CAA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL WEEKLY
REPORT - FEB. 22
**Complete report in PDF format located below the article**
PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Dawn Evans • James Madison
Clarksville, Tenn./Northeast, Jr., Guard
Evans led the Dukes to a 2-0 mark last week, after wins against Delaware in overtime and Old Dominion. She averaged 33.0 points per game in the two games. The junior guard tied her career best with 38 points in the overtime thriller against the Blue Hens. It marked the fourth time in her career she tallied that point total. She helped James Madison complete the week's sweep with 28 points versus the Lady Monarchs. Evans moved into ninth place all-time on the CAA's scoring list, with 1,754 points. She also increased the JMU single-season record to 273 made three pointers and 774 attempts. Evans finished the week shooting 92.0 percent (23-of-25) from the charity stripe, dishing out 12 assists and snatching three steals.
PLAYER & ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Elena Delle Donne • Delaware
Wilmington, Del./Ursuline Academy, Fr., Forward/Guard
Delle Donne guided the Blue Hens to a split on their two-game road trip last week. She averaged a double-double with 39.0 points and 10.0 rebounds in the two contests. She also broke ten records, while tying one other. Nine of the records were broken Thursday night, when Delle Donne poured in a CAA-record 54 points in an overtime loss to James Madison. She also became the Delaware single-season record holder for points (646), along with the NCAA record for most points in a season by a freshman. The nation's leading scorer averages 26.9 points per game this season. Delle Donne finished the week shooting 47 percent (24-for-51) from the floor and 91.7 percent (22-of-24) from the free throw line. She also added three assists, five blocked shots and two steals.
CAA QUICK HITS:
• Old Dominion, which secured a bye in the first round of the upcoming CAA Championship, still holds the top spot in the standings, while VCU and Drexel are tied for second with the Dragons winning the tie-breaker. The Dukes of James Madison follow with a 10-5 conference mark.
• 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. 22) showed the CAA with a league RPI of eight. James Madison is ranked 43rd in the team RPI ranking. Old Dominion (57) and Drexel (62) are the only other CAA schools in the Top 100.
• CAA RECORD BOOK NOTES: Delaware's Elena Delle Donne scored 54 points on 18-of-28 shooting. The rookie broke nine records (NCAA/CAA/UD) and tied one CAA record. James Madison's Dawn Evans cracked the CAA Top 10 in career points pushing Towson's Shanae Baker-Brice out of the Top 10. Evans has currently recorded 1,754 career points.
• CAA RECORD BOOK CHASE: Inching near the CAA Top 10 career points scored is Towson's Shanae Baker-Brice. She was in the Top 10 for about a week before JMU's Dawn Evans bumped her. Baker-Brice has currently scored 1,746 career points.
• 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. 21). James Madison is ranked 43rd in the team RPI ranking. Old Dominion (57) and Drexel (62) are the only other CAA schools in the Top 100. Delaware (105) and VCU (108) are edging the Top 100.
TO THE WIRE: Thus far this season, 19 of the conference games 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 six close decisions and have earned a 5-1 record in those match-ups, while Old Dominion follows going 5-0 in those scenarios. Georgia State (1-3) has played in four close games, while James Madison (1-2) and William & Mary (0-3) have played in three close outings in CAA action. Hofstra (1-1), UNC Wilmington (1-1), Towson (1-1) and VCU (1-1) have split in CAA contests that have been decided by four points or less. 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.
