QUICK HITS FOR THIS WEEK:
• Old Dominion made an appearance in the AP Poll for the 14th consecutive week as the Lady Monarchs fell one notch from No. 10 to No. 11 in the Top 25 this season. The Lady Monarchs steadied at 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. 24. Old Dominion leads the conference at #11, while James Madison and VCU follows at #55 and #62 respectively.
• 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 22-game winning streak as they host George Mason on Feb. 28. The Lady Monarch’s 22-game home winning streak tops the nation. ODU’s 18-game overall winning streak ranks second in the nation, tied with Utah and UTEP and only falls one behind national leader Chattanooga, which has won 19 straight.
• Drexel sophomore forward Gabriela Marginean needs only five points to reach the 1,000th-point plateau of her career. If accomplished on Thursday versus the Towson Tigers, she would tie ODU’s Clarisse Machanguana for the fastest to reach the career milestone in 58 games.
• Two CAA players top the nation in two different categories through games of Feb. 24. Delaware’s Kyle DeHaven leads the nation collecting 4.6 steals per game, while Drexel’s Gabriela Marginean tops Division I women’s basketball with a 91.8 shooting percentage from the free throw line.
• The top two teams in the CAA will battle it out in front of a televised audience in Harrisonburg on Sunday, March 2. No. 10 Old Dominion will visit James Madison for a 3 p.m. tip which will be carried on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic and Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia.
• The CAA Weekly Telephonic press conference will continue on Tuesday, Feb. 26. Old Dominion’s Wendy Larry, James Madison’s Kenny Brooks and George Mason’s Debbie Taneyhill will be available at Noon to discuss their teams and the league.
QUICK HITS FROM LAST WEEK:
• Old Dominion stands a top the league with a perfect 15-0 mark with only three games to go in the regular season. The Lady Monarchs have clinched to share the regular season title. James Madison still has a hold onto second place, while VCU, Towson and Drexel are tied for third.
• With VCU’s victory over Hofstra on Sunday, the Rams claimed its third 20-win season in school history. It was the Rams’ first 20-win season since the 1994-95 campaign.
• The Towson Tigers captured a pair of victories last week to improve to 18-8 on the season. With the 18 victories, the Tigers have set a program record for most wins in a single season.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Shaleyse Smallwood • Northeastern
Boston, Mass./O’Bryant, Sr., Guard
Northeastern senior guard Shaleyse Smallwood received CAA Player of the Week honors after helping the Huskies to a pair of CAA victories and averaging 22.0 points per game. The senior shot 12-of-22 (.545) from the floor and was perfect 16-of-16 from the charity stripe in Northeastern’s two home wins. Smallwood led all scorers with 26 points against George Mason on Thursday before tying for a game-high 18 points, all which came in the second half, against Georgia State Sunday. She went 11-of-11 from the free throw line on Thursday and 6-of-6 from the line on Sunday. The Huskies’ veteran averaged 5.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.0 steals per contest last week.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Dawn Evans • James Madison
Clarksville, Tenn./Northeast, Fr., Guard
James Madison freshman Dawn Evans earned CAA Rookie of the Week for the third time this season as she averaged 15.0 points per game to assist the Dukes to a 2-0 week in conference play. Evans connected on 9-of-17 (.529) shots from beyond the arc last week. The Clarksville, Tenn., broke JMU’s freshman three-point record in a season versus Hofstra (57) and increased it to 62 versus Delaware. Sixty-two ties for the third-highest number of trey’s in a season in school history. The rookie also averaged 3.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.0 steals per contest during the two victories.
ONE IS GOOD, TWO IS BETTER: Old Dominion made an appearance in the AP Poll for the 14th consecutive week as the Lady Monarchs fell one notch from No. 10 to No. 11 in the Top 25 this season. The Lady Monarchs steadied at No. 14 in the ESPN/USA Today Poll last Tuesday.
CAA NO. 11 IN RPI RANKING (FEB. 22): 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. 21. Old Dominion leads the CAA ranked 10th in the most recent report. The Lady Monarchs are followed by James Madison at 55 and VCU at 62.
TOUGH SCHEDULE: Five CAA teams are ranked among the top 100 of toughest strength of schedule, according to the Collegiate Basketball News with games through Feb. 24. The Old Dominion Lady Monarchs have played the 26th toughest schedule in the nation. Delaware follows at 64, Georgia State at 80, Hofstra at 89 and James Madison closes out the top five CAA toughest schedules at 100.
