CAA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL WEEKLY REPORT - JAN. 25
*Complete report in PDF format located at the bottom of this release*
CAA QUICK HITS:
• There is a three-way tie for first place in the league as Drexel, Old Dominion and VCU all own a 6-1 record. James Madison follows with a 5-2 record.
•The CAA women's basketball programs have produced a 79-54 record against non-conference opponents thus far this season.
• The most recent RPIRatings.com report (Jan. 25) showed the CAA with a league RPI of eight. James Madison is ranked 30th in the team RPI ranking. Drexel (58) and Old Dominion (62) are the only other CAA schools in the Top 100, as VCU (106) and Delaware (107) are edging the Top 100.
• JMU's Dawn Evans (1st, 27.1 ppg), Delaware's Elena Delle Donne (3rd, 25.9 ppg) and Drexel's Gabriela Marginean (8th, 22.1 ppg) all ranked in the Top 8 in NCAA points per game and according to Stats, Inc., it is the first time since at least 1999 that three players from the same league have been ranked in the Top 8 in scoring.
• CAA Record Watch Alert: William & Mary's Tiffany Benson is just three blocks from becoming the CAA All-Time career blocking leader.
• Pink Zone dates announced for the upcoming WBCA Pink Zone Breast Cancer Awareness campaign for Feb. 12-22.
• 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.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Dawn Evans • James Madison
Clarksville, Tenn./Northeast, Jr., Guard
Evans led the Dukes to a pair of road wins at Northeastern and Georgia State. She averaged a team-high 29.5 points per outing to go along with four assists, two blocks and two steals. The junior scored a game-high 29 points in the come-from-behind win over Northeastern, before pouring in a game-high 30 points at Georgia State. Evans drained a school-record nine treys against GSU, breaking her own school record of seven. The nine three-pointers also broke the GSU's Sports Arena women's record and tied the overall arena record. Her game total was just one short of the CAA record (10). The junior guard also tied two school records of consecutive double-figure scoring games (49th straight) and consecutive three-pointers (25th straight). Evans finished the week shooting 50 percent (19-of-38) from the floor, 53.8 percent (14-of-26) from deep and 58.3 percent (7-of-12) from the line.
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 led the league on the week pouring in 31.0 points per outing. She also added six assists, three blocks and seven turnovers to go along with 12 rebounds. The rookie shot 55.0 percent (22-of-40) from the floor, 60 percent (6-of-10) from beyond the arc and 92.3 percent (12-of-13) from the charity stripe. Delle Donne recorded game highs in both outings with 27 against VCU and 35 against Hofstra. On the week, Delle Donne (414) broke UD's freshman scoring record previously held by D. Lefert (358). She also broke two other records, as she upset the UD freshman three-pointer record as the rookie has drained 38 and the previous record was 33 by L. Hayes. Delle Donne also extended her streak at the free-throw line to 39 before snapping it at Hofstra, but broke the previous streak which was held by L. Cyborski's 31 straight free-throws.
CAA AT No. 8 IN RPI RANKING: The CAA continued at number eight 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. 24). James Madison is ranked 30th in the team RPI ranking. Drexel (58) and Old Dominion (62) are the only other CAA schools in the Top 100, as VCU (106) and Delaware (107) are edging the Top 100. All 12 schools are among the top 199 RPI.
SCHEDULE STRENGTH: The Lady Monarchs of Old Dominion have played the 13th toughest strength of schedule in the nation according to Collegiate Basketball News (games through Jan. 24). ODU has faced top contenders in the RPI ratings such as Stanford, N.C. State, Maryland, Louisville and Florida. Drexel has played the 51st toughest schedule, while Northeastern follows at 64, and Towson at 83. James Madison's strength of schedule steadied at 110 and UNC Wilmington followed at 112.
