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CAA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL WEEKLY REPORT - NOV. 30
PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Dawn Evans • James Madison
Clarksville, Tenn./Northeast, Jr., Guard
Evans, who earns CAA Player of the Week for the second consecutive week, led the Dukes to a pair of road wins over Austin Peay and Western Carolina. The junior guard scored game-high points in both outings and finished the week averaging 25.5 points per game and added 3.5 assists per outing. Evans shot 19-for-38 (.500) from the floor last week. She moved up on JMU's career points all-time leader list to 16th with 1,250. Evans also increased her career records in three-pointers (194) and three-point attempts (546). The Clarksville, Tenn., native completed the week with four rebounds, one block and two steals.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Amber Easter • George Mason
Hampton, Va./Bethel, Fr., Guard/Forward
Easter guided the Patriots to a pair of home victories over Jacksonville and N.C. Central last week. The freshman recorded her first double-double against NCCU, just days after falling one rebound short against JU. The Hampton, Va., native opened the week with 13 points on 50 percent field goal shooting to go along with nine rebounds against the Dolphins. She finished the week with 20 points and 15 rebounds against NCCU. The rookie averaged 16.5 points and 12.0 rebounds for George Mason and added three assists, four steals and three blocks on the week.
CAA QUICK HITS:
• A strong start to the new season for the CAA women's basketball programs as they have produced a 31-26 record against non-conference opponents.
• James Madison and VCU remain unbeaten in this young season, while Georgia State has only suffered one loss--which was to nationally ranked Florida State.
• Georgia State junior transfer Angelique Burtts scored a triple-double (19 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds) in the Panthers' win over Murray State.
• The CAA has 22 games slated to be televised for the 2009-10 season.
• The CAA is celebrating its 25th Anniversary during the 2009-10 season. The CAA announced its women's basketball Silver Anniversary team on October 13, which included 17 former CAA Players of the Year, 10 All-America selections and nine WNBA draft picks.
CAA PRESEASON TEAM PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH: Drexel, which captured its first Colonial Athletic Association women's basketball championship last season, is favored to win the conference title again in 2009-10 according to a vote of the league's coaches, sports information directors and media members. The results of the poll were announced during Tuesday's CAA Basketball Media Day at the ESPN Zone in Washington, D.C. The Dragons were followed in the voting by James Madison, Old Dominion, Delaware and VCU. Towson was picked to finish sixth, followed by Hofstra, UNC Wilmington, William & Mary, Northeastern, Georgia State and George Mason.
CAA PRESEASON INDIVIDUAL HONORS: Drexel's Marginean was chosen as the CAA Preseason Player of the Year. She was joined on the preseason All-CAA first team by Towson's Shanae Baker-Brice, William & Mary's Tiffany Benson, Old Dominion's Canady and James Madison's Dawn Evans. Voted to the preseason All-CAA second team were UNC Wilmington's Brittany Blackwell, Delaware's Elena Delle Donne and Tesia Harris, Hofstra's Jess Fuller and Drexel's Jasmina Rosseel.
PLENTY OF TALENT RETURNING IN 2009-10: CAA teams welcome back 75% of their starters from a year ago, including 11 players who earned All-CAA honors. Among the stat leaders, the CAA returns eight of last season's top 10 scorers, lead by James Madison's Dawn Evans (23.8 ppg) and Drexel's Gabriela Marginean (23.3 ppg), and seven of the top 10 rebounders, including William & Mary's Tiffany Benson (11.5 rpg) and Old Dominion's Jessica Canady (9.6 rpg). The conference also welcomes back four of the top five leaders in assists and steals. Georgia State's Crystal Johnson led the league in assists last year with 5.5 per outing, while Towson's Shanae Baker-Brice led the CAA grabbing 3.0 steals per game. All seven of the league's top three-point shooters are back as well.