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. To close out the televised regular season schedule, James Madison will host No. 11 Old Dominion on Sunday, March 2. The 3 p.m. tip will be carried on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic and Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia. The next televised CAA women’s basketball games will be during the 2008 CAA Championship in Newark, Del. The CAA semifinals will be broadcast on CN8 on March 15 at Noon and 2:30 p.m., while the championship contest will be carried on Comcast SportsNet on March 16 at 12:30 p.m.
CAA TEAMS AMONG THE NCAA STATISTICAL LEADERS (Top 10): Through games of Feb. 25, James Madison is ranked third in the nation as the Dukes currently outrebound their opponents by a margin of 12.3 boards per game. Drexel is third in the nation shooting 80.6 percent from the free throw line. Old Dominion cracked the top 10 as they are ranked ninth with a 88.9 win percentage.
CAA INDIVIDUALS AMONG THE NCAA STATISTICAL LEADERS (Top 20): Delaware’s Kyle DeHaven leads the country snatching 4.6 steals per game, nearly half a steal per game from the following leader. Drexel’s Gabriela Marginean leads the nation shooting 91.8 percent from the charity stripe. Averaging 19.8 points and 10.3 rebounds per outing, James Madison’s Tamera Young is ranked 12th in each of the categories. JMU’s Dawn Evans is averaging 2.8 three-point field-goals per game and is ranked ninth, while Old Dominion’s T.J. Jordan is averaging 2.7 trey’s per game and ranked 17th.
HOME SWEET HOME: 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 22-game winning streak as they host George Mason on Feb. 28. The Lady Monarch’s 22-game home winning streak tops the nation. Earlier this season, James Madison owed the longest current winning streak on their home court with 30 victories dating back to the 2005-06 season, but it was spoiled by nationally-ranked Maryland on Dec. 20.
DOUBLE THE PLEASURE: The CAA has seen 35 different players record a double-double this season. Leading the league this season, James Madison’s Tamera Young with 14 double-doubles. William & Mary’s Kyra Kaylor joins Young as they lead all current players with 39 career double-doubles, while Hollingsworth follows with 37 career double-doubles.
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 (email@example.com). 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.
LONGEST WINNING STREAKS IN THE NATION: ODU’s 18-game overall winning streak ranks second in the nation, tied with Utah and UTEP and only falls one behind national leader Chattanooga, which has won 19 straight.
FEWEST STARTS ENTERING 2007-08 SEASON: Hofstra entered the 2007-08 season with the second most inexperienced team in the nation with only 22 career starts on the roster. Louisiana Tech entered the season at the top of the list with only four career starts on its roster.
YOUTH OF THE CAA: Georgia State has relied on its freshman and sophomore a great bit this season. The Panthers’ freshman and sophomore have played 61.3 percent of total minutes thus far this season, which is ranked 21st in the nation. Gardener Webb leads the nation relying on its freshman and sophomores which are averaging 91.0 percent of total minute played. Jacksonville State (88.0), Tulsa (87.5), Colgate (77.7) and Texas A&M (77.0) round out the top five teams in Division I women’s basketball which rely on their freshman and sophomores in playing times.
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. VCU will host their “Girl Scout Appreciation Day” this Sunday (March 2). 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 committed to participate nationwide in the 2008 WBCA’s “Think Pink” initiative.
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 17 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 (7-20, 6-9 CAA)
Delaware fell in a pair of CAA contests last week as they dropped a close 51-49 decision to Towson at home on Thursday before falling to James Madison, 64-55, in Harrisonburg, Va. In the match-up against the Tigers, the Blue Hens rallied back from six points down in the final 30 seconds and had possession in the final seconds, but could not pull out the win. Senior guard Kyle DeHaven led Delaware with 16 points and four assists while freshmen guards Vanessa Kabongo added 12 points and Tesia Harris added 10 markers. Sophomore forward Sha’Ron Harrison and freshman forward Ariene Jenkins each pulled down eight rebounds for the Blue Hens, who were hurt by 19 of 65 shooting from the field (29.2 percent). Against the Dukes, who are second in the league, DeHaven led the Blue Hens with 15 points, nine rebounds, six assists, and three steals, netting 13 of her points in the second half. Sophomore center Farrah Ferguson added a career-high 10 points and four rebounds for the Hens, who dropped their second straight and lost to JMU for the fifth time in six meetings. Harris netted nine points and went 3-for-4 from downtown for the Blue Hens, who also got six points and two assists from Kabongo. DeHaven now has 414 career steals, third-most in league history and just 10 short of passing VCU alum Rochelle Luckett for second all-time. She leads the nation with 116 steals and 4.6 spg. The Blue Hens will host Georgia State on Thursday before visiting VCU on Sunday.
