CAA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL WEEKLY REPORT - FEB. 15
*Complete report in PDF format located at the bottom of this article*
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
Gabriela Marginean • Drexel
Cluj-Napoca, Romania/Mt. de Chantal Academy, Sr., Forward
Marginean guided the Dragons to a 2-0 week and helped Drexel take sole possession of second place in the conference standings. The senior forward posted back-to-back double-doubles in the wins. She scored 25 points and pulled down a season-high 12 rebounds. Marginean followed that up with another dual double-figure performance with 29 points to go along with 11 rebounds and a career-high tying two blocked shots against VCU. On the week, the veteran shot 58.3 percent from the field, 50 percent from deep and 83.3 percent from the free-throw line. She added three assists and two blocked shots on the week. Marginean's performances, extending her streak of three double-doubles, moved her into second place on Philadelphia's all-time WBB Division I scoring list and needs just seven points to break the city record (2,415).
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Elena Delle Donne • Delaware
Wilmington, Del./Ursuline Academy, Fr., Forward/Guard
Delle Donne helped the Blue Hens to a 1-1 record on the week. She averaged 28.0 points and 8.5 rebounds per outing for Delaware. The rookie collected her 10th double-double against Old Dominion with 21 points and 10 rebounds to go along with five blocks. Delle Donne then scored 35 points, pulled down seven rebounds and added a game-high six blocks in the win over Georgia State. The freshman forward/guard shot 53.7 percent from the floor, 40 percent from long range and 85.7 percent from the charity stripe. She finished the week with 11 blocked shots, two steals and one assist. Delle Donne (25.8 ppg) became the nation's leading scorer with her two performances last week and steadied at fourth in the nation in free throw percentage (91.2).
CAA QUICK HITS:
• Old Dominion took sole possession of first place in the league standings, while Drexel defeated VCU for the second time this season to take second with five games remaining in the regular season schedule.
•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. 14) showed the CAA with a league RPI of eight. James Madison is ranked 53rd in the team RPI ranking. Old Dominion (61) and Drexel (62) are the only other CAA schools in the Top 100.
• CAA RECORD BOOK NOTES: On Thursday, W&M's Tiffany Benson entered the CAA Top 10 in career rebounds (991). On Friday, Towson's Shanae Baker-Brice entered the CAA Top 10 in career free throws made (420) and career steals (278). On Sunday, Baker-Brice entered the Top 10 in CAA career points scored with 1,721.
• CAA RECORD BOOK CHASE: Inching near the CAA Top 10 career points scored is JMU's Dawn Evans (1,688). She need to score 1,721 to break into the CAA Top 10, which is currently held by Towson's Shanae Baker-Brice.
• 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.
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 Feb. 14). James Madison is ranked 53rd in the team RPI ranking. Old Dominion (61) and Drexel (62) are the only other CAA schools in the Top 100. VCU (104) and Delaware (106) are edging the Top 100.
TO THE WIRE: Thus far this season, 17 of the conference games (22 percent) have been decided by four points or less. Delaware leads the CAA with seven games that have been decided by the narrow decision and have produced a 2-5 record in those games. Drexel follows facing five close decisions and earned a 5-0 record in those match-ups, while Old Dominion had gone 4-0 in such outings. Georgia State (1-2), James Madison (1-2) and William & Mary (0-3) have played in three close outings in CAA action, while VCU (1-1), UNC Wilmington (1-1) and Towson (1-1) have split in CAA contests that have been decided by four points or less. Hofstra (0-1), George Mason (0-1) and Northeastern (1-0) round out the teams who have played in tight games. The competition in conference play has proven to grow as all 12 teams have participated in at least one CAA game that has gone to the wire.
