BASKETBALL WEEKLY REPORT - DEC. 14
**Complete report in PDF formate 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 56-36 record against non-conference opponents.
• Delaware, Hofstra and Towson posted 3-0 records last week.
• James Madison has started the season 7-0 and received 92 votes in the latest AP Top 25 Poll to earn a spot at #24. JMU appears in the Top 25 for the first time since Feb. 19, 2007 when they were ranked #22. The ESPN/USA Today Poll will be released on Tuesday, Dec. 15.
• Towson upset #25/18 Maryland, 67-55, at the Towson Center on Thursday evening in front of a record setting crowd for TU's "Pack the House" Challenge.
• The most recent RPIRatings.com report (Dec. 14) showed the CAA with a league RPI of eight. The report also placed James Madison with an RPI of seven. Georgia State (64) and Hofstra (84) also made an appearance in the Top 100. VCU (103), Delaware (104) and Towson (108) are all edging the Top 100.
• 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 Oct. 13, which included 17 former CAA Players of the Year, 10 All-America selections and nine WNBA draft picks.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
Shanae Baker-Brice • Towson
Washington, D.C./Theodore Roosevelt, Sr., Guard
Baker-Brice guided her team to a 3-0 week, including the program's first win over a Top 25 team when they defeated #25/18 Maryland at the Towson Center. The senior guard averaged 13.3 points per game including a standout performance against the Terps. Baker-Brice poured game highs of 25 points, seven assists and three steals in the win over nationally-ranked Maryland. She finished the week dishing out 12 assists and snatching a team-high seven steals.
Brittany Wilson • Northeastern
Pawtucket, R.I./Bay View, So., Guard
Wilson, who earns the weekly award for the second straight week, led the league averaging 30.5 points and 15.5 rebounds per game in a pair of Northeastern contests. Even though the Huskies suffered a pair of extra period losses, Wilson started the week netting a career-high 34 points and adding a school record 21 rebounds against Harvard. She broke the single game rebounding record that had stood for 22 years. The sophomore guard recorded her second-straight double-double with a 27-point, 10-rebound performance against Hartford.
ROOKIES OF THE WEEK:
Elena Delle Donne • Delaware
Wilmington, Del./Ursuline Academy, Fr., Forward/Guard
Delle Donne led the Blue Hens to a 3-0 record last week as she was the top scorer in every contest. The freshman forward/guard led the team with 23.0 points and 8.7 rebounds per outing. Delle Donne's highlight of the week was against Maine, when she hit a trey with 45 seconds remaining to tie they game, and then recorded the win with a jumper as time expired. The rookie completed the week with a team-high three blocks and added eight assists and two steals as UD defeated Navy and La Salle in the team's first two home contests of the season.
Shante Evans • Hofstra
West Chester, Pa./Henderson, Fr., Forward
Evans assisted the Pride record a 3-0 mark last week as she averaged 14.0 points and added a team-high 7.7 rebounds per match-up. The freshman started the week with just her second start of her young career adding seven points against Providence helping Hofstra earn their first-ever regular season home victory over a current Big East member. The rookie finished the week with back-to-back double-doubles posting team highs of 13 points and 11 boards against the Niagara and then game highs of 22 points and 10 rebounds against Manhattan.
CAA BACK AT No. 8 IN RPI RANKING: The CAA returned to eighth among the nation's 32 Division I conferences in women's basketball according to the RPI report compiled by Collegiate Basketball News (games through Dec. 13). The CAA jumped to No. 7 after Towson defeated nationally-ranked Maryland on Thursday. James Madison dropped four spots to now own a RPI of seven. 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 (64) and Hofstra (84) also appear in the Top 100. VCU (103), Delaware (104) and Towson (108) are all edging the Top 100.