DREXEL (15-11, 10-5 CAA)
Drexel split on the week as the Dragons earned a 54-38 victory on the road against William & Mary on Thursday evening and then fell to a tough #10 Old Dominion squad, 66-51, in Norfolk. Against the Tribe, sophomore Gabriela Marginean put together her fifth double-double of the season with 15 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Dragons. Senior Narissa Suber matched Marginean’s 15 points and knocked down four three-pointers. CAA Rookie of the Week Jasmina Rosseel came off the bench to score 13 points, nine of them in the first half. The Dragons bench combined to score 20 of the team’s 54 points. Senior Anora Suber turned in a solid performance, playing 23 minutes in place of Nicole Hester who was in foul trouble early. Anora Suber scored seven points on a three-pointer and a 4-for-4 shooting performance from the free-throw line. On Sunday, Marginean led all scorers with 20 points, leaving her just five points shy of cracking the 1,000 career point mark. She can be the 18th player in Drexel’s history to reach the 1,000 career point plateau. If she can tally five or more against Towson on Thursday she will have achieved the feat faster than any other player in Drexel history and tie ODU’s Clarisse Machanguana to lead the CAA record books, reaching the benchmark in just 58 career games. Three-point threat Narissa Suber was held to only one three, but it was the one that gave the senior Dragon her 300th career trey. Suber, ODU’s T.J. Jordan, and Richmond’s Julie Jones are the only members of the CAA to reach the 300 career three-point field goal mark. Drexel will host a pair of conference contests when they entertain Towson on Thursday and George Mason on Sunday.
GEORGE MASON (9-17, 3-12 CAA)
George Mason suffered its third and fourth straight losses last week as the Patriots dropped a 65-56 decision to Northeastern in Boston on Thursday evening and then lost a close 58-53 decision to visiting Towson on Sunday. The Patriots were led by sophomore Rashauna Hobbs, who scored 10 points in the loss to Northeastern. Jessica Smith led the Patriots pulling down seven rebounds and snatched a game-high four steals, while Lateisha Wade dished out a team-high four assists. George Mason jumped out to an early double-digit lead, but Towson fought back and held off the Patriots down the stretch in a 58-53 contest on Sunday. Senior Lateisha Wade poured in a game-high 17 points and was joined in double figures by junior Jessica Smith, who added 10 points, while freshman Eugenia Broadus pulled down a season-high 11 rebounds. Mason will open up its final road trip of the season on Thursday when it travels to nationally-ranked Old Dominion. The Patriots will then wrap up the weekend at Drexel on Sunday.
GEORGIA STATE (7-19, 4-11 CAA)
Georgia State fell in a pair of conference contests last week as the Panthers suffered a come-from-behind lost to UNC Wilmington, 52-42, on Thursday, before dropping a 67-61 decision to Northeastern in Boston. Against the Seahawks, the Panthers began like it was going to spring an upset over the visiting Seahawks, but off-shooting and a plethora of turnovers kept them from being able to finish what they had started. State got 10 points from sophomore center Shay Rawls. Sophomore Danyiell McKeller collected 10 rebounds and eight points. Georgia State blocked a season-high eight shots, three by senior Vatai Smith. In the match-up against the Huskies, the Panthers got a career-best 18 points from sophomore guard Monica Mann, who missed the last game with a concussion. Freshman guard Traci Haltiwanger hit for 13 points with three treys. Junior guard Brittany Hollins added a double-double performance with 11 points and 10 rebounds as she started at the three-spot Sunday. Georgia State had a season high nine three-point baskets, one more today than Northeastern, who was second in the CAA in treys per game. The Panthers are a young team with freshman and sophomores combining for better than 60 percent of the minutes, points and rebounds of this team to rank among the top 25 in the nation. Hollins broke the school career steals record last week and enters this week with 253. The junior needs 14 more to move into the top 10 in CAA history record books. Smith finished the week with six blocks to up her career total to 113, which is tied for third in school history. Georgia State hits the road for a pair of CAA match-ups as they visit Delaware on Thursday and Towson on Sunday.
