THIS WEEKS QUICK HITS:
• The league jumped to 49-40 in non-conference play and the CAA steadied with a RPI of 12 in the second report by Collegiate Basketball News.
• For the third week in NCAA Stat reporting, Delaware's Elena Delle Donne (26.2 ppg) leads the nation in scoring average, while VCU's Courtney Hurt (24.7 ppg) fell to #3. JMU's Dawn Evans' 23.0 ppg is the seventh best average in the nation. Hurt leads the nation in rebounding with 13.0 per game, while Hofstra's Candice Bellocchio's 7.0 assists per outing is the second best in the nation.
• Four CAA WBB teams are ranked in the Dec. 7 edition of the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll (#6 Old Dominion, #9 Delaware, #10 James Madison, #20 Drexel). Four teams from one conference tie the most ranked in the poll (Mid-American Conference also has four).
• 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 28 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 leading the Pride in a road win over Niagara last week. The sophomore forward posted game-highs of 25 points and 13 rebounds, including 20 points and 10 rebounds in the first half. The double-double was Evans' third of the season and 19th of her career. She also added two blocks and one assist in the game. Evans shot .556 (10-of-18) from the field and .714 (5-of-7) from the charity stripe.
Courtney Hurt • VCU
Conyers, Ga./Salem, Jr., Forward
Hurt received CAA Player of the Week honors after guiding the Rams to a 1-1 week. The junior forward averaged a double-double on the week with 22.0 points and 15.0 rebounds per outing. With the back-to-back double-doubles, Hurt has posted a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds in all seven games this season. She completed the week with nine steals, two assists and one block for VCU. The junior ranks third in the nation with a 24.7 scoring average and leads the nation with 13.0 rebounds per outing.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Kate Loper • Hofstra
Post Falls, Idaho/Post Falls, Fr., Guard
Loper collected CAA Rookie of the Week honors for the third time this season, second consecutive week, after helping the Pride to a road win over Niagara. The freshman guard poured in a season-high 19 points in just 21 minutes of action against the Purple Eagles. Loper shot 5-of-9 (.556) from behind the arc, while finishing the game 6-of-14 (.429) from the field. She shot perfect from the charity stripe (2-for-2) and added two rebounds and one assist.
CAA AT NO. 12 IN RPI RANKING: The second 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 43rd in the team ranking. Delaware (48), Old Dominion (64) and James Madison (92) are also in the Top 100. UNC Wilmington nears the Top 100 at 105 after the second report through games of Dec. 12.
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 (24.7 ppg) and JMU's Dawn Evans (23.0 ppg) follow. Hurt leads the league in rebounding with 13.0 rpg, while Delaware's Danielle Parker and GSU's Chan Harris follow at 10.7 rpg. Hofstra's Candice Bellocchio leads the conference while dishing out 7.0 assists per game, while ODU's Jasmine Parker is pacing the conference with 23 steals in six games (2.9 spg). Dawn Evans leads the league with 26 three-pointers made. Harris also leads the league with 16 blocked shots.
STANDING OUT IN NATIONAL STATS (through games of Dec. 12 - updated weekly): Delaware's Elena Delle Donne (26.2 ppg) lead the nation in scoring, while and VCU's Courtney Hurt (24.7 ppg) has the third best average in the nation, followed by JMU's Dawn Evan's (23.5 ppg) seventh-best average. This is the third week of NCAA reporting and Delle Donne has held the top spot all three weeks. Hurt, who leads the conference in rebounding, stands second nationally with 13.0 rebounds per game. Hofstra's Candice Bellocchio's 7.0 assists per game is ranked second among DI players. Hurt's seven double-doubles on the year ranks second among all Division I women's players. (CAA Top 50 individual & team listing on page 7)
STAT WATCH: Delaware sophomore All-American Elena Delle Donne is nearing the 1,000-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. Drexel's Jasmina Rosseel is just 26 points shy of reaching the 1,000-point plateau.
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 milestone. JMU's Dawn Evans is just 27 points away from setting a new school record for the Dukes. She currently has 2,094 career points and is looking to snap Tamera Young's (2004-08) school record of 2,121.
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE: Old Dominion has played the toughest strength of schedule (31st) among the league teams. James Madison follows at 107, and Drexel has faced the 132nd toughest schedule thus far.