SCHEDULE STRENGTH: The Lady Monarchs of Old Dominion have started the new season with the fourth toughest strength of schedule in the nation according to Collegiate Basketball News (games through Dec. 13). ODU has faced top contenders in the RPI ratings such as Stanford (RPI 3), N.C. State (RPI 72), Maryland (RPI 78), Louisville (RPI 110) and Florida (RPI 138). James Madison is listed to have the 49th toughest strength of schedule as they have faced Virginia (RPI 12), Georgetown (RPI 46), Liberty (RPI 50), and Virginia Tech (RPI 141).
CAA IN THE AP POLL: James Madison's unbeaten record pushed the Dukes to receive 92 votes in the most recent AP Top 25 Poll to earn the #24 spot. JMU appears in the Top 25 for the first time since Feb. 19, 2007 when they were ranked #22. The Dukes have been ranked as high as #14 in the final 1987-88 AP Poll. The last time a CAA team had been ranked in the AP Top 25 Poll was on Nov. 24, 2008 when Old Dominion was ranked #23. The Lady Monarchs fell out the following week, but received votes for the four weeks following. The Dukes have received votes in the latest ESPN/USA Today Top 25 Poll and will look to enter the Top 25 when that poll is released on Dec. 15. JMU has defeated top teams such as nationally-ranked Virginia, Georgetown, Liberty and Virginia Tech. The Delaware Blue Hens are the only other CAA team that has receive votes this season as UD garnered a vote in the preseason and the first week 2009-10 AP Top 25 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.
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.
TOWSON TOPS NATIONALLY-RANKED MARYLAND: Towson quickly followed the Dukes as they picked up a Top-25 win over #25/18 Maryland, 67-55, at the Towson Center on Thursday, Dec. 10. Shanae Baker-Brice recorded game highs of 25 points, seven assists and three steals. The win over the Terps is Towson's first-ever victory over a nationally-ranked team and it came before a crowd of 2,243.
JMU'S EVANS SIDELINED: The Dukes' will be without Dawn Evans, the league's leading scorer, for a few weeks. The junior guard recently underwent extensive testing to address a kidney disorder and will need some time to recover. Evans leads the conference and is second in the nation in scoring, pouring in 26.5 points per game. She missed the Dukes' match-up against Siena and could possibly be back on the court for JMU's tough contest at nationally-ranked Duke.
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. Four freshman are averaging double-digits in scoring, led by Delaware's Elena Delle Donne (23.4 ppg). Delle Donne also leads five rookies averaging five or more rebounds with 8.7 boards per outing. Delle Donne recently passed Northeastern's Rachael Pecota in three-pointers as she has drained 15 thus far this season, while Pecota had added 12 and UD's Lauren Carra has drained 10. Delle Donne leads the newbies at the foul line, for those making five or more, shooting 89.2 percent (33-of-37). George Mason's Rahneeka Saunders has recorded 18 steals, while Hofstra's Candace Bond (15) and Mason's Amber Easter (14) follow closely behind in thefts. George Mason's Janaa Pickard dominates the frosh with 18 blocks after nine outings, and Delle Donne follows with 11. Leading the freshman in assists is Saunders with 26, but Delle Donne (23) and James Madison's Tarik Hislop (20) 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. Also receiving top votes were Stanford senior Jayne Appel, Connecticut senior Tina Charles, Ohio State junior Jantel Lavender and Virginia senior Monica Wright to close out the top five spots voted on by a 40-member national media panel.
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 on Dec. 6. 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. George Mason is 6-0 at home this season leading four other CAA teams with perfect records at home. Mason currently owns the longest winning streak over all CAA teams, but Delaware follows closely behind with a five-game winning streak dating back to the 2008-09 season. James Madison, Hofstra and Northeastern have four-game winning streaks.
