BASKETBALL WEEKLY REPORT - DEC. 7
**complete release in PDF format located at the bottom of this article**
CAA QUICK HITS:
• A strong start to the new season for the CAA women's basketball programs as they have produced a 42-32 record against non-conference opponents.
• James Madison defeated #14/15 Virginia, 75-73, on Dec. 6 becoming the first CAA team to take down a ranked opponent this season. With JMU's pair of wins last week the Dukes have received votes in the most recent AP Top 25 Poll.
• The first RPIRatings.com report placed James Madison with an RPI rating of four. Georgia State (59), VCU (73), Old Dominion (74) and Northeastern (88) also ranked in the Top 100.
• James Madison remains unbeaten in this young season, while Georgia State has only suffered one loss. The Panthers fell to nationally-ranked Florida 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.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
Dawn Evans • James Madison
Clarksville, Tenn./Northeast, Jr., Guard
Evans, who earns CAA Player of the Week for the third consecutive week, led the Dukes to a pair of road wins over Liberty and #14/15 Virginia. The junior guard poured in 38 points to guide the Dukes to a win at UVA on Dec. 6. Her 38-point performance broke a John Paul Jones Arena record and matched a career-high for the junior. Evans made seven three-pointers and moved to tied 10th in the CAA record books with 201 in her career and is now ninth in the conference history with 566 treys attempted. Evans finished the week averaging 26.0 points per game. She added 10 rebounds, seven assists and two steals.
Brittany Wilson • Northeastern
Pawtucket, R.I./Bay View, So., Guard
Wilson led the Huskies to a 2-0 week, including a double-overtime win over Holy Cross. The sophomore guard posted a career-high 31 points on 8-of-13 (.615) shooting and recorded a perfect 12-of-12 from the free throw line against the Crusaders. She opened the week with a 23-point performance against Massachusetts. Wilson finished the week averaging 27 points and eight rebounds to go along with five assists, five steals and one block. The Pawtucket, R.I., native shot 16-for-31 (.516) from the floor and 17-of-19 (.895) from the charity stripe in the two outings for Northeastern.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Tarik Hislop • James Madison
Silver Spring, Md./Paint Branch, Fr., Guard
Hislop helped the Dukes post a pair of road wins over Liberty and #14/15 Virginia last week. The rookie opened the week with a game-high 15-point performance against Liberty. She scored five of the Dukes' final 10 points, including a 4-for-4 performance from the free throw line in the final 27.6 seconds to help clinch the win. Hislop poured in 14 points in JMU's victory at UVA. The freshman guard was the Dukes' leading scorer in the final 11 minutes of the game with 10 of JMU's 25 points. Hislop completed the week with 14.5 points per game to go along with six rebounds.
CAA NO. 8 IN RPI RANKING: The CAA opens the 2009-10 season ranked eighth among the nation's 32 Division I conferences in women's basketball according to the RPI report compiled by Collegiate Basketball News. James Madison, which has earned a pair of ACC wins and a Big East victory, came out of the gate with an impressive RPI of four. Even though it is early in the 2009-10 season, the last time the CAA had a team finish among the top five of the RPI ratings was Old Dominion when they earned a RPI of two in the final 1997 RPI report. Georgia State (59), VCU (73), Old Dominion (74) and Northeastern (88) are also ranked in the Top 100 for the first report of the 2009-10 season.
SCHEDULE STRENGTH: The Lady Monarchs of Old Dominion have started the season with the toughest strength of schedule in the nation according to Collegiate Basketball News. ODU has faced top contenders in the RPI ratings such as Stanford (RPI 8), Maryland (RPI 54), Louisville (RPI 63) and N.C. State (RPI 67). James Madison has played the 17th toughest strength of schedule, which included Virginia (RPI 12), Liberty (RPI 45) and Georgetown (RPI 58). VCU stands at 45 to round out the CAA members within the top 50 strength of schedule.
JAMES MADISON TOPS NATIONALLY-RANKED VIRGINIA: James Madison became the first team in the 2009-10 season to defeat a Top 25 team when they took down #14/15 Virginia, 75-73, on Sunday, Dec. 6. Dawn Evans matched her career high with 38 points. Evans' 38-point performance, which is 14 points above her average, set a John Paul Jones Arena scoring record.
CAA IN THE AP POLL: James Madison is 6-0 on the season and two wins over ACC foes (Virginia and Virginia Tech) and one over a Big East rival (Georgetown) to receive votes in the most recent AP Top 25 Poll (Dec. 7). The Delaware Blue Hens are another CAA team that has receive votes this season as they garnered a vote in the preseason and the first week 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.