FOUR CAA WBB TEAMS RANKED IN COLLEGEINSIDER.COM TOP 25 MID-MAJOR POLL: Old Dominion steadied fell to #6, while Delaware and James Madison followed at 9th and 103th, respectively, and Drexel (#20) rounded out the CAA teams in the CollegeInsider.com mid-major poll on Dec. 7. Hofstra (25 votes), UNC Wilmington (22 votes) and VCU (17 votes) all received votes. With four teams ranked, the CAA ties the most of any conference with the Mid-American Conference ranked in the Top 25. The MAC has #2 Bowling Green, #22 Central Michigan, #24 Toledo and #25 Kent State ranked in the poll. Atop the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 is Green Bay, which received 30 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. The league has 28 games scheduled for the current 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 was idle last week and will not return to the court until Dec. 19 when they head to University Park, Pa., to face Penn State. The Blue Hens are led by national-leading scorer Elena Delle Donne (26.2 ppg). Danielle Parker leads the team in rebounding with 10.7 boards per game and Lauren Carra has dished out a team-best 18 assists.
DREXEL (6-1, 0-0 CAA)
Drexel improved to 6-1 on the season with a 66-43 home victory over Seton Hall on Sunday afternoon. With the win, the Dragons are now 5-0 at home this season. Junior Tyler Hale recorded her first career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. She also led the team with five assists and three steals. Kamile Nacickaite led four players in double-figure scoring with 15 points. Jasmina Rosseel put in 14 and Hale was joined by Hollie Mershon with 12 points apiece. It was the second time this season that four players reached double figures in a single game. Rosseel is now just 26 points shy of reaching the 1,000-point plateau for her career. The Dragons play their next five games on the road, starting with an outing against Princeton on Dec. 17. They will also visit Penn State before facing Texas A&M, and UTSA/San Diego State in the SDSU Tournament. Drexel will then open the CAA schedule on the road at UNC Wilmington.
GEORGE MASON (4-5, 0-0 CAA)
George Mason snapped a three-game losing streak as they defeated Stony Brook, 74-48, on Thursday evening and extended its winning streak with a 69-53 win over Ohio on Sunday. Taleia Moton led the team averaging 15.5 points per game last week and 12 assists, while Brittany Poindexter (15.0 ppg) and Ashleigh Braxton (12.0 ppg) also contributed double-figure scoring. Angelee LaTouche snatched a team-best 8.5 rebounds per outing and Evelyn Lewis added 8.0 boards per game. The Patriots will take a 10-day game for final exams and will return to the court on Dec. 22 when they host Longwood.
GEORGIA STATE (3-4, 0-0 CAA)
Georgia State suffered a 51-37 home loss to Western Carolina on Saturday evening. Georgia State got 11 points and eight rebounds from Angelique Burtts, but she shot just 2-of-16 from the field with 7-of-8 free throws. Sophomore center Cody Paulk added 10 points, seven rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots. Six-foot-two junior Chan Harris, who averages 14 points and 10.7 rebounds, while leading the conference in blocked shots, sat out with a foot injury. Georgia State will return to action on Dec. 16 when Jacksonville State visits the Sports Arena. The Panthers will also visit Nicholls State on Dec. 18.
HOFSTRA (5-1, 0-0 CAA)
Hofstra, which improved to 5-1 on the season and have the last five straight, earned a 96-69 win at Niagara on Thursday evening. Sophomore forward Shante Evans had 25 points and 13 rebounds, including 20 points and 10 rebounds in the first half. The double-double was Evans' third of the season and 19th of her stellar career. Joining Evans with a solid outings were freshman guard Kate Loper, who scored a season-high 19 points, and freshman forward Anma Onyeuku, who picked up her first career double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Junior guard Candice Bellocchio picked up her second straight double-double with 10 points and 10 assists, while also adding in six rebounds. With the trio picking up double-doubles, it marks the first time since Jan. 9, 2005 that Hofstra had three players earn double-doubles in a single game. Hofstra's last win streak of at least five games was a seven-game streak during the 2008-09 campaign. With 96 points in the game, it marks the fourth straight game the Pride has reached at least 80 points. It is the first time in program history that Hofstra has reached the plateau in four straight contests. Hofstra returns to action following the break for finals when they travel to Seton Hall on December 18.
