**Complete report in PDF format located at the bottom of this article**
THIS WEEKS QUICK HITS:
• The league jumped to 40-35 in non-conference play and the CAA earned a RPI of 12 in the first report by Collegiate Basketball News.
• For the second week in NCAA Stat reporting, CAA players held the #1 and #2 spots in scoring averages. For the second straight week, Delaware's Elena Delle Donne (26.2 ppg) leads the nation, while VCU's Courtney Hurt (25.8 ppg) jumped to #2 after averaging 29.0 ppg in VCU's two outings. JMU's Dawn Evans' 23.0 ppg is the sixth best average in the nation.
• VCU's Courtney Hurt led the league in points per game last week as she posted 29.0 ppg to go along with 12.5 rpg in VCU's two losses. William & Mary freshman Kaitlyn Mathieu grabbed 13 rebounds in W&M OT loss to Seton Hall. JMU's Lauren Jimenez also had a stellar week averaging 14.3 points per game in the Dukes three games, while adding 9.7 rpg. Hofstra's Candice Bellocchio captured a double-double with 11 points and 11 assists in the win over Fairfield.
• Five CAA WBB teams are ranked in the Nov. 30 edition of the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll (#2 Old Dominion, #10 Delaware, #13 James Madison, #22 VCU and #24 Drexel). Five teams is the most out of any one conference ranked in the poll.
• The Show Place Arena (Upper Marlboro, Md.) will host the 2011 Virginia 529 College Savings Plan CAA Women's Basketball Championship on March 10-13.
• The CAA has 27 games slated to be televised for the 2010-11 season.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Kamile Nacickaite • Drexel
Siauliai, Lithuania/Regis Jesuit (Colo.), Jr., Guard
Nacickaite earned CAA Player of the Week honors after leading the Dragons while averaging 22.0 points per game on Drexel's 1-1 week. The junior led all scorers with 20 points against Tulsa and posted a game-high 24 points against Virginia. Nacickaite made a career-high six three-pointers in each of her outings last week. On the week, Nacickaite shot 53.6 percent (15-for-26) from the floor, 80.0 percent (12-for-15) from beyond the arc and perfect from the line (2-for-2). She also contributed 5.5 rebounds per outing and added two steals, one assist and one block.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Kate Loper • Hofstra
Post Falls, Idaho/Post Falls, Fr., Guard
Loper received CAA Rookie of the Week honors for the second time this season after helping the Pride to a 89-73 home victory over Fairfield. The freshman guard was one of three Hofstra players to lead the team with 13 points as she shot 62.5 percent from the floor (5-for-8). She drained a trey and also hit a pair of shots from the charity stripe. Loper added four rebounds, two assists and two steals in the win.
CAA INDIVIDUAL LEADERS: Delaware's Elena Delle Donne leads the league in scoring as she is averaging 26.2 points per game. VCU's Courtney Hurt (25.8ppg) and JMU's Dawn Evans (23.0 ppg) follow. Hurt leads the league in rebounding with 12.2 rpg, while Delaware's Danielle Parker and GSU's Chan Harris follow at 10.7 rpg. UNC Wilmington's Brittany Blackwell (10.2 rpg) also averaged double-digit rebounds. Hofstra's Candice Bellocchio leads the conference while dishing out 6.4 assists per game, while ODU's Jasmine Parker is pacing the conference with 20 steals in six games (3.3 spg). Dawn Evans leads the league with 21 three-pointers made. Harris also leads the league with 16 blocked shots.
