THIS WEEKS QUICK HITS:
- The league jumped to 32-22 in non-conference play.
- Delaware opened the season going 5-0 in November for the first time since the 1992-93 season.
- Four CAA WBB teams continue to be ranked in the Nov. 23 edition of the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll (#5 Old Dominion, #10 James Madison, #12 Delaware, and #23 VCU).
- Delaware's Elena Della Donne and JMU's Dawn Evans have been added to the watch lists of two prestigious awards -- Wooden and the Naismith Awards, and both were named CAA Preseason Co-Players of the Year.
- James Madison was the preseason pick to take the 2011 CAA Women's Basketball title.
- The Show Place Arena (Upper Marlboro, Md.) will host the 2011 CAA Women's Basketball Championship on March 10-13.
- The CAA has 27 games slated to be televised for the 2010-11 season.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
Shante Evans • Hofstra
West Chester, Pa./Henderson, So., Forward
Evans earned CAA Player of the Week honors after helping the Pride to an 80-76 road victory over Big East foe Providence. The sophomore forward posted 26 points and 15 rebounds in the win. She also added four assists and two blocks against the Friars. Evans was 8-of-14 (57.1%) from the field and 10-of-15 (66.7%) from the free-throw line in 34 minutes of action. The double-double was her second of the season and 16th of Evans stellar career.
Jasmine Parker • Old Dominion
Norfolk, Va./Maury, Sr., Guard
Parker collected CAA Player of the Week accolades after guiding the Lady Monarchs to a 1-1 week. The senior averaged 23.5 points and 5.5 rebounds in the two ODU outings. Parker tied her career high with 24 points in ODU’s win over Big East rival Louisville and tied her career high with six steals at ACC foe N.C. State. She finished the week with five assists and nine steals and shot 81.8 percent (9-of-11) from the free-throw line to help ODU down the stretch.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Kaitlyn Mathieu • William & Mary
Waterboro, Maine/Worchester Academy (Mass.), Fr., Center
Mathieu received CAA Rookie of the Week honors after averaging 19.0 points per game for the Tribe and earning All-Tournament team honors at the Cancun Thanksgiving Classic. The rookie shot 18-of-30 (60%) from the floor and averaged 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per contest. During William & Mary’s outing against Buffalo, Mathieu at one point scored 11 straight points on five straight baskets. She also added two steals and one assist on the week.
CAA INDIVIDUAL LEADERS: Delaware's Elena Delle Donne leads the league in scoring as she is averaging 27.4 points per game. Dawn Evans from JMU (26.6 ppg) and VCU's Courtney Hurt (23.7 ppg) follow. Hurt leads the league in rebounding with 12.0 rpg, while Georgia State's Chan Harris and UNC Wilmington's Brittany Blackwell follow at 10.8 rebounds per outing. Delaware's Danielle Parker (10.6 rpg), Hofstra's Shante Evans (10.5 rpg) and JMU's Nikki Newman (10.2 rpg) also averaged double-digit rebounds. Northeastern's Jamie Conroy has dished out a league-best 27 assists (6.8 apg), while ODU's Jasmine Parker is pacing the conference with 15 steals in three games (3.8 spg). Dawn Evans leads the league with 19 three-pointers made. Harris also leads the league with 16 blocked shots.
TOP SHOOTERS FROM THE LINE (min. 2.0 FT/G): The CAA has nine free-throw shooters who have made over 10 free-throws this season and only missed three or less shots from the line. Delaware's Jocelyn Bailey has made 12-of-13, while NU's Mia Mayberry and UNCW's Martha White have made 10 of there 11 shots from the line. Delaware's Elena Delle Donne (30-of-32) has missed just two shots.
STAT WATCH: Delaware sophomore All-American Elena Delle Donne is nearing the 1,000th-point plateau. She has recorded 911 career points in 34 games and if she continues to average 27.4 points per game, she should reach her 1,000th-career point during her 38th career game as a Blue Hen. The fastest player to reach 1,000th career points in CAA history is JMU's Dawn Evans, who reached the milestone in 55 games.
