CAA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL WEEKYL REPORT - FEB. 1
*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 8-1 record. James Madison follows with a 6-3 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 (Feb. 1) showed the CAA with a league RPI of eight. James Madison is ranked 44th in the team RPI ranking. Drexel (56), Old Dominion (63) and VCU (94) are the only other CAA schools in the Top 100, as Delaware (108) is edging the Top 100. All 12 schools are among the top 202 RPI.
• Coaching Milestones: Delaware head coach Tina Martin and Georgia State head coach Lea Henry reached career milestones on Thursday evening. Martin earned her 250th career win, while Henry tabbed number 300.
• JMU's Dawn Evans (1st, 26.4 ppg), Delaware's Elena Delle Donne (3rd, 25.4 ppg) and Drexel's Gabriela Marginean (7th, 23.1 ppg) all ranked in the Top 7 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 Alert: William & Mary's Tiffany Benson made two blocks in the outing against UNC Wilmington to become the CAA All-Time career blocking leader with 238 blocks.
• 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.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
Gabriela Marginean • Drexel
Cluj-Napoca, Romania/Mt. de Chantal Academy, Sr., Forward
Marginean helped the Dragons to a 2-0 record on the week. The senior guard scored a season-high 41 points in the overtime win at Northeastern, including 12 straight midway through the second half to help Drexel recover from a 10-point deficit. It was the second highest single-game point total in the program's history, behind her 47-point performance in a 5OT win over NU in her freshman year. She then led Drexel with 20 points and six rebounds in the overtime win over Delaware. Marginean finished the week shooting 20-of-39 (.513) from the floor and 19-of-21 (.905) from the free throw line. She added a pair of treys, 15 rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Kita Waller • VCU
Gainesville, Ga./Gainesville, Sr., Guard
Waller led the Rams to a 2-0 home record last week. The senior guard averaged 31.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.5 steals per contest. She also shot .636 (21-of-33) from the field and .938 (15-of-16) from the free throw line. Waller tied a VCU single-game record with 35 points against UNC Wilmington, while registering five steals and dishing out four assists. She nearly matched that effort against Georgia State with a game-high 28 points on 8-of-12 shooting. Entering the week, her previous career-high was 23 points.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Deanna Kerkhof • Northeastern
Wallaceburg, Ontario, Canada/Urusline College, Fr., Guard
Kerkhof helped the Huskies on the week averaging a team-best 20.0 points per outing in two outings. The rookie shot 12-of-19 (.632) from the field on the week, including 6-of-12 (.500) from deep. Kerkhof tallied a career-high 19 points in the overtime loss to league-leading Drexel and then bettered that mark with a 21-point performance in a win over George Mason. She also set career highs in rebounds (5) and assists (4) against the Patriots. The freshman finished the week shooting 10-of-13 (.769) from the free throw line and totaled eight rebounds.
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. 31). James Madison is ranked 44th in the team RPI ranking. Drexel (56), Old Dominion (63) and VCU (94) are the only other CAA schools in the Top 100, as Delaware (108) is edging the Top 100. All 12 schools are among the top 202 RPI.
SCHEDULE STRENGTH: The Lady Monarchs of Old Dominion have played the 18th toughest strength of schedule in the nation according to Collegiate Basketball News (games through Jan. 31). 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, Towson at 68 and UNC Wilmington at 91. James Madison's strength of schedule steadied at 110 and UNC Wilmington followed at 112.