STANDING OUT IN NATIONAL STATS (through games of Dec. 5): Delaware's Elena Delle Donne (26.2 ppg) and VCU's Courtney Hurt (25.8 ppg) lead the nation in scoring in the one-two spots. This is the second week of NCAA reporting and the top two leading scorers have been from the CAA (last week Delle Donne-27.4 ppg and JMU's Dawn Evans-26.6 were ranked one & two). JMU's Dawn Evans 23.0 points per game is the nation's sixth best average. Hurt, who leads the conference in rebounding, stands fourth nationally with 12.2 rebounds per game. Hofstra's Candice Bellocchio's 6.4 assists per game is ranked ninth. Drexel's Kamile Nacickaite leads the nation in three-point field goal percentage at 56.3, while Northeastern's Rachael Pecota's 3.3 three-point field goals per game ranks seventh nationally. Drexel's Jasmina Rosseel is ranked fifth in assists-turnover ratio (3.83) and Hurt's five double-doubles on the year ranks fourth among all Division I women's players. With the help of Nacickaite's strong three-point shooting week, Drexel leads the nation in three-point field goal percentage (47.5%). (CAA Top 50 individual & team listing on page 7)
STAT WATCH: Delaware sophomore All-American Elena Delle Donne is nearing the 1,000th-point plateau. She has recorded 931 career points in 35 games and if she continues to average 26.2 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.
REACHING MILESTONES: Against the Lady Vols, ODU's Jasmine Parker scored her 1,000th career point and became the 28th Lady Monarch to do reach the plateau. JMU's Dawn Evans is just 55 points away from setting a new school record for the Dukes. She currently has 2,067 career points and is looking to snap Tamera Young's (2004-08) school record of 2,121.
CAA AT NO. 12 IN RPI RANKING: The first RPI report compiled by Collegiate Basketball News ranked the CAA as 12th out of 32 conferences early in the season. Drexel leads the CAA schools ranked at 47th in the team ranking. Delaware (51), Old Dominion (60), UNC Wilmington (69) and James Madison (99) are also in the Top 100. Hofstra nears the Top 100 at 107 after the first report through games of Dec. 5.
FIVE CAA WBB TEAMS RANKED IN COLLEGEINSIDER.COM TOP 25 MID-MAJOR POLL: Old Dominion steadied at #2, while Delaware and James Madison followed at 10th and 13th, respectively, and VCU (#22) and Drexel (#24) rounded out the CAA teams in the CollegeInsider.com mid-major poll on Nov. 30. UNC Wilmington (#27) is next out receiving 62 votes. With five teams ranked, the CAA has the most of any conference with the next closes being the Missouri Valley Conference with three teams ranked in the Top 25. Atop the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 is Green Bay, which received 31 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 Virginia 529 College Savings Plan 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.
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.
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 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).
DELAWARE (6-1, 0-0 CAA)
Delaware went 1-1 on the week. The Blue Hens suffered their first setback of the season with a 68-50 loss against Princeton on Wednesday before rebounding with a 60-55 road win at Navy on Sunday. In the loss to the Tigers, UD played without the help of starters Elena Delle Donne and Jocelyn Bailey and both players returned for the win over Navy. Sophomore Danielle Parker averaged a double-double on the week with 11.5 points and 11.0 rebounds per outing. Lauren Carra also poured in 11.5 points per game, while Delle Donne added 20 points in her return to the court against Navy. The Blue Hens are idle until Dec. 19 when they head to University Park, Pa., to face Penn State.
DREXEL (5-1, 0-0 CAA)
Drexel split on the week 1-1 with a 64-47 home victory over Tulsa on Thursday before falling to Virginia, 63-54, on Saturday. Junior guard Kamile Nacickaite led the Dragons on the week averaging 22.0 points per game on strong shooting, including shooting 12-of-15 from beyond the arc (80.0%). She also added 5.5 rebounds per outing, while teammate Hollie Mershon grabbed a team-best 6.5 boards per game. Nacickaite poured in a career-high six three pointers against Tulsa and then matched it against UVA. She is the sixth player in Drexel history to make 100 three-pointers in a career. Drexel's 5-0 start, with its win over Tulsa, is the best in the program's history, topping a pair of 4-0 starts in 2001-02 and in 1982-83, which was the team's first year as a Division I program. Drexel is back in action Sunday, Dec. 12 when the Dragons host Seton Hall for their only match-up of the week.