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. After six games, Evans returned to No. 2 in 2009-10 with 26.5 points per outing, just behind Oral Roberts' Kevi Luper (28.4 ppg). Marginean follows at 11th (21.7 ppg), while Towson's Shanae Baker-Brice (13th, 20.9 ppg) and Georgia State's Danyiell McKeller (14th, 20.8 ppg) also make an appearance in the Top 15. Evans is ranked third with 4.0 trey's per outing. The Drexel Dragons lead the nation at the free throw line sinking 82.5 percent of their shots.
TRIPLE DOUBLES: Georgia State junior transfer Angelique Burtts scored a triple-double (19 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds) in the Panthers' win over Murray State on Nov. 27. She is just one of seven others who have accomplished a triple-double this season (as of Dec. 6). St. Mary's Louella Tomlinson had recorded three this season to tally five in her career.
FRESH FACES--NICE NUMBERS: The CAA welcomes a strong group of freshmen this season. Five freshman are averaging double-digits, led by Delaware's Elena Delle Donne (23.8 ppg). Delle Donne also leads eight rookies averaging five or more rebounds with 8.8 boards per outing. Northeastern's Rachael Pecota highlights the freshman with three-pointers as she has drained 12 thus far this season, while UD's Lauren Carra has sunk nine and Delle Donne had added eight. Delle Donne leads the newbies at the foul line, for those making five or more, shooting 92.0 percent (23-of-25). George Mason's Rahneeka Saunders has recorded 15 steals, while Hofstra's Candace Bond (12), Mason's Amber Easter (12) and Mason's Jenaa Pickard (11) have double-digit thefts. Pickard dominates the frosh with 16 blocks after seven outings. Leading the freshman in assists is Saunders with 23, but Delle Donne (15) and James Madison's Tarik Hislop (10) have also contributed double-digit assists.
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.
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: University of Richmond spoiled VCU's 19-game winning streak at home Sunday afternoon. The Rams were the only women's team in the CAA that posted a perfect record on their home court in 2008-09 with 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 had ranked sixth in the nation. The Rams have accumulated 29 home wins over the last two-plus seasons and have posted a .879 home winning percentage since the start of the 2007-08 campaign.
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.
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)
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.
DELAWARE (3-3, 0-0 CAA)
Delaware suffered a 75-63 loss at Columbia on Wednesday evening, before rebounding with a 70-61 victory at UMBC on Saturday. On the week, freshman Elena Delle Donne led the team with 20.0 points as she just played one of the two contests for UD. Junior guard Tesia Harris poured in 19.5 points per outing and freshman Lauren Carra recorded 14.5 points per outing. Delle Donne grabbed 8.0 rebounds per outing, while freshman forward Danielle Parker recorded 7.5 rpg. In the loss to Columbia, Harris poured in a game-high 24 points to lead the Blue Hens. Delaware was riddled by foul-trouble and a season-low 56.7 free throw percentage, during UD's second straight game without Delle Donne. The rookie suffered an ankle injury in Delaware's 72-43 win over Houston at the Colorado State Tournament on Nov. 27. Carra recorded a career-high 15 points, forward junior Ariene Jenkins added seven, and Parker six for the Blue Hens. Parker also tallied a team-high seven rebounds. Against UMBC, UD had four players in double digits to lead the Blue Hens. Delaware's four in double digits, Delle Donne, Harris, Carra, and sophomore guard Jocelyn Bailey, were the most since four Hens recorded double-digit efforts in a 79-58 CAA quarterfinal victory over VCU on March 9, 2007. Delle Donne returned to the hardwood after missing two games due to an ankle injury. The Wilmington, Del. native led the game with 20 points to help the Hens snap UMBC's three-game winning streak. Harris added 15 points, Carra 14, and Bailey 11. Delaware will next travel to Maine on Tuesday, Dec. 8 for a game that will finalize UD's seven-game road streak that begins its 2009-10 campaign. The Hens' home opener is set to tip-off on Friday Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. against Navy in the Bob Carpenter Center.