TO THE WIRE: Two of last week's contests were taken to the wire. The first was on Thursday as VCU defeated Delaware on a buzzer beater as senior forward D'Andra Moss drained a deep three-pointer with 0.4 seconds remaining to give VCU a 60-59 home victory. On Sunday, Drexel's Gabriela Marginean tallied a 14-foot jumper from the baseline with just under three seconds remaining to break a tied ball game and push Drexel to a 55-53 victory over VCU in Philadelphia, Pa. Thus far this season, nearly 20 percent of the conference games have been decided by four points or less. Drexel leads the CAA with four games that have been decided by the narrow decision and producing a 4-0 record in those games. Delaware follows facing three close decisions, but suffered losses in all three. James Madison (1-1), Old Dominion (2-0) and VCU (1-1) have played in two close outings in CAA action and Georgia State (0-1), Towson (0-1) and William & Mary (0-1) appeared in one.
TOP STATS IN NCAA: Through games of Jan. 24, Evans leads the nation with 27.1 points per outing. Delaware's Elena Delle Donne follows at third (25.9 ppg), and Drexel's Gabriela Marginean (8th, 22.1 ppg) also make an appearance in the Top 10. According to Stats, Inc., it is the first time since at least 1999 that three players from the same league have been ranked in the Top 8 in scoring. Evans also leads the nation with 4.4 trey's per outing. Hofstra's Jess Fuller is fifth in the nation making 3.6 blocks per contest, while Delle Donne (6th, 90.6 FT%) jumps ahead of Marginean (11th, 89.7 FT%) in free-throw shooting percentage.
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 18 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.
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.
2010 CAA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT: The CAA Women's Basketball Championship will be hosted by James Madison University for the second consecutive year on March 11-14, 2010. All 12 teams will participate in the thrilling event, which will be held at the JMU Convocation Center. This will be the second year of the two year bid to host. The tournament host is up for bid again and the site for the 2011 and 2012 championships will be announced in March 2010. The 2009 CAA Women's Basketball Championship welcomed 10, 895 fans over the four day event, which was the most the tournament has seen since 2003 when Old Dominion hosted and entertained 11,536 spectators.
CAA IN THE TOP 25 POLLS: The Dukes of James Madison are currently just receiving votes in the coaches poll, which will be updated on Tuesday, Jan. 26. 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.
FRESHMEN AMONG THE CAA: 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 (25.9 ppg). Hofstra's freshman forward Shante Evans leads the rookies in rebounding pulling down 9.2 boards per outing, while Delle Donne follows close behind with 9.0 rpg. Delle Donne has drained 38 treys thus far this season, while Northeastern's Rachael Pecota had added 22 and UD's Lauren Carra has drained 15. 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 96-of-106 (.906) from the line for seventh best percentage from the line in the nation. George Mason's Rahneeka Saunders has recorded 37 steals, while Hofstra's Candace Bond (28), Delle Donne (25) and Mason's Amber Easter (24) follow closely behind in thefts. Delle Donne is also the season leader among the frosh in blocks with 30, while George Mason's Janaa Pickard follows with 25 blocks. Leading the freshman in assists is Saunders with 47 and Delle Donne (41) and JMU's Tarik Hislop (40) follow closely.
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.
GIRL SCOUT APPRECIATION DAYS: For the 16th consecutive year, the CAA and the Girl Scouts of the USA are teaming up for the "Be Your Best" partnership. Each CAA institution has designated a women's basketball game this season as "Girl Scout Appreciation Day", with the goal of teaching girls the many benefits that can be gained from participating in sports. Girl Scouts are invited to attend the games and cheer for their favorite CAA team and participate in a variety of activities, including autograph sessions with players, instructional clinics with coaches and spirit contests. To receive the special admission, Girl Scouts must wear their uniforms (i.e., t-shirt or sweatshirt, pins) to the game.
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
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 mid-season 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 ppg). 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.