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCES: The CAA had some outstanding performances during the week of Feb. 9-14. Drexel's Gabriela Marginean (25.0 ppg/11.5 rpg) and Delaware's Elena Delle Donne (28.0 ppg/8.5 rpg), the weekly award winners, where joined by a number of other student-athletes with strong performances. Towson's Shanae Baker-Brice wrapped up the week pouring in 24.0 points per game to go along with 6.0 rpg as the Tigers went 2-0. UNC Wilmington's Brittany Blackwell averaged 15.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg and 3.6 apg to lead the Seahawks to a 2-0 week. Old Dominion's Jessica Canady led the Lady Monarchs to a 2-0 week with 12.5 ppg and 7.5 rpg. William & Mary's Taysha Pye scored 29.0 ppg and added 6.0 rpg as the Tribe went 1-1, while VCU's D'Andra Moss averaged 21.5 ppg and 5.5 rpg as the Rams suffered an 0-2 week. Northeastern's Kim Carr stepped it up for the Huskies with 18.0 ppg and 7.0 rpg helping NU go 1-1.
TOP STATS IN NCAA: Through games of Feb. 14, Delaware's Elena Delle Donne became the nation's leading scorer pouring in 25.8 points per outing after scoring 28.0 points per game last week. JMU's Dawn Evans continued to be ranked fifth in the nation scoring 24.8 points per outing, while Drexel's Gabriela Marginean is seventh while recording 23.1 points per contest. 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 leads the nation with 4.0 trey's per outing. Delle Donne (4th, 91.2 FT%) and Marginean (9th, 89.2 FT%) are ranked in free-throw shooing percentage. Hofstra's Jess Fuller returned to the Top 10 in blocked shots per game with 3.0, good for ninth.
TRIPLE DOUBLES: Georgia State has had two players record triple-doubles this season. 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, while sophomore guard Crystal Johnson recorded a triple-double (12 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds) in State's win over William & Mary on Feb. 7. They join 21 others who have accomplished a triple-double this season (as of Feb. 12). St. Mary's Louella Tomlinson and Baylor's Brittney Griner have each recorded three this season.
SOME OF THE NATION'S RAREST STATS: Northeastern's Brittany Wilson posted a double-double against Harvard on Dec. 9, 2009, with 34 points and 21 rebounds in the double-overtime loss. She is the only CAA player to grab over 20 rebounds in one outing, but the sophomore guard is also one of three nationally that have posted a 30-point, 20-rebound outing this season. Nnemkadi Ogqumike (Stanford) scored 30 points and grabbed 23 rebounds against Oregon on Jan. 23, 2010 and Shanavia Dowdell (LA Tech) recorded a double-double with 31 points and 20 rebounds against Nevada on Jan. 26, 2010.
SCHEDULE STRENGTH: The Lady Monarchs of Old Dominion have played the 38th toughest strength of schedule in the nation according to Collegiate Basketball News (games through Feb. 14). ODU has faced top contenders in the RPI ratings such as Stanford, N.C. State, Maryland, Louisville and Florida. Drexel has played the 68th toughest schedule, while Northeastern (73), Towson (79) and UNC Wilmington (95) follow. All 12 schools fall within the Top 192 strength of schedule out of 345 teams.
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 had recently held onto a spot in the Top 25 for three straight weeks and received votes for weeks after. The Dukes recently received a vote in the Feb. 9th ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. 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 (25.8 ppg). Delle Donne steadied in front of Hofstra's freshman forward Shante Evans in rebounding pulling down 9.0 boards per outing, while Evans dipped to 8.9 rpg. Delle Donne has drained 48 treys thus far this season, while Northeastern's Rachael Pecota had added 24 and UD's Lauren Carra has drained 22. Delle Donne is shooting 124-of-136 (.912) from the line for second best percentage from the line in the nation. George Mason's Rahneeka Saunders has recorded 46 steals, while Hofstra's Candace Bond (42), Delle Donne (34) and Mason's Amber Easter (33) follow closely behind in thefts. Delle Donne is also the season leader among the frosh in blocks with 45, while George Mason's Janaa Pickard follows with 30 blocks. Saunders returned a top the freshman leaders in assists with 64 on the season, while JMU's Tarik Hislop follows closely with 62.