HOFSTRA (4-22, 2-13 CAA)
Hofstra dropped its sixth and seventh straight contests in a 68-54 loss to No. 2 James Madison in Hempstead on Thursday followed by an 80-61 loss to VCU at home on Sunday. On the road Thursday, freshman forward Britne’ Rodgers had her second career double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Hofstra would get as close as seven points with just under 10 minutes remaining in the second stanza. Junior Niki Williams added seven points, four assists and four steals for the Pride, while freshman guard Candice Bellocchio chipped in with eight points and two assists. On Sunday, the Pride got 14 points and seven assists from Bellocchio. Rodgers contributed 10 points marking the 13th time this season that she has reached double figures. Junior forward Natty Fripp joined Bellocchio and Rodgers in double figures with 10, while Brigham added a team-high six rebounds and eight points. The Pride’s 34 first half points were the second-most this season in a game and Hofstra’s 53.8 field goal percentage in the opening half was the team’s best all season. The Pride is back in action on Thursday when they travel to play William & Mary before closing the week with a home contest against UNC Wilmington on Sunday.
JAMES MADISON (19-7, 12-3 CAA)
James Madison improved its conference record with a 68-54 victory over Hofstra on the road Thursday and a home victory over Delaware, 64-55, on Sunday. James Madison has won nine of its last 10 games. Redshirt junior forward Nina Uqdah scored a career-high 15 points and was one of four James Madison players in double figures as the Dukes picked up a win over Hofstra. JMU led throughout the game and used a 20-8 run in the first half to pull away to a 16-point lead, 34-18 at 3:42. Uqdah was joined in double figures by freshman guard Dawn Evans, who also scored 15 points. Senior guard Tamera Young had her 13th double-double of the season with 11 points and a team-high 12 rebounds. Junior forward Kisha Stokes finished with 10 points. On Sunday, JMU scored the game’s last nine points to pull away from UD and post a 64-55 victory. The Dukes had a balanced effort with four players scoring in double-figures and two with double-doubles. Evans was five-for-eight from three-point range and led JMU and tied for game scoring honors with 15 points. Young added 13 points and a game-high 14 rebounds, and Stokes finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds. It was Young’s 14 double-double of the season and Stokes’ seventh double-double of the year. Uqdah added 10 points. The junior forward averaged 12.5 points and 7.0 rebounds last week. Stokes, who scored in double figures for the fourth game in a row, had shot 61.6 percent from the floor in the last four contests. Evans broke JMU’s freshman season-record three-point record versus the Pride (57). The rookie, who finished the week with 62 career trey’s, is eight away from the JMU season record of 70. The regionally televised game was played in front of 4,738 fans. That was the second-largest crowd of the season and seventh-largest in school history. It also boosted JMU’s season attendance total to a school-record 30,010 with one regular-season game remaining when the Dukes will host rival Old Dominion. The former record of 25,330 was set last season. The Dukes are averaging 2,308 fans per game and the school record for season attendance average is 1,948, set in 2006-07. Young broke the JMU career field goal record as her total of 702 surpassed the record of 700 set by Meredith Alexis in 2007. The senior also increased her career rebounds total to 1,044 and jumped from seventh to fifth place on the CAA’s career rebounding list. She passed Nickie Hilton (Mason ’94) with 1,037 and Tiffany Stone (W&M ’90) with 1,043. The Dukes will visit VCU for a contest on Thursday before hosting #11 Old Dominion in Harrisonburg on Sunday. The contest against the Lady Monarch’s will be televised on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic and Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia at 3 p.m.