CAA PRESEASON TEAM PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH: James Madison, which captured the 2010 CAA women's basketball championship, is favored to win the conference title again in 2010-11 according to a vote of the league's coaches, sports information directors and media members. The results of the poll were announced during the CAA Basketball Media Day at Champps-Pentagon Row in Arlington, Va. The Dukes were followed in the voting by Old Dominion, Delaware, Hofstra and VCU. Drexel was picked to finish sixth, followed by William and Mary, UNC Wilmington, Georgia State, George Mason, Towson and Northeastern.
CAA PRESEASON INDIVIDUAL HONORS: Delaware's Elena Delle Donne and JMU's Dawn Evans were chosen as the CAA Preseason Co-Players of the Year. They are joined on the preseason All-CAA first team by Hofstra's Evans, UNC Wilmington senior guard/forward Brittany Blackwell (12.9 ppg/7.7 rpg) and William and Mary junior guard Taysha Pye (16.4 ppg/5.2 rpg). Voted to the preseason All-CAA second team were Old Dominion's Green, Lewis and Parker, James Madison's Hislop and VCU junior forward Courtney Hurt (13.7 ppg/7.7 rpg).
TWO NEW HEAD COACHES WELCOMED TO THE LEAGUE: Two CAA schools have new head coaches this season. UNC Wilmington hired Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, who has previously served as head coach at Prairie View A&M. The former college great, Olympic gold medalist and Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) Most Valuable Player was enshrined into the James Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on August 13 in Springfield, Mass. She replaces Ann Hancock. Georgia State hired Sharon Baldwin-Tener to replace Lea Henry. Baldwin-Tener had spent the past eight seasons with the East Carolina Lady Pirates and previously was the head coach Mercer and Life.
FOUR CAA WBB TEAMS RANKED IN COLLEGEINSIDER.COM MID-MAJOR POLL: Old Dominion moved to #2 after two weeks of play, while James Madison and Delaware followed at 10th and 12th, respectively, and VCU rounded out the CAA teams at 23rd in the CollegeInsider.com mid-major poll on Nov. 23. Atop the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 is Green Bay, which received 29 first-place votes. The women's Mid-Major Top 25 is comprised of teams from America East, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, CAA, Great West, Horizon, Independents, Ivy, Metro Atlantic, Mid-American, Mid-Eastern, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern, Southland, Southwestern, Summit, Sun Belt and West Coast Conference. The Mid-Major Top 25 will be released every Tuesday throughout the 2010-11 season.
2011 & 2012 CAA WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIPS TO BE HOSTED BY NEUTRAL SITE: The Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, Md. has been selected to host the CAA Women's Basketball Championship in 2011 and 2012 by the league's athletic directors. It will be the first time that The Show Place Arena has served as host of the CAA women's championship. All games in the four-day, 11-game tournament will be played at the 5,000-seat arena, with the winner earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. This season's event will be held from March 10-13, 2011.
TWO CAA PLAYERS ADDED TO WATCH LISTS: CAA women's basketball standouts Elena Delle Donne of Delaware and Dawn Evans of James Madison were added to the 2010-11 Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) State Farm® Wade Trophy Division I Player of the Year and the Naismith preseason watch lists. Delle Donne, a sophomore forward/guard, led Delaware to a 21-12 record and a berth in the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) as a freshman. The Blue Hens' forward was named the CAA Player and Rookie of the Year and became the first player in UD history to earn All-America honors when she garnered third team Associated Press and honorable mention WBCA accolades. Evans, a senior guard at JMU, ranked fifth in the nation in scoring with 24.6 points per game, was third nationally in three-pointers per game (3.6) and also was third in the CAA with 4.6 assists per game last season. Evans also honorable mention All-America honors from the Associated Press.
TV EXPOSURE: The CAA surpassed its all-time record of 25 game (2007-08) with 27 games aired during the 2009-10 season and looks to accomplish the same task in 2010-11. At the start of the season, the league has 27 games scheduled for the new season. All 12 teams will make at least one television appearance. The CAA women's basketball television package has aired over 20 games for at least the last three seasons.