TO THE WIRE: Thus far this season, nine of the conference games have been decided by four points or less. Drexel leads the CAA with five games that have been decided by the narrow decision and producing a 5-0 record in those games. Delaware follows facing four close decisions, but suffered losses in all four. 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. 31, Evans ranks second the nation with 25.7 points per outing. Delaware's Elena Delle Donne follows at third (25.7 ppg) and Drexel's Gabriela Marginean (7th, 23.0 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 7 in scoring. Evans also leads the nation with 4.1 trey's per outing. Hofstra's Jess Fuller is sixth in the nation making 3.3 blocks per contest, while Delle Donne (4th, 91.2 FT%) and Marginean (9th, 89.8 FT%) are ranked in free-throw shooing 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 receiving votes in just the coaches poll. 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 (25.7 ppg). Hofstra's freshman forward Shante Evans leads the rookies in rebounding pulling down 9.0 boards per outing. Delle Donne has drained 41 treys thus far this season, while Northeastern's Rachael Pecota had added 22 and UD's Lauren Carra has drained 19. Delle Donne is shooting 104-of-114 (.912) from the line for fourth best percentage from the line in the nation. George Mason's Rahneeka Saunders has recorded 41 steals, while Hofstra's Candace Bond (34), Delle Donne (28) and Mason's Amber Easter (27) 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 26 blocks. Leading the freshman in assists is Saunders with 54 and JMU's Tarik Hislop (46) and Delle Donne (45) 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. 5)
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 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 (13-7, 5-4 CAA)
Delaware split on the week with a 72-49 win over Towson, before falling to Drexel, 60-58, in overtime. The win over the Tigers gave UD Head Coach Tina Martin her 250th career victory. Delaware star freshman Elena Delle Donne led the team with 24.5 points per outing last week, while three others averaged double-digit points. Freshman Laura Carra (12.0 ppg), Tesia Harris (10.0 ppg) and Ariene Jenkins (10.0 ppg) contributed for UD. Danielle Parker led the team with 8.5 rebounds on the week, while Delle Donne and Harris each contributed 7.0 rebounds per game. Against Towson, the Blue Hens placed five scorers in double figure scoring, led by Delle Donne's 18-point performance, all in the first half. The rookie was sidelined the entire second half after suffering an injury to her left elbow late in the first half. Freshman point guard Lauren Carra came off the bench to hit 14 points and dish out four assists, while Danielle Parker, Jocelyn Bailey, and Ariene Jenkins, who took over for Delle Donne, each added 10 points. Parker pulled down nine rebounds, Bailey pulled seven boards, and Kayla Miller dished out a career-high seven assists. The Blue Hens suffered their second overtime loss to Drexel on Sunday afternoon. Delle Donne drained 31 points and pulled down 11 rebounds for her eighth career double-double. Carra and Harris each tallied 10 points and seven rebounds for the Blue Hens. Parker was strong off the glass as she grabbed eight rebounds to help Delaware outrebound Drexel, 48-33. Delaware will be without junior guard Vanessa Kabongo for the remainder of the season due to a season-ending knee injury and recent surgery. 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 956 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 returns home for a pair of contests when they host William & Mary and George Mason this week.
DREXEL (14-6, 8-1 CAA)
The Dragons won back-to-back overtime games last week as they defeated Northeastern, 91-84, and Delaware, 60-59. The last time Drexel won in overtime in back-to-back games was on Feb. 22, 2009 and Feb. 26, 2009 of last season when the Dragons beat Northeastern and VCU in extra periods. Senior forward Gabriela Marginean led three players averaging double-digit points with 30.5 points per outing. She was joined by Kamile Nacickaite (15.0 ppg) and Jasmina Rosseel (13.5 ppg). Marginean also led the team in rebounding with 7.5 boards per game, while Marisa Crane dished out a team-best 13 assists. Against NU, Marginean scored 21 of her season-high 41 points in the second half, including a spurt of 12 straight in the closing minutes, to bring Drexel from behind in the overtime victory at Northeastern. Marginean's 41 points, the second-highest single game total in Drexel history, was the most she's scored since dropping 47 on Northeastern in a five-overtime game in her freshman year that still stands as the longest women's basketball game in NCAA Div. I history. Drexel's total of 91 points is also the most scored by the Dragons since that contest, which ended in a 98-90 victory by the Dragons on Feb. 22, 2007. Nacickaite exploded for a career-high 27 points, 15 of them in the first half. Rosseel finished with 11 points, including three treys in OT. Tyler Hale added eight points and seven rebounds. She came up with two clutch free throws with a minute and a half left in regulation and made two more in the last 25 seconds of overtime to secure the Drexel victory. With the win over Delaware, Drexel is now 10-1 in televised contests since 2005-06, with the only loss going to Kansas State in the 2009 NCAA Tournament. The game that was viewed by a sell-out crowd at the DAC was aired on The Comcast Network. Marisa Crane, who hit Drexel's game-winning basket with 3 seconds left in overtime against Delaware, led the team with seven assists in the game. Crane is just seven helpers shy of becoming only the second Dragon in the last seven years to record 100 assists. Marginean led the Dragons with 20 points and six rebounds. Marginean and Hale each had six rebounds. The victory was the Dragons' 18th straight CAA win at the DAC and it came in front of the largest crowd (2532) to watch a women's basketball game at Drexel. The Dragons have now won six straight games and remain in first place in the CAA standings with an 8-1 conference record. Drexel has won 10 of it's last 11 overtime games dating back to the 2006-07 season. The Dragons will hit the road for a pair of games as they visit Towson and James Madison.
