*Complete Report in PDF Format located at the bottom of this release*
PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Gabriela Marginean • Drexel
Cluj-Napoca, Romania/Mt. de Chantal Academy, Sr., Forward
Marginean guided the Dragons to a pair of road wins in conference play last week, including a double-overtime win at Delaware. The senior forward recorded her sixth double-double of the season with 24 points and a season-high 11 rebounds at Hofstra on Thursday. She shot 12-for-12 from the line, including eight in the final six minutes of play to key a Drexel run that brought the Dragons from behind for the victory. Marginean led the Dragons with 20 points in the extra stanza game against the Blue Hens. The scoring total moved her ahead of Drexel Hall of Famer and NBA star Michael Anderson ('88) as the all-time leading scorer in Drexel Basketball history. She now has 2,211 career points. The senior finished the week shooting 15-of-15 from the line and added two assists and six steals.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Elena Delle Donne • Delaware
Wilmington, Del./Ursuline Academy, Fr., Forward/Guard
Delle Donne led the Blue Hens last week as UD went 1-1 in conference play. The freshman forward/guard tallied her seventh double-double of the season on Thursday in her 29-point, 10-rebound performance against UNC Wilmington before playing all 50 minutes in Sunday's double-overtime loss to Drexel at home. In both outings, she poured in game high points, including her 27-point performance against Drexel. Delle Donne finished the week averaging 28.0 points and 8.5 rebounds per contest. She shot 48.6 percent (17-of-35) from the floor, 38.9 percent (7-of-18) from deep, and 100 percent (15-of-15) from the line. The rookie also added three steals, six assists and nine blocks in the two outings.
CAA QUICK HITS:
• VCU held onto first place in league play as they are 5-0 in conference play, while Drexel and Old Dominion follow closely behind at 4-1.
• A strong start to the season for the CAA women's basketball programs producing a 79-54 record against non-conference opponents.
• The most recent RPIRatings.com report (Jan. 18) showed the CAA with a league RPI of eight. James Madison is ranked 41st in the team RPI ranking. Drexel (72), Old Dominion (76) are the only other CAA schools in the Top 100, as VCU (103) is edging the Top 100.
• CAA Record Watch Alert: William & Mary's Tiffany Benson is just five blocks from becoming the CAA All-Time career blocking leader.
• Pink Zone dates announced for the upcoming WBCA Pink Zone Breast Cancer Awarenss campaign for Feb. 12-22.
• Delaware's Elena Delle Donne, James Madison's Dawn Evans and Drexel's Gabriela Marginean were named to the John R. Wooden midseason watch list.
• VCU will be without senior guard La'Tavia Rorie for the remainder of the season due to a season-ending knee injury on Sunday, Jan. 10.
• The CAA has 24 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.
CAA AT No. 8 IN RPI RANKING: The CAA steadied at 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 Jan. 17). James Madison is ranked 41st in the team RPI ranking. Drexel (72), Old Dominion (76) are the only other CAA schools in the Top 100, as VCU (103) is edging the Top 100. All 12 schools are among the top 185 RPI.
SCHEDULE STRENGTH: The Lady Monarchs of Old Dominion have played the ninth toughest strength of schedule in the nation according to Collegiate Basketball News (games through Jan. 17). ODU has faced top contenders in the RPI ratings such as Stanford, N.C. State, Maryland, Louisville and Florida. Towson has played the 45th toughest schedule, while Drexel follows at 56, Northeastern at 62, and UNC Wilmington at 87. James Madison's strength of schedule fell to 110.
CAA IN THE TOP 25 POLLS: With the loss to Drexel, James Madison fell out of the Top 25 of both the AP and ESPN/USA Today Polls, but are still receiving votes in both polls. The Dukes had recently held onto a spot in the Top 25 for three straight weeks. 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.
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 2008-09 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. Through games of Jan. 17, Evans leads the nation with 26.7 points per outing. Delaware's Elena Delle Donne follows at third (25.1 ppg), and Marginean (8th, 22.3 ppg) also make an appearance in the Top 10. Evans also leads the nation with 4.2 trey's per outing. Hofstra's Jess Fuller is sixth in the nation making 3.4 blocks per contest and Marginean is fourth in free-throw shooing percentage making 91.0 percent and Delle Donne follows shooting 90.3 percent from the charity stripe.
