QUICK HITS FOR THIS WEEK:
• Old Dominion made the AP Poll home for the 12th consecutive week as they steadied at No. 13, its highest showing in the Top 25 this season, for the fourth straight week. The Lady Monarchs made improved to No. 14 in the ESPN/USA Today Poll last Tuesday.
• CAA women’s basketball is ranked 11th in the nation in the RPIRatings.com rankings through games of Feb. 10. Old Dominion leads the conference at #12, while James Madison follows at #42. VCU is ranked 59.
• Old Dominion is the only CAA team that have not lost a contest on their home court this season. The Lady Monarchs will look to defend their home court record and 20-game winning streak as they host Northeastern on Thursday. The Lady Monarch’s 20-game home winning streak tops the nation and is tied with Hartford. ODU’s 14-game overall winning streak ranks fourth in the nation. James Madison’s six-game winning streak ranks 26th among Division I teams.
• Northeastern will visit William & Mary for a 3 p.m. contest in Williamsburg, Va., on Sunday, Feb. 17. The match-up will be televised on Comcast Mid-Atlantic and Comcast New England.
• The CAA Weekly Telephonic press conference will continue on Tuesday, Feb. 12. Drexel’s Denise Dillon, Towson’s Joe Mathews and VCU’s Beth Cunningham will be available at Noon to discuss their teams and the league.
QUICK HITS FROM LAST WEEK:
• Old Dominion stands atop the league with a perfect 11-0 mark at the start of the second half of the conference schedule. The Lady Monarchs also earned their 20th win of the season with the victory over the Tribe of William & Mary on Sunday.
• James Madison freshman Dawn Evans poured in a game-high 25 points in the outing against Towson on Sunday, including making seven shots from beyond the arc setting a new school record.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Sahsha Taylor • UNC Wilmington
Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte, Jr., Forward
UNC Wilmington junior forward Sahsha Taylor received CAA Player of the Week honors after leading the Seahawks to a pair of conference victories last week and averaging a league-high 23.5 points per game. The junior also averaged 7.0 rebounds and 2.5 steals on the week. She shot nearly 64 percent (14-of-22) from the floor and 76 percent (19-of-25) from the free throw line. Taylor also passed the 1,000-point plateau for her career in the win over Hofstra, where she posted her second double-double of the season wtih a season-high 27 points and 10 rebounds. The junior forward finished the week scoring 20 points against Georgia State.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Brittany Blackwell • UNC Wilmington
Raleigh, N.C./Cary Academy, Fr., Forward
UNC Wilmington freshman forward Brittany Blackwell earned CAA Rookie of the Week for the fourth time this season after averaging 18.0 points and 8.5 rebounds, while assisting the Seahawks to a pair of CAA home victories last week. The freshman only missed one shot from the floor in 14 attempts (.939). Blackwell posted her third double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds in the victory over Hofstra on Thursday, while shooting 5-of-5 from the floor. She finished the week with a career-high 25 points versus the Panthers of Georgia State on Sunday. The rookie also grabbed seven rebounds against GSU and shot 8-for-9 from the field in the win.
ONE IS GOOD, TWO IS BETTER: The Lady Monarchs have made the AP Poll home for the 12th consecutive week as they steadied at No. 13, its highest showing in the Top 25 this season, for the fourth straight week. The Lady Monarchs made jumped to No. 14 in the ESPN/USA Today Poll last Tuesday.
CAA NO. 11 IN RPI RANKING (FEB. 11): The CAA is ranked 11th among the nations 32 Division I conferences in women’s basketball according to the RPI report compiled by Collegiate Basketball News through games of Feb. 11. Old Dominion leads the CAA ranked 12th in the most recent report. The Lady Monarchs are followed by James Madison at 42 and VCU at 59.
TOUGH SCHEDULE: Four CAA teams are ranked among the top 101 of toughest strength of schedule, according to the Collegiate Basketball News with games through Feb. 10. The Old Dominion Lady Monarchs have played the 33rd toughest schedule in the nation. James Madison follows at 53, Delaware at 60, and Georgia State has played the 101th toughest schedule in the nation.