DELLE DONNE POURS IN 54, BREAKS MULTIPLE RECORDS: Delaware freshman Elena Delle Donne, a Naismith nominee and All-America candidate, trumped the school's previous scoring record of 39 as she poured in 54 points in the overtime loss to JMU on Feb. 18. Earlier this year against Buffalo, she tied the single-game mark originally set by Lori Howard against Temple on January 27, 1981. In fact, not only did Delle Donne destroy the women's record at Delaware, but also surpassed the UD men's basketball record of 52 set by Liston Houston on Feb. 19, 1910 against Lebanon Valley, exactly one day shy of a century ago. Delle Donne's 54 points also eclipsed the conference scoring record of 51 set by George Mason's Keri Chaconas against East Carolina on February 17, 1995 (also one day difference), while her 18 field goals ties the CAA mark shared by former UNC Wilmington stars Tressa Reese and Wanda Carroll. Her 54 points were the most by any NCAA Division I men's or women's player this season and seventh highest total in NCAA women's basketball history since 1982. The 54 points were the most since Jackie Stiles of Missouri State dropped in 56 points vs. Evansville on March 10, 2000, and doubles as the NCAA Division I freshman record for points in a contest, again, since the compilation of stats from 1982. The performance helped the Wilmington, Del. native to break the arena scoring record, topping the previous mark of 45 set by Basketball Hall of Famer and former Navy star David Robinson against JMU on January 10, 1987. In addition, her seven three-pointers (7-for-8) set a new single-game school record that was previously held by three players with six, and helped her to 55 on the season to break the previous season record of 49. Megan Dellegrotti had held the record since the 2000-01 season. Delle Donne, who broke nine records and tied one, also slashed the Delaware record for most field goals in a contest with 18 (18-for-28). Howard previously held the record with 16 set during her 39-point performance against Temple. Her performance helped Delle Donne to her sixth 30-point game, of her 23-game career at Delaware, to become the only Blue Hen to have more than five in a career. Howard, who also previously had the scoring and field goals per game records, tallied five during her career, 1977-81. With her 54-point outing, Delle Donne improved to 622 points on the season, within 10 of the single-season UD scoring record set by Tyresa Smith with 632 in 2006-07 and continues to climb the CAA scoring charts in a season (currently 8th).
TOP STATS IN NCAA: Through games of Feb. 21, Delaware's Elena Delle Donne continued to be the nation's leading scorer pouring in 26.9 points per outing. If Delle Donne holds onto the top spot in scoring average in the NCAA DI, she would become the first freshman to finish as the leading scorer in NCAA DI WBB history. JMU's Dawn Evans steadied at fourth in the nation scoring 25.5 points per outing, while Drexel's Gabriela Marginean is seventh while recording 23.3 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, 91.3 FT%) and Marginean (7th, 89.9 FT%) are ranked in free-throw shooing percentage.
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 22 others who have accomplished at least one triple-double this season (as of Feb. 22). 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.
COURT RECORDS: Hofstra recently snapped Drexel's CAA home winning streak with the one-point overtime win on Sunday, Feb. 21. The loss was Drexel's first home CAA loss since Jan. 27, 2008, a span of 21 straight conference games. Old Dominion fell to James Madison, 65-59, at home on Sunday drop its fifth CAA contest in Norfolk (174-5) since opening league play in 2002.
SCHEDULE STRENGTH: The Lady Monarchs of Old Dominion have played the 32nd 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 69th toughest schedule, while Northeastern (80), Towson (85) and James Madison (96) follow. All 12 schools fall within the Top 179 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. If you are interested in applying for a credential, please contact Niki DeSantis (email@example.com) at the CAA office.
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 (26.9 ppg). Delle Donne returned to the top in rebounding pulling down 9.1 boards per outing, while Hofstra's freshman forward Shante Evans is pulling down 9.0 rpg. Delle Donne has drained 56 treys thus far this season, while Northeastern's Rachael Pecota and UD's Lauren Carra have drained 25 each. Delle Donne is shooting 146-of-160 (.913) from the line for fourth best percentage from the line in the nation. George Mason's Rahneeka Saunders has recorded 48 steals, while Hofstra's Candace Bond (44), Mason's Amber Easter (37), and Delle Donne (36) follow closely behind in thefts. Delle Donne is also the season leader among the frosh in blocks with 50, while George Mason's Janaa Pickard follows with 38 blocks. Saunders returned a top the freshman leaders in assists with 69 on the season, while JMU's Tarik Hislop follows closely with 63.