TOP STATS IN NCAA: Two of the top three scorers in the nation played for the CAA in 2008-09 and return for more in 2009-10. James Madison sophomore guard Dawn Evans completed the season at No. 2, after averaging 23.8 points per outing, while Drexel junior forward Gabriela Marginean wrapped up the season at third as she averaged 23.3 points per contest. The NCAA is scheduled to release the 2009-10 national stat rankings on Monday, Nov. 30.
TV EXPOSURE: CAA women's basketball had over 20 televised games for the second straight season in 2008-09. All 12 teams will make at least one television appearance in the 2009-10 season, which already has 22 games on its schedule. The CAA women's basketball semifinals (The Comcast Network) and championship (Comcast SportsNet) games are included in this season's package. The CAA saw an all-time best 25 games broadcast for CAA women's basketball in 2007-08.
CAA IN THE AP POLL: The Delaware Blue Hens received a vote in the preseason and first 2009-10 AP Top 25 Women's Basketball team rankings. Delaware's preseason vote was the first preseason AP vote awarded to a Delaware men's or women's basketball team in school history. Delaware women's squad most recently received votes in the AP Top 25 Poll during the 2006-07 season on 13 separate occasions from Nov. 27-March 6.
VOTED AMONG THE TOP 20 BEST PLAYERS IN THE COUNTRY: The Associated Press released its 2009-10 preseason All-America women's basketball team comprised of five members and another 14 who received votes. Delaware redshirt freshman Elena Delle Donne received votes in the poll. Maya Moore, a junior at Connecticut, was a unanimous first pick receiving 40 votes. Stanford senior Jayne Appel received 34 votes and Connecticut senior Tina Charles received 28, while Ohio State junior Jantel Lavender and Virginia senior Monica Wright both earned 20 votes to close out the top five spots voted on by a 40-member national media panel. Fourteen individuals selected from 14 various teams also received votes in the poll. Listed in alphabetical order they are: Ashley Barlow, Notre Dame; Angie Bjorklund, Tennessee; Alysha Clark, Middle Tennessee State; Elena Delle Donne, Delaware; Alexis Gray-Lawson, California; Brittney Griner, Baylor; Allison Hightower, LSU; Danielle McCray, Kansas; Deirdre Naughton, DePaul; Nnemkadi Ogwumike, Stanford; Samantha Prahalis, Ohio State; Andrea Riley, Oklahoma State; Danielle Robinson, Oklahoma; Courtney Vandersloot, Gonzaga.
TRIO NAMED TO NAISMITH TROPHY PRESEASON WATCH LIST: Delaware freshman forward Elena Delle Donne, James Madison junior guard Dawn Evans and Drexel senior forward Gabriela Marginean were selected to the Naismith Trophy preseason watch list on Wednesday, Nov. 18. The watch list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors, which based its criteria on player performances from the previous year and expectations for the 2009-10 college basketball season. The Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T will be awarded at the 2010 NCAA Women's Final Four in San Antonio, Tx. Evans set a school and CAA record for scoring average last season, when she poured in 23.8 points per game. Her output ranked second in the NCAA among Division I players. Delle Donne was named the National Player of the Year by the Naismith, McDonald's and Gatorade foundations during the 2007-08 season as a high school senior. She is just one of three freshmen named to the watch list. Marginean, CAA Preseason Player of the Year, was chosen after finishing last season ranked third in the nation in scoring with 23.3 points per game. The senior returns a year after guiding the Dragons to their first CAA Championship title and trip to the NCAA Tournament. Marginean enters her final season on pace to become the CAA's all-time leading scorer.