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. CAA women’s basketball has a pair of televised games scheduled for the upcoming weekend. On Feb. 17, Northeastern will visit William & Mary and the 3 p.m. tip will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic and Comcast SportsNet New England.
CAA TEAMS AMONG THE NCAA STATISTICAL LEADERS (Top 10): Through games of Feb. 10, James Madison is ranked third in the nation as the Dukes currently outrebound their opponents by a margin of 12.0 boards per game. Towson ranked ninth in the nation as they average 12.9 steals an outing. The Drexel Dragons are fourth in the nation shooting 80.1 percent from the free throw line.
CAA INDIVIDUALS AMONG THE NCAA STATISTICAL LEADERS (Top 20): Delaware’s Kyle DeHaven leads the country snatching 4.9 steals per game. Drexel’s Gabriela Marginean leads the conference and is ranked fifth in the nation shooting 90.3 percent from the charity stripe. Averaging 2.8 three-point field-goals per game, Old Dominion’s T.J. Jordan is ranked 13th, while William & Mary’s Courtney Portell is ranked 17th averaging 2.7 trey’s a contest. James Madison’s Tamera Young is averaging 20.3 points per outing which is the 10th best average in the nation.
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. If you are interested in attending this year’s championship and have not requested a credential, please contact Niki DeSantis at 804-754-1616 or via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). The deadline to request a credential is March 3.
SEVEN x THREE x FOUR: Four times this season a CAA player has connected seven times from beyond the arc. William & Mary junior guard Courtney Portell has poured in 21 points from long range three times, while James Madison freshman guard Dawn Evans helped capture a career high of 25 points with seven made trey’s. Portell tabbed her seven made three-point contests all in the month of December versus Howard, Duquesne and Iona, while Evans earned her seven against Towson on Feb. 10. Between these four outings, 84 points have been scored from long range.
CAA VS. 2007 NCAA TOURNAMENT TEAMS: The CAA have posted a 14-16 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 and Old Dominion defeated East Carolina, 88-66, on the road. 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. UNC Wilmington collected a 67-60 home victory over East Carolina. 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. Non-Conference 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 TEAMS UP WITH GIRL SCOUTS: For the 15th consecutive year, the Colonial Athletic Association and Girl Scouts of the USA are teaming up for the “Be Your Best” partnership. Each CAA institution has designated a women’s basketball game this season as “Girl Scout Appreciation Day”, with the goal of teaching girls the many benefits that can be gained from participating in athletics. Girl Scouts are invited to attend the games and cheer for their favorite CAA team. A variety of activities are planned in conjunction with the games, including autograph sessions with players, instructional clinics with coaches and spirit contests. William & Mary and Georgia State will host their “Girl Scout Appreciation Day” this Sunday (Feb. 17). For complete information, including special events in conjunction with the games, visit www.caasports.com.
CAA TEAMS UP WBCA FOR THINK PINK: All 12 CAA women’s basketball programs have committed to participate in a variety of different ways to assist in raising breast cancer awareness on the court, across campuses, in communities and beyond. The week set aside for this year’s initiative is February 8-17, however many schools are participating outside of that window due to the scheduling conflicts. Over 600 schools have already committed to participate nationwide in the 2008 WBCA’s “Think Pink” initiative. Drexel, James Madison and Northeastern will participate in the “Think Pink” event on Thursday, Feb. 14. Delaware, George Mason, Georgia State, Towson and Northeastern will take part in the event on Sunday, Feb. 17.
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.