ONE OF THE BEST WBB COLLEGE POINT GUARDS: James Madison women's basketball player Dawn Evans has been ranked as one of the top five point guards in the country by AOL FanHouse. The selections were made by FanHouse women's basketball writers Michelle Smith and Milton Kent. Evans averaged a team-high 24.6 points per game (fifth-highest in the NCAA) and a team-high 4.6 assists per game last season. She enters the 2010-11 season 215 points away from the school career points record of 2,121 and is on pace to also break the CAA career scoring record of 2,581. The FanHouse point guard ranking was as follows: 1. Danielle Robinson, Sr., Oklahoma; 2. Jasmine Thomas, Jr., Duke; 3. Samantha Prahalis, Jr., Ohio State; 4. Courtney Vandersloot, Sr., Gonzaga; 5. Dawn Evans, Sr., James Madison.
RECORD-HIGH SEVEN TEAMS IN POSTSEASON PLAY: For the first time in conference history, the CAA sent seven women's basketball teams to the postseason. James Madison earned a bid in the NCAA Women's Basketball tournament, while Old Dominion, Delaware, Drexel, Hofstra, and VCU earned bids to the Women's National Invitation Tournament and Towson played in the Women's Basketball Invitational. For the fifth consecutive season, at least three CAA teams advanced to the postseason and for the 10th consecutive season the CAA had a representative in the WNIT. The CAA was just one of four conferences to see five teams in the WNIT. The Big Ten, Big East and Atlantic 10 also saw five conference teams advance to the postseason event.
CAA AT NO. 9 IN RPI RANKING: The CAA completed the 2009-10 season ranked ninth among the nation's 32 Division I conferences in women's basketball according to the RPI report compiled by Collegiate Basketball News. James Madison finished ranked 44th in the team RPI ranking. Old Dominion (59) and VCU (97) are the only other CAA schools that completed the season in the Top 100.
DELAWARE (5-0, 0-0 CAA)
Delaware improved to 5-0, for the first time since the 1992-93 season, with a pair of victories against Saint Francis (Pa.) and La Salle. The Blue Hens won the home outing against the Red Flash, 68-52, while earning a road victory over the Explorers, 59-48. On the week, Elena Delle Donne poured in 26 points and 12 rebounds in the win over Saint Francis, but then played just six minutes against La Salle due to illness. Junior center Sarah Acker finished the week scoring 11.5 points and 10.0 rebounds per outing. Sophomore guard Lauren Carra also added 11.5 points per game, while sophomore forward Danielle Parker grabbed a team-best 14.0 rebounds per contest. Acker also added eight blocks in the week, including six against La Salle. The Blue Hens' high-octane offense has outscored opponents by an average of 13.4 points per game. Delaware will host Princeton on Wednesday, Dec. 1, before visiting Navy on Sunday, Nov. 5.
DREXEL (4-0, 0-0 CAA)
Drexel improved to 4-0 with home victories over Saint Joseph's, 50-47, and Villanova, 56-50, this week. The Dragons have now swept all four of the Philadelphia teams on their schedule this season and for the first time in the Dragons' history, and opened the year with four straight wins to match their best start ever (2001-02) as a Div. I program. Three players averaged double-figure points last week, led by Kamile Nacickaite's 15.0 points per game. She also led the team with eight rebounds per outing. Jasmina Rosseel (12.5 ppg) and Taylor Wootton (12.0 ppg) also contributed big numbers. Wootton set a career-high with 12 points against Saint Joe's and matched it against Villanova. The Dragons wrap up their four-game homestand this week when they host Tulsa on Thursday, Dec. 2 and then travel to Virginia on Saturday, Dec. 4, for their second road game of the year.