MARGINEAN NAMED PRESEASON CANDIDATE FOR WOODEN AWARD: Drexel's Gabriela Marginean has been selected as one of 31 preseason candidates for the John R. Wooden Award, one of the top individual honors in college basketball. These candidates are chosen as the frontrunners for the award based on last year's individual performance and team records. Marginean, the 2009 CAA Player of the Year, led the Dragons to their first ever CAA Championship and NCAA Tournament berth last season. Last season, Marginean was a four-time WBCA Honorable Mention National Player of the Month while finishing third in the nation in scoring. She is a two-time First Team All-CAA selection and the 2007 CAA Rookie of the Year. She was also named the Most Outstanding Player of the CAA Tournament, while helping her team knock out 17-time defending champion Old Dominion and defeat James Madison in the championship game. Also making the list are 2009 stand-outs Maya Moore, UConn; last year's Wooden recipient, Jayne Appel, Stanford; Alysha Clark, Middle Tennessee; Jantel Lavender, Ohio State); Ta'Shia Phillips, Xavier; Andrea Riley, Oklahoma State; and Monica Wright, Virginia. Former winners include Duke's Alana Beard ('06) and Tennessee's Candice Parker ('07).
THREE CAA PLAYERS NAMED TO PRESEASON MID-MAJOR TOP 25: Drexel senior forward Gabriela Marginean, James Madison junior guard Dawn Evans and Delaware freshman forward Elena Delle Donne were selected to the Full Court Preseason Mid-Major Top 25. The website honored the top 25 players who play for Division I schools outside of the six major conferences (Atlantic Coast, Southeastern, Big East, Big 10, Big 12 and Pac 10). Marginean, CAA Preseason Player of the Year, was chosen to the second team after finishing last season ranked third in the nation in scoring with 23.3 points per game. Evans and Delle Donne were honored on the fourth team. Evans set a school and CAA record for scoring average last season, when she poured in 23.8 points per game. Her output ranked second in the NCAA among Division I players. Delle Donne was named the National Player of the Year by the Naismith, McDonald's and Gatorade foundations during the 2007-08 season as a high school senior.
HOME SWEET HOME: VCU continued its great home tradition as they defeated Virginia Tech at the Siegel Center on Monday, Nov. 16 and extended its home winning streak to 19 to mark the longest run since the start of women's basketball at VCU. The Rams were the only women's team in the CAA that posted a perfect record on their home court in 2008-09, as VCU recorded a 16-0 record at the Siegel Center last season and entered the 2009-10 season with an 18-game win streak at home, dating back to the end of the 2007-08 season. The streak ranked sixth in the nation as of the start of the season. VCU will next put their streak to the test on Dec. 6 when they welcome cross-town rival Richmond to the Verizon Wireless Area.
2010 CAA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT: The CAA Women's Basketball Championship will be hosted by James Madison University for the second consecutive year on March 11-14, 2010. All 12 teams will participate in the thrilling event, which will be held at the JMU Convocation Center. This will be the second year of the two year bid to host. The tournament host is up for bid again and the site for the 2011 and 2012 championships will be announced in March 2010. The 2009 CAA Women's Basketball Championship welcomed 10, 895 fans over the four day event, which was the most the tournament has seen since 2003 when Old Dominion hosted and entertained 11,536 spectators.
CAA NO. 10 IN RPI RANKING: The CAA completed the 2008-09 season ranked 10th among the nation's 31 Division I conferences in women's basketball according to the RPI report compiled by Collegiate Basketball News. VCU finished the season in front of the conference ranked at 39, while James Madison and Drexel followed, at 57 and 68, respectively. Old Dominion was ranked 87.
POSTSEASON SUCCESS IN THE NCAA: For the second time in three years, multiple CAA teams earned berths in the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship. Drexel received the league's automatic bid and earned the 12th-seed in the Raleigh Regional while VCU received an at-large bid and the 10th-seed in the Oklahoma City Regional. Drexel, which earned its first CAA title in any sport, fell to Kansas State and finished the year with a 24-9 record. VCU, which also made its first NCAA appearance, lost a narrow 57-51 decision to host Rutgers and completed its season with a 26-7 record.