GEORGE MASON (8-12, 1-8 CAA)
George Mason suffered its third home loss of the season with a 46-36 loss to Georgia State on Thursday before falling at Northeastern, 70-59, on Sunday. The Patriots were led by Ashleigh Braxton's 14.0 points per game. Angelee LaTouche pulled down a team-best 16 boards on the week. Against the Panthers, George Mason was led by Brittany Eley's 11 points, while freshman Rahneeka Saunders tied her career high with 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting to lead the Patriot offense. The 36 points was their season low after 41 vs. Virginia Tech and 44 to CAA foe Delaware. The Patriots lost leading scorer Brittany Poindexter with an injury early in the game and she never returned. The game was the 250th Mason women's basketball game to be played at the Patriot Center, which opened in 1985. Mason's record at the 10,000-seat arena now stands at 140-110 (.560). Sunday afternoon the Patriots traveled to Northeastern to try to double their CAA win total against a team they beat two weeks prior. After a strong first half in which Mason shot 43.3 percent (13-30) and led 33-28 at the break, the Huskies used a 14-0 run to begin the second half and collect the victory. The halftime lead was Mason's first on the road this season and first on its opponent's home court since Dec. 8, 2008 when the Patriots led Longwood, 18-17, at intermission in Farmville, Va. During Mason's CAA Championship first round game against UNC Wilmington last March in Harrisonburg, the Patriots led 27-24 at the half on a neutral court. Mason will host Hofstra on Thursday evening in a televised game that will be broadcast on tape delay by Verizon's FiOS1 channel before traveling to Delaware to face the Fightin' Blue Hens on Sunday.
GEORGIA STATE (12-8, 3-6 CAA)
The Panthers split on the week with a win at George Mason, 46-36, and a loss to VCU, 53-39. Georgia State head coach Lea Henry recorded her 300th career victory as the Panthers recorded the win over Mason. Henry, whose first head coaching win was as interim coach at the University of Florida on Feb. 14, 1990, later served as head coach at Mercer before coming to Georgia State in 1994. Henry, who was an Olympic gold-medal winning player and All-SEC guard at Tennessee, is in the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame and the Tennessee Vols Hall of Fame. This was her 242nd win at Georgia State. The Panthers were lead by Danyielle McKeller (14.0 ppg) and Angelique Burtts (12.0 ppg) in scoring on the week. Burtts also led the team in rebounds with 9.5 per game and Shay Rawls contributed 8.5 per game. In the win at Mason, Georgia State set their CAA lowest defensive yield with the 36 points allowed, the sixth lowest in school history. It is the 7th time this year the CAA's top defensive team has held an opponent to 50 points or fewer. The Panthers held Mason to 28.3% shooting and 0-for-12 outside the three-point arc. The Panthers got 21 points from Danyiell McKeller and a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds from junior forward Angelique Burtts. Point guard Crystal Johnson, the CAA's leader in assists, added nine more in this win. Against the Rams, VCU held Georgia State to 32.6% on 14-of-43 field goals, but Georgia State countered with 17 steals and 27 forced turnovers against VCU. McKeller, who averages 19.5 a game, shot just 3-of-13 for seven points. The leading scorer was Rawls with 10 points to go with her eight rebounds. Georgia State returns to Atlanta for a pair of CAA home games this week, starting with the special Thursday night Pink Zone celebration game against Northeastern at 6 p.m.
HOFSTRA (11-10, 4-5 CAA)
Hofstra earned a 69-62 overtime victory on the road at James Madison on Thursday evening, before falling to Old Dominion, 51-46. The win was Hofstra's first in Harrisonburg since a 48-37 triumph over the Dukes during the 2003-04 campaign. The Pride was led by freshman Shante Evans as she poured in a team highs of 14.0 points 8.0 rebounds per outing. Senior Sam Brigham (11.5 ppg) and sophomore Candace Bellocchio (11.0 ppg) also contributed double-digit points. Bellocchio also dished out a team-high 10 assists, while freshman Candace Bond grabbed six steals. Against the Dukes, Brigham tied a season-high with 19 points, including 10-for-10 from the free throw line, and had two late buckets in regulation to send the game to overtime. Brigham added a three-pointer in the contest and is now tied for seventh all-time in program history with 113 career three-pointers. She is tied with Colleen Montague (1991-96) and just one behind Diane Hobin (114 from 1991-95) for sixth place all-time. Bellocchio finished with 15 points and a game-high tying four assists, while Evans added 10 points and eight rebounds. At Old Dominion, Evans scored 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Pride. Senior center Jess Fuller had a pair of blocks in the game and now has 175 in her career, tying her for most in program history with Vanessa Gidden (2003-07). Bellocchio finished with seven points, six assists and five steals for Hofstra, while Fuller added four points and three rebounds while tying the blocks record with 7:17 left in the second half. Hofstra will travel to George Mason on Thursday for a game that will be televised by Verizon FiOS1 before hosting UNC Wilmington on Sunday.