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 (6-3, 0-0 CAA)
Delaware went 3-0 on the week with victories over Maine, Navy and LaSalle. With the three wins, the Blue Hens extend their winning streak to four games. Freshman forward/guard Elena Delle Donne led the team pouring in 23.0 points and 8.7 rebounds per contest last week. Junior guard Tesia Harris added 10.7 points per outing and sophomore guard Joselyn Bailey grabbed 7.0 rebounds per game. Against the Black Bears, Delle Donne drained a jumper with 1.1 seconds left on the clock to lift the Blue Hens. Delle Donne finished the contest with a game-high 26 points and added 12 rebounds for her third double-double of the season. Along with Delle Donne's double-double, Bailey and Ariene Jenkins both scored seven points for Delaware. Lauren Carra also dished out three assists. The Hens' finally return home after a seven-game road swing to start the season. In the win over Navy, Delle Donne scored 26 points, pulled down six rebounds and dished out three assists to lead the Blue Hens. Delle Donne, a Naismith National Player of the Year candidate who enjoyed an All-American high school career at nearby Ursuline Academy in Wilmington, got the chance to play at home for the first time in her collegiate career. The game drew a crowd of 3,040, the highest ever for a home opener in school history for the UD women and the second highest ever for a game that was not a doubleheader. Fellow freshman Danielle Parker added 13 points and six rebounds, Harris added 12 points, and Bailey pulled down a game and career-high 11 rebounds to lead a balanced effort for the Hens. The Blue Hens wrapped up the week with a home win over La Salle, as Delle Donne (17) and Harris (16) combined for 33 points. The wins over Navy and LaSalle extended the program's home winning streak to five, dating back to February 2009. Delaware will take a break during the next eight days and return to the court on Dec. 22 when they host Buffalo before the holiday break.
DREXEL (4-3, 0-0 CAA)
Drexel improved to 4-3 with a 71-69 road win over cross-town rival Saint Joseph's on Sunday. The triumph was the 100th coaching victory for Drexel coach Denise Dillon and in the win senior Gabriela Marginean scored her 2,000th career point, becoming the first women's player in Drexel history to reach the benchmark. Dillon joins Drexel Hall of Famer Lilian Haas as the only other Drexel women's coach to reach the milestone. Marginean led all scorers with 26 points. She was a perfect 11-for-11 from the free-throw line and knocked down two in the final 10 seconds which proved to be the decisive margin in the contest. Marginean hit a jumper in the lane with 4:41 to play in the first half for the benchmark point. She is joins James Madison's Tamera Young and Old Dominion's Celeste Hill as the only CAA players to reach 2,000 career points. She is also just the seventh Philadelphia Division I women's player to reach the plateau. Kamile Nacickaite added 16 points and Jasmina Rosseel chipped in 12, both players made four three-pointers in the contest. Drexel will play the fourth of nine straight games in Philadelphia when Princeton comes to the DAC this week. The Dragons, who have been home since Dec. 2, will not leave the city to play a contest until Jan. 10 when they take on Old Dominion in Norfolk, Va. The Philadelphia homestand includes six true home games, one at Saint Joseph's and two in nearby Villanova's holiday tournament.
GEORGE MASON (6-3, 0-0 CAA)
The Patriots improved to 6-0 at home for the first time in school history with a 62-55 win over Howard on Saturday. The 6-0 start at home is the first in school history, besting a 5-0 mark set two seasons ago. Additionally, in the six home games the Patriots have yet to trail this season. Junior Ashleigh Braxton led the team with a career-high 20 points on 7-for-10 shooting and was one of three Patriots in double figures. Classmate Brittany Poindexter added 15 while freshman Amber Easter contributed 10 points. Junior Angelee LaTouche pulled down a game-best 12 rebounds. Mason will take a 10-day break for final exams and will return to the court in another doubleheader on Dec. 22, when the Patriot women host George Washington at 5 p.m. That game will be followed by the Mason-VMI men's game at Patriot Center.