POSTSEASON SUCCESS IN THE WNIT: James Madison ran its streak of postseason appearances to four, giving the CAA at least three teams in postseason action for the fourth straight year. The Dukes received an automatic bid to the Women's National Invitation Tournament and were victorious over American, 61-59, in the first round before suffering a two-point setback at Richmond. It was the ninth consecutive season that the CAA had a representative in the WNIT.
2010 WNIT EXPANDS POSTSEASON TOURNAMENT: The Women's National Invitation Tournament will expand its postseason tournament to a 64-team field. The expansion increases the field by 16 teams. The expansion to 64 teams was planned to accommodate a stronger field of teams. The tournament will continue to feature an automatic berth for each of the nation's 31 established conferences, in addition to now offering at-large berths to 33 teams. The 2010 Postseason WNIT will feature 32 first-round games, followed by 16 second-round games, eight third-round games, four quarterfinal games, two semifinal games, and the championship. All games in the single-elimination format are played at a host facility of participating schools. The WNIT field will be announced the evening of the NCAA Tournament selections, which is Monday, March 15. Games may begin Wednesday, March 17. The championship game will be played on Saturday, April 3, 2010 with national television coverage of the game.
25 YEARS OF SUCCESSFUL WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: The Colonial Athletic Association has announced its women's basketball Silver Anniversary team, which includes 17 former CAA Players of the Year, 10 All-America selections and nine WNBA draft picks. As part of its 25th Anniversary celebration in 2009-10, the CAA is recognizing Silver Anniversary teams in 21 championship sports. The teams are selected by a panel of current and former head coaches in the conference. The CAA has established an outstanding reputation nationally in women's basketball since the league's inception in 1985, and the conference has produced numerous standout performers and teams. Old Dominion has been the conference's dominant program, winning an NCAA-record 17 consecutive CAA championships from 1992-2008. James Madison captured the first four CAA titles from 1986-89, and Richmond followed with back-to-back conference crowns in 1990 and 1991. Drexel won its first CAA championship in 2009. (complete list on p. 4)
DELAWARE (2-2, 0-0 CAA)
Delaware stands at 2-2 with a 72-43 win over Houston and a 67-44 loss to host Colorado State at the Coors Rocky Mountain Invitational. Against Houston, Delaware freshman forward/guard Elena Delle Donne and junior guard Tesia Harris each tallied 21 points on the night, while Delle Donne added a game-high 10 rebounds to notch her second-straight double-double. Though Houston, a team which received votes in the most recent ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, recorded the first basket of the game, Delaware scored 19 unanswered points to lead 19-3 at 14:23. In addition to her double-double, Delle Donne led the Hens with five assists. Junior Ariene Jenkins pulled down eight rebounds for UD, while sophomore guard Jocelyn Bailey and Harris each recorded seven. Bailey and junior Vanessa Kabongo made three steals a piece. On Saturday, freshman guard Lauren Carra was named to the All-Tournament team after scoring a team and career-high 14 points for the Blue and Gold. Carra was joined by Delle Donne on tournament squad. The Blue Hens were without Naismith National Player of the Year candidate in the championship game after she suffered an ankle injury with 3:26 remaining in the contest against Houston. Delaware will next travel to Columbia University for a 7 p.m. contest at Levien Gymnasium on Wednesday, Dec. 2. The matchup with the Lions will be the Hens' fifth consecutive road game. Games at UMBC (12/5) and Maine (12/8) will finalize UD's seven-game road streak that begins its 2009-10 campaign.
DREXEL (2-2, 0-0 CAA)
Drexel fell to Maryland, 82-65, in College Park, Md., on Sunday afternoon for its only contest of the week. Maryland was receiving votes in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today Polls going into the match-up. The Dragons held a one-point lead midway through the first half and trimmed what had been a 14-point Maryland lead to eight with 3:32 to play before allowing the Terrapins to pull away from the free-throw line down the stretch. Senior forward Gabriela Marginean led Drexel with 17 points and 10 rebounds for her 24th career double-double. It is just the second time in Marginean's career that she has achieved double-doubles in three consecutive games. Sophomore guard Kamile Nacickaite added 13 points, four boards and five assists, while junior guard Jasmina Rosseel scored eight of her 10 points in the team's run late in the second half. Sophomore guard Marisa Crane dished out a career-high eight assists and matched her career best with eight points in the contest. She turned over the ball just once in 39 minutes of play. Her eight assists was the highest helper total for a Dragon since Nicole Hester dished out eight on Feb. 20, 2008 against UNC Wilmington. Drexel returns to the DAC this week to host American on Wednesday and La Salle on Saturday. Head Coach Denise Dillon is just two wins shy of her 100th career victory.