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 16 others who have accomplished a triple-double this season (as of Jan. 17). 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 (25.1 ppg). The freshman guard/forward from Delaware also leads the rookies in rebounding pulling down 9.4 boards per outing, while Hofstra's Shante Evans follows close behind 8.6 rpg. Delle Donne has drained 32 treys thus far this season, while Northeastern's Rachael Pecota had added 20 and UD's Lauren Carra has drained 14. Old Dominion's Carolann Cloutier leads the frosh at the foul line going 11-for-12 (.917) from the charity stripe, while Delle Donne follows shooting 84-of-93 (.903) from the line. George Mason's Rahneeka Saunders has recorded 34 steals, while Hofstra's Candace Bond (26) and Mason's Amber Easter (23) follow closely behind in thefts. With six blocks against Drexel on Jan. 17, Delle Donne became the season leader among the frosh with 27 blocks, while George Mason's Janaa Pickard follows with 24 blocks after 16 outings. Leading the freshman in assists is Saunders with 44 and JMU's Tarik Hislop (36) and Delle Donne (35) follow closely.
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 24 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.
PLAY FOR THE CURE-PINK ZONE DAYS: The CAA, all 12 women's basketball programs and Kroger are teaming up to fight breast cancer. The CAA women's basketball programs have committed to participate in a variety of different ways to assist in raising breast cancer awareness on the court, across campuses, in communities and beyond. The week set aside for this year's initiative is February 12-22, however many schools are participating outside of that window due to the scheduling conflicts. A large number of schools have committed to participate nationwide in the 2010 WBCA's "Pink Zone" initiative. The CAA, the women's basketball programs and Kroger are asking fans to attend one of the CAA's "Pink Zone" women's basketball games and donate to help fight breast cancer and increase early detection and prevention.
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.
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.
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.
TRIO LISTED AS CANDIDATES FOR WOODEN AWARD: The top 21 candidates for the Women's John R. Wooden Award, the nation's most coveted college basketball honor, where named Jan. 13 by The Los Angeles Athletic Club's John R. Wooden Award Committee. Delaware's Elena Delle Donne, James Madison's Dawn Evans and Drexel's Gabriela Marginean were named among the 21 players. Because of a tie in the voting, 21 players were named rather than the traditional 20. Composed of the players who will compete for this season's player of the year award, the midseason list is based on individual excellence and team record during the first half of the season. Delle Donne leads the Blue Hens averaging 24.7 points per game, while averaging 9.6 rebounds per game. Delle Donne leads the nation having scored 38.6 percent of her teams' points in games in which she has played. The forward/guard has scored 296 of the Hens' 766 points scored in her 12 active games. She is also the only player in the nation to rank in the top 100 in each of the three shooting percentages: field goals (54th), three-pointers (35th), and free throws (17th). Evans currently leads NCAA Division I players in scoring (26.8 ppg) and three-pointers (4.1 pg). The junior has helped the Dukes to a 12-2 overall mark including wins over nationally-ranked Virginia, Georgetown and Virginia Tech. Evans continues to build on a number of school records including career three-pointers (230) and three-point attempts (642). Marginean leads Drexel in scoring (22.4 ppg), rebounds (8.1 rpg) and steals (1.9 spg). On Jan. 7, Marginean became the CAA's all-time leading scorer, breaking the previous record of 2,121 points. She is also the conference's all-time leader in free throws. During the first half of the season, Marginean moved into first place on Drexel's all-time lists for scoring, field goals and free-throws made. She is just 41 points away from becoming Drexel basketball's all-time scoring leader, by surpassing the mark of 2,208 points set by Michael Anderson in 1988.
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.
MARGINEAN RACKS UP ANOTHER HONOR: The Philadelphia Sports Writers Association has announced that it will name Drexel senior women's basketball player Gabriela Marginean its Outstanding Amateur Athlete of 2009 at the group's annual awards dinner on Feb. 1, 2010. Marginean, who led Drexel to its first ever Colonial Athletic Association Championship and NCAA Tournament appearance in 2009, is on pace to become the all-time leading scorer in Philadelphia women's basketball history this season. The 2009 CAA Player of the Year, Marginean recently surpassed the 2,000-point mark for her career. She is the first Drexel women's player to reach the milestone and only the seventh women's player in the city to score 2,000 points. Marginean has scored 2,010 points and is 405 away from the Philadelphia women's scoring record held by Diana Caramanico.
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.
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.
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.