PLAY FOR THE CURE-PINK ZONE DAYS: The CAA, all 12 women's basketball programs and Kroger teamed up to fight breast cancer. The CAA women's basketball programs participated in a variety of different ways to assist in raising breast cancer awareness on the court, across campuses, in communities and beyond during the month of February. A large number of schools participated nationwide in the 2010 WBCA's "Pink Zone" initiative. The CAA, the women's basketball programs and Kroger asked fans to attend at least 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
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 (17-9, 9-6 CAA)
Delaware dropped an 88-83 overtime heartbreaker in Harrisonburg to James Madison on Thursday evening before earning a 65-52 road victory over William & Mary on Sunday. Freshman sensation Elena Delle Donne led the Blue Hens on the week pouring in 39.0 points per game, including a record-breaking 54-point performance against JMU. Freshman Lauren Carra and sophomore Jasmine Gibson each averaged 12.0 points per outing. Gibson, who played in one contest for UD, finished the week with a team-high 14 rebounds, while Delle Donne recorded 20 boards (10 rpg) on the week. Delle Donne also finished with a team-best five blocks. Against the Dukes, Delle Donne set a conference and school record for points in a game after pouring in 54 points, including a game-tying three-pointer at the end of regulation. The rookie broke nine different records and tied one (complete list on page 2). With her 54 points, Delle Donne snapped a 15-year old record for points scored by an individual in the CAA. It was previously held by George Mason's Keri Chaconas who poured in 51 points against East Carolina on Feb. 17, 1995. Carra and junior guard Tesia Harris also tallied double-digits for the Hens with 13 and 10, respectively. Harris added nine rebounds, while Carra dished-out a team-high four assists. Delaware shot 53.7 percent from the field, surpassing the 50 percent plateau for the fourth time this season. Like it has each of its other 24 opponents, UD held James Madison below 50 percent shooting with a 40.6 percent performance. On the season, the Hens have had 10 games decided by five points or less this season and are 5-6 in those contests. On Sunday, Delle Donne led the Blue Hens with a game-high 24 points to eclipse Tyresa Smith's single-season scoring record of 632 set during the 2006-07 campaign. As of now, Delle Donne stands at 646 points with three games still remaining in the regular season. Along with her point total, the freshman forward also grabbed 13 boards for her 11th double-double of the season. She was assisted in her efforts by sophomore center Jasmine Gibson, who tallied career-highs of 12 points and 14 rebounds. It marked the first time this season that two Hens posted a double-double in the same game. In fact, it is the first time since Dec. 29, 2006 when Smith and Chrissy Fisher tallied a pair of double-doubles. Delaware will host Northeastern on Thursday before visiting Towson for a Sunday afternoon match-up.