GEORGE MASON (3-2, 0-0 CAA)
The Patriots improved to 3-2 with home victories over Jacksonville, 57-49, and N.C. Central, 72-57. George Mason is now 3-0 at home in this young season and owns a record above .500 for the first time in two years. On Monday against Jacksonville, junior guard Brittany Poindexter led all scorers with 17 points and freshman guard/forward Amber Easter added 13 with nine rebounds. Easter led a Patriot unit that out-rebounded the Dolphins by a 43-41 margin, while Mason had five fewer turnovers. On Friday, Easter notched her first career double-double with 20 points and 15 rebounds for the Patriots. She was joined in double figures by juniors Angelee LaTouche and Poindexter, who contributed 18 and 15 points, respectively. The Patriots held NCCU to just one field goal in the first 15:35 of the game. Mason will play three contests this week as they wrap up the homestand with games against Fairfield (Nov. 30) and High Point (Dec. 4), before traveling to Saint Joseph's on Sunday.
GEORGIA STATE (3-1, 0-0 CAA)
Georgia State raced past Murray State, 87-72, and then posted a 61-45 win over Troy to win the Georgia State Thanksgiving Tournament. Against MSU, the host Panthers had four players in double figures, led by a rare triple-double from forward Angelique Burtts. The junior forward produced the third triple-double in school history with her 19 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. Senior forward Danyiell McKeller netted 21 points and nine rebounds for her third consecutive 20+ point performance this season. Point guard Crystal Johnson contributed 15 points and five assists, while junior forward Chan Harris added 14 more points and eight rebounds. Burtts triple-double goes into the record books alongside center Marcquitta Head, who had 14 points, 16 rebounds and 11 blocked shots on Dec. 3, 2006 versus Hofstra. Guard Denise Lloyd had stood alone since her game on Feb. 13, 1981, with 21 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds. On Saturday, Georgia State used 16 steals and 27 forced turnovers in the win that was sparked by a 23-0 first half run to go from a 17-17 tie at 11:50 to a 40-17 lead at 1:55 in the opening half. That defense has been State's trademark after ranking #10 in the nation last year with 11.8 steals per game. The Panthers lead the conference with 11.0 steals per outing after four games this season. McKeller led the way again with 18 points, seven rebounds and three steals to secure the tournament MVP award. Johnson was a leader with 10 assists, eight points and two steals. Harris added 10 points in just 16 minutes and Brittany Graham contributed a trio of three-point baskets for nine points to go with seven assists. The Panthers play next on Saturday, Dec. 5 at Presbyterian. GSU looks forward to adding junior guard Traci Haltiwanger on Saturday against the Blue Hose. The Panthers will also add more firepower when sophomore guard Jylisa Williams returns to the court for the contest against Nicholls State on Saturday, Dec. 12.
