double-double of the season and second of her career with 12 points and 12 rebounds. The 12 rebounds marked a new career-high and the Pittsburgh native also added six assists and two steals in the contest. On Sunday against the Seminoles, Fripp almost doubled her previous career-high as she totaled 16 points on 6-13 shooting overall and 3-of-6 from three-point range. Fripp’s previous career-high of nine points came against Iona on November 11 and she also added five assists, three rebounds and two steals against Florida State, who advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament last season. The pair of losses stretched the Pride’s losing streak to eight games, the program’s longest since a similar eight-game skid spanning the 2000-01 and 2001-02 seasons. Williams was named to the all-tournament team at the Sun and Fun Classic for her strong play, it marks the first all-tournament accolade of her career. Hofstra has just one game scheduled this week as the Pride will travel to Drexel on Sunday as they open CAA play against the Dragons.
JAMES MADISON (7-4, 0-0 CAA)
James Madison split on the week as they dropped its fourth straight on Saturday as they fell to Pittsburgh, 69-61, at the Wagner Classic, but earned a 100-48 victory over host Wagner on Monday. Three of the last four defeats came to teams ranked or receiving votes in the national polls (Maryland, Liberty and Pittsburgh). Against Pitt, JMU senior guard Tamera Young scored a season-high 32 points to lead all players in scoring. She was the only Duke in double figures. Pitt outscored JMU 16-8 in the final seven minutes to pull away with the victory. Other leading scorers for JMU included redshirt senior forward Jennifer Brown with nine points and a team-high 12 rebounds and freshman point guard Dawn Evans with eight points. Young’s 32-point performance was one below her career high of 33 and three away from the school record of 35. On Monday, every James Madison player scored as the Dukes beat Wagner 100-48. JMU hit the 100-point mark for only the fifth time in school history. It was the Dukes’ first 100-point regulation game since a 100-67 victory over Marshall on Dec. 18, 1994. JMU’s 52-point win over Wagner was the seventh-largest margin of victory in school history and the largest since a 55-point (86-31) home win over Charleston Southern on Dec. 20, 2005. It was the second-largest margin of victory on an opponent’s home court behind a 54-point win at William and Mary (92-38) on Feb. 13, 1987. The Dukes shot a season-high 56.3 percent (36-of-64) from the field and held Wagner to 29.4 percent (15-of-51) shooting, a low for a JMU opponent this season. Young led all players with 22 points. Also in double figures for the Dukes were Brown with 15, junior forward Kisha Stokes with 13, senior guard Jasmin Lawrence with 12 and Evans with 10. Young increased her career points total to 1,660 and moved from fourth to second place on JMU’s all-time scoring list. She passed Holly Rilinger (97) with 1,607 and Lesley Dickinson (07) with 1,616. She also moved into ninth place among the CAA’s career scoring leaders, passing George Mason’s Jen Derevjanik (04), who scored 1,637 points, and Richmond’s Laurie Governor (88), who scored 1,655 points. The Dukes will open their CAA schedule when they host UNC Wilmington on Sunday, Jan. 6.
UNC WILMINGTON (8-2, 0-0 CAA)
UNC Wilmington split on the week as they earned a 63-48 victory over Kent State in the first round of the Radford Christmas Classic on Friday and dropped a 77-46 decision to host Radford on Saturday. The Seahawks are 8-2 on the season, equaling their best start through 10 games during the Ann Hancock era. Against the Golden Flashes, freshman forward Brittany Blackwell tallied 10 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for her first career double-double while junior guard Sahsha Taylor added 13 points and seven rebounds. Taylor and Blackwell were joined in double figures by junior guard Shade Smith, who added 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting from the floor. Smith’s 11 points marked her first double-digit scoring performance since a 13-point effort against James Madison on Jan. 21, 2007. Blackwell’s 10 rebounds highlighted UNCW’s 35-34 edge on the glass as sophomore guard Candace Walker chipped in six caroms. Both Taylor and Blackwell both recorded a game-high five steals as UNCW forced Kent State into 29 turnovers. Against Radford, Blackwell scored 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds to pace the Seahawks. Taylor added a game-high nine rebounds as the Seahawks held a 39-34 edge on the glass. Sophomore guard Greta Luksyte added eight points and four rebounds. Radford shot a season-high 54.2 percent from the floor and limited UNCW to a season-low .291 field goal percentage. The 31-point margin of defeat was the fourth largest of the Hancock era while the Seahawks’ 46 points were also the fewest since a 73-43 loss to James Madison during the CAA quarterfinals last season The Seahawks will host Western Carolina on Jan. 3 before visiting James Madison in Harrisonburg to open conference play on Jan. 6.