DELAWARE (12-6, 4-3 CAA)
Delaware split on the week with a heart-breaking loss at VCU, 60-59, on Thursday before rebounding with a victory at Hofstra, 71-65, on Sunday. Freshman Elena Delle Donne led the Blue Hens on the week averaging 31 points per outing and added six rebounds per contest. She also led the team with seven total steals and dished out a team-best six assists and recorded a team-best three blocks. Jauetta May added 16 points on the week for second on the team. Against the Rams, VCU's D'Andra Moss hit a three-pointer with .4 seconds left in the contest to spoil UD's lead. Three freshman led the Hens as Delle Donne, Delaware's 6-5 All-American candidate and Naismith Player of the Year nominee, finished with 27 points, five rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals. May hit 5-of-9 and two at the foul line for career-highs of 12 points and nine rebounds. Forward Danielle Parker also pulled down seven boards, as the Hens outrebounded VCU, 40-30. With her performance against the Rams, Delle Donne broke the UD freshman scoring record, previously held by Danielle Leyfert (358 points in 1997-98). Delle Donne has recorded 414 points since the start of the 2009-10 season. The 6-5 rookie also broke the UD freshman three-pointer record, previously held by Liz Hayes (33 in 2003-04) and UD's consecutive free-throw record, which the record of 31 stood since the 1990-91 season when Linda Cyborski was perfect from Nov. 25 to Jan. 23. Delle Donne connected on her 32nd consecutive free throw at 15:10, a streak that began at George Mason on Jan. 7 and went one to hit seven additional against Hofstra for a total of 39 straight before missing one on Jan. 24. In the win on Sunday, Delle Donne led all scorers with 35 points in the win to help the Blue Hens snap a two game losing streak. The rookie show 12-for-21 from the floor and went 7-of-8 from the line, to go along with a game-high five steals and three assists. Freshman Laura Carra also scored double-digits for UD with 10 points to go along with five assists and two rebounds. Delaware has attracted a significant increase in attendance as the Blue Hens are 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 continue its road swing when they visit Hofstra on Sunday. Martin has earned 249 career victories and will be in the hunt for her 250th when the Blue Hens host Towson on Thursday evening. UD will also travel to Drexel for a Sunday afternoon outing, which will be broadcast on The Comcast Network at Noon.
DREXEL (12-6, 6-1 CAA)
The Dragons captured a pair of home victories last week as they defeated George Mason, 59-51, on Thursday before pulling out a thrilling win over VCU, 55-53, on Sunday. With the two victories, the Dragons have won 17 straight at home in CAA action dating back to the 2007-08 season. The Dragons are also on a four-game winning streak, which is the longest of the season for Drexel. Senior forward Gabriela Marginean guided the team pouring in 20.5 points per outing and added six assists, six rebounds and three steals. Sophomore guard Kamile Nacickaite completed the week recording 14.0 points per outing and a team-high 12 rebounds. Against Mason, Marginean leading all scorers with 26 points. Marginean and Nacickaite combined to put in 21 of Drexel's 28 first-half points. Nacickaite would finish the contest as Drexel's second leading scorer with 12 points and she was one of three Dragons to pull down five rebounds in the game. Marginean shot 8-for-10 from the line against Mason, and her two misses were on consecutive free throws. It was just the second time in her career that she has missed consecutive free throws. The only other time that she's done it was Nov. 28, 2008 against Minnesota at the Colorado Coors Classic. Marginean, the CAA's all-time leader in free throws made, has only missed two free throws in one game in 10 occasions during her career. On Sunday, Marginean drained a 14-foot jumper from the baseline with just under three seconds remaining to give the Dragons a 55-53 victory over previously unbeatened VCU. Nacickaite led all scorers with 16 points and seven rebounds, while Marginean finished with 15 points and Jasmina Rosseel chipped in 11. The Dragons will hit the road to play Northeastern on Thursday before returning home to host Delaware on Sunday evening. The victory over VCU was viewed by a regional television audience on The Comcast Network. Drexel is now 9-1 in televised contests since 2005-06, with the only loss going to Kansas State in the 2009 NCAA Tournament. The match-up against the Blue Hens, a rematch of the Jan. 17th double-overtime thriller, will also be broadcast on The Comcast Network on Sunday afternoon.