HOFSTRA (3-3, 0-0 CAA)
The Pride opened a four-game week with a 62-49 home victory before dropping three straight contests at the WBCA Classic, including back-to-back one-point heartbreakers. The Pride fell to No. 1 Connecticut, 91-46, Clemson, 69-68, and Richmond, 42-41, in the three day WBCA event. Against the Great Danes, Hofstra got an outstanding effort out of senior center Jess Fuller who contributed 15 points and 15 rebounds. Freshman forward Shante Evans chipped in with her second double-double of the season as she added 12 points and ten rebounds. With all three victories by double digits it marks the first time in the program's Division I history that Hofstra has won its first three games all by double digits. Hofstra's game at #1 Connecticut on November 27 was the Pride's first-ever game against a No. 1 ranked opponent. Sophomore guard Nicole Capurso led the Pride with nine points and a team-high three assists. The win was the 700th in the career of Connecticut Head Coach Geno Auriemma. Hofstra also got seven points and five rebounds from Fuller, as well as seven points from sophomore guard Candice Bellocchio. Hofstra nearly picked up its first-ever win over a team currently in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) as they entered the game against Clemson with an 0-12 all-time mark against teams currently in the ACC. Senior guard Sam Brigham had 17 points and seven rebounds, while Fuller added 14 points, seven rebounds and five blocks. In the game versus the Spiders, Hofstra trailed 29-11 at the half before staging a comeback that saw them eventually take a 41-37 lead. Richmond went on to score the game-winner with 2.4 seconds left. The Pride went 0-6 from beyond the arc against UR, thus ending their string of making at least one three-pointer in 76 consecutive games. On the week, Fuller led the team with 11.6 points and 8.3 rebounds per contest and produced a team-best 13 blocks. Evens contributed 9.0 points and 6.3 rebounds per game and Bellocchio dished out 17 assists. Hofstra will be off for a week until its next game for a home contest against Big East member Providence on Tuesday, December 8 at 7 p.m. That contest will air on a tape delay basis on Verizon FiOS1.
JAMES MADISON (4-0, 0-0 CAA)
James Madison improved to 4-0 on the season with its first two road win of the season as they defeated Austin Peay, 83-56, and Western Carolina, 80-63. Against Austin Peay, junior guard Dawn Evans put up a game-high 26 points in the victory. Three other Dukes joined Evans in double figures, and all three had season scoring highs. Freshman guard Tarik Hislop scored 17, and redshirt senior guard Sarah Williams added 15 points and also had a game- and season-high 11 rebounds. Junior Nichelle Glover finished with 11 points. Sophomore forward Kanita Shepherd grabbed a career-high nine rebounds. The Dukes then produced an 80-63 win at Western Carolina, led by Evans' game-high 25 points. The win against the Catamounts gave Head Coach Kenny Brooks his 150th career win. Brooks' eight-year career record now stands at 150-72. In addition to Evans' performance, three Dukes scored in double figures as Hislop and Glover each scored 15, and Williams had her second consecutive double-double with 10 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. The Dukes will continue their four-game road swing as they visit Liberty on Tuesday, Dec. 1 and No. 15/18 Virginia on Sunday, Dec. 6. The contest against the Flames marks the Dukes' fourth game in a span of 10 days.
UNC WILMINGTON (2-3, 0-0 CAA)
UNC Wilmington split on the weekend with a 63-49 win over Monmouth before falling, 70-59, to Duquesne at the UNCW-Hampton Inn Invitational Tournament. Against Monmouth, UNC Wilmington's one-two punch of Brittany Blackwell and Martha White combined for 32 points to power the Seahawks in the win at Trask Coliseum. Blackwell paced the Seahawks with 20 points and picked up her second double-double of the season with 10 boards. White chipped in 12 points and added four rebounds for UNCW, which forced 24 turnovers and came up with 11 steals. On Saturday, senior guard Greta Luksyte and Blackwell netted 12 points apiece for UNCW, who connected on a season-high 44.4 percent (24-of-54) of its field-goal attempts in the contest. Junior forward Kelsy Reitz pulled down a career-high eight rebounds and sophomore forward Kristen Hanzer added six boards as the Seahawks held a slim 38-37 advantage on the glass. Blackwell finished the week averaging 16.0 points and 7.5 rebounds per game to lead the Seahawks, while dishing out a team-best eight assists and grabbing a team-high five steals. Luksyte and White averaged 10.5 and 10.0 points per game, respectively. Blackwell and White were both named to the all-tournament team. The Seahawks will be without freshman guard Jessica Freeman for the remainder of the season after she suffered a torn ACL in the outing against East Carolina. UNCW returns to action Dec. 12 when they travel to in-state rival High Point for a 7 p.m. contest.