#--/RV JAMES MADISON (16-4, 6-3 CAA)
The Dukes went 1-1 on the week. James Madison suffered a 69-62 loss in overtime to Hofstra, before rebounding with a 67-35 victory over Towson. JMU's loss to Hofstra marked the first time since 2003-04 that the Dukes had dropped back-to-back CAA home games or back-to-back home games. In 2003-04 JMU lost to Hofstra (Jan. 24, 48-37) and VCU (Jan. 29, 76-67). It was the first time since 2006-07 that JMU had lost consecutive CAA games (77-67 at Delaware on Feb. 22; 62-57 at ODU on Feb. 25). Junior guard Dawn Evans, the nation's leading scorer (26.4 ppg), was held to just 14.5 points per outing last week. She was joined by Lauren Jimenez (11.0 ppg) in double-digit scoring. Senior guard Sarah Williams led the team with 16 rebounds on the week, while Evans also dished out a team-best 12 assists. Against the Pride, Evans scored a team-high 15 points for the Dukes, while Jimenez and Williams had 14 and 11 points, respectively. Williams also had a game-high 12 rebounds and junior forward/center Jalissa Taylor pulled down 11. JMU's 56 points scored in regulation play in the 69-62 overtime loss to Hofstra was the Dukes' lowest point total of the season in 40 minutes. It was the lowest scoring game for the Dukes since a 61-43 loss at VCU last Feb. 15. On Sunday, sophomore forward Kanita Shepherd had 15 points and 10 rebounds, both career highs, to lead James Madison. Evans had 14 points for the Dukes to go along with a game-high nine assists. Freshman forward Nikki Newman also had a career-high 10 rebounds. In the win over Towson, the Tigers made 13 field goals, shot 19.7 percent (13-66) from the field and scored 35 points. Those are all season-lows for a JMU opponent in 2009-10. Evans did not make a three-pointer in the contest, breaking her streak of 26 consecutive games with a basket from behind the arc. With her 14 points, she extended her school-record streak of scoring in double-figures to 52 consecutive games. Evans handed out a game-high nine assists versus Towson and increased her career total to 362. She moved from eighth to seventh place on JMU's career list. Evans also moved from fifth to third place on the JMU career scoring list in the Hofstra game. She has 1,632 career points. She's 128 points behind Meredith Alexis (2003-07), who is in second place with 1,760 points. The Dukes will visit VCU on Thursday for a contest that will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet. James Madison will then return home to face Drexel for a second match-up with the Dragons on Sunday.
UNC WILMINGTON (7-13, 2-7 CAA)
UNC Wilmington went 1-1 on the week as they fell 75-63 at VCU on Thursday evening before earning a 69-59 win at William & Mary on Sunday. Junior Brittany Blackwell poured in a team-best 16.5 points per game, while adding 5.5 rebounds per outing and five steals. Canadace Walker grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds in the two outings. Against VCU, Blackwell scored a season-high 22 points for UNCW, who made 24-of-45 field goal attempts to shoot above 50 percent from the floor in a game for the third time this season. With her 22-point performance against the Rams, Blackwell became just the 11th player in program history to score 1,100 points during their UNCW career. Senior Greta Luksyte joined Blackwell in double figures with13 tallies, all of which came in the second half. In the win over the Tribe, junior forward Treasure Johnson scored 12 points to lead four Seahawks in double figures. Johnson was joined in double figures by Blackwell and junior forward Martha White, who chipped in 11 and 10 points, respectively, and freshman Mya Levels, who recorded a career-high 10 markers for the Seahawks, who shot 40.7 from the floor and was 20-of-24 from the charity stripe for the contest. Senior guards Whitney Simmons and Walker grabbed seven rebounds apiece to lead UNCW in that category. Blackwell enters play this week with 1,111 points and needs just 14 tallies to tie Sharon McDowell (1,125) for 10th on the program's all-time scoring list. UNCW returns to action this week with a pair of CAA contests as they host Old Dominion Thursday at Trask Coliseum before heading to Hofstra for a 1 p.m. matinee Sunday.