UNC WILMINGTON (16-10, 7-8 CAA)
The Seahawks extended their winning streak to five games as they defeated Georgia State, 52-42 on Thursday, before the streak was snapped by the Tribe of William & Mary with a 67-57 loss at home. On Thursday, freshmen forwards Treasure Johnson and Brittany Blackwell combined for 27 points to lead UNCW . Johnson and Blackwell were the only UNCW players to reach double figures in scoring as Johnson posted a game-high 14 points while Blackwell chipped in 13. Junior forward Sahsha Taylor added nine points, all of which came in the second half. Blackwell also grabbed a game-best 11 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season while sophomore guard Candace Walker pulled down nine boards as the Seahawks held a 40-37 edge on the glass. In the match-up against the Tribe, sophomore guard Greta Luksyte poured in a game-high 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting for UNCW. Luksyte was joined in double figures by junior forward Sahsha Taylor and Blackwell, who added 12 points apiece. Junior guard Shade Smith dished out a game-high eight assists. The Tribe held a 24-4 edge in bench points and 18-4 edge in second-chance points. UNC Wilmington’s returns to action this week with a pair of CAA games as the Seahawks host Northeastern Thursday before traveling to play Hofstra in Hempstead, N.Y., on Sunday.
NORTHEASTERN (10-15, 5-10 CAA)
Northeastern picked up its second and third straight wins as they downed George Mason, 65-56 at home on Thursday and earned a 67-61 victory over Georgia State on Sunday. In the Huskies win over George Mason, senior guard Shaleyse Smallwood scored a game high 26 points, while sophomore forward Kendra Walton had a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Northeastern’s shot a terrific 27-of-31 from the foul line. Smallwood scored 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting and her 8-of-8 free throw shooting in the second half also helped the Huskies secure the win as George Mason fouled several times in the final minutes. Senior guard Lucia Pablos also registered double digits with 10 points, while senior forward Stefanie Hodell and sophomore forward Kim Carr each had seven rebounds. On Sunday, Smallwood led a balanced Northeastern offense with 18 points as the Huskies earned their season best third straight win. Pablos added 12 points for Northeastern, while Ashlee Feldman chipped in 11. Hodell had a good all-around game with five assists and four steals in addition to her 11 rebounds. Smallwood has scored in double figures in nine straight contests. She is averaging 21.0 points per outing over NU’s past five games and is shooting .516 (33-of-64) from the field during those five contests. The Huskies will look to extend its winning streak as they visit UNC Wilmington on Thursday and returning home to host William & Mary on Sunday.
#11 OLD DOMINION (24-3, 15-0 CAA)
The Old Dominion women’s basketball team, who vaulted to No. 10 in the Associated Press ranking and No. 12 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll, picked up wins over third-place teams, VCU, 87-67, and Drexel, 66-51, last week. The wins give the Lady Monarchs 18 straight victories along with a nation-leading 22 straight home wins as they improved to 24-3 overall and remain perfect in the CAA at 15-0. The No. 10 ranking by the AP marks the Lady Monarchs’ first appearance in the poll’s top ten since the final poll of the 1998-99 season when Old Dominion finished 5th. Old Dominion wrapped up the season series with the VCU Rams behind the 4-of-4 effort from downtown by freshman Jasmine Parker. Parker finished the game with a team-leading 16 points, two-points shy of her career mark, joining four other Lady Monarchs in double figures. Junior Tiffany Green posted her third double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 boards. On Sunday in the lone meeting with the Drexel Dragons, junior Tiffany Green led the Lady Monarchs with 11 points as one of three in double figures. Both seniors Megan Pym and T.J. Jordan notched 10 apiece. Pym also set a new career steal mark with seven. Jordan, who went 3-of-6 from downtown, tied the CAA record for career three-pointers made with her third and final three at the 2:59 mark of the second half. The senior guard tied Julie Jones (Richmond - 1988-92) for the record with 309 career treys under her belt. Junior Jazzmin Walters also dished out 11 assists, one short of her career mark. With her effort, Walters moved into third on the junior assist leaders list at Old Dominion. Walters currently has 138 assists in her third season as a Lady Monarch with only Old Dominion legends Nancy Lieberman and Ticha Penicheiro ahead of her on the list. The Old Dominion women’s basketball team returns to action on Thursday at home, closing out the season series with George Mason, and then at second-place James Madison on Sunday in its final regular season road game. The match-up against the Dukes will be televised on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic and Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia at 3 p.m.