DREXEL (17-9, 11-4 CAA)
The Dragons split on the week as they opened the week with a 58-52 win over Towson at home Thursday before falling to Hofstra, 68-67, in overtime. Senior forward Gabriela Marginean put her name in the record books once more this season, with a jumper in the lane at the 7:18 mark in the first half she became Philadelphia's all-time Div. I women's basketball scoring leader. She led the Dragons with 19 points on the night, while breaking the mark of 2,415 points set by Penn's Diana Caramanico in 2001. The senior forward completed the week averaging 25.0 points and 9.5 rebounds per outing to go along with seven steals. Teammate Kamile Nacickaite added 15.0 points per game and Tyler Hale grabbed 6.0 rebounds per contest. The win over Towson was Drexel's 21st straight CAA home victory. Marginean's record-breaking bucket was Drexel's highlight in a lackluster first-half performance that saw the Dragons enter the locker room trailing 20-14. The Dragons held off Towson and salvage a regular-season series split with the Tigers. Marginean's record-breaking effort was witnessed by nearly 1,000 pink-clad fans supporting the WBCA's PinkZone cause to raise awareness of breast cancer. With a team-leading six rebounds she also surpassed the 900-rebound mark for her career. She is just the fourth player in Drexel history to amass 900 boards. Nacickaite added 14 points and Jasmina Rosseel had 12, both Dragons knocked down four three-pointers as the team matched its season high with 10 treys in the contest. The loss to Hofstra is Drexel's first home CAA loss since Jan. 27, 2008, a span of 21 straight conference games Marginean led Drexel with 31 points and a season-high 13 rebounds. The Dragons had won 11 of their last 12 overtime games dating back to the 2006-07 season. Nacickaite added 16 points and six rebounds. Hale came off the bench to chip in eight points and six boards. Marisa Crane had nine points and a team-leading four assists. Marginean's double-double was her ninth of the season and 31st in her career. She moved into third place on Drexel's career rebounding list and now has 917 boards. The loss snapped a six-game winning streak against the Pride and it was also Drexel's first overtime loss since falling at Towson on Jan. 24, 2008. The loss drops Drexel into a tie for second place with VCU. Drexel is on the road this Thursday, traveling to Atlanta to face Georgia State for the first time this season on Feb. 25, before returning to the DAC next Sunday for its final home game of the season versus UNC Wilmington. The match-up against the Seahawks will be televised on Comcast SportsNet (Mid-Atlantic & New England), The Comcast Network-Philadelphia and Time Warner Cable-Wilmington.
GEORGE MASON (8-18, 1-14 CAA)
George Mason suffered a pair of losses last week as they fell to Hofstra on the road, 59-49, Thursday before dropping a 50-40 decision at home versus VCU. Freshman Amber Easter led the Patriots pouring in 15.0 points per outing, while junior Brittany Poindexter recorded 14.0 points per game. Poindexter also led the team with 6.0 boards on the week. The Patriots opened the week as they were denied their first road victory of the season. Easter led the Patriots with 14 points, while Poindexter added 13. In the loss to VCU at home, Easter led the Patriots with 16 points and Poindexter added 15. Mason will be back in action at home Thursday when the Patriots host UNC Wilmington on Senior Night. Following the game against the Seahawks, Mason will travel for its final road trip of the regular season with a trip to play Georgia State on Sunday.
GEORGIA STATE (13-13, 4-11 CAA)
The Panthers loss back-to-back games last week as they suffered a 63-61 heartbreaker loss to league-leading Old Dominion before falling to Northeastern, 50-40, on Sunday. Senior center Shay Rawls led the team with 13.0 points and 10.5 rebounds per outing. She was joined by junior Angelique Burtts in double-digit scoring with 12.0 ppg. Senior forward Danyiell McKeller scored 16 points on Thursday before suffering a hamstring injury two minutes into the Northeastern outing. Coming out of the ODU contest, GSU has lost its last three games by a combined total of 10 points. The Panthers have five CAA losses by six or fewer points and 12 of the Panthers CAA games have been decided by 10 or fewer points (8 losses). Against the Lady Monarchs, Rawls led GSU with a career-best 22 points to go with 11 rebounds, while McKeller added 16 more points and six rebounds. Burtts also added 10 points for GSU. Against Northeastern, Burtts led the team with 14 points while freshman post player Cody Paulk contributed 10 points and eight rebounds. Rawls led with 10 rebounds. McKeller went down in pain just two minutes into the game. Burtts has added double-figure scoring in four of the last five games. Rawls' 10 rebounds pushed her over the 750 plateau moving her into ninth in GSU's all-time record books. McKeller has 13 20+ point games this season and 19 in her career. She is currently 18 points shy (1,282) from 1,300 career points. The Panthers will host a pair of home contests this week as they welcome Drexel and George Mason.