GEORGE MASON (2-3, 0-0 CAA)
George Mason split on the week with a win over UMBC, 54-38, before suffering a loss to Radford, 63-56. Amber Easter led the Patriots averaging 12.5 points per outing, while Taleia Moton added 10.5 points per game. Angelee LaTouche and Evelyn Lewis grabbed a team-best 11 rebounds on the week, while Easter added 10 more. Against UMBC, Mason out-rebounded the Retrievers 37-24, led by Lewis' eight. The Patriots will hit the road for a pair of games this week as they visit nearby American on Thursday, Nov. 2 and George Washington on Sunday, Nov. 5.
GEORGIA STATE (3-2, 0-0 CAA)
Georgia State went 2-1 on a three-game week and now owns a 3-2 overall record in the Panthers' young season. GSU gathered victories over Bethune-Cookman, 70-49, and Alabama A&M, 57-50, before falling to Rice, 55-52, in the championship game of the GSU Thanksgiving Tournament. Senior Angelique Burtts scored 58 points this week (19.3 ppg) with outings of 23, 22 and 13 points, while grabbing 21 rebounds (7.0 rpg). Chan Harris almost averaged a double-double on the week with 16.3 points and 9.7 rebounds per outing. She shot 63.6 percent (21-of-33) on the week with a team-high nine blocks. On the year, the Panthers are averaging 11.8 steals per game and 6.6 blocked shots per outing. After a three-game week, Georgia State will host UAB on Thursday, Dec. 2.
HOFSTRA (3-1, 0-0 CAA)
Hofstra won its third straight and improved to 3-1 with a 80-76 road victory over Big East foe Providence early in the week. The win was Hofstra's fifth-ever against a current member of the Big East Conference. Hofstra has scored 80 or more points n each of its last two games and has now won 16 straight games when scoring 80 or more. Sophomore forward Shante Evans had a monster game with 26 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Pride. Junior center Marie Malone had her second straight stellar performance as she poured in 17 points and added nine rebounds to assist Evans. The double-double was the second of the season for Evans, who notched 16 double-doubles a season ago. With her five assists against the Friars, Candice Bellocchio now has 302 assists and is just the ninth player in program history to notch 300 or more career assists. The Pride, who took nearly a two-week break, will host Fairfield on Sunday, December 5. The match-up against the Stags is Hofstra's lone home contest during a six-game stretch.
JAMES MADISON (3-2, 0-0 CAA)
James Madison suffered a tough loss to #20/21 Iowa before earning an overtime 76-69 victory over Montana at the Caribbean Challenge. The nationally-ranked Iowa women's basketball team rallied from a 10-point second-half deficit to beat James Madison 67-61. Senior Dawn Evans scored her 2,000th career point on a long-three pointer against Iowa and finished the week averaging 28.0 points per outing. The senior guard increased her school record with her 19th career 30-point game (32) against the Hawkeyes as well. Evans enters the new week with 2,039 career points and stands fourth in the CAA record books. She's only the second player in school history to score 2,000 points; the other is school record-holder Tamera Young (2004-08), who scored 2,121. Evans hit her 2,000th career point in her 96th career game. Evans also hit her 300th career three-pointer Thursday night and now stands at 308. Courtney Hamner averaged 10.0 points per outing and hit a career-high five trey's against Montana. Lauren Jimenez returned to the court and poured in 18 points against the Grizzlies. The Dukes have a packed week with three games, including two at home. James Madison will welcome #5/6 Duke to the Convocation Center on Tuesday, Nov. 30, before traveling to Longwood on Thursday, Dec. 2. The Dukes will wrap up the week with a home contest against Liberty on Sunday, Dec. 5.
UNC WILMINGTON (4-1, 0-0 CAA)
The Seahawks finished the week with a 2-1 record with victories over High Point, 72-69, and Wofford, 81-48, before suffering its first setback of the season to #7/7 Ohio State, 88-69. Three players averaged double-digits for UNC Wilmington, led by Brittany Blackwell's 16.7 points per game. Kristen Hanzer and Alisha Andrews each poured in 11.0 points per outing for the Seahawks. Blackwell and Martha White each averaged 8.7 rebounds per game and Andrews finished the week with a team-best 11 assists. The Seahawks return to the court on Thursday, Dec. 2 for their only contest of the week versus Charlotte at home.