GEORGE MASON (8-10, 1-6 CAA)
George Mason dropped a pair of outings last week as they suffered a 59-51 loss at Drexel before falling to William & Mary, 69-55, at home on Sunday. Junior guard Brittany Eley poured in 13.5 points per outing, while teammate junior guard Brittany Poindexter provided 12.0 points per outing to led the Patriots last week. Freshman guard/forward Amber Easter led the team with 6.5 rebounds per contest. Against Drexel, Mason was led by 13 points and nine rebounds from Poindexter, as the junior fell one board short of back-to-back double-doubles. Classmate Ashleigh Braxton also reached double digits, chipping in 10 points. On Sunday, Eley fell two points short of her career high with a team-best 18 points. Eley was joined in double digits by Poindexter's 11. The Patriots return to the court on Thursday when they host Georgia State, before traveling to Northeastern for a Sunday afternoon match up.
GEORGIA STATE (11-7, 2-5 CAA)
Georgia State suffered a tough 58-54 loss at Old Dominion on Thursday evening and then fell to James Madison, 67-61. Despite the losses, senior forward Danyiell McKeller poured in 20.0 points per outing and senior guard Brittany Graham added 10 points per contest. Senior forward Shay Rawls grabbed a team-high 11.5 rebounds per game. The game against Old Dominion had 13 ties and McKeller scored 22 points to lead the offense, while Shay Rawls garnered 11 rebounds. The Panthers hurt their chances for a second straight win over ODU by making just 10-of-18 free throws and shooting just 29 percent in the second half and 33.9 for the game. The teams were tied at the half, 32-32, as GSU came out and established a four-point lead at 43-39 with 13:05 to play. Against the Dukes, State held a slight 30-27 halftime lead. The Panthers were led by McKeller's 18 points, while Rawls added 12 rebounds and 10 points for her double-double game. Graham, the CAA's best three-point shooter at 45.8 percent, hit four of her six three-pointers today for 12 more points. The Panthers are now 9-2 this year when leading at halftime and both of those losses have come to 15-3 JMU. Six of the Panthers' seven losses have come to teams in the Top 100 of the RPI ranking. The Panthers are currently playing without starter Chan Harris, who suffered a fractured foot in December, and starter Jylisa Williams, who was dismissed from the team last week. State is 9-2 this year when they have 10 or more steals, which has happened in 11 of their 18 contests. Head Coach Lea Henry looks to notch her 300th career win, since beginning her career as the interim head coach at the University of Florida in 1989-90, when the Panthers visit George Mason. GSU will also visit VCU on Sunday.
HOFSTRA (10-9, 3-4 CAA)
Hofstra split on the week as the Pride captured a 68-51 home victory over William & Mary on Thursday evening, before falling to a tough Delaware squad, 71-65. The Pride were led by a trio of players this week as freshman Shante Evans poured in 17.0 points per outing, while shooting an impressive 76 percent (16-for-21), and senior center Jess Fuller and senior guard Sam Brigham each contributed 10.5 ppg. Evans led the team pulling down 13.5 rebounds per outing and sophomore guard Candice Bellocchio dished out a team-best 14 assists, including 10 against Delaware. Fuller finished the week with a team-best 10 blocks. Against the Tribe, Evans poured in 18 points and tied a career-high with 18 rebounds to lead the Pride. She shot 9-for-12 in posting her conference-leading ninth double-double, while Brigham scored all 15 of her points in the second half. Bellocchio scored 14 points on 10 free throws and contributed four assists, while junior Aamira Terry added eight points. On Sunday, Evans scored 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting, adding nine rebounds. Bellocchio tabbed her second game this season with double-digit assists as the Pride lost for just the third time in 10 home games this season in seeing its modest two-game winning streak stopped. Sophomore guard Nicole Capurso scored all 12 of her points in the second half and sophomore forward Marie Malone tied a career-high with 11 points off the bench. Evans (1st) and Delle Donne (2nd) came into Sunday ranked one and two in the CAA in rebounding, while leading their teams in scoring. The duo keyed their respective teams' offense, each finishing just shy of double-doubles. Evans took over as the CAA rebounding leader and has averaged 15.0 rebounds in her last three outings. With the win over William & Mary, Head Coach Krista Kilburn-Stevesky now has 57 career wins and tied Slyvia Giallombardo for third all-time at HU. Fuller now has 173 career blocks as a member of the Pride and needs just two to tie Vanessa Gidden (2003-07) for first all-time in HU's program history. The Pride will complete a two-game swing in Virginia this week as they visit James Madison on Thursday before stopping at Old Dominion for a Sunday afternoon match up.