JAMES MADISON (5-4, 0-0 CAA)
James Madison suffered an 81-75 loss at Middle Tennessee State on Sunday afternoon. JMU senior guard Dawn Evans led all players with 27 points. Also in double figures for the Dukes were senior guard Courtney Hamner with 15 and senior center Lauren Jimenez with 10. With 27 points on the week, Evans now has 2,094 career points. She moved on the CAA record books in three-pointers made (315) to second, just eight from tying ODU's TJ Jordan for the CAA record, and also stands second with 928 trey's attempted. The Dukes return to the court on Saturday, Dec. 18 when they visit Monmouth. They will host Virginia on Dec. 20 before taking a break for the holiday.
UNC WILMINGTON (5-2, 0-0 CAA)
The Seahawks defeated Campbell on the road 83-80 on Saturday evening. Senior Martha White scored 12 of her game-high 17 points in the second half to guide a UNCW attack that shot 41.7 percent (25-of-60) from the floor for the contest, including 44.8 percent (13-of-29) in the second half. White was one of five Seahawks in double figures as freshman Alisha Andrews chipped in 15 points and dished out a team-best six assists while senior Brittany Blackwell, junior Kristen Hanzer and sophomore Jessica Freeman all tallied 12 points apiece. Blackwell became the program's all-time leader in free-throws made with the 361st make of her career. UNCW returns to action Wednesday, Dec. 15 with a contest at Coastal Carolina. The Seahawks will follow that game when they entertain Charleston Southern on Dec. 17 and then visit Boston College on Dec. 19.
NORTHEASTERN (4-4, 0-0 CAA)
Northeastern improved to 4-4 with a 67-55 home victory over Boston University, and a 55-46 victory on the road at Vermont. On the week, junior Kashaia Cannon averaged 16.0 points per game, while leading four players in double-digit scoring. Afreyea Tolbert (13.5 ppg), Jamie Conroy (12.5 ppg) and Rachel Pecota (11.0 ppg) also contributed double-figure points on the week. Pecota led the team with 8.0 rebounds per outing and added a team-best seven steals. Northeastern will take an 11-day break from action for final exams and return to the floor on Sunday, Dec. 19 to welcome Miami (Ohio) to Solomon Court.
OLD DOMINION (4-4, 0-0 CAA)
Old Dominion split on the week with a 60-35 home victory over George Washington, before falling 65-43 to Richmond on the road. JoNiquia Guilford and Jasmine Parker each averaged a team-best 9.5 points per game last week. Tia Lewis added 8.5 ppg and Jackie Cook contributed 7.5 ppg. Shadasia Green led the team with 9.0 rebounds per contest. The Lady Monarchs are 4-1 at the Constant Center, but 0-3 outside of Norfolk. ODU is off for the final break exam period and will return to host Stony Brook on Dec. 21.
TOWSON (4-4, 0-0 CAA)
Towson fell to UMBC, 56-48, on Tuesday evening. Towson received a team-high 13 points from Deree Fooks and she added four rebounds, three steals and a block. Sheree Ledbetter finished with 12 points and led Towson on the boards with eight. Krystal Parnell tallied nine points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals in the game. The Tigers will now take a break for finals and return to action on Saturday, Dec. 18 when they travel to UMES.
VCU (3-4, 0-0 CAA)
VCU split on the week opening with a 71-62 victory at Coppin State, 71-62. The Rams then suffered a 68-65 decision at Charlotte. Junior Courtney Hurt averaged 22.0 points per outing, while added a team-best 15.0 rebounds per contest. She also led the Rams with nine steals in her two outings. Hurt has posted a double-double in every outing for VCU this season (7 total). Junior Sonia Johnson averaged 19.5 points per outing on an impressive 81.3 percent shooting and posted the team's second best rebounds with 6.0 rpg. Jennifer Lane led the team with 11 assists on the week. The Rams return to the Verizon Wireless Arena on Dec. 18 against Longwood.
WILLIAM & MARY (0-6, 0-0 CAA)
William & Mary was idle last week for final exams. The Tribe is led by Taysha Pye' 14.2 scoring average, while Kaitlyn Mathieu has added 12.3 points per game and leads the team with 7.0 rebounds per outing. Katherine DeHenzel leads the team with 19 assists and Janine Aldridge has grabbed a team-high 16 steals. The Tribe will continue it's four-game homestand when it welcomes Norfolk State on Dec. 15, Virginia Tech on Dec. 18 and Richmond on Dec. 20.