NORTHEASTERN (3-2, 0-0 CAA)
Northeastern came up short with an 83-78 loss at Boston University on Tuesday evening, but rebounded with a 77-45 home victory on Saturday over Army. Northeastern's 3-2 record on the season is its best start since the 2007-08 season. Against the Terriers, sophomore guards Kashaia Cannon and Jamie Conroy each had 17 points to lead the Huskies, while sophomore guard Brittany Wilson added 16. Cannon's 17 points were all scored in the second half. Senior forward Kendra Walton added 13, 10 of which came in the second. Northeastern shot 53.1 percent in the second half while holding the Terriers to 32.3 percent. The Huskies out rebounded the Terriers 42-37. On Saturday, Wilson led five Huskies in double figures as Northeastern cruised past Army 77-45 at Matthews Arena on Saturday afternoon. The Huskies shot 49 percent from the floor while connecting on 45 percent of their three-point shots and held Army to 33.3 percent shooting for the game. Wilson ended the game with a team-high 13 points, while freshman forward Rachael Pecota added 12 and Conroy netted 11. Senior forward Kim Carr and Walton each had 10 points. Northeastern returns to action on Wednesday, Dec. 2 for a rare mid-week Noon start taking on Massachusetts at Solomon Court, before visiting Holy Cross on Saturday, Dec. 5.
OLD DOMINION (0-5, 0-0 CAA)
Old Dominion dropped to 0-5 on the year with a 65-32 loss at against Syracuse on Thursday and an 82-75 loss to Louisville Saturday evening at the Cancun Thanksgiving Tournament. It is the first time in the 41-year history of the program that the Lady Monarchs have started 0-5, while four of the five losses have come to teams at least receiving votes in the national rankings. Against the Orange, ODU got a team-high nine points from junior Kquanise Byrd, setting a new career mark at the Division I level, on a trio of three-pointers. Sophomore Tia Lewis nearly had a double-double, hauling in a season-high 12 rebounds and adding eight points for the Lady Monarchs. Junior guard Shadasia Green added 10 rebounds, giving her double-digit boards for the first time this season. On Saturday, ODU was powered by career nights from Lewis and Green as the Lady Monarchs scored a season-high 75 points, but fell just shy of a 23-point comeback victory against defending national runner-up Louisville. Green continued to play lights out, finishing the game 9-of-13 from the field and 6-for-9 from the free-throw line. She filled the stat sheet, leading the team in points (24), rebounds (8) and assists (5). She was named to the All-Tournament Team for her efforts against Louisville and Syracuse, scoring 29 points with 18 rebounds, seven assists and added a steal. Green and Lewis each tallied 24 points against the Cardinals, career high's for each. Lewis had scored 22 against North Florida, while playing for Central Florida her freshman year and Green's previous high was 19 against Northeastern last season. Sophomore center Mairi Buchan also added a season-high 12 points and Jasmine Parker poured in nine with three steals. Buchan had two blocks and went 4-of-6 from the field while knocking down 4-of-5 free throws. The Lady Monarchs are off for a week until they host Ole Miss on Sunday, December 6 at 1:00 p.m.