#--/RV JAMES MADISON (15-3, 5-2 CAA)
The Dukes posted a 2-0 record on the road last week with a 64-57 win over Northeastern and a 67-61 win over Georgia State. Junior guard Dawn Evans, the nation's leading scorer, led James Madison in the two outings. She averaged 29.5 points per contest and added four assists. Senior guard Sarah Williams contributed 11.5 points per outing and junior Lauren Jimenez added 9.0 ppg. William and Jiminez lead the team each grabbing 6.0 rebounds per game. On Thursday, James Madison outscored Northeastern 20-5 in the final 6:55 to post a 64-57 come-from-behind over the Huskies on the road. Evans led all players with 29 points. Freshman guard Tarik Hislop added 15 points and a team-high seven rebounds, and Jimenez scored 10 points. The Dukes trailed by as many as 16 points (22-6 at 9:10) in the first half and did not take the lead until a three-pointer by Williams with 2:18 left in the game put the Dukes ahead 55-54. Against the Panthers, Evans scored 30 points and hit a school-record nine three pointers to lead the Dukes. The nine trey's ties for second in the CAA record books with Aubrey Eblin (ODU, 1998) and Amber Blank (UNCW, 1997). Evans scored 20 of her point in the first 10:54 of the second stanza, when JMU outscored the Panthers 31-15 to take its largest lead of the game, 58-45 at 9:06. Evans, who hit a trio of threes in the first half, knocked down six treys in that run. Evans, who recorded her 14th career game with 30 or more points, was joined in double figures by Williams with 16 and Jimenez with 10. Williams and Jimenez each finished with seven rebounds, a team high. Evans also tied two school records. She recorded her 49th consecutive double-figure scoring game, tying Tamera Young's record, set from 2006-07 through 2007-08. She also hit a three-pointer in her 25th game in a row, which tied her own record set from 2007-08 through 2008-09. The Dukes will return for a pair of home contests this week. JMU will welcome Hofstra on Thursday before entertaining Towson on Sunday afternoon.
UNC WILMINGTON (6-12, 1-6 CAA)
UNC Wilmington suffered back-to-back losses last week as they dropped both decisions 62-52 to Towson and Northeastern. Senior guard Greta Luksyte recorded 12.0 points per game to lead the Seahawks, while junior Brittany Blackwell added 10.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per outing. Senior guard Casey Sawhook dished out 10 assists on the week and Blackwell tabbed eight steals in the two outings. Against the Tigers, Luksyte scored a team-high 15 points to lead UNCW, who was limited to 35.8 percent shooting for the contest, including an 8-for-27 effort in the second half. Junior guard Treasure Johnson joined Luksyte in double figures with 11 points, all of which came in the second half. Sawhook dished out a career-high eight assists and added seven points. On Sunday, visiting Northeastern turned up the defensive pressure in the second half to dig out of a deep hole early and rally past UNC Wilmington. Blackwell paced the Seahawks with 14 points and eight boards. Junior forward Martha White chipped in 12 points for the hosts. The Seahawks begin a two-game road trip on Thursday with a match against VCU at the Stuart Siegel Center in Richmond. UNCW will then continue to face William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va., on Sunday.