DELAWARE (6-17, 5-6 CAA)
Delaware split on the week as they defeated VCU, 42-37, on Thursday before falling to George Mason, 52-42, on Sunday. Both outings were at home for the Blue Hens. On Thursday, the Blue Hens won their second straight game as they scored the final seven points of the contest and held the Rams of VCU without a point over the final eight minutes to down VCU, 42-37, at home. No Blue Hen player hit for double figures in scoring, but it was a balanced effort as Kyle DeHaven and Vanessa Kabongo each scored seven points and Sha’Ron Harrison, Corinthia Benison, and Farrah Ferguson each added six points. Harrison, Ariene Jenkins, and Benison each pulled seven rebounds as the Hens held a commanding 47-36 advantage on the boards. Delaware’s 42 points were the lowest amount scored in a victory in school history, breaking the mark of 48 set several times, and the Blue Hens won a game without having a player reach double figures in scoring for the first time since the program began in 1971-72. Against the Patriots, the Blue Hens set a program record by shooting just 19.6 percent from the field, breaking the record of 20.3 percent set just two weeks prior versus Old Dominion. Delaware, which was impressive at the foul line as they hit 20 of 26 shots, converted just 11 of 56 shots from the field for the game and misfiered on all 15 three-point attempts. Kabongo led the Hens with 11 points and six rebounds, while Jenkins added 10 points and seven rebounds and DeHaven contributed 10 point, seven rebounds and a game-high seven steals. DeHaven recorded her 400th career steal, becoming only the third CAA player to reach this particular plateau. The senior guard also set a new single-season UD record with 103 steals. The Blue Hens will visit Drexel on Thursday before hosting Hofstra on Sunday.
DREXEL (12-10, 7-4 CAA)
The Dragons earned a 64-48 victory at home over Georgia State on Thursday evening, before dropping a close 65-61 loss to VCU in Richmond on Sunday. Against the Panthers, senior guard Narissa Suber led all scorers with 21 points and pulled down a career-high eight rebounds. Sophomore forward Gabriela Marginean, the reigning CAA Player of the Week, added 17 points and four boards to the win. Nicole Hester scored 11 of her 13 points in the first half and finished the game shooting 3-for-4 outside. Drexel mounted a massive lead in the first half after opening the game on a 12-2 run. The 20-point halftime advantage was enough for the Dragons to withstand a 37 percent shooting performance in the second half and hold on for the victory. On Sunday, Marginean led all scorers with 24 points, while Narissa and Anora Suber combined for 14 points playing for the final time in front of their hometown crowd. The Rams stepped up their free-throw shooting against Drexel, knocking down 21-of-26 attempts. While the Dragons did not miss from the stripe for a second straight game, they only earned six trips to the line. The Dragons will be going for their first series sweep over Delaware this week since the 1998-99 season, when the teams were members of the America East Conference. Thursday, Jan. 14, is “Think Pink” Day at Drexel. Players from both teams will be wearing pink wrist bands and headbands and the coaching staffs will be wearing pink to help raise awareness for breast cancer. Ribbon-shaped pretzels and pink ribbons will be sold at the game with all of the proceeds going to the Susan G. Koman for the Cure foundation. The Dragons will host James Madison for a Sunday afternoon match up to finish the week.
GEORGE MASON (9-13, 3-8 CAA)
George Mason split in conference play last week. The Patriots fell to No. 13 Old Dominion, 71-61, at home on Thursday evening, before downing Delaware on the road, 52-42, on Sunday. On Thursday, Mason came back from a 19-point halftime deficit to move within 10 points in the final two minutes. The 10-point margin of victory was the second-smallest by ODU in the conference this season. Senior Lateisha Wade recorded her first career double-double, pouring in game highs of 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Patriots. The 10-point differential also was the smallest between these two teams since Mar. 13, 2004, when they battled for the CAA title. ODU won that game, 85-81. George Mason held Delaware to a UD record-low 19.4 percent field goal shooting to bounce back with a 52-42 victory on Sunday. The win eclipsed Mason’s overall and CAA totals from a season ago. The Patriots trailed for less than two minutes in the victory, which ended a four-game losing skid. Wade led the Mason offense with 15 points, her 16th time this season reaching double figures, while junior Jessica Smith chipped in nine points. Senior Moni Akintunde pulled down eight boards to lead the Patriots off the glass, as they out-rebounded the Blue Hens by a 43 to 31 margin. Mason will travel to Georgia State on Thursday for the first meeting between the two teams this season, then return home on Sunday to host UNC Wilmington in Mason’s “Think Pink” Day.