GEORGIA STATE (5-1, 0-0 CAA)
Georgia State women's basketball team won its fourth straight game by racing past Nicholls State, 79-50, Saturday afternoon at the Georgia State Sports Arena. It was a Georgia State win that started with the defense that forced 31 turnovers and made 14 steals, just above the 11.4 season steals average that is in the top 25 in the nation. The defense held a third consecutive opponent to 50 points or less for just the third time in school history. Offensive, State won its 11th straight game when scoring 70 or more points and topped their league-leading shooting percentage of 45 with a 55.6 percent day from the field today. Georgia State got a stellar 9-of-10 field goal performance from junior wing Angelique Burtts as she led the team with 20 points and four steals. Senior forward Danyiell McKeller shot 50 percent for her 16 points and six rebounds, while junior forward Chan Harris hit 5-of-7 shots for her 13 points. Shay Rawls led with seven rebounds and Crystal Johnson led with five assists. Georgia State will head on the road for a pair of games next week at Delaware State on Wednesday and at Iona College on Friday.
HOFSTRA (6-3, 0-0 CAA)
Hofstra won all three contests last week to improve to 6-3 this season. The Pride began its week with a narrow 72-68 victory over Providence on Tuesday before adding a win over Niagara, 70-48, on Thursday and a come-from behind 73-65 triumph over Manhattan on Saturday. The win over Providence was Hofstra's first-ever regular season home victory over a current member of the Big East and just the program's fourth-ever victory over a current member of the Big East. Sophomore guard Nicole Capurso led the team on the week pouring in 15.3 points per outing, while freshman forward Shante Evans added 14.0 points and a team-best 7.7 rebounds per contest. Sam Brigham (11 ppg) and Candice Bellocchio (10 ppg) also contributed double-digit points. Bellocchio led the team with 12 assists and senior center Jess Fuller made a team-high 11 blocks. On Tuesday, Capurso tied a career-high with 23 points. Bellocchio (10 points) also scored in double figures for the Pride, while Brigham chipped in nine points. Capurso shot 9-of-17 from the field, exceeding her previous season-high point total of 16. The second-year shooting guard's tied her career-best scoring mark first set against Delaware on Jan. 8, 2009. Fuller added a frontcourt presence, scoring seven points on 3-of-5 shooting while hauling in eight rebounds. Evans posted a double-double and three other Hofstra players scored in double figures to lead the Pride in the victory over Niagara. Evans scored a team-high 13 points with 11 rebounds for her third career double-double, while Bellocchio (11 points) and Capurso (12 points) added key outside shooting. Against Manhattan, Evans had a season-high 22 points to go along with a game-high 10 rebounds to record her second straight double-double. Brigham added 15 points for the Pride, while Capurso chipped in with 11. Brigham added a team-high five assists for Hofstra, while sophomore forward Marie Malone added seven points and seven rebounds for the Pride. With her three blocks in the game Saturday, Fuller moved within one block of second place all-time at Hofstra as she now has 133 blocks. Hofstra will have an eight-day layoff before its next game as the Pride will host Stony Brook on December 21 at 7 p.m. That contest will air on a tape-delayed basis on Verizon FiOS1.
#24 JAMES MADISON (7-0, 0-0 CAA)
James Madison ran their undefeated record to 7-0 with an 85-57 win at home over Siena on Sunday. The Dukes' 7-0 record is their best start since a 7-0 start during the 1996-97 season. The win also extended JMU's home streak to four games. The undefeated start pushed the Dukes into the Top 25 with 92 votes and ranked #24. JMU appears in the Top 25 for the first time since Feb. 19, 2007 when they were ranked #22. The Dukes have been ranked as high as #14 in the final 1987-88 AP Poll. The ESPN/USA Today Poll will be released on Tuesday, Dec. 15. Freshman guard Tarik Hislop posted 16 points to lead the Dukes and added a career-high 10 assists marking her first career double-double. Her 10 assists were just one away from the JMU freshman record of 11 set by Jess Cichowicz at DePaul on Nov. 27, 1999. It was the third 10-assist game by a JMU freshman and the 33rd double-digit assist game in school history. It was only the 14th points-assist double-double in school history and the first by a JMU freshman. Redshirt senior guard Sarah Williams had 14 points for the Dukes and grabbed a team-high six rebounds. Junior forward/center Jalissa Taylor and junior forward Nichelle Glover each had 10 points and five rebounds for JMU. JMU defeated Siena without Dawn Evans, the league's leading scorer (26.5 ppg). The junior guard had underwent extensive testing to address a kidney disorder and will need some time to recover. The Dukes will head to Durham, N.C. to take on nationally-ranked Duke on Friday, Dec. 18. JMU will then return home to entertain Longwood before the holiday break on Dec. 21.