HOFSTRA (16-11, 9-6 CAA)
Hofstra went 2-0 on the week with victories over George Mason, 59-49, and Drexel, 68-67 (OT). The Pride has now won five out of six their last six games. Hofstra has three players average in double-digit points last week, led by sophomore guard Nicole Capurso's 16.5 points per outing. She was joined by freshman forward Shante Evans, who posted a double-double with 16.0 points and 10.0 rebounds per game, and senior center Jess Fuller (10.0 ppg). Candice Bellocchio dished out a team-best 12 assists on the week. Against Mason, Evans scored a game-high 20 points and grabbed 17 rebounds for her 11th double-double. She finished one rebound shy of tying her career-high and scored 10 of her points in the second half to thwart a Patriots comeback attempt. Fuller contributed 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Capurso chipped in 12 points, including both of Hofstra's three-pointers in helping her team improve to 10-3 at home. The Pride, who defeated the Patriots 72-39 on the road two weeks prior, swept the regular season series. On Sunday, Capurso scored a team-high 21 points and sank the game-winning layup with two seconds left in overtime at Drexel. Hofstra ended Drexel's six-game win streak over the Pride and also ended the Dragon's 21-game win streak at home against CAA opponents. Evans added 12 points for the Pride, while senior guard Sam Brigham chipped in with 10 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals. Bellocchio had a solid all-around game with eight points, nine assists, six rebounds and three steals. Hofstra will travel to Towson on Thursday before hosting Northeastern in its final home game on Sunday. The Pride will celebrate Senior Day prior to the match-up against the Huskies as they honor Fuller and Brigham.
JAMES MADISON (20-6, 10-5 CAA)
The Dukes recorded a pair of conference victories in two tough outings last week and become the first CAA team to record 20 wins thus far this season. James Madison earned an 88-83 overtime win against Delaware before recording a 65-59 win at Old Dominion. Junior guard Dawn Evans poured in 33.0 points per outing to lead the Dukes, while junior forward/center Jalissa Taylor added 9.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. In the win over UD, Evans tied a career-high with 38 points to offset a JMU opponent-record 54 points from redshirt freshman forward/guard Elena Delle Donne. In a battle of two teams tied for fourth in the league standings, the Dukes moved into sole possession of fourth place, while Delaware dropped into a tie for fifth place with Hofstra. The top four teams in the league standings will receive first-round byes for the 12-team CAA Tournament. Evans led four Dukes in double figures, as Taylor and senior guard Sarah Williams had 15 and 10 points, respectively, to go with seven rebounds each. Taylor's 15 points was a season-high. Freshman guard Tarik Hislop chipped in 11 points for JMU. Evans' 38 points tied the school scoring record she already shared with Tamera Young. Young set the record in the first round of the Women's NIT in 2008, and Evans tied the record in the 2008 WNIT second round at Indiana, then tied it again at Virginia on Dec. 6, 2009. On Sunday, the Dukes held the Lady Monarchs to a season-low 15 points in the first half. It was their third opponent they held to 15 or fewer points in a half this season. The win over ODU on its home court gives JMU its first consecutive wins in Norfolk in program history. Evans led all players with 28 points and seven assists and moved into the CAA's top 10 career points list at ninth place with 1,754. She scored 21 of her points in the second half and was 9-for-9 at the foul line, all in the second period. JMU sophomore guard/forward Kiara Francisco came off the bench to hit 4-for-6 from the field and finished with nine points. Junior guard Courtney Hamner contributed eight points and was 3-for-5 from the floor. Junior Lauren Jimenez missed her third straight game due to a concussion suffered at the William & Mary outing on Feb. 11. JMU has recorded its fifth consecutive 20-win season and the 15th 20-win season since 1985. The only longer stretch of 20-win seasons was six from 1984-85 through 1988-89. The last three years JMU's 20th win of the season has come over Old Dominion. The Dukes will host a pair of home contests this week as they welcome VCU on Thursday and William & Mary on Sunday.