DELAWARE (11-5, 3-2 CAA)
Delaware went 1-1 on the week with a 63-59 win over visiting UNC Wilmington on Thursday before falling in a double-overtime loss to Drexel, 70-67, on Sunday. Freshman Elena Delle Donne led the Blue Hens on the week averaging 28.0 points per outing and added 8.5 rebounds per game. She also completed the week shooting 15-for-15 from the free throw line and made a team-high nine blocks in the two outings. Junior Tesia Harris and freshman Danielle Parker also each grabbed 8.5 rebounds per contest. Against the Seahawks, Delle Donne recorded her seventh double-double of the season and junior Tesia Harris came up just one rebound short of one. Delle Donne's double-double featured 29 points and 10 rebounds. Harris missed a double-double with 17 points and nine rebounds on the evening, while adding one block. In the double-overtime thriller, Delle Donne led the team with 27 points, including an 11-for-11 performance at the line. The freshman All-American candidate made a game-high six blocked shots. Harris added 11 points for the Blue Hens and Parker pulled down a team-high 12 rebounds. The overtime outing was UD's first since Jan. 27, 2002 against William & Mary (W, 80-77 -- 2OT).Delaware has attracted a significant increase in attendance this season as the Blue Hens hold a 5-1 mark in the Bob Carpenter Center. Delaware is averaging 2,667 fans per game. Delaware's season record, which doubles as the Bob Carpenter record, is 22,498 from the 1996-97 season and the Hens need just 3,761 to snap the current record. The 1996-97 season, head coach Tina Martin's first at UD, brought in an average crowd of 1,730 per game. Delaware will hit the road this week with a trip to play VCU on Thursday before visiting Hofstra on Sunday. Martin has earned 248 career victories and will be in the hunt for her 250th during the two road contest.
DREXEL (10-6, 4-1 CAA)
The Dragons improved to 10-6 overall and 4-1 in league play with a 51-41 road victory over Hofstra on Thursday and a 70-67 double-overtime win at Delaware on Sunday. Senior forward Gabriela Marginean led the team pouring in 22.0 points per outing and joined teammate Kamile Nacickaite grabbing team-high 7.5 rebounds per contest. Marisa Crane dished out 11 assists for the Dragons. Against the Pride, Marginean led all scorers with 24 points and also pulled down 11 rebounds and snared a team-high five steals. With the game tied 33-33 at the 8:43 mark in the second half, Marginean scored 10 of her team's next 18 points during a late push that put away a 51-41 victory for Drexel. In the thriller at Delaware, Jennifer Stjarnstrom put back a missed three-pointer by Jasmina Rosseel with 23 seconds left in double-overtime to give Drexel its first lead of the period and Crane closed out the contest with a pair of free throws with five seconds on the clock to give Drexel the road win. Marginean and Rosseel finished with 20 points apiece. Kamile Nacickaite scored 11 and pulled in a career-high 13 boards and Crane, who came up huge in the clutch, scored a career-best 11 points in the win. The Dragons played the majority of the overtime periods without the services of starting forwards Marginean and Tyler Hale, who both fouled out in the first overtime. The contest was Drexel's first double-overtime game since its NCAA-record 5OT win over Northeastern on Feb. 22, 2007. In the win, Marginean became Drexel's all-time leading scorer in basketball (both men and women). The senior moved ahead of Drexel Hall of Famer and NBA star Michael Anderson ('88). Marginean currently has 2,211 career points and is just 204 points away from passing Diana Caramanico (Penn '03) as the all-time leading scorer in the history of Philadelphia women's basketball. Marginean has made 17 straight free-throws over the last three contests, which is her longest streak without a miss this season. The Dragons will return home for a pair of outings as they welcome George Mason on Thursday and VCU on Sunday. The match-up against the Rams will be aired on The Comcast Network at Noon.
GEORGE MASON (8-8, 1-4 CAA)
George Mason suffered its fifth straight loss as it fell to Old Dominion, 79-49, on Thursday before earning its first CAA win of the season with a 72-61 victory over Northeastern at home. Junior guard Brittany Poindexter guided the team on the week with 14.5 points per outing and 9.5 rebounds per contest. Junior forward Angelee LaTouche also contributed 9.5 rebounds per game for the Patriots. Freshman Amber Easter also added 12.5 points per contest. Against the Lady Monarchs, Mason was led by Poindexter, scoring 15 points and falling just one rebound shy of a double-double. LaTouche hauled in 10 boards and added seven points for the Patriots. In the win over Northeastern, Poindexter recorded her second career double-double with 14 point and 10 rebounds. Easter led all scorers with 19 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Junior Ashleigh Braxton matched Poindexter's 14 points. The win snapped a five-game losing streak. Mason is now 8-1 on the season at home and has doubled its win total from the 2008-09 campaign just over halfway through its schedule. The Patriots will head to Drexel on Thursday before returning home to host William & Mary on Sunday.