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 (16-8, 8-5 CAA)
Delaware split on the week with a two point loss at Old Dominion, 54-52, before earning a three-point win over Georgia State, 68-65, at home. The Blue Hens played in front of a crowd of 3,606 against GSU, which ranks second all-time for a single women's basketball game at the Bob Carpenter Center. The game against the Panthers doubled as UD's Pink Zone game and 1,000th program contest. Freshman standout Elena Delle Donne led the Blue Hen's averaging 28.0 points and 8.5 rebounds per game last week. Junior guard Tesia Harris added 9.5 points per outing. With the loss to Old Dominion, Delaware has dropped five CAA games by a total of nine points in CAA action. Delle Donne led all scorers with 21, while Harris added 10 for the Hens, and sophomore guard Jocelyn Bailey eight. Delle Donne also pulled down 10 boards to record her 10th double-double of the season and added five blocks to boot. Sophomore guard Kayla Miller led the Hens with five assists and Bailey tallied three steals. Against the Panthers, Delle Donne scored 35 points to lead the Blue Hens to the victory. Delle Donne bumped her season scoring average to 25.8 points per game to become the nation's leading scorer, surpassing Oklahoma State's Andrea Riley (25.6 ppg). The rookie connected on 15 of 22 shots from the field, while also adding seven rebounds and six blocked shots. Danielle Parker came off the bench to add 10 points for Delaware and Harris added nine points and eight rebounds and hit a free throw with less than two seconds left to clinch the win. Delaware shot a torrid 61.9 percent from the field in the second half as the Hens converted 13 of 21 attempts, including four of six three-pointers. The Hens finished the game shooting 53.8 percent (28-of-52) from the field to reach the .500 mark for the third time this season. On the season, the Hens have had 10 games decided by four points or less this season and are 5-5 in those contests. The Blue Hens will open a two-game road swing this week when they visit James Madison and William & Mary.
DREXEL (16-8, 10-3 CAA)
The Dragons snapped a two-game losing skid with back-to-back victories last week. Drexel earned a 58-50 home win over Northeastern on Thursday before recording a 70-62 road victory over VCU on Sunday. With the win over NU, the Dragons extended their home court winning streak in CAA games to 20 straight. Senior forward Gabriela Marginean posted back-to-back double-doubles this week and finished averaging 27.0 points and 11.5 rebounds in the two outings. Sophomore guard Marisa Crane poured in 10.5 points and 5.0 rebounds for the Dragons, while junior Jasmina Rosseel added 9.5 point per contest. In the win over the Huskies, Marginean led Drexel with 25 points and 12 rebounds. Crane chipped in 10 points and three assists for the Dragons. On Sunday, Drexel used a furious second-half rally to recover from a 13-point deficit against VCU. Marginean lead all scorers with 29 points in the win. Crane matched her career high with 11 points and also grabbed seven boards. Hollie Mershon played a pivotal role in the Dragons comeback, playing a career-high 25 minutes in place of Kamile Nacickaite who spent all but seven minutes on the bench in foul trouble.Marginean's 29 points moved her into second place on Philadelphia's all-time scoring list, just ahead of Villanova's Shelly Pennyfather. Marginean has scored 2,409 points in her career and needs just seven more to become the all-time scoring leader among Div. I women's players in the city. With 11 rebounds to go along with her 29 points, Marginean tabbed her third consecutive double-double, a feat which she accomplished earlier this year as well. Drexel's victory over VCU on Sunday gave the Dragons a two-game season sweep of the Rams for the first time since the 2004-05 season. The Dragons will host a pair of home contests this week when they welcome Towson and Hofstra. The outing against the Tigers will also be Drexel's Pink Zone game.