DREXEL (3-3, 0-0 CAA)
Drexel improved to 3-2 overall with a 50-40 home victory over American on Wednesday, before falling to La Salle, 68-57, on Saturday to drop to 3-3. Senior forward/guard Gabriela Marginean averaged team highs of 23.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game last week. In the win over American, Gabriela Marginean scored 26 of her team's 50 points. Sophomore forward Tyler Hale scored a career-high 10 points to go with five rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block. Marginean scored Drexel's first nine points of the contest by going 2-for-2 from the floor and 5-for-5 from the free-throw line in the opening minutes. She would finish with 13 of Drexel's 17 points at the break as the Dragons went into the locker room trailing 21-17. Marginean finished the contest shooting 11-for-12 at the charity stripe, which is the most attempts and makes she's had from the line this season. On Saturday, Drexel saw a 13-point first-half lead slip away in a 68-57 loss to city rival La Salle. The Explorers scored 42 points in the second half and shot 52.6 percent from the floor in the period to pull out their second victory of the season after trailing by six at halftime. Marginean led all scorers with 21 points, while Marisa Crane matched a career-high eight rebounds. Crane also posted a team-high four assists. The Dragons are back in action next Sunday when they travel to play at Saint Joseph's at 2:00 p.m. Head Coach Denise Dillon is just one win shy of her 100th career victory. Marginean is just 16 points away from 2,000 career points and become Drexel's first women's player to reach that milestone.
GEORGE MASON (5-3, 0-0 CAA)
The Patriots posted a 2-1 record on the week with home wins over Fairfield, 70-65, and High Point, 76-57, before falling to Saint Joseph's, 65-46, on the road. By posting a 5-3 record on the season, the Patriots surpassed their 2008-09 win total and opened the year 5-0 at home for just the second time in school history. Junior Brittany Poindexter led the team on the week with 40 points (13.3 ppg) and shot a superb 62.5 percent from the floor in the three outings. Freshman Amber Easter grabbed a team-best 8.0 rebounds per game and added 8.3 points per outing. Freshman Janaa Pickard made a team-high six blocks on the week and classmate Rahneeka Saunders posted a team-high seven steals. Against the Stags, Poindexter and Ashleigh Braxton each chipped in 12 points to lead the Mason offense, which overcame a 45-to-31 disadvantage off the glass and registered 10 blocks, including four from Pickard. Easter led the Patriots with eight rebounds. In the match-up against High Point, Poindexter set a school record going 10-of-12 from the field while scoring a career-high 27 points, while Angelee LaTouche had her first career double-double with 13 points and 15 rebounds. Poindexter's 83.3 percent shooting breaks a 21-year-old school record set by Cindy Baruch. She went 14-of-18 from the field against Richmond on March 11, 1988. In the loss to SJU, Easter led the Patriots with 13 points, her fourth time this season in double figures, while Braxton added 10. Mason will return home next Saturday and attempt to achieve its first 6-0 start at home in school history when it hosts Howard.
GEORGIA STATE (4-1, 0-0 CAA)
Georgia State improved to 4-1 with a 58-44 road win over Presbyterian on Saturday. The win was the Panthers third straight. Georgia State used its full-court pressure defense to amass 13 steals, force 24 turnovers and block five shots in the win over Presbyterian. The Panthers were led by senior forward Danyiell McKeller, who scored 22 points, just above her 20.5 season average that ranks her in the top 25 in the nation. The senior forward has scored 20 or more points in four of the five games she has played in. Junior guard Traci Haltiwanger played her first game of the season and knocked down three 3-point baskets, while junior wing Angelique Burtts added nine more points and five rebounds. The Panthers will also add more firepower when sophomore guard Jylisa Williams returns to the court for the contest against Delaware State on Dec. 16. The Panthers welcome Nicholls State on Saturday, Dec. 12 for their only contest of the week.
HOFSTRA (3-3, 0-0 CAA)
Hofstra had no games scheduled last week and will return to action on Tuesday when they host Big East member Providence. That contest will air on a tape delay basis on Verizon FiOS1. The Pride will also host Niagara on Thursday and travel to Manhattan on Saturday. The Friars will be the first Big East squad to visit the Mack Sports Complex for a regular season contest since St. John's came to Hempstead on December 11, 2005. Seton Hall came to Hofstra for a second round WNIT game on March 17, 2007. Hofstra will look to end a three-game losing skid, including the last two games by one-point each, against Providence. The back-to-back one-point losses for Hofstra marks the first time that has occurred for the Pride since January 3 and 11, 1989 (Wake Forest and Lafayette). Hofstra has a pair of players averaging in double figures thus far in 2009-10 as senior center Jess Fuller and freshman forward Shante Evans each contribute 10.7 points per outing. Fuller leads Hofstra in rebounding (7.3 per game) and blocks with 17, while Evans is second on the team with 7.0 rebounds per game. Redshirt sophomore guard Candice Bellocchio is averaging a team-best 5.7 assists per game, while also chipping in with 8.0 points per contest.