NORTHEASTERN (7-11, 2-5 CAA)
Northeastern split on the week as they fell to James Madison, 64-57, at home before capturing a 62-52 win at UNC Wilmington. Senior forward Kim Carr led the Huskies with 14.5 points per outing, while senior forward Kendra Walton contributed 11.0 ppg. Freshman forward Rachael Pecota pulled down a team-high 15 rebounds, while Carr grabbed a second-best 14. On Thursday, NU held the lead through 37 minutes against James Madison, before the Dukes made a run in the final six minutes of the outing to earn the win. Carr led Northeastern with 16 points and 12 rebounds, while Brittany Wilson added 12 points. Carr had 10 first half points for Northeastern, shooting 50 percent from the floor. Both teams shot just 36 percent for the game, while James Madison held a 43-38 rebounding advantage for the contest. Deanna Kerkhof made her first start of the season for Northeastern and finished with eight points. The Huskies also got eight points from Walton and Pecota. Against UNC Wilmington, the Huskies made a come back after being held scoreless for the first 8:40 of the game and down 10 points at the half. NU used a 28-5 run over 12:56 to come from behind and defeat the Seahawks. Walton and Carr paced the Huskies with 14 and 13 points, respectively. Pecota contributed a game-high 11 rebounds for NU, which outscored the Seahawks 43-23 in the second half to capture the win. Northeastern will next host Drexel and George Mason this week before hitting the road for three-straight.
OLD DOMINION (8-9, 6-1 CAA)
Old Dominion posted a 2-0 record with victories over Georgia State and Towson. The Lady Monarchs captured a close 58-54 win at home over a pesky Georgia State, before earning a come from behind win over Towson, 57-50, on Sunday. Junior guard Jasmine Parker (15.5 ppg) and senior forward Jessica Canady (12.5 ppg) led the Lady Monarchs in scoring, while Canady doubled up grabbing 11.5 rebounds per outing. On Thursday, a Shadasia Green jumper from just inside the free throw line broke a tie with 21 seconds remaining to lift ODU to the victory. Canady and sophomore Tia Lewis both recorded double-doubles for ODU. Lewis recorded her fifth double-double of the year with 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Canady posted her second in the last five games with a team-high 15 points and a game-high 14. The Lady Monarchs struggled from long range, going just 1-for-12 on 3-pointers, but shot 41.5% from the field on 22-of-53 shooting. Canady collected eight rebounds in the second to set a new career-high in CAA play with 14 total rebounds. Against the Tigers, ODU was down by as many as 13 in the second half, but outscored the host by 15 in the stanza to win by seven. Parker scored 22 points in the victory, including a personal 8-0 run late that gave ODU the lead after going down by as many as 13 in the second half. Canady finished with 10 points and nine rebounds, while junior guard Kquanise Byrd had six assists and finished the week with seven. With the win over the Tigers, the Lady Monarchs are now tied for first place in the CAA with Drexel and VCU. With the two victories on the week, ODU is two games shy of 900 career wins since the inception of the program, looking to become just the third team in history of women's basketball to reach that mark--joining Tennessee and Louisiana Tech. The Lady Monarchs will visit William & Mary on Thursday before returning home to host Hofstra on Sunday.