GEORGE MASON (8-16, 1-12 CAA)
George Mason went 0-2 with losses to UNC Wilmington, 51-47, and Old Dominion, 66-52, last week. The Patriots were led by junior Brittany Poindexter (14.5 ppg) and freshman Amber Easter (13.0 ppg) who posted double-digit points on the week. Angelee LaTouche grabbed a team-best 13 rebounds on the week. On Thursday, Mason fell to UNC Wilmington on the road. Poindexter led all scorers with 15 points, while Easter chipped in 14, all of which coming in the second half, to lead the Patriots. A buzzer-beating 3-pointer inside the final 20 seconds by UNC Wilmington allowed the Seahawks to escape with the victory. The Patriots then returned home and fell to ODU on Sunday. Poindexter led a trio of Mason players in double-figure scoring with 14 points. Along with Poindexter's 14 points, Easter contributed 12 points and junior Ashleigh Braxton added 11. Poindexter and Braxton each pulled down a team-best six rebounds. The Patriots would cut the deficit into single digits, 51-42, on a Rashauna Hobbs 3-pointer with 7:25 to go, and Mason got as close as eight points but ODU was able to hold off the Patriots and pick up the win. The Patriots will look to snap their eight-game losing streak when they visit Hofstra on Thursday in a 2 p.m. contest. Mason will then return home to host VCU on Sunday afternoon. Both of Mason's outings will be televised this week. The contest against Hofstra is schedule to air on Verizon FiOS1 (NY), while the match-up against VCU will be carried on Verizon FiOS (VA).
GEORGIA STATE (13-11, 4-9 CAA)
The Panthers went 0-2 on the road last week by a total of eight points. Georgia State fell to Towson, 55-50, before suffering a 68-65 loss to Delaware. The Panthers were led by three players averaging double-digit points, led by Danyiell McKeller's 14.0 points per outing. Traci Haltiwanger added 13.0 points per outing and Shay Rawls contributed 11.0 per game. McKeller and Rawls teamed up to split 36 rebounds on the week to lead the Panthers on the boards. Crystal Johnson dished out a team-best 10 assists in the two outings. In a game tied five times with six lead changes, the difference ended up being Towson's 22-of-31 from the free throw line to Georgia State's 10-of-18 on Friday afternoon. Georgia State got 11 points off the bench from Haltiwanger and 11 points from Johnson. Georgia State's ace, McKeller, was held to just 1-of-13 with five points after entering the game in the top 20 in the country at 19.2 per game. McKeller did lead the Panthers with 10 rebounds and five steals. McKeller became only the sixth Panther player to ever start 100 games at GSU. Against Delaware, McKeller scored 23 points to go with eight rebounds, while Rawls had a personal-best 17 points and 10 rebounds and Haltiwanger scored 15 points with key treys down the stretch. Angelique Burtts added 10 more points to give the Panthers four players in double digits. Johnson had a solid game with seven assists, six rebounds and a pair of steals. The Panthers have played six CAA games within five points in the final minute, winning just one of them. Georgia State will host Old Dominion on Thursday before traveling to Northeastern for a Sunday match-up.
HOFSTRA (14-11, 7-6 CAA)
Hofstra went 1-1 on the week as the opened with a 74-66 victory at home over VCU. The Pride snapped a three-game winning streak with a 56-52 loss at Northeastern on Sunday. Hofstra saw four players average double-figure points on the week led by sophomore guard Nicole Capurso's 16.0 points per game. She was joined by senior Jess Fuller (12.0 ppg), senior guard Sam Brigham (11.0 ppg) and freshman forward Shante Evans (10.0 ppg). Evans grabbed a team-best 8.5 rebounds per outing, while Candice Bellocchio dished out a team-high 10 assists and snagged a team-high five steals. In the win over VCU, Capurso scored a game-high 19 points and Evans picked up her 10th double-double to assist the Pride to the win. Four Pride players scored in double figures. Evans totaled 11 points and 10 rebounds and Brigham added 17 points in going 12-for-12 from the free throw line, while Fuller scored 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting-all in the second half-to lift the Pride to its third straight win. In the loss to Northeastern, Fuller scored a team-best 14 points, while Capurso added 13. Evans finished the game with nine points for the Pride, while leading the team with seven rebounds. With her three treys in the contest, Capurso now has 90 and moved into ninth place all-time in career three-pointers. She passed Lizanne Murphy, who had 88 three-pointers from 2003-07. Brigham played in her 113th career game on Sunday, which puts her in a tie for fifth all-time in program history with Jenii Reynolds (1988-92) and Tonya Yandrisevitz (1989-93). Hofstra will return home to host George Mason on Thursday for a 2 p.m. match-up on Verizon FiOS1 (NY) before visiting Drexel on Sunday.