JAMES MADISON (6-0, 0-0 CAA)
James Madison improved to 6-0 on the season with a pair of road wins last week. The Dukes earned a 60-50 win over Liberty, Tuesday evening, and a 75-73 victory over #14/15 Virginia on Sunday afternoon. JMU's win over UVA was the first victory over a nationally ranked opponent by a CAA team in 2009-10. JMU has started 6-0 under the direction of Head Coach Kenny Brooks for just the second time and the sixth time since 1972-73. Against the Flames, freshman guard Tarik Hislop scored a game-high 15 points, including five of the Dukes' final 10 points. Junior guard Dawn Evans added 14 and sophomore forward Kanita Shepherd came off the bench to score 11. Sophomore guard/forward Kiara Francisco led JMU in rebounding with a season-high seven, and junior center Jalissa Taylor and redshirt senior guard Sarah Williams each finished with six rebounds. The Dukes' win over 2009 Big South champion Liberty marked JMU's third straight road win over defending conference champion as JMU has posted wins over 2009 Ohio Valley champion Austin Peay and 2009 Southern champion Western Carolina. In the win over the Cavaliers, Evans tied her own school record with 38 points and broke the John Paul Jones Arena scoring record. The JPJ record was previously held by Liberty's Megan Frazee's 37 points in 2006. Evans' 38-point performance matched her school record 38 scored in JMU's 86-81 overtime win at Indiana in the second round of the WNIT on March 22, 2008. Tamera Young (JMU '08) also shares the record; she scored 38 vs. Radford in the WNIT first round at JMU on March 20, 2008. Hislop was the only other JMU player in double figures with 14. Taylor was the Dukes' top rebounder with eight. The win at UVA snapped the Cavalier's three-game winning streak at home. Junior guard Courtney Hamner returned to the court for the Dukes after missing the first four games due to recovering from surgery. The Dukes will return home after a four-game road swing to host Siena on Sunday, Dec. 13.
UNC WILMINGTON (2-3, 0-0 CAA)
UNC Wilmington took a break for the exam period and will return to the court on Saturday, Dec. 12 when they visit High Point. Junior Brittany Blackwell currently leads the team in all three major categories with 15.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. She also ranks in the top 10 among league leaders in all three categories. Blackwell paces a balanced attack that features seven players averaging more than five points per game as the Seahawks have shot 40.6 percent from the field in the first five outings. 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.
NORTHEASTERN (5-2, 0-0 CAA)
Northeastern extended its winning streak to three games with a 73-64 home win over Massachusetts on Wednesday and an 89-82 double-overtime thrilling win over Holy Cross on Saturday. NU is now 3-0 at home this season and it's 5-2 start is the best for the program since the 1998-99 season. Sophomore guard Brittany Wilson led the Huskies scoring a career-high 23 points and pulled down seven rebounds. Senior forward Kendra Walton finished with 15 points on 4-of-9 shooting, while sophomore guard Kashaia Cannon added 13 points and a career-high seven rebounds. Senior forward Kim Carr added seven points and a game high eight rebounds. Freshman guard Deanna Kerkhof's five points were her first career points. Against the Crusaders, Wilson scored a career-high 31 points, including a perfect 12-for-12 from the free throw line and nine rebounds leading five Huskies in double figures. Wilson career-high is the first 30-point performance since Shaleyse Smallwood scored 32 against Hofstra on February 10, 2008. Carr netted 17 points and seven rebounds while sophomore guard Dani Iervolino had 11 points to tie a career-high. Walton and sophomore guard Jamie Conroy also added 11 for the Huskies. Wilson completed the week averaging 27.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per outing to lead the Huskies. Northeastern returns to action on Wednesday, Dec. 9 taking on cross-town rival Harvard at 7 p.m. The Huskies will continue play this week on Sunday, Dec. 13 against Hartford. The contest against the Hawks will be televised on Connecticut Television Sports Network.