GEORGIA STATE (11-5, 2-3 CAA)
Georgia State split on the week with a 76-60 loss to VCU before rebounding with a 71-62 win over Towson. The Panthers were led by senior forward Danyiell McKeller's 20 points per outing. Senior forward Shay Rawls led the team on the boards with 8.0 per outing and McKeller contributed 7.5 rebounds per contest. Sophomore guard Crystal Johnson dished out 16 assists on the week. Against the Rams, Georgia State did a lot of their damage to themselves with 22 turnovers, high for a team ranked as the 48th best in fewest turnovers this year. The Panthers got 20 points off the bench from sophomore guard Jylisa Williams (8-for-10 field goals), plus 14 points and seven rebounds from McKeller and 12 points from Rawls. Against Towson, State was led by McKeller again as she poured in a personal-best 26 points. Williams added 15 points, while Johnson contributed 13 points to go along with nine assists. Rawls, a psychology major, was recognized as a Scholar-Baller by the National Counsortium for Academics & Sports last week. Head coach Lea Henry notched her career win number 299 on Sunday against Towson since beginning her career as the interim head coach at the University of Florida in 1989-90. The Panthers have a challenging week ahead as they look to make it two wins in a row over Old Dominion and a first-ever in Norfolk on Thursday before returning home Sunday for a re-match with James Madison.
HOFSTRA (9-8, 2-3 CAA)
Hofstra split on the week as they fell to Drexel, 51-41, before rebounding with a 78-69 overtime win at UNC Wilmington on Sunday. Freshman forward Shante Evans led the Pride averaging a double-double of 14 points and 13 rebounds per outing. Senior guard Sam Brigham poured in 14.0 points per outing and senior Jess Fuller averaged a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds per contest. Against the Dragons, HU got 11 points from Brigham and Evans finished with nine points and eight rebounds in the contest. Redshirt sophomore guard Candice Bellocchio added five points, and eight rebounds. Against the Seahawks, the Pride rallied from an early 16-8 deficit to control the contest in overtime en route to the victory. Hofstra received double-doubles from Evans and senior center Jess Fuller. Evans posted 19 points and 18 rebounds, while Fuller recorded 18 points and 12 rebounds as the pair led the Pride. Hofstra also got a solid contribution from Brigham as the sharp-shooting senior added 17 points. It marked the first time since the Albany game (Nov. 25) that Hofstra has two players with double-doubles, and Evans 18 rebounds tied her career high. Evans now has a league-leading eight double-doubles, while Fuller picked up her third of the season. With the win over UNCW, Head Coach Krista Kilburn-Stevesky now has 56 career wins and is just one win shy of tying third all-time (Slyvia Giallombardo -57). Fuller, who now has 16 career double-doubles, now has 163 career blocks as a member of the Pride and needs just 12 to tie Vanessa Gidden (2003-07) for first all-time in HU's program history. The Pride will return home for a pair of conference outings this week as they host William & Mary on Thursday before entertaining Delaware on Sunday.
#RV/RV JAMES MADISON (13-3, 3-2 CAA)
James Madison posted a 1-1 record last week with a 72-68 overtime win at Towson before falling at home to Old Dominion, 67-58. The loss to the Lady Monarchs snapped a nine-game winning streak at the JMU Convocation Center. Junior guard Dawn Evans led the team as she averaged 26.0 points per outing. Senior guard Sarah Williams poured in 14.5 point and grabbed a team-best 7.5 rebounds per contest. Against Towson, the Dukes rallied from seven points down in the final 2:39 in regulation and went on to earn the victory. Evans led the Dukes with 30 points in her fifth season and 13th career 30-point game. Williams added a season-high 18 points, and she and Evans tied for team rebounding honors with nine apiece. Evans' rebounding total was a career-high. On Sunday, Evans posted a team-high 22 points, while Williams had 11 points and six rebounds for the Dukes. Freshman guard Tarik Hislop added 10 points and six rebounds. Evans moved from sixth to fifth in the JMU record books for career points as she has scored 1,544. She steadied at eighth with 346 career assists. The Dukes' 13-3 overall record is the second-best 16-game record under Head Coach Kenny Brooks. His 2006-07 team had a 14-2 record after 16 contests, which joined five other teams that had the same record. The best 16-game record in school history was 16-0 in 1973-74. JMU will hit the road for the next two games as they go from Boston to Atlanta. The Dukes will face Northeastern before visiting Georgia State.