NORTHEASTERN (5-5, 0-0 CAA)
Northeastern fell short of upsetting Boston College Monday afternoon, falling to the Eagles 78-73. The Huskies completed their non-conference portion of their schedule with a 5-5 record. The entire game was a back-and-forth affair played at a fast tempo, with both teams shooting a high percentage from the field. No team led by more than six points for the entire game until the final seconds. Four Huskies scored in double-figures led by junior guard Ashlee Feldman’s 17-point performance. Senior guard Shaleyse Smallwood added 16 points and became Northeastern’s 10th all-time leading scorer with 1,211 career points. She is only 32 points away from 9th and 37 points away from 8th. Senior guard Lucia Pablos contributed 15 points and six assists and sophomore forward Kendra Walton scored 11 points for Northeastern. Stefanie Hodell led the Huskies with six rebounds.
#19 OLD DOMINION (9-3, 0-0 CAA)
Old Dominion wrapped up non-conference play last week by picking up a pair of SEC road wins and improving to 9-3 on the year. The games marked the first two of four games on the road. The Lady Monarchs are winners in six of their last seven games and their 9-3 non-conference record is best since the 1998-99 when Old Dominion closed out non-conference action 7-3. Old Dominion defeated Kentucky, 71-62, and No. 21/20 Vanderbilt, 80-65. On Friday night against the Wildcats, senior T.J. Jordan returned to the hardwood for the first time since December 2nd to score 22 points to lead all scorers. Jordan, Old Dominion’s all-time leading 3-point shooter, returned to action after missing the previous two games because of a stress reaction in her left foot. She had 10 points while playing 13 minutes in the first half. Junior Tiffany Green scored five of the team’s final seven points and finished with 12 points and nine rebounds. Kentucky pulled as close as 45-43 with less than 12 minutes remaining before the Lady Monarchs pulled away. Old Dominion then went on a 12-4 run for its largest lead, 57-47, and never trailed again. On Sunday, Old Dominion took on its sixth ranked opponent of the year in Vanderbilt and is currently 3-3 against ranked foes. The game also marked Old Dominion’s first ranked true road victory (non-neutral site) since 2001-02’s Second Round NCAA victory at Purdue. Five Lady Monarchs scored in double figures to hand Commodores coach Melanie Balcomb her second-worst home loss in six years at Vanderbilt. The Lady Monarchs were once again led by Jordan, who netted 15 points all off of three-pointers. Senior Megan Pym added 13, while Jasmine Parker came off the bench for 12 points and five assists. Five-foot two Jazzmin Walters, the smallest player on the court, was among the top rebounders with a career-high seven boards as Old Dominion outboarded the Commodores, 40-29. The four-game road swing continues as the 16-time defending conference champion Lady Monarchs enter CAA action. First up for Old Dominion is a trip to Atlanta, Georgia to meet Georgia State on Sunday, January 6th followed by the fourth and final game of the road swing at UNC Wilmington on Wednesday, January 9th. Old Dominion is 291-16 all-time versus the CAA. The game versus Georgia State will be aired on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic and Comcast SportsNet Southeast.