GEORGIA STATE (6-16, 3-8 CAA)
Georgia State suffered a pair of conference road losses last week. The Panthers fell to Drexel, 64-48, in Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon, before losing a 85-72 decision at UNC Wilmington on Sunday. Against the Dragons, Georgia State was led by sophomore forward Danyiell McKeller with 14 points on 7-of-9 field goals and junior guard Brittany Hollins added 12 more points for her 15th consecutive game in double figures. Georgia State held a 35-31 rebound advantage with Hollins’ six leading that statistical column by one over freshman forward Danielle Anderson and sophomore forward Shay Rawls. Hollins’ four assists were also a game best for either team. Drexel jumped out to a 38-18 halftime advantage with its eight treys in the opening half. State outscored the host Dragons 30-26 in the second half as they overcame their season-low 18-point first half. In Wilmington, the Panthers were led by Rawls with 15 points. Hollins had 13 points for her 16th straight in double figures. Junior forward Brittany Hudson and freshman guard Traci Haltiwanger each added 11 points. The Panthers’ freshmen and sophomore have combined for better than 60 percent of the minutes, points and rebounds this season. Hollings has her eye on the school record in career steals as she is only three away from tying the GSU record (247 by Brownie Caldwell, 1985-89). Heading into the week, the Panthers have played seven “last possession” games this season, winning four of them. State begins a three-game homestand with contests against George Mason and VCU this week. GSU enters the week with a two-game win streak at home. The Panthers will participate in “Think Pink” week when they host the Rams on Sunday.
HOFSTRA (4-18, 2-9 CAA)
The Pride of Hofstra dropped both of its games this week. The Pride opened the week with an entertaining 79-72 loss at UNC Wilmington on Thursday. Hofstra lost the narrow decision despite sinking a school-record 14 three-pointers and scoring a season-high 72 points. Junior forward Natty Fripp scored a career-high 22 points, including five three-pointers, while junior guard Niki Williams added 20 points and six assists in the game. Williams hit six three-pointers in the game, marking a new career-high and also a high for an individual on the Pride this season. On Sunday, Hofstra dropped a heartbreaking 71-67 overtime game to Northeastern. The game served as “Think Pink” and Girl Scout Day at Hofstra and a season-high 2,169 fans were in attendance for the special day. Freshman forward Britné Rodgers scored a team-high 18 points and grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds in a game-high 42 minutes of action versus the Huskies. It was the first career double-double for Rodgers, whose 15 rebounds were a high for an individual on the Pride this season and the most since Vanessa Gidden grabbed 17 against UNC Wilmington on January 25, 2007. The freshman from Virginia Beach, Va., was a perfect 5-of-5 from the free throw line in the game and added two blocks, a three-pointer and an assist in the game. Rodgers has now reached double figures 10 times this season and in seven of the last 11 Hofstra games and has led Hofstra in scoring a team-high nine times and rebounding a team-high eight times. Fripp tied Rodgers for team-high honors in the game with 18 points, giving her a combined 40 points in Hofstra’s last two games. Bellocchio finished the contest with eight points and a game and career-high 10 assists. It marked the most assist in a game by a Pride player since Jeanell Hughes had 10 vs. Stony Brook on March 15, 2006. It was Hofstra’s first overtime game since a 91-85 overtime victory over Delaware on February 12, 2006. Hofstra goes on the road this week for a pair of games, as the Pride travel to Towson on Thursday before facing Delaware on Sunday.