UNC WILMINGTON (6-10, 1-4 CAA)
UNC Wilmington suffered a 0-2 mark last week as they dropped a 63-59 loss to Delaware on Thursday before falling to Hofstra, 78-69, in overtime on Sunday. Senior guards Greta Luksyte (13.5 ppg) and Casey Sawhook (13.0 ppg) led the Seahawks on the week. Junior forward/guard Brittany Blackwell grabbed a team-best 7.0 rebounds per outing, while adding 8.5 points per contest. Against Delaware, Sawhook scored a career-high 14 points to lead UNCW, while senior guard Greta Luksyte chipped in nine points. Blackwell, the team's leading scorer (13.9 ppg), was limited to a season-low six points, all of which came in the second half. She did pull down a team-high 10 rebounds, while junior guard Treasure Johnson nabbed six caroms. In the overtime loss to the Pride, Luksyte equaled her season-high with 18 points to lead four UNCW players in double figures as Sawhook chipped in 12 points. Blackwell and junior Martha White pitched in 11 and 10 points, respectively. White also grabbed a team-best eight rebounds, while Johnson posted a career-high five steals. Blackwell just became the fifth player in program history to amass 1,000 points and 600 rebounds in a career as a Seahawk. UNC Wilmington returns to action this week with a trip to Towson before returning home to host Northeastern.
NORTHEASTERN (6-10, 1-4 CAA)
Northeastern suffered back-to-back road losses last week. The Huskies dropped a 74-65 decision at William & Mary on Thursday before falling 78-69 at George Mason Sunday. Senior forward Kendra Walton led the team pouring in 18.0 points per outing and contributed 5.5 rebounds per contest. Senior forward Kim Carr added 12.5 points per game and led the team with 7.5 rebounds per outing. Sophomore Jamie Conroy dished out a team-best 10 assists. Against W&M, Walton posted a career-high 23 points off 7-of-9 shooting from three point range, to tie a single-game school record. Carr finished with 13 points and nine rebounds as the team forced 11 steals and shot 46.4 percent in the second half. At Mason, Walton led three Huskies in double figures with 13 points, while sophomore guard Brittany Wilson recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Carr rounded out the scoring for Northeastern with 12 points while grabbing six rebounds. The Huskies shot 46.7 percent in the second half and 45.5 percent for the game while hitting seven three pointers. The Huskies will return for one game against the James Madison Dukes before visiting UNC Wilmington this week.
OLD DOMINION (6-9, 4-1 CAA)
The Lady Monarchs improved to 6-9 overall and 4-1 in league play with a pair of victories last week. Old Dominion cruised to a 30-point win over George Mason, 79-49, Thursday before capturing a 67-58 road win at James Madison Sunday. Junior guard Shadasia Green posted a team-high 14.5 points per game for ODU, while senior forward Jessica Canady added 11.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per contest. Sophomore forward Tia Lewis led the team in rebounds with 6.5 per game. Against the Patriots, Lewis posted her fourth double-double of the season and rookie Carolann Cloutier recorded a new career-high 11 points, reaching double-figures for the first time in her career. She knocked down a trio of three-pointers en route to an 11-point game. Junior guard Jasmine Parker played a season-low 15 minutes due to the first half foul trouble, but still managed to finish the game with five points, five assists, three steals and a rebound. Green would lead the Lady Monarchs on the scoreboard with 16 points, while Lewis and Cloutier joined her as ODU double-digit scorers. In the win in Harrisonburg, ODU used a balanced attack in the first half to head into the locker room with a 15-point lead. Five different players scored five or more and eight Lady Monarchs were on the scoreboard by intermission. Parker finished with 10 points, a career-high nine rebounds and six assists. Canady's 14 points led Old Dominion as she added six rebounds and was efficient from the field, going 7-for-10. In the senior's last regular season trip to JMU, she earned her first win. Green added 13 points, all in the second half, and six rebounds. It was her 11th double-digit scoring game of the season. The Lady Monarchs will host Georgia State Thursday evening before traveling to Maryland to play Towson on Sunday.