NORTHEASTERN (8-12, 3-6 CAA)
Northeastern dropped a heartbreaker to Drexel on Thursday evening, 91-84, in overtime before rebounding with a 70-57 win over George Mason on Sunday. Freshman Deanna Kerkhof led five Huskies in double-digit scoring with 20.0 points per game. Kim Carr (13.5 ppg), Brittany Wilson (12.5 ppg), Kashaia Cannon (12.0 ppg) and Kendra Walton (10.0 ppg) also averaged double-digit points in the two outings. Wilson grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds, while Walton added 11. In the overtime loss against Drexel, the Huskies were led by Wilson's double-double with 25 points and 11 rebounds, while Kerkhof scored a career-high 19 points. Wilson's 25 points came on 10-of-22 shooting and Kerkhof connected on 6-of-10 shots, including 3-of-6 from three. Walton added 14 points for Northeastern. Cannon scored nine points for the Huskies who ended the game shooting 47.7 percent. In the win over Mason, Kerkhof led three Huskies in double figures scoring a career-high 21 points. Kerkhof also had career-highs in rebounds with five and assists, finishing with four while shooting 6-of-9 from the floor, hitting three 3-pointers. Carr finished with 19 points on 6-of-7 shooting, adding eight rebounds in the process. Cannon rounded out the scoring for Northeastern with 15 points. The Huskies hit the road for a pair taking on Georgia State on Thursday. The team then heads to Towson to play Sunday at Noon on The Comcast Network and Comcast SportsNet.
OLD DOMINION (10-9, 8-1 CAA)
Old Dominion posted a 2-0 mark on the week with an 88-65 win at William & Mary on Thursday before earning a 51-46 win over Hofstra at The Ted. The Lady Monarchs were led by four players scoring double-digits last week, including leader Jasmine Parker's 15.5 points per game. She was joined by Jessica Canady (13.5 ppg), Tai Lewis (13.0 ppg) and Shadasia Green (10.5 ppg). Canady led the team grabbing 16 rebounds in the two outings. Against the Tribe, the Lady Monarchs won behind an incredible shooting effort in the first half (61.8% FG). Canady notched her third double-double of the season with 18 points and 10 rebounds, leading four Lady Monarchs in double figures. ODU got 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting from Green, 17 points from Parker paired with six assists, and 14 points from Lewis to go with her six offensive rebounds. Canady's night highlighted the game for ODU, tying a season-high 18 on 8-of-12 shooting. She also had 10 rebounds, an assist and three steals. Parker tied her career-high in helpers with six assists and added a pair of thefts in the game to go with her 17 points. Old Dominion finished the game shooting 55% from the floor on 33-of-60 shooting. It was the first time ODU had shot over fifty percent in a game since last January 8th at UNC Wilmington. Against Hofstra, Parker and Canady continued their stellar play in CAA action this season as the junior scored 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting, adding two assists and four steals. Canady had nine points and six rebounds, but also filled the stat sheet with two assists, a block and two steals, including the deciding theft with under three minutes to play. Lewis stepped up in a big way down the stretch, scoring 10 of the Lady Monarchs' last 16 points, finishing with 12 in the game. She also had seven rebounds and two steals for ODU. With the win over HU, the Old Dominion Lady Monarchs became the third program in NCAA history to win 900 games in the modern era. ODU improved to 900-309 since the inception of the program in the 1969-70 season, joining Tennessee and Louisiana Tech as the only NCAA programs with 900 victories. The win was not only the 900th in program history, but also the 98th within the confines of the Ted Constant Convocation Center, creeping to within two of the century mark in this, the eighth year as home. The Lady Monarchs will visit UNC Wilmington before returning home to entertain VCU.