JAMES MADISON (16-6, 9-2 CAA)
James Madison finished the week with a 2-0 record as the Dukes downed Northeastern in conference play, 80-58, in Boston on Thursday and earned a 79-52 victory at home over Towson on Sunday. The Dukes currently own a six-game winning streak, which matches the longest of the season as JMU opened the season with six consecutive wins. In Boston, junior forward Kisha Stokes scored a career-high 17 points. Stokes was joined in double figures by senior guard Tamera Young and redshirt senior forward Jennifer Brown, each of whom scored game-highs of 18 points. Young and Brown also had double-doubles as each pulled down game-highs of 10 rebounds. Against the Huskies, Young moved into second place on the CAA’s all-time scoring list (1,858). She passed Clarisse Machanguana (Old Dominion ‘97), who scored 1,851 points, and Nyree Roberts (ODU ‘98), who scored 1,854. On Sunday, freshman guard Dawn Evans, who recently returned from a four-game break due to injury, scored a career-high 25 points and set a school record with seven three-pointers in the win over Towson. Evans’ seven three-pointers also tied the Convo women’s record. The previous JMU record of six was shared by seven players, and the Convo record of seven was set by Angie Evans of William and Mary in 1988. Brown also finished in double-figures for JMU, adding 18 points. Young scored 16 points for her 100th double-figure scoring game. She finished with a game-high nine rebounds. Young extended her stretch of double-figure scoring games to 37, adding to her school record. Her career total of 100 is also a school record as she broke Meredith Alexis’s record of 98 Thursday at Northeastern. The senior also broke the school record for free throw attempts in a career. Her current total of 577 surpasses Lesley Dickinson’s (2004-07) record of 570. Young closed out the week tying ODU’s Nyree Roberts for eighth place on the CAA career rebounding list with 986. The Dukes will host William & Mary on Thursday before they travel to play Drexel in Philadelphia on Sunday. JMU will host its “Think Pink” day on Thursday. The Dukes will help raise breast cancer awareness as they distribute pink balloons to the endzone fans, hand out pamphlets and free t-shirts, encourage fans to wear pink and more. The coaching staff will be wearing pink and the team will show support by wearing pink warm-up shirts.
UNC WILMINGTON (13-9, 4-7 CAA)
The Seahawks snapped a two-game losing skid as they were victorious over Hofstra, 79-72, at home on Thursday. The Seahawks finished the week sweeping its two-game homestand to post a two-game winning streak when they earned an 85-72 victory over Georgia State on Sunday. Against the Pride, junior forward Sahsha Taylor scored 20 of her game-high 27 points in the second half and grabbed 10 rebounds for her second double-double of the season to lead UNCW. Taylor was one of two Seahawks to post a double-double as freshman forward Brittany Blackwell chipped in 11 points and 10 rebounds for her third double-double of the campaign. Taylor also became just the 13th player in program history to amass 1,000 career points when she hit a jumper from the top of the key to open the second half. Blackwell and Taylor were joined in double figures by sophomore guard Greta Luksyte, who added 21 points, and senior forward Becca Papach, who pitched in a season-high 11. The duo’s 20 combined rebounds helped the Seahawks enjoy a 38-21 advantage on the glass. Sophomore forward Candace Walker dished out a career-high six assists while freshman playmaker Sheronda McLean added five. Blackwell tag-teamed with Luksyte on Sunday as they both posted new career-highs with 25 points apiece to highlight a trio of 20-point scorers. Blackwell was 8-of-9 from the floor and Luksyte was 7-of-11 from the field as UNCW shot a season-high 64.0 percent from the floor in the contest. Taylor added 20 points in the win, while Walker grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds. Walker also established a new career high with five steals. Taylor’s 40 points on the week moved her into 11th place on the school’s all-time career scoring chart (1,039). She became just one of six players in school history to amass more than 1,000 points and 500 rebounds during their career. The Seahawks return to action this week they visit VCU on Thursday before traveling to Fairfax for contest against George Mason on Sunday.