TOWSON (18-8, 10-5 CAA)
Towson collected a 51-49 road victory over Delaware on Thursday and then accomplished a 58-53 win at George Mason, the first in eight visits to the Patriot Center. In the victory over the Blue Hens, the Tigers were led by sophomore guard Shanae Baker-Brice’s 14-point and eight rebound performance. She was one of three Tigers to score in double figures. Towson had to hold off a late Delaware rally. Freshman forward Dovile Miliauskaite added 12 points and five rebounds. Senior guard Holly Mahan contributed 12 points with six rebounds. On Sunday, the Tigers accomplished three feats that no other Tiger team had done in the program’s history. The win marked the firs time that Towson has ever won at Mason in eight visits to the Patriot Center. It also marked the Tigers’ 11th road victory of the season, setting a school record. In addition, the Tigers earned their 18th win of the season, which is the first time the Towson had won 18 regular season games in school history. Junior Alis Freeman and Mahan combined to score 29 points with seven rebounds to lead the Tigers to the victory. Mahan scored a team-high 15 points with six rebounds while Freeman tallied 14 points, making four of six field goals and all four free throws. Baker-Brice added 12 points, making all six of her free throws. The Tigers are currently tied for third place among the CAA teams with Drexel and VCU. Towson will visit Drexel on Thursday before hosting Georgia State on Sunday.
VCU (20-6, 10-5 CAA)
The Rams fell to 10th-ranked Old Dominion, 87-67, on Thursday at home and then rebounded while on the road with an 80-61 victory at Hofstra on Sunday. The Rams played in front of a season-high crowd of 1,621 at the Siegel Center in the match-up against #10 Old Dominion. VCU was paced by junior forward Radoslava Bachvarova. Bachvarova scored a career-high 17 points. Vaughn chipped in 13 points and 11 rebounds for her second double-double of the season. The Rams were outscored 40-24 in the paint. VCU played without starting center Quanitra Hollingsworth. LaKea Jones led the Rams with three steals, while Jones and Kita Waller each dished out four assists in the contest. The Rams attempted 73 shots against the Lady Monarchs, which was the second time this season that VCU hoisted more than 70 shots in an outing. On Sunday, VCU scored the most points since the Rams’ season-opener in the 80-61 win over the Pride. With the win, the Rams secured the third 20-win season in program history. It is the first time the VCU women’s basketball team has won 20 games since the 1994-95 season. The Rams are one win away from matching the 1986-87 team for most wins in a season. Vaughn scored 16 of her season-high 28 points in the first half, helping the Rams stake a 43-34 halftime lead. A feisty Hofstra squad gave VCU all it wanted in the early going. An 11-4 Hofstra run put the Rams down 19-16 with 12:26 remaining in the opening frame. VCU responded with a 13-0 run, giving the Rams their largest lead of the half, 29-19. Four players produced double-digit scoring efforts, paced by Vaughn’s 28 points. The senior added seven rebounds. Sophomore D’Andra Moss contributed her second double-double of the year with 10 points and 10 rebounds. La’Tavia Rorie and Bachvarova added 14 and 10 points, respectively. The Rams will settle in for a pair of home contests this week as they host James Madison on Thursday and Delaware on Sunday.
WILLIAM & MARY (12-15, 6-9 CAA)
William & Mary split on the week as they fell to Drexel, 54-38, on Thursday evening at Kaplan Arena before snapping UNC Wilmington’s five-game win streak with a 67-57 road win on Sunday. In the loss to the Dragons, sophomore Kelly Heath led W&M with a team-high eight points, while sophomore Lauren Aadland finished with seven points and six rebounds. Junior Courtney Portell sank a pair of three-pointers and moved into second place on the College’s single-season list (61). The Woodbridge, Va., native needs just three more to break the school record established by Yolanda Settles during the 1993-94 season. In the match-up against the Tribe, sophomore Tiffany Benson registered a school-record seven blocks, a career-high 21 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Tribe. Freshman Katherine DeHenzel also nearly earned a school record with eight steals, coming just one shy of the single-game record. The Bowie, Md., native also dished out six assists. Heath tallied 15 points, while senior Kyra Kaylor totaled 11 points and nine boards. Senior Devin James also finished in double figures scoring (11) and became the sixth player in school history to total more than 1,300 career points. The Tribe will host Hofstra on Thursday before trekking to Boston to play Northeastern on Sunday.