UNC WILMINGTON (10-16, 5-10 CAA)
UNC Wilmington posted a 1-1 record on the week as they dropped a 60-54 decision to Northeastern, but rebounded with a 64-57 win over Towson on Sunday. Senior guard Casey Sawhook (10.5 ppg), junior forward Brittany Blackwell (10.0 ppg) and junior guard/forward Treasure Johnson (10.0 ppg) all averaged double-digits for the Seahawks last week. Against the Huskies, Sawhook scored 12 points and Blackwell added 11 tallies for UNCW, who was limited to just 18-of-54 shooting for the game. Senior guard Whitney Simmons finished just shy of double figures as she matched her season high with nine points. In the win over Towson, UNCW received 36 points from its bench and forced 23 turnovers to capture the victory. The Seahawks were led by Johnson, who came off the bench to lead the Seahawks with 13 points. Senior guard Greta Luksyte also added 11 points in a reserve role and junior center Martha White gave UNCW three in double digits with 10 points. UNC Wilmington returns to action this week with a pair of CAA road contests as it travels to George Mason for a Thursday match-up and Drexel for a Sunday contest. The match-up against the Seahawks will be televised on Comcast SportsNet (Mid-Atlantic & New England), The Comcast Network-Philadelphia and Time Warner Cable-Wilmington.
NORTHEASTERN (12-14, 7-8 CAA)
Northeastern extended its winning streak to three games it picked up a 60-54 victory over UNC Wilmington and a 50-40 win over George Mason. Sophomore guard Brittany Wilson poured in a team-high 17.5 points per outing to go along with 8.5 rebounds per game. Senior forward Kim Carr added 16. 5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. In the win over the Seahawks, Wilson recorded her sixth double-double of the season with a 25-point 11-rebound performance as the Huskies held off a late charge from UNC Wilmington. Northeastern shot 45.5 percent in the second half while holding UNC Wilmington to just 33 percent for the game. The Huskies connected on 50 percent of their shots from long distance, led by Wilson who hit three. The Huskies also had 11 steals, making it the 14 occasion that NU has recorded 10 or more steals this season, while adding 15 assists off 21 made baskets. Sophomore guard Jamie Conroy finished with seven points and five assists for Northeastern. Against Mason, Carr posted her fifth double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead three Huskies in double figures. Senior forward Kendra Walton finished with 11 points and eight rebounds and Wilson had 10 points and six boards as the Huskies out-rebounded the Panthers 42-34. The Huskies take to the road for a pair of outings to face Delaware on Thursday and Hofstra on Sunday.
OLD DOMINION (14-11, 12-3 CAA)
Old Dominion split on the week going 1-1 on the week. The Lady Monarchs narrowly escaped Georgia with a win on the last possession of the game defeating Georgia State, 63-61, and clinched a first round bye in the upcoming CAA Championship. ODU finished the week with a loss at home to James Madison, 65-59. Three Lady Monarchs posted double-digit points on the week led by senior forward Jessica Canady's 14.5 points per outing. Junior guard Shadasia Green added 13.0 points per game, while sophomore center Tia Lewis scored 10.0 points and grabbed a team-high 7.5 rebounds per contest. With 7.3 seconds on the clock against GSU, junior guard Jasmine Parker would dribble coast-to-coast and find Lewis, who knocked down the layup on the left side with six-tenths of a second left on the clock and was fouled. The basket and ensuing free-throw gave ODU a 63-61 win over the Panthers, earning their seventh straight win in games decided by single digits. That stretch included a 4-point victory over Georgia State in Norfolk earlier this season. Lewis finished with 10, scoring the last three of the game, and also hauled in nine rebounds for the Lady Monarchs. Green led ODU with 19 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including a 7-for-10 night from the free-throw line. Canady added 15 points and eight rebounds as well for ODU. On Sunday, ODU lost two home conference games in the same season for the first time since joining the league in 1992 with the loss to James Madison. Parker would lead the way for Old Dominion, scoring 13 points and adding four rebounds, four assists and two steals. Canady scored a team-high 14 in the game for ODU, including nine from the charity stripe. Lewis added ten points to round out the double-digit scoring behind Parker's 13, and Lewis also had six rebounds and three steals. Off the bench, freshman Jackie Cook added seven points and six rebounds. Old Dominion will host William & Mary on Thursday before traveling to play second-place VCU on Sunday.