JAMES MADISON (18-6, 8-5 CAA)
The Dukes dropped back-to-back road outings last week. James Madison fell at William & Mary, 64-56, on Thursday before suffering a three-point loss at UNC Wilmington, 70-67, on Sunday. Four Dukes averaged double-digit points on the week, led by junior guard Dawn Evans' 20.0 points per outing as she only played in one game. Sophomore forward Kanita Shepherd added 11.0 points per outing, while freshman guard Tarik Hislop and junior center Lauren Jimenez each put in 10.0 per contest. Jimenez and senior guard Sarah Williams each grabbed a team-high 7.0 rebounds per game. On Thursday, JMU saw a three-game winning streak come to an end with a loss to W&M. JMU was led in scoring by Hislop with 13 points. Jimenez scored 10 and had seven rebounds, and Williams had nine points and a game-high 10 rebounds. JMU junior guard Dawn Evans, the Dukes' leading scorer (25.0 avg.) did not play due to medical reasons. Evans returned for the Sunday match-up against UNC Wilmington and share team-high honors with Shepherd as they each poured in 20 points. Shepherd's 20-point performance off the bench was a career-high. She was 5-for-8 from the field and 10-for-11 at the foul line and Shepherd also tied a career high with four blocked shots. Jimenez was absent from the UNCW contest due to an injury during the W&M outing. JMU has dropped back-to-back games for the first time this season and for the first time since mid-February of 2009. It's only the third time in the past five seasons that JMU has lost consecutive CAA games.
UNC WILMINGTON (9-15, 4-9 CAA)
UNC Wilmington posted back-to-back wins last week with a 51-47 victory over George Mason and then held off a late James Madison rally for a 70-67 victory. Junior forward Brittany Blackwell led the Seahawks on the week with 15.0 points per game, while junior center Martha White added 10.5 per outing. Blackwell also led the team on the boards pulling down 18 rebounds on the week. In the victory over Mason, Blackwell scored 11 points and White added nine as UNC Wilmington held off the Patriots. White also added a game-high nine rebounds for the Seahawks. The Seahawks improved to 49-2 during the Ann Hancock era and 3-0 this season when holding an opponent to 50 points or less. Against the Dukes, UNCW built a 16-point lead in the second half and used clutch free throw shooting down the stretch to hold off JMU. Blackwell scored 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for her eighth double-double of the season and the 24th of her career. Blackwell also matched her career high with six assists. White added 12 points and six boards, while sophomore Kristen Hanzer chipped in 10 points for the Seahawks. UNCW improved to 46-6 during the Hancock era and 5-1 this season when holding an opponent to 70 points or more in a game. UNCW returns to action this week as they travel to Northeastern for a Thursday match-up before returning home for a Sunday tilt against the Towson Tigers.