TOWSON (9-11, 3-6 CAA)
Towson suffered back-to-back road losses as they fell 72-49 to Delaware and then dropped a 67-35 decision to James Madison. The Tigers were led by senior guard Shanae Baker-Brice (12.0 ppg) and Katrina Wheeler (11.0 ppg) in scoring. Wheeler also led the team in rebounding with 11 rebounds in her one outing last week and Baker-Brice grabbed 10 boards in two outings. Against the Blue Hens, Towson got a team-high 12 points from Kandace Davis in the loss. In addition to her 12 points, Davis contributed four rebounds, two assists and two steals for the Tigers. Haliena Snowden scored 10 points despite being hampered by foul trouble. Shanae Baker-Brice was the third Tiger in double figures as she scored 11 points with two steals. On Sunday at JMU, Wheeler finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds for her first double-double of the year and the 11th of her Tiger career. Wheeler would also add two blocks and two steals in the game. Baker-Brice finished with 13 points and seven rebounds. Towson returns home to begin a three-game homestand when it hosts Drexel on Thursday and Northeastern on Sunday. The contest against the Huskies will broadcast on Comcast SportsNet and The Comcast Network at Noon.
VCU (15-6, 8-1 CAA)
VCU improved to 15-6 overall and 8-1 in CAA action with a pair of home victories last week. The Rams earned a 75-63 home victory over UNC Wilmington and a 53-39 win over Georgia State. The Rams have now won 10 of their last 11 contests. Senior guard Kita Waller led the Rams pouring in 31.5 points per outing to go along with five steals and five assists. Sophomore forward Courtney Hurt and senior forward D'Andra Moss each averaged 11.5 points per outing, while Hurt led the team in rebounds (8.5 rpg). Against UNCW, Waller tied a school record with a career-high 35 points to lead the Rams. Moss added 17 points and nine rebounds for VCU, while Hurt registered her fifth double-double of the year with 12 points and 10 boards. On Sunday in the win over GSU, Waller scored 28 points to lead VCU to the victory. Waller topped her previous career high of 23 points in each of the Rams' last two games. Hurt also added 11 points and a team-high seven rebounds for VCU. The Rams committed a season-high 27 turnovers but still managed to force 28 Georgia State miscues. Following a pair of victories at home last week, VCU has won 26 of its last 27 games at the Verizon Wireless Arena. The Rams' school record 19-game home winning streak was snapped with a loss against Richmond on Dec. 6, 2009. A pair of VCU seniors is inching closer to the 1,000 career point plateau. D'Andra Moss, who has 967 career points, is 33 points shy of reaching the milestone, while Kita Waller is 35 points away with 965 career points. Before suffering a season-ending injury on Jan. 10, senior La'Tavia Rorie was just 16 points shy of joining the 1,000-point club. The Rams will host James Madison on Thursday and the contest will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic and Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia. VCU will wrap up the week when they visit Old Dominion on Sunday afternoon.
WILLIAM & MARY (10-10, 3-6 CAA)
William and Mary suffered a pair of home losses last week after felling to visiting Old Dominion, 88-65, and dropped a 69-59 decision to UNC Wilmington. Senior forward Tiffany Benson led the Tribe on the week averaging 16.5 points and 12.0 rebounds per outing, while Janine Aldridge (13.5 ppg) and Taysha Pye (13.0 ppg) also posted double-digit points. Against ODU, Benson picked up a pair of blocks over the course of a single possession midway through the second half to tie the CAA career record of 236 set by Trish Halpin of George Mason from 1997-2000. The senior also led all scorers with 21 points, and just missed a double-double with nine rebounds while shooting 9-11 from the floor (81.8%). It was the second-best shooting performance in school history (Angie Evans, 12-for-14=85.6%, 2/13/88), and the fifth 20-point effort of Benson's career. Also playing well on the night was Aldridge, who broke out of her recent scoring slump with 17 points while making seven field goals, and also contributing five steals and six assists. Freshman Emily Correal was a perfect 2-for- 2 from behind the arc while scoring 10 points, to go with five rebounds and a pair of steals. Against UNCW, Benson (Virginia Beach, Va.) became the CAA's all-time leading shot-blocker early in the first half, and added a double-double Sunday afternoon. The block, the 237th of her career, moved her past Mason's Trish Halpin, who had 236 while playing from 1997-00. Benson added another block in the second half, and had a double-double with 12 points and 15 rebounds, more than double the number of boards that any other player had. Pye led all scorers with 17 points on 6-for-10 shooting, while playing just 16 minutes. Freshman Jaclyn McKenna produced her best effort of the conference season with eight points, seven rebounds, three steals, and a pair of blocks. Aldridge also had three steals, to go with two assists and 10 points. William and Mary hits the road next week, traveling to face Delaware and Georgia State.