NORTHEASTERN (7-14, 2-9 CAA)
Northeastern fell to James Madison, 80-58, on Thursday, and then picked up its second conference win as they defeated Hofstra, 71-67, in overtime on Sunday. On Thursday, the Huskies were step for step with James Madison throughout much of the first half. Freshman guard Jasmine Crew and junior guard Ashlee Feldman each scored 12 points for Northeastern. Feldman scored all 12 of her points from long range as she went 4-of-8 from beyond the arc. In the second half, NU shot 46.4 percent from the field, but JMU was hot as well, shooting an even 50.0 percent from the floor. On Sunday, two foul shots by senior guard Shaleyse Smallwood with 35 seconds left in overtime and a defensive stop on the next possession helped the Huskies post a 71-67 win over Hofstra. Smallwood scored a game high 32 points, including 10 in overtime, and was 6-6 from the foul line in the final 35 seconds. The Pride led the contest 25-8 in just 10 minutes into the contest. Northeastern trailed 31-26 at halftime, but an offensive outburst by Smallwood put the Huskies in front. The senior scored 10 of NU’s first 13 points of the second half on 4-of-4 shooting, and helped turn a five point deficit into a 37-33 lead for the visitors. Smallwood scored 26 of her 32 points in the second half and overtime and also had a team high six assists and four steals. The Huskies were also opportunistic, converting 24 Hofstra turnovers into 28 points. Northeastern will look to tackle a two-game road trip as they visit #13 Old Dominion on Thursday and William & Mary on Sunday. The outing in Williamsburg, Va., will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic and Comcast SportsNet New England at 3 p.m.
#13 OLD DOMINION (20-3, 11-0 CAA)
The No. 13 Old Dominion women’s basketball team improved to 20-3 overall and 11-0 in the CAA with victories at George Mason and against William & Mary. The 2007-08 Lady Monarchs became the sixth fastest team in ODU history to accumulate 20 wins as they have now won 14 straight and have been victorious in 22 consecutive CAA contests. Old Dominion opened the week with a 71-61 over George Mason Thursday night at the Patriot Center. The Lady Monarchs, who held a 39-20 lead at halftime, were outscored by George Mason, 41-32, in the second half. The Patriots held the Lady Monarchs without a field goal over the final 5:16, with Old Dominion getting four points from the free throw line in the final 43 seconds of the game for the final margin. ODU was led by seniors Megan Pym and T.J. Jordan with 14 points apiece. Pym, who tied her career-high with her 14 points, led the Lady Monarch rebounding effort with nine boards. Junior center Tiffany Green added in 12, while junior guard Jazzmin Walters contributed 11. Walters cracked the top 10 Old Dominion junior assist list. With six dishes against the Patriots, Walters moved right into seventh place on the list with 107 assists to her name in the 2007-08 season. The Lady Monarchs then picked up an 83-68 win over William & Mary to sweep the season series with the Tribe on Sunday in the fifth annual “Hoops for a Cure” game. The home win at the Ted Constant Convocation Center improved the Lady Monarchs’ home win streak to nation-leading 20 games. Senior Shahida Williams posted her first double-double of the season and third of her career with a season-high 18 points and career-high 13 rebounds. Jordan led all scorers with 20 and moved into 18th on the all-time ODU scoring leaders list surpassing two-time CAA Player of the Year and 2002 WNBA draftee Lucienne Berithieu. Jordan now has 1,385 points under her belt. After four ties and five lead changes to open the game, Old Dominion broke it open by rattling off 25 points and holding the Tribe to just six over the final 11:08 of the first half. The Lady Monarchs led by as many as 27 in the second half with William & Mary able to reduce its deficit to only 15 in the final minutes. The Lady Monarchs will host Northeastern on Thursday for a Noon tip before traveling to play the Tigers in Towson, Md., on Sunday.