GEORGE MASON (2-5, 0-0 CAA)
George Mason dropped a pair of road contests last week as they fell to American, 46-43, and George Washington, 67-58. The Patriots were led by Brittany Poindexter as she averaged 14.0 points per game and added 5.0 rebounds per outing. Amber Easter led Mason on the boards grabbing 6.0 per contest. George Mason has gone 1-4 in road outings this year, but will return home for a five game stretch at the Patriot Center. Mason will open the five-game home stand with a pair of new opponents. They will host Stony Brook on Dec. 9, before entertaining Ohio on Dec. 12.
GEORGIA STATE (3-3, 0-0 CAA)
Georgia State suffered a 50-41 home loss to UAB on Thursday evening to even its record to 3-3. GSU had no one in double figures as Chan Harris topped the stats with nine points and 10 rebounds. Leading scorer Angelique Burtts did not start for the first time in her career at GSU for team discipline and scored just seven points in 22 minutes. Georgia State looks to notch its 500th all-time win in December as the Panthers sit at 497 wins. Coach Baldwin-Tenner is on the cusp of her 200th career win as a head coach with 198 wins currently. Georgia State plays host to Western Carolina on Saturday, Dec. 11.
HOFSTRA (4-1, 0-0 CAA)
Hofstra improved to 4-1 on the season with a 89-73 home victory over Fairfield on Sunday afternoon. The win was Hofstra's fourth straight. The Pride had five players score in double-digits against the Stags, led by Candace Bond, Kate Loper and Nicole Capurso's 13 point efforts. Candice Bellocchio posted a double-double with 11 points and 11 assists, while Annie Payton also contributed 11 points. With her 11 assists on Sunday, Bellocchio moved into a tie for seventh all-time in assists at Hofstra with 313. Hofstra will look for its fifth straight win on Thursday, Dec. 9, when they travel to Niagara. Hofstra's last win streak of at least five games was a seven-game streak from Nov. 29-Dec. 30, 2008.
JAMES MADISON (5-3, 0-0 CAA)
James Madison went 2-1 on the week. JMU suffered a 75-58 decision at home to #5/5 Duke on Tuesday, but rebounded with wins over Longwood, 66-41, and Liberty, 54-51. The match-up against the Blue Devils was JMU's second against a ranked opponent this season, as they have gone 0-2 in those contests, and the win over the Lancers was the first true road game for JMU this season. Senior center Lauren Jimenez has made a strong impact for the Dukes since her return from an injury. The senior led the team pouring in 14.3 points and 9.7 rebounds per game last week. Dawn Evans, who only played in the early two games, averaged 14.0 points per outing and Tarik Hislop added 11.0 points per contest. Evans made two three-pointers this week and moved up to third in the CAA record books for trey's made. She also completed the week with 28 points moving her to 2,067 career points. Evans is just 55 points away from breaking Tamera Young's (2004-08) school record 2,121. Evans only scored eight points in 26 minutes against Longwood, which is the first time she had not scored in double figures since Feb. 4, 2010 in the game against VCU (she played just 10 minutes and scored five points due to an injury). The Dukes will take a break during the week and return to the court on Sunday, Dec. 12 when they visit Middle Tennessee for their only contest of the week.
UNC WILMINGTON (4-2, 0-0 CAA)
The Seahawks fell at home to Charlotte, 66-50, on Thursday evening. Junior guard Kristen Hanzer, who hauled in a game-high nine rebounds, led UNCW with 12 points and a career-high seven steals. Sophomore Jessica Freeman added 11 points for the Seahawks. Senior Brittany Blackwell moved into second place on the program's all-time steal list (197), third on the career rebounding chart (783) and fourth on the all-time scoring list (1,325) during the contest. The Seahawks will return to action on Dec. 11 at Campbell.