UNC WILMINGTON (2-4, 0-0 CAA)
UNC Wilmington fell to High Point, 67-66, on Saturday. The game was a back-and-forth affair that featured five ties and 13 lead changes. Junior forward Brittany Blackwell paced UNCW with her third double-double of the season as she scored a team-high 15 points and grabbed a game-best 13 caroms as the Seahawks held a 43-35 advantage on the glass. Blackwell was one of four players to score in double digits for the Seahawks as sophomore forward Kristen Hanzer pitched in 12 points and junior forwards Treasure Johnson and Martha White chipped in 10 apiece. Senior guard Greta Luksyte finished just shy of her first career double-double as she finished with nine points and a career-high nine rebounds. UNCW returns to action this week with a trio of schedule outings. The Seahwaks will host long-time rival Coastal Carolina in a Noon tip-off at Trask Coliseum on Tuesday. The game will serve as the third annual "Seahawks Tomorrow" contest, with area-elementary school students attending the game as part of a full day of activities on the UNCW campus. The Seahawks will then visit Ohio on Dec. 17 before making a trip to Kent State on Dec. 20 to complete a pair of road match-ups against Mid-American Conference members.
NORTHEASTERN (5-4, 0-0 CAA)
Northeastern faced its second consecutive double-overtime contest on Wednesday evening, but came up short with a 90-85 loss at Harvard. The Huskies then forced Hartford into overtime, but suffered a second loss by a score of 68-63. Sophomore guard Brittany Wilson led the league averaging 30.5 points and 15.5 rebounds per contest in the two road losses. Against Harvard, NU was led by Brittany Wilson's career highs of 34 point and 21 rebound. Wilson's 21 rebounds breaks a 22 year-old school record set by Carla Singleton on February 2, 1987. The sophomore guard's 21-rebound performance is the first 20+ rebound performance by a CAA player this season and also ranks among the all-time CAA leaders tied for fourth best single-game performance. The most recent 21-rebound outing in the league was by VCU's Quanitra Hollingsworth against William & Mary on Feb. 12, 2006. Senior forward Kendra Walton finished with 14 points and eight rebounds, while senior forward Kim Carr added 12 points and five rebounds for the Huskies. Northeastern was faced to a third extra period game in as many outings when they faced Hartford. Wilson scored her second-straight double-double pouring in 27 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Walton and Deanna Kerkhof each added nine points, while Walton also snatched eight boards. Northeastern returns to action after a break for exams, taking on Marist on December 22.
OLD DOMINION (1-6, 0-0 CAA)
Old Dominion dropped an 81-67 decision at home to SEC's Florida on Friday evening in their only contest of the week. The Lady Monarchs fought all the way back from 15 behind to lead Florida in the second half tonight, but a flurry of three-pointers from the Gators held off ODU in the final minutes as Florida won. Despite a season-high four Lady Monarchs in double figures, the team drops to 1-6 on the season overall. It is just the 18th loss on the hardwood of the Ted Constant Convocation Center as the all-time home record in the Constant Center drops to 93-17. Sophomore forward/center Tia Lewis posted her second consecutive double-double, hauling in a game-high 10 boards to go along with a team-leading 16 points, while juniors Shadasia Green (13), Jasmine Parker (11) and Vicki Collier (10) were also in double-digits. Green's 13 points were added to her four rebounds, three assists and three steals. Parker also had three steals and three assists to go with her 11 points, while Collier's six rebounds are a new career-high for the junior. Jessica Canady saw 15 minutes of action in her first game back after aggravating a knee injury in the first game of the season. The senior scored two points and grabbed two rebounds in the limited role. Old Dominion is off for exams this week and will return to the hardwood next Sunday, December 20 when the Lady Monarchs face cross-water foe Hampton at the Ted.