TOWSON (13-13, 7-8 CAA)
Towson fell in a pair of league games with a 58-52 loss at Drexel on Thursday evening and a 64-57 loss to UNC Wilmington on Sunday. The Tigers were led by senior guard Shanae Baker-Brice (12.5 ppg), senior forward Katrina Wheeler (10.0 ppg) and senior forward Haliena Snowden (10.0 ppg). Snowden also led the team with 14 total rebounds and Baker-Brice added 13 on the week. Against the Dragons, junior guard Charmonique Watt scored 10 points, and the Tigers got 13 points and nine rebounds from Baker-Brice. Baker-Brice would also add six assists in the game. Snowden was the third Tiger in double figures as she contributed 11 points and nine rebounds. In Wilmington, N.C., Towson got a game-high 14 points and seven rebounds from Wheeler. She was one of three Tigers in double figures and added three steals. Baker-Brice finished with 12 points, four rebounds and six assists. Parker contributed 11 points in the contest. The Tigers will prepare to play its final two home games of the year as they host Hofstra on Thursday and Delaware.
VCU (18-9, 11-4 CAA)
VCU snapped a two-game losing streak with an 83-58 victory against William & Mary and then posted a 65-55 win at George Mason to extend its winning streak to two. Senior guard Kita Waller paced the Rams pouring in 20.0 points per outing and adding six assists. Sophomore Courtney Hurt contributed 16.0 points per game and senior forward D'Andra Moss added 13.0 per outing. Moss led the team with 12 rebounds on the week. Against the Tribe, Waller scored a team-high 20 points, including 4-for-5 from three-point range. Junior guard Jessica Taylor poured in a career-high 16 points with a team-best four rebounds, four assists and three steals for VCU, while Moss contributed 13 points and a game-high four steals for the Rams. Eleven VCU players saw action against the Tribe with eight seeing more than 12 minutes, while a combined three players appeared off the bench in two of the Rams' previous three games - one against Drexel and two at Old Dominion. Against Mason, Hurt scored 16 of game-high 22 points in the second half. Waller contributed 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting for VCU, while classmate D'Andra Moss posted her fifth double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds. VCU Head Coach Beth Cunningham, who became the program's all-time winningest coach last season, recorded her 125th career victory Sunday. The Rams will travel to Harrisonburg, Va., to face James Madison on Thursday before welcoming Old Dominion to the Siegel Center on Sunday afternoon.
WILLIAM & MARY (11-15, 4-11 CAA)
William and Mary dropped a pair of conference outings last week. The Tribe suffered an 83-58 loss at VCU on Thursday and fell to Delaware in a 65-52 decision on Sunday. Sophomore guard Taysha Pye averaged a team-high 21.5 points per game for the Tribe. Senior forward Tiffany Benson grabbed a team-best 11 rebounds on the week. Against the Rams, Pye led all players with 25 points, hitting 10-for-18 from the floor and a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line, while classmate Janine Aldridge poured in 11 in the second half. Freshman Jaclyn McKenna reached double-digits for the first time in conference play, dropping in 10 on 4-for-5 shooting from the field. On Sunday against Delaware, Benson opened the run with back-to-back layups in the paint, and contributions also came in the form of five free throws from Pye and a triple from classmate Aldridge. Delaware was able to close the gap, however, thanks to NCAA scoring leader Elena Delle Donne, who scored 10 of her team's final 14 points over the last six minutes and posted the Blue hens to a 30-26 lead at the break. The Tribe will visit Old Dominion on Thursday before visiting James Madison Sunday to complete a two-game road trip.