TOWSON (7-3, 0-0 CAA)
The Tigers extended their winning streak to three games as they defeated Loyola, 72-48, at home Friday evening. With the win, Towson ended Loyola’s five-game winning streak. The Tigers were led by a dominate 26-point performance by senior guard Holly Mahan. During the Tigers’ current win streak, Mahan is averaging 23.3 points per game while making 69.4 per cent from the field. She also has converted 70.0 per cent of her three-point field goal attempts during that span. Mahan was one of three Tigers who scored in double figures. Sophomore forward Kandace Davis posted her third double-double of the season as she scored 12 points with a career-high 13 rebounds. Sophomore guard Shanae Baker-Brice added 10 points and a game-high seven assists. With five assists against the Greyhounds, junior guard Alis Freeman moved into sixth place on the Tigers’ all-time assists list with 313 career assists. The Tigers will return to the court on Wednesday night when they travel to Radford for a 7:00 p.m. game against the Highlanders before conference play begins on Jan. 6 at William & Mary. The game at Radford marks the return of head coach Joe Mathews to his alma mater. A 1991 graduate of Radford, Mathews helped the Highlanders become the dominant team in the Big South as Radford won five straight league titles.
VCU (10-1, 0-0 CAA)
The Rams improved to 10-1 overall and 6-0 on their home court as they defeated Morgan State, 70-56, on Thursday evening and Boston University, 76-65, on Friday claiming the VCU SportsCenter Holiday Classic title. Against Morgan State, junior Quanitra Hollingsworth and senior Krystal Vaughn combined for 34 points and 20 rebounds to lead the way, while Kita Waller was in double figures once again with 13 points. For Hollingsworth, who finished with 13 points and 14 rebounds, it marks her 30th career double-double, which ties for the school record set by Beth Mollerup. Junior Radoslava Bachvarova notched nine points in the win, while freshman Ebony Patterson chipped in a career-high eight points off the bench for VCU. On Friday, five different players scored in double figures for the Rams, led by Hollingsworth’s school-record breaking 31st career double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds. Sophomore Kita Waller chipped in 13 points off the bench, while Vaughn finished with 12 points, giving her 10 double-digit performances in 11 tries, while Bachvarova and sophomore La’Tavia Rorie finished with 11 points each. The Rams had their streak of holding their opponents under 60 points come to an end as the Terriers were able to post 65 points in the championship game ending the 10-game streak The Rams are back in action on Sunday, January 6th as they travel north to take on the Huskies of Northeastern University in both team’s CAA opener.
WILLIAM & MARY (6-6, 0-0 CAA)
The William and Mary split on the week and took third place at the Bank of Hawaii Invitational over the holiday break. The Tribe narrowed a 19-point second half deficit to just three in the final minute but fell to Iona, 76-69, in the opening game at the Bank of Hawaii Invitational in Honolulu on Friday evening and defeated UC Irvine, 71-56, on Saturday. Against Iona, junior Courtney Portell led the Tribe with a game-high 23 points, as she sank a school-record seven three-pointers for the third consecutive game. The Woodbridge, Va., native went 7-of-15 from beyond the arc and also added five steals. Senior Kyra Kaylor registered a double-double with 14 points and 11 boards, while classmate Devin James finished with 12 points, seven rebounds and three steals. Sophomore Tiffany Benson contributed eight rebounds and four blocks. On Saturday, Benson earned a double-double with 17 points and 17 rebounds, while senior Devin James finished with 14 points, six rebounds, six assists and four steals. Sophomore Lauren Aadland and Kaylor also recorded double figures scoring with 13 and 11 points, respectively. Kaylor became the program’s all-time leader in made free throws (448), breaking the previous mark established by Tiffany Williamson (447). The Tribe limited UCI to just 35.2 percent shooting and held a 44-35 advantage on the glass. Additionally, W&M forced the Anteaters into 27 turnovers. William & Mary has only one game slated for this week as the Tribe will host Towson on Jan. 6 for both team’s first CAA contest of the season.
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