TOWSON (9-9, 3-4 CAA)
Towson split on the week as they defeated UNC Wilmington, 62-52, before falling to Old Dominion, 57-50. Senior guard Shanae Baker-Brice poured in 18.5 points per outing for the Tigers and senior forward Haliena Snowden added 16 ppg. Snowden was joined by senior forward Kandace Davis in grabbing 16 rebounds a piece during the week to lead the team. Baker-Brice also led the team dishing out 13 assists and grabbing five steals. In the win over UNCW, Towson placed three players in double figures in the contest led by Baker-Brice's 19 points. The senior guard added six rebounds, seven assists and two steals to go along with her 19 points. Snowden recorded her fourth double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 rebounds. She has now scored in double figures in five of the last six games. Davis was the third Tiger in double figures as she connected for 11 with seven rebounds. On Sunday, Towson couldn't contain ODU's 25-7 run over the final 11 minutes of the game. The Tigers received 18 points from Baker-Brice and she finished with six assists and three steals. Snowden contributed 16 points, five rebounds and two steals. Davis finished with a team-high nine rebounds, as she went over 700 rebounds for her career in the contest. Davis would also match her season-high with three blocked shots. Towson will travel to play Delaware on Thursday and will continue a road swing with a trip to play James Madison.
VCU (13-6, 6-1 CAA)
VCU split on the week as they captured a thrilling 60-59 home victory over Delaware before snapping its eight game winning streak with a 55-53 loss at Drexel. The loss to Drexel was the Rams' first CAA loss of the season and put them in a tie for first place with Drexel and Old Dominion. The Rams were led by three players in double-figure scoring last week. Senior forward D'Andra Moss posted a team-best 15.5 points per outing, while sophomore forward Courtney Hurt (14.0 ppg) and senior guard Kita Waller (13.0 ppg) contributed significant numbers. Moss also led the team with 9.5 rebounds per outing, while junior guard Ebony Patterson dished out a team-best 10 assists on the week and Moss added seven. On Thursday, Moss poured in a team-high 19 points. Moss, who was just 1-of-7 from behind the arc entering the final seconds of regulation, drained a trey with 0.4 seconds showing to give the Rams their eight-consecutive victory and remain unbeaten in CAA play. Hurt contributed 16 points and five rebounds for VCU. Waller chipped in 14 points and three steals, while Patterson added five points, four rebounds and a career-high eight assists for the Rams. The Rams' 6-0 start in conference play is the best start in CAA play since joining the league in 1995-96. Against Drexel, VCU suffered its first CAA loss with a last second shot by Drexel's Gabriela Marginean. The Rams where led by Moss' 12 point-10 rebound performance, while Hurt added 12 points and seven boards and Waller posted 12 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals. The Rams will host back-to-back home games when they welcome UNC Wilmington on Thursday and Georgia State on Sunday.
WILLIAM & MARY (10-8, 3-4 CAA)
William and Mary split on the week as they suffered a 68-51 loss at Hofstra on Thursday evening, before capturing a 69-55 win at George Mason Sunday. The Tribe was led by four players averaging double-digit scoring on the week, led by sophomore guard Taysha Pye's 17.0 points per outing. She was joined by sophomore guard Katherine DeHenzel (12.0 ppg), freshman forward Emily Correal (10.5 ppg) and senior forward Tiffany Benson (10.0 ppg). Benson finished the week with a double-double and posted a team-high 12.0 rebounds per contest. Against the Pride, Benson led the team effort with her fourth double-double of the season, scoring 10 points to go with 13 rebounds. Pye was again the team's leading scorer with 14. DeHenzel made 4-for-6 from the field for nine points and added three assists and three rebounds. On Sunday, Benson and Correal each recorded double-doubles in the contest. Benson had 10 points and 11 rebounds, and picked up a block to continue her steady climb up the CAA records chart. She now needs only three more blocks to become the conference's all-time leading shot-blocker. Correal had 14 points, and pulled down a career-high and team's season-best 17 rebounds for her third double-double of the year. Pye led all scorers with 20 points, hitting 7-for-11 from the field and 6-for-9 from the free throw line. DeHenzel gave W&M four in double-digits, scoring 15 to go with six rebounds, four assists, and three steals. The Tribe will host a pair of conference outings in Williamsburg this week as they welcome Old Dominion on Thursday and UNC Wilmington on Sunday.