NORTHEASTERN (2-4, 0-0 CAA)
Northeastern split on the week 1-1. They earned a 65-56 win at Army, before falling to Dartmouth, 60-54. Sophomore Rachael Pecota led the Huskies on the week averaging 14.5 points per game. She has led the team in scoring in four of NU's six games. Kashaia Cannon (14.0 ppg), Jamie Conroy (10.0 ppg) and Afreyea Tolbert (10.0 ppg) also averaged double-figure points. Tiffany Crews led the team in rebounding with 7.0 per game, while Pecota grabbed 6.5 rebounds per outing. Five different Huskies have reached career highs in scoring so far this season, including Tolbert (15 pts against Dartmouth) and Crews (11 pts against Dartmouth). The Huskies return to the hardwood on Monday, Dec. 6 when the Huskies host crosstown rival Boston University at Solomon Court. The Huskies will also face Vermont on Dec. 8 in Burlington, VT.
OLD DOMINION (3-3, 0-0 CAA)
Old Dominion suffered back-to-back setbacks last week to a pair of SEC opponents. The Lady Monarchs fell to Florida on the road Tuesday, 63-55, before dropping a 74-44 decision at home to #9/8 Tennessee on Sunday. The loss to the Lady Vols snapped a four-game home winning streak for ODU, dating back to last season's WNIT win over American. Jasmine Parker led the Lady Monarchs with 13.0 points per outing, while Shadasia Green added 10.0 points per game. Parker became the 28th all-time Lady Monarch to reach the 1,000 career point plateau as she scored 16 points against the Lady Vols on Sunday. The senior now stands at 1,001 career points. Tia Lewis grabbed a team-best 7.5 rebounds per contest and Green added 5.5 per game. ODU set a new women's basketball attendance record at the Ted Constant Center on Sunday as 7,774 fans came to the ODU-Tennessee match-up. The Lady Monarchs will host George Washington on Dec. 8, before traveling to play Richmond on Dec. 12.
TOWSON (4-3, 0-0 CAA)
Towson went 2-0 on the week to improve to 4-3 on the year. The Tigers captured wins over Mount St. Mary's, 66-48, and Rhode Island, 78-72. Krystal Parnell averaged a team-best 15.0 points per outing for the Tigers. Dovile Miliauskaite (12.0 ppg), Charmonique Watt (11.5 ppg) and Sheree Ledbetter (10.0 ppg) also averaged double-figure points on the week. Ledbetter averaged a double-double with 11.0 rebounds per outing to go along with her 10.0 ppg. Parnell finished the week with a team-best 11 assists and added four steals. Towson returns to action on Tuesday, Dec. 7 when it travels across town to visit UMBC.
VCU (2-3, 0-0 CAA)
VCU went 0-2 on the week and have lost three straight after starting the season 2-0. At 2-3, VCU falls below .500 for the first time since 2005-06. The Rams fell to East Carolina, 77-72, at home, before dropping a 68-53 decision to Richmond on the road. VCU three straight losses is the first time since Nov. 19-21, 2009 at the Duel in the Desert Tournament. Junior forward Courtney Hurt carried the team last week averaging a double-double with 29.0 points and 12.5 rebounds per outing. She scored a career-best 34 points, one shy of tying VCU's single-game record, against ECU. No other VCU player averaged double-figure points or rebounds. Hurt, who has registered a double-double (all with at least 20 ppg) in all five of VCU's games, leads the Rams averaging 25.8 points per game (second in the league) and 12.2 rebounds per game (first in the CAA). The Rams continue their three-game road swing with contests at Coppin State on Dec. 8 and Charlotte on Dec. 11.
WILLIAM & MARY (0-6, 0-0 CAA)
The Tribe opened its home schedule with a 73-67 overtime loss to Seton Hall on Sunday. William & Mary received double-digit points from four players, for the third time this season, including Taysha Pye's 21 point effort. Janine Aldridge (14), Kaitlyn Mathieu (10) and Emily Correal (10) also scored in double figures. Mathieu finished the game with a double-double contributing a team-best 13 rebounds to go along with her points. Aldridge attempted 16 three-pointers, tying the Tribe's school record and breaking the record for most three-point attempts ever at Kaplan Arena (previously held by Jen Sabota-14- in 2003). William & Mary will take a 10-day break for final exams and will prepare to continue it's four-game homestand when it welcomes Norfolk State on Dec. 15.