TOWSON (15-7, 7-4 CAA)
Towson suffered a pair of CAA losses this week and is currently on a three-game losing skid. The Tigers dropped a 56-53 decision at home to William & Mary on Thursday evening and then lost a 79-52 contest at James Madison on Sunday. Against the Tribe, senior Holly Mahan led the Tigers with 18 points while Baker-Brice scored 12 points. Sophomore Kandace Davis led the Tigers with a career high 14 rebounds while freshman Dovile Miliauskaite added a career high 13 rebounds to go with nine points. The Tigers had a season-high 54 rebounds, marking the first time they have tallied 50 or more boards in a game since the 1998-99 season against Boston University in the America East Tournament. However, the Tribe went on a 24-6 run in the final 11 minutes to earn the victory over the Tigers. On Sunday, Towson was held to a season-low 52 points as JMU defeated the Tigers by 27 points, marking the Tigers’ largest margin of defeat this season. For the first time this season, no Towson player reached double figures in scoring. Baker-Brice led the Tigers with nine points, while senior Jamell Beasley added seven points off the bench. The Tigers will host Hofstra on Thursday and nationally-ranked Old Dominion on Sunday. The Tigers earned a 65-50 victory over the Pride in Hempstead on Jan. 16, but it will be the first meeting of the season against the #13 Lady Monarchs.
VCU (18-4, 8-3 CAA)
The Rams of VCU split on the week, losing on the road to Delaware, 42-37, before rebounding for a key home win against Drexel, 65-61. The Rams built an eight-point lead in the second half thanks to a seven-minute stretch without a field goal by Delaware, but VCU returned the favor by going scoreless over the final 8:17. Junior center Quanitra Hollingsworth notched her third consecutive double-double to pace the Rams, finishing with 12 points and a season-high 17 rebounds. The junior center now has 36 career double-doubles and 11 for the season. Neither team could muster much success from the field. VCU finished 13-of-48 (27.1%) while Delaware was 14-of-55 (25.5%). The Rams made just 3-of-13 three-pointers (23.1%) while the Blue Hens made 3-of-7 (42.9%). For the first time in three games the Rams were out-rebounded, 47-36. Against the Dragons, the Rams were led by Hollingsworth, who paced VCU with her 37th career double-double and 12th of the season, notching a team-high 15 points and 10 rebounds. Hollingsworth led four Rams in double-figures. La’Tavia Rorie added 14 points, while Krystal Vaughn chipped in 11 and LaKea Jones contributed 10 points. Just missing out was Radoslava Bachvarova, who added nine points. For the game, the rams got to the free throw line 26 times, making 21, while Drexel attempted only six free throw and made all of them. Sunday was “Think Pink” day at the Alltel Pavilion and a crowd of 602 dressed in pink helped support the cause of breast cancer awareness.
WILLIAM & MARY (11-12, 5-6 CAA)The Tribe split on the week as they defeated Towson, 56-53, on the road on Thursday, but fell to a tough nationally-ranked Old Dominion squad, 83-68, in Norfolk on Sunday. On Thursday, the Tribe rallied back from a 15-point second half deficit and senior Kyra Kaylor broke the school record for career rebounds as she passed Tiffany Stone’s mark of 1,043. The senior finished the night with a game-high 14 rebounds and 20 points for her sixth double-double of the season. Junior Dani Kell and sophomore Kelly Heath each added eight points. As a team, the College limited Towson to just 30.0 percent shooting (18-of-60) and forced the Tigers into 22 turnovers. Against the Lady Monarchs, senior Devin James led W&M with a team-high 16 points. Kaylor and Heath also finished in double figures scoring with 15 and 14 points, respectively. Kaylor equaled the school record for games played (115), matching the standard established by Sarah Stroh (2003-07). The College’s 68 points marked the most scored against ODU (20-3, 11-0) by a conference opponent this season. Junior guard Courtney Portell currently ranks fifth on W&M’s single-season list for three-pointers made with 57. The Tribe will visit James Madison on Thursday before hosting Northeastern on Sunday. The 3 p.m. tip against the Huskies will be aired on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic and Comcast SportsNet New England.