NORTHEASTERN (10-14, 5-8 CAA)
Northeastern went 1-1 on the week. The Huskies had their two-game winning streak snapped by Drexel in a 58-50 loss in Philadelphia on Thursday, but earned a 56-52 victory at home over Hofstra on Sunday. Senior forward Kim Carr exploded for 18.0 points per game last week to lead the Huskies. The senior also grabbed a team-high 14 rebounds in the two outings. Against the Dragons, Northeastern rallied to within four points after being down 13 points at half time but it was not enough. Northeastern was led by Carr with 15 points. Sophomore Kashaia Cannon had eight points for the Huskies, who once again shot over 40 percent in the second half. On Sunday, Jamie Conroy's lay up with 13 seconds remaining broke a 52-52 tie to push Northeastern to the win. The victory over the Pride snapped a two-game losing skid. Carr led Northeastern with her fourth double-double of the year, pouring in 21 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Kendra Walton was the only other Northeastern player in double figures, finishing with 13 points, hitting both of her three point attempts. Cannon added eight, while Conroy had six points and four assists. The Huskies had 11 steals in the game and out-rebounded the Pride, the CAA's best rebounding team, 33-27. Northeastern will host a pair of home contests this week as they welcome UNC Wilmington and Georgia State.
OLD DOMINION (13-10, 11-2 CAA)
Old Dominion extended its winning streak to two with a pair of conference victories last week and held onto first place in the league standings. The Lady Monarchs survived a late Delaware charge in a 54-52 win at home Thursday evening and then recorded a 66-52 victory at George Mason on Sunday. The two-point win against the Hens was the sixth straight win for the Lady Monarchs in games decided by single digits and ODU is now 8-2 in close games this season. ODU was led by senior forward Jessica Canady's 12.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per outing. Sophomore Tia Lewis added 10.0 points per game and joined Shadasia Green with grabbing 6.5 rebounds per outing. Junior guard Jasmine Parker finished the week with team highs of 13 assists and eight steals. In the match-up against the Blue Hens, Lewis finished with a team-high 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting, while also grabbing seven rebounds in the contest. Green had 11 points and finished just one rebound shy of a double-double, while Parker set new career-high's in assists (9) and steals (6). The win gives ODU a regular season sweep of the series as the Lady Monarchs had defeated Delaware at home by one-point in the CAA opener earlier this season. Old Dominion earned their 99th win in the Ted Constant Convocation Center, bouncing back from a loss at home to VCU on Sunday. Against George Mason, Canady posted her 18th career double-double and led ODU pouring in a season-high tying 18 points, while also grabbing 11 rebounds. Three other Lady Monarchs had eight points or more as Old Dominion held off a second-half charge from the last place Patriots. Parker had 10 to join Canady in double-figures while starters Green and Lewis each added eight. Canady's 18 points came on 5-of-9 shooting and included a 7-for-9 performance from the free-throw line. ODU finished at nearly 85% from the charity stripe, knocking down 22-of-26 as a team. ODU travels to Georgia State this week, looking to sweep the season series after beating the Panthers in Norfolk by four earlier this season. The Lady Monarchs will then host James Madison in a televised match-up as part of the WBCA Pink Zone event. The outing will be carried on Comcast SportNet, The Comcast Network and Comcast Southeast.
TOWSON (13-11, 7-6 CAA)
Towson went 2-0 on the week and extended its winning streak to four straight with victories over Georgia State, 55-50, and William & Mary, 63-60. The Tigers won both of their games with a combined eight points. Senior guard Shanae Baker-Brice led the Tigers with 24.0 points per outing and a team-high six steals. Senior forward Katrina Wheeler averaged a double-double for Towson with 12.5 points and 13.5 rebounds per game. In Towson's win against Georgia State, Baker-Brice and Wheeler combined for 40 points to help lift the Tigers. Baker-Brice finished with 25 points for her second straight game with 20+ points. She also added seven rebounds, two assists and two steals. Her two steals moved her into a tie with former teammate Alis Freeman for second on the career steals at Towson (278). Wheeler posted her second double-double of the year with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Omara Parker tied Baker-Brice for second on the team in rebounding as she grabbed seven. Against the Tribe, Baker-Brice sunk a pair of free throws with six seconds left to hold off a late rally by William & Mary. The Tigers won its fourth straight behind 23 points from Baker-Brice. The senior guard, who now has 1,721 career points, moved into the CAA Top 10 for career scoring. Baker-Brice had her third straight 20+ point performance and 12th time this season. She also had five rebounds, which gives her 500+ boards for her career. She is the seventh player in school history to record 1,000+ points and 500+ rebounds in her career and the first guard to accomplish the feat. Baker-Brice would also add three assists and four steals. Wheeler posted her second straight double-double and third of the season after contributing 10 points and 14 rebounds. It was the fifth double digit rebounding game for the senior forward. Haliena Snowden was the third Tiger in double figures as she finished with 14 points and eight boards. The Tigers will visit Drexel on Thursday before traveling to North Carolina to play UNC Wilmington.