TOWSON (2-4, 0-0 CAA)
The Tigers suffered a trio of losses this week, including back-to-back heartbreakers to UMBC, 74-72, on Tuesday night as the Retrievers put up a last second lay-up to take the win, and a 54-50 loss to Eastern Kentucky at the Lady Pirate Invitational. Towson also fell to host East Carolina on Saturday, 68-45. Towson received a team-high 21 points from senior guard Shanae Baker-Brice, who scored 20+ points for the fifth straight game dating back to last season, versus UMBC. She finished with seven rebounds, six assists and three steals in addition to her points. Omara Parker added 11 points and six boards while Snowden contributed 10 points and five rebounds. Senior forward Kandace Davis led the Tigers on the boards with nine while also adding seven points and two blocks. On Friday, Baker-Brice poured in 24 points for a season high to mark the fifth straight game this season and sixth overall that she has scored 20+ points in a contest. Baker-Brice would add seven rebounds, two assists and four steals while playing all 40 minutes of action. Parker scored seven points, while senior forward Katrina Wheeler led the Tigers on the boards with eight rebounds. Davis finished with six points and six rebounds. In the loss to ECU, Baker-Brice netted a team-best 17 points, while adding six rebounds, one assist and one block. It marked the first time this season, Baker-Brice has been held below 20 points in a game. Davis finished with six points, seven rebounds, two assists and two blocks. The blocks gave Davis 80 for her career and moved her past Eileen Jensen and into fifth place by herself. Dovile Miliauskaite had six points, five rebounds and four steals, while Wheeler contributed seven boards. The Tigers return to action on Thursday, Dec. 3 when they host Loyola College.
VCU (3-0, 0-0 CAA)
VCU was idle last week after starting the season 3-0 for the fourth time in five years. Senior forward D'Andra Moss returned to the court this season after missing the later part of the 2008-09 season due to a knee injury. The senior currently leads the Rams with 18.7 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. The Rams are also receiving strong performances from La'Tavia Rorie (13.7 ppg) and Courtney hurt (11.3 ppg/7.3 rpg). VCU has been without Kita Waller through the start of the season as she suffered a knee injury during the team's preseason workouts. The senior guard is expected to return possibly as early as this week. Waller finished the 2008-09 season averaging 9.3 points and 2.3 assists per contest. After a week-long break, the Rams travel to East Carolina on Wednesday to face the Lady Pirates for the sixth-straight season. VCU has won the previous three meetings in the series, including a 78-67 victory at the Verizon Wireless Arena last season. After the meeting with ECU, the Rams will return home to host Richmond on Sunday, Dec. 6. VCU looks to extend its school-record 19 consecutive victories, which the Rams set against Virginia Tech in the season-opener on Nov. 16. The Rams have accumulated 29 home wins over the last two-plus seasons and have posted a .909 home winning percentage since the start of the 2007-08 campaign.
WILLIAM & MARY (4-2, 0-0 CAA)
William & Mary went 2-1 on the week and earned the SeattleU Thanksgiving Tournament title. The Tribe opened the week with a 78-54 loss at Iowa on Tuesday, before collecting wins over South Alabama, 46-40, and Seattle, 69-58. Against Iowa, sophomore Taysha Pye recorded a team-high 18 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Sophomore guard Katherine DeHenzel recorded six points, grabbed a career-high tying seven rebounds, and dished out a game-high five assists. In the win over South Alabama, W&M received 17 points from Pye as she went 6-of-10 from the field. Freshman Taylor Hilton came off the bench to score a season-high nine points and grabbed five rebounds. DeHenzel continued strong play as she recorded seven points, tied her career-high with seven rebounds, and dished out a team-high three assists. The College's defense was spectacular on Friday night, holding the Jaguars to only 21.9% shooting for the game, the lowest any opponent has shot against the College this season. Against host Seattle, Pye led the way for the Tribe finishing the night with a double-double with a game-high 22 points and adding 10 rebounds. Pye paced four Tribe players in doubles figures as fellow classmate Janine Aldridge added 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting from 3-point range. Hilton chipped in 12 points and five rebounds off the bench for W&M, while DeHenzel finished with 10 points and three assists to go along with five steals. Pye finished the week averaging team highs of 19.0 points and 7.3 rebounds per outing, while DeHenzel recorded 11 assists and 11 steals. The Green and Gold returns to action when it hosts instate foe Richmond on Thursday, Dec. 3 before taking a 14 day break for final exams.