OLD DOMINION (1-5, 0-0 CAA)
Old Dominion earned its first win of the season with a 75-66 victory at home over Ole Miss on Sunday afternoon after not playing a game for seven days. The Lady Monarchs, which started the season 1-5, has opened the young season with the toughest strength of schedule according to RPIRatings.com. Sophomore forward Tia Lewis posted her first career double-double at Old Dominion and tied her career-high in rebounds with 17. ODU handed the Rebels just their second loss of the season with balanced play, getting eight points or more from six different players. Junior Shadasia Green led the team in scoring for the third time this season, putting up 16 points in the win. She started the game just 2-for-10 from the field, but finished on a 4-for-4 tear and added a pair of free throws in the final minute to secure the victory. Junior Vicki Collier posted a new career-high, scoring 12 points in the win and rounding out the Lady Monarchs in double figures. Rookie Carolann Cloutier also notched a new high, scoring eight points on a pair of key three-pointers in the second half and a runner in the paint. Junior Kquanise Byrd tied her career high at Old Dominion with nine points. ODU held the nation's ninth leading scorer, Bianca Thomas (22.7 ppg), to just seven points in the second half. ODU will host a pair of games this week, against Florida and Hampton. ODU won the only matchup all-time against Florida, in the 1997 NCAA Tournament Elite Eight, by a 53-51 final. ODU has not lost to Hampton in four all-time matchups, but have not faced the Pirates since the 2002-03 season
TOWSON (3-4, 0-0 CAA)
The Tigers earned a 68-66 win at home over Loyola (Md.) on Thursday evening to snap a three-game losing streak. Towson trailed by 11 at the half and rallied back as Simona Petronyte hit a three-pointer with five seconds remaining helped lift the Tigers to a the come-from-behind win over the Greyhounds. Towson has played in three games this season that the final score was four points or less and this was the Tigers first win. Towson fell to UMBC, 74-72, and Eastern Kentucky, 54-50. Senior forward Haliena Snowden was one of three Tigers to score in double figures in the contest. She finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal. Senior guard Shanae Baker-Brice scored at least 20 points for the sixth time in seven games this season as she posted 21 points, five assists and five steals. Senior forward Kandace Davis had 10 points and nine boards, while senior forward Katrina Wheeler came off the bench to score seven points and pull down 10 boards. The Tigers return to action this week with three games starting with a home contest against Bucknell on Monday, Dec. 7. Towson will then welcome nationally-ranked Maryland to the Towson Center on Thursday, Dec. 10 before visiting Navy on Sunday, Dec. 13. The contest against the Terps has been designated as the Towson "Pack the House" night.
VCU (3-2, 0-0 CAA)
VCU dipped to 3-2 on the season as they suffered back-to-back losses last week. The Rams dropped an 88-85 loss at East Carolina on Wednesday and then fell to cross-town rival Richmond, 66-52, on Sunday. Senior forward D'Andra Moss led the team in the two outings averaging 21.5 points per contest and added 10 rebounds. Senior forward Stephanie Solomon pulled down 15 rebounds in the two outings, while sophomore forward Courtney Hurt added 14. Hurt has been the Rams' top reserve coming off the bench averaging 27.4 minutes and 9.6 points per contest. Against the Lady Pirates, Moss scored 17 of her game-high 27 points in the second half, but the Rams couldn't overcome a 20-point deficit. Senior guard Kita Waller came off the bench and saw her first action of the season, registering 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting from behind the arc. Waller suffered a knee injury during preseason workouts, which forced her to miss the first three games. Meanwhile, Ebony Patterson added 14 points for VCU, while senior La'Tavia Rorie chipped in 12 points. Against the Spiders, Moss paced VCU with 16 points but fouled out with less than five minutes to play. Rorie added 15 points and a game-high four steals for the Rams, while Waller chipped in eight points off the bench. Waller finished the week averaging 11.5 points per contest, while Rorie tabbed 13.5 points per contest and has scored in double figures in all five of VCU's games this season. VCU returns to the Verizon Wireless Arena on Saturday, Dec. 12 for a 4 p.m. matchup with Radford University.
WILLIAM & MARY (4-3, 0-0 CAA)
William & Mary suffered a 60-47 loss at home to in-state rival Richmond on Thursday evening for its only match-up of the week. Sophomore Taysha Pye continued to lead the way offensively for the Tribe, leading all players with 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting, including 6-of-8 from the free throw line, and added five rebounds. Senior Tiffany Benson had her best outing of the year so far, tallying 10 points and a game-high eight rebounds to go with a pair of blocks. Benson is just one block away from tying Nyree Roberts for second all-time on the CAA career blocked shots list. William and Mary is off for the College's two-week exam period before returning to the court on Dec. 18, traveling to Norfolk State for a 6 p.m. tipoff.