VCU (16-9, 9-4 CAA)
VCU, which has lost three of its last four in CAA play, suffered back-to-back setbacks last week as they fell to Hofstra, 74-66, before dropping a home contest to Drexel, 70-62. It was the first time VCU has lost back-to-back games since dropping three straight from Dec. 19-21. The Rams were led by three players scoring double-digit points on the week, led by senior forward D'Andra Moss' 21.5 points per outing. She was accompanied by sophomore forward Courtney Hurt (15.5 ppg) and senior guard Kita Waller (14.0 ppg). Hurt led the team on the boards grabbing 10.5 rebounds per contest, while Waller added 8.5 rpg and 10 assists for the week. In the loss to the Pride, the Rams had four players score in double figures but couldn't overcome an early first half deficit as VCU lost to Hofstra. Moss registered a team-high 18 points for VCU, while Waller contributed 16 points and a game-high five steals. Junior guard Ebony Patterson and Hurt added 10 points apiece for the Rams. On Sunday against Drexel, Moss scored 25 points on 9-of-19 shooting from the field, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range. Meanwhile, Hurt registered her seventh double-double of the season with 21 points and 12 rebounds and Waller contributed 12 points and 12 boards for the VCU. The Rams will welcome William & Mary on Thursday before traveling to play George Mason on Sunday. The outing against the Patriots will be televised on Verizon FiOS1 (VA).
WILLIAM & MARY (11-12, 4-8 CAA)
William and Mary split on the week with a 64-56 home victory over James Madison and a 63-60 loss against Towson. The win over Madison snapped a four-game losing streak. Sophomore guard Taysha Pye led the Tribe on the week with 29.0 points per outing. Senior forward Tiffany Benson contributed a double-double with 11.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per outing for the Tribe. Against JMU, Pye exploded with a career-high 33 points to go along with eight rebounds, three assists and five steals, while never leaving the game. The total is tied for the fourth-most in school history, and is the most scored in a game since Ashleigh Akens '94 also had 33 against San Francisco on Dec. 5, 1992. Pye also tied the school-record 26 shot attempts she set one week ago, and also had an incredible night at the line, making 14 of her 17 attempts. The 14 made freebies is tied for the third-most in a single game in school history, and the 17 attempts is tied for fifth-most. Benson also reached double-digits for the Tribe, scoring 11 with nine rebounds, a block, and a steal. Captain Lindsey Moller made her first start of the year and pulled down four rebounds while burying both of her shot attempts. Chanel Murchison also showed in the starting line-up, and tied a career-best with six rebounds to go with four points and two assists. Against Towson, Benson registered a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds, and became the ninth women's basketball player in CAA history to surpass 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in her career. Of the 14 total players now (nine women, five men) in CAA history with 1,000-1,000, William and Mary is the only school with three or more representatives (along with Benson, Kyra Kaylor '07 and Tiffany Stone '91). Pye posted her second-straight 25+ points performance. She had 25 against the Tigers to go with three assists and four rebounds. Moller pulled down a career-high five rebounds to go with two steals. In the months of February and March, Pye is averaging 18.8 points per game for her career. The Tribe will travel to VCU for a Thursday evening outing, before returning home to host Delaware on Sunday.