TOWSON (6-4, 0-0 CAA)
Towson posted a 3-0 record on the week, including a 67-55 upset over #25/18 Maryland at the Towson Center on Thursday. The Tigers also defeated Bucknell, 59-48, and Navy, 56-43, last week. Senior guard Shanae Baker-Brice led the team on the week averaging 13.3 points per game and seven steals. She also added a team's second-best 12 assists. The three wins extended the Tigers' win streak to four straight. The win over the Terps is Towson's first-ever victory over a nationally-ranked team and it came before a crowd of 2,243. Against the Bison, junior guard Simona Petronyte dished out a game-high nine assists in the win. Senior forward Katrina Wheeler led the Tigers with 13 points on the night while junior forward Dovile Miliauskaite added 10 points, six rebounds and tied her career-high with five steals. Petronyte finished with six points, nine assists and no turnovers in 23 minutes of work. Junior guard Jaleesa Dryver tied Miliauskaite for the team lead on the boards as she also pulled down six. Senior guard Shanae Baker-Brice poured in a game-high 25 points for the Tigers in the win over Maryland. She also added game highs of seven assists and three steals. Baker-Brice was one of three Tigers to score in double figures as the Tigers shot a seasonal high 52.2 per cent from the field. Dryver added a career high ten points to go along with a career high nine rebounds. Wheeler added 10 points and five rebounds, while Petronyte scored eight points and had five assists. The Tigers concluded the week at Navy as Heliena Snowden led Towson with 14 points. She also contributed seven rebounds and three steals. Petronyte scored 11 points along with five assists and three rebounds. Baker-Brice was the third Tiger in double figures as she scored 10 points along with six rebounds, five assists and three steals. Wheeler added seven rebounds as the Tigers held a slim 41-40 advantage on the boards. The Tigers will take five days off and will return to the court on Saturday, Dec. 19 when they visit UMES. Towson will also face Rhode Island on Dec. 22 before the holiday break.
VCU (4-2, 0-0 CAA)
VCU returned to the win column as they defeated Radford, 70-53, on Saturday afternoon. Senior forward D'Andra Moss poured in a game-high 23 points to lead the Rams. VCU snaps a two-game losing skid and improves to 4-2 on the season. Senior guard La'Tavia Rorie scored 12 points for VCU. The Charlotte, N.C., native has scored in double-figures in all six games this season and 10 out of the last 11 contests dating back to last year. VCU shot a season-high 49.1 percent (27-of-55) from the field and was 5-of-10 from 3-point range. VCU travels to Winthrop for a 7 p.m. contest on Tuesday before participating in the Duel in the Desert Tournament in Las Vegas, Nev., from Dec. 19-21. The eight-team, three-day event features Arkansas, DePaul, No. 10/7 Florida State, Hawaii, Kansas State and Texas-San Antonio. The Rams open the tournament against host UNLV on Dec. 19.
WILLIAM & MARY (4-3, 0-0 CAA)
William and Mary will take time 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. The Tribe is currently led by sophomore guard Taysha Pye's 16.0 points per game. Freshman Emily Correal leads the team grabbing 8.1 rebounds per outing, while Pye adds 6.1 boards per contest. Sophomore guard Katherine DeHenzel leads the team with 24 assists and 18 steals. Sophomore guard Janine Aldridge has contributed 8.1 points and 5.6 rebounds per outing and has recorded a team's second-best 18 assists and 15 steals. William & Mary will participate in a pre-holiday tournament at the University of Florida. The Tribe will face High Point on Dec. 20 and either Florida or Southern on Dec. 21 at the Florida Gator Classic.