NORTHEASTERN (1-3, 0-0 CAA)
Northeastern was idle last week and prepared for an outing at Army on Monday, Nov. 29. The Huskies will also face Dartmouth on Wednesday, Dec. 1. Northeastern is led by Rachael Pecota's 17.3 points per outing and Afreyea Tolbert leads the team with 7.3 rebounds per contest. Jamie Conroy has dished out a team-best 27 assists and falls one behind team leader Pecota (11) with 10 steals.
OLD DOMINION (3-1, 0-0 CAA)
Old Dominion dropped its first contest of the season with a 62-60 road loss at N.C. State on Tuesday and rebounded with a 69-65 home win over Louisville on Friday. Two of ODU's three games this season have ended with a difference of two points, with ODU going 1-1 in those contests. The Lady Monarchs were led by senior guard Jasmine Parker's 23.5 points per game last week, including a career-tying 24 points against Louisville. Alena Voronina grabbed a team-best 7.5 rebounds per outing, while contributing 8.5 points per game. Tia Lewis added 9.5 points per contest for ODU and posted her 22nd career double-double (15 points, 10 rebounds) in the win over the Cardinals. Five of ODU's first six games are against teams from the ACC, Big East and SEC, including its two contests coming up this week. Old Dominion will be on the road next, traveling to Gainesville, Florida to take on the Gators out of the Southeastern Conference. The Lady Monarchs will complete the week at home against #9/4 Tennessee on Sunday, Dec. 5 at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. The contest against the Lady Vols will be televised on Cox 11 and Comcast Mid-Atlantic.
TOWSON (2-3, 0-0 CAA)
Towson posted a 59-51 road victory at Loyola (Md.) on Monday evening, before falling to Canisius on the road Saturday, 58-52. The Tigers were led by Deree Fooks (15.5 ppg) and Sheree Ledbetter (13.5 ppg), while Dovile Miliauskaite guided the Tigers on the boards with 9.5 rebounds per game. Fooks exploded for a career- and game-high 24 points against Loyola, while shooting 9-for-16 from the floor and 5-of-6 from the charity stripe. Ledbetter collected a career-high 18 points against the Golden Griffins. Towson wraps up its four-game road trip when it visits Mount St. Mary's on Wednesday, Dec. 1. The Tigers return to the Towson Center on Saturday, Dec. 4, to host Rhode Island.
VCU (2-1, 0-0 CAA)
VCU was idle on the week and will return to the court on Thursday, Dec. 2 when they host East Carolina. The Rams will also visit cross-town rival Richmond for a match-up on Sunday, Dec. 5. Courtney Hurt is leading the Rams averaging a double-double of 23.7 points and 12.0 rebounds per contest. Jennifer Lane (11.0 ppg) and Jacqueline Brewer (10.7 ppg) are also contributing double-digit points per game.
WILLIAM & MARY (0-5, 0-0 CAA)
The Tribe fell short against Bradley, 65-62, in the opening day of the Cancun Challenge and then suffered a 66-56 loss to Buffalo on day two. The Tribe was led by freshman center Kaitlyn Mathieu as she averaged 19.0 points and 5.5 rebounds per outing on the trip. William & Mary also received double-digit scoring from Taysha Pye (11.0 ppg) and Katherine DeHenzel (10.5 ppg). Pye, who only scored eight points against Buffalo, missed double-digits for the first time this season. The Cancun Tournament marked the end of five straight away games to open the season, the longest stretch in school history. Dating back to last year's CAA tournament, the Tribe has played the last six games away from Williamsburg, the 17th-such stretch in school history. The last time W&M played at least five on the road in a single season was six in 1999-2000 and the school record is 12 in a row on the road which occurred between Feb. 7 and Dec. 2, 1975. The Tribe will finally return home to host Seton Hall on Sunday, Dec. 5.