TOWSON (8-8, 2-3 CAA)
Towson suffered back-to-back losses last week. The Tigers dropped a 72-68 heartbreaker to James Madison in overtime on Thursday before falling 71-62 at Georgia State on Sunday. Towson was led by senior guard Shanae Baker-Brice, as she averaged 23.0 points per outing last week. She was joined by senior forward Haliena Snowden (16.0 ppg) in averaging double-figure points. Senior forward Katrina Wheeler grabbed a team-best 11.5 rebounds per outing. Against the Dukes, the Tigers were led by Baker-Brice as she broke Towson's career scoring mark while connecting on a career-high 32 points. The senior guard broke Danielle Barry's record of 1,555 career points. Towson dropped its second straight as Snowden posted a double-double to go along with Baker-Brice's big performance. Baker-Brice scored 30+ points for the first time in her career as she finished with 32. She would also add seven rebounds, seven assists and three steals. Snowden contributed 15 points and 11 rebounds for her third double-double of the season. Wheeler returned to the Tiger line-up after missing the last two games and pulled down a season-high 15 rebounds and eight points. In the outing against the Panthers, Towson received a game-high 17 points from Snowden, which was one shy of her career-high. She also added four rebounds and two assists. Baker-Brice finished with 14 points, four rebounds, five assists and two steals. Wheeler just missed a double-double as she contributed 10 points, eight rebounds, four steals and two blocks. Kandace Davis grabbed a team-high 14 rebounds and added seven points. The Tigers return home for a pair of league contests as they host UNC Wilmington on Thursday before welcoming Old Dominion on Sunday.
VCU (12-5, 5-0 CAA)
VCU extended its win streak to seven games with a 76-60 road win at Georgia State and an 85-77 victory at William & Mary. Senior forward D'Andra Moss led the Rams with 21.5 points per outing. Senior guard Kita Waller (15.0 ppg), sophomore Courtney Hurt (14.5 ppg) and junior Ebony Patterson (11.5 ppg) also contributed double-figure points. Hurt posted a team-best 9.0 rebounds per contest and Moss led the team with seven steals on the week. Against the Panthers, Moss registered a game-high 27 points and Waller scored 19 points to help VCU in the win. Hurt added eight points, four rebounds and a game-high four steals for VCU. Jennifer Lane finished with seven points and a team-high five rebounds and Patterson chipped in seven points and five assists for the Rams. Against the Tribe, Hurt registered her fourth double-double in the last six games with a game-high 21 points and 14 rebounds. The Rams had five players score in double figures as Moss and Patterson each contributed 16 points for VCU, while Waller and junior guard Jessica Taylor added 11 points apiece for the Black and Gold. The Rams' 5-0 start in conference play is the best start in CAA play since joining the league in 1995-96. VCU will welcome Delaware to the Verizon Wireless Arena on Thursday before traveling to Drexel on Sunday. The outing against the Dragons will be televised on The Comcast Network at Noon.
WILLIAM & MARY (9-7, 2-3 CAA)
William and Mary posted a 1-1 record at home on the week as they earned a 74-65 win at home against Northeastern before falling to league-leading VCU, 85-77. The Dukes had three players averaging double-figure points. Sophomore guards Katherine DeHenzel and Taysha Pye averaged 15.5 points per outing and freshman guard/forward Taylor Hilton added 12.5 points per contest. Senior forward Tiffany Benson pulled down a team-best 9.0 rebounds per outing, while Pye averaged 8.0 boards per contest. Sophomore guard Janine Aldridge (11), Pye (11), and DeHenzel (10) all dished out double-figure assists for the Tribe. In the win over the Huskies, DeHenzel posted a career-best 20 points and went 5-for-9 from deep to help the Tribe to the win. Benson finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds for her 28th career double-double, and also had three blocks in the second half to move even closer to the all-time conference record. Her 232 career rejections is only five shy of breaking the record of 236 set by George Mason's Trish Halpin from 1997-2000, and Benson has had five or more blocks in a single game eight times in her career. Pye also reach double-figures in scoring, with 14, and had seven assists for the second game in a row. Aldridge also had seven assists, and a game-high five steals. On Sunday, Pye was the Tribe's leading scorer in the game with 17 points, and was joined in double-digits by Hilton (14) and DeHenzel (11). Pye and Benson each collected seven rebounds, and the sophomore guard dished out four assists, tied with both DeHenzel and Aldridge for the game-high. As a team, W&M shot 50% from the floor in the first half and 48.2% overall (27-56), while connecting on 7-16 from long range (43.8%). In the second half, the Tribe held the Rams to just 30.6% from the field (11-36). William and Mary heads out on the road for its next two games, traveling north for a rematch with Hofstra on Thursday, before visiting George Mason on Sunday.