**Complete report in PDF format located at the bottom of this release**
CAA WBB QUICK HITS:
• The CAA steadied with a RPI rating of 11 in the most recent report by Collegiate Basketball News with five in the Top 88. The league finished the non-conference schedule with a 72-59 record.
• Congrats to ODU's Wendy Larry for joining the exclusive 600-win club. The Lady Monarchs rolled past Towson to help Larry reach the milestone.
• Five teams are ranked in the most recent Top 25 of the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll. Old Dominion steadied at #8 in the Mid-Major Poll and a top the CAA schools. Drexel fell to #13, while James Madison (#18), Delaware (#19) and UNC Wilmington (#23) followed.
• The CAA Women's Basketball Weekly Teleconference call will continue on Tuesday at Noon. Delaware's Tina Martin, George Mason's Jeri Porter and William & Mary's Debbie Taylor will be available for questions.
• 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 29 games slated to be televised for the 2010-11 season.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Brittany Blackwell • UNC Wilmington
Raleigh, N.C./Cary Academy, Sr., Forward
Blackwell earned CAA Player of the Week honors after leading the Seahawks to a pair of victories last week over Delaware and Northeastern. The senior forward poured in a team-best 18.0 points per game and added 6.5 rebounds per outing. She shot an impressive 84.2 percent (16-for-19) from the floor, missing just three shots. Blackwell tallied a double-double in the win over the Blue Hens with 21 points and 10 rebounds. She shot a perfect 9-for-9 in that outing. Blackwell also recorded seven assists, one block and one steal.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Alisha Andrews • UNC Wilmington
Stone Mountain, Ga./Redan, Fr., Guard
Andrews collected CAA Rookie of the Week honors after helping UNC Wilmington to a 2-0 week in conference play. The freshman guard added 10.0 points, 8.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds per contest. She posted her first career double-double with 11 points and 10 assists in the Seahawks' win over Northeastern. Andrews shot 47.1 percent (8-for-17) from the field, 40.0 percent (4-for-10) from long range and added six steals on the week.
THE RACE IS ON: Seven games into the conference schedule, there is currently a three-team tie for first place in the CAA standings. UNC Wilmington, James Madison, and Old Dominion all stand at the top with just one loss in conference play.
LARRY REACHES 600TH CAREER WIN: Old Dominion's Wendy Larry joined the exclusive 600-win club on Jan. 23 as the Lady Monarchs rolled past Towson. Larry becomes just the 20th Division I women's basketball coach to reach the historic 600-win plateau and she's the 10th fastest to reach the mark. Now in her 27th season, Larry is the 12th winningest active coach with a career record of 600-229.
CAA AT NO. 11 IN RPI RANKING (though games of Jan. 23): The RPI report compiled by Collegiate Basketball News ranked the CAA as 11th out of 32 conferences at the start of conference play. The CAA has five ranked in the top 88, led by Old Dominion ranked at #56 in the team ranking. James Madison (65), UNC Wilmington (70), Drexel (71) and Delaware (88) are also in the Top 100.
STANDING OUT IN NATIONAL STATS (through games of Jan. 23): The CAA has the twp of the top three leading scorers in the nation with top-ranked Dawn Evans (24.3 ppg) from James Madison and third-ranked VCU's Courtney Hurt (23.9 ppg). Two other CAA players rank in the top 50. Hurt leads the nation with 13.2 rebounds per outing, while Hofstra's Shante Evans follows in rebounding with 10.9 rpg (12th). Hofstra's Candice Bellocchio is ranked 14th in assists with 5.8 per outing and Old Dominion's Jasmine Parker's 3.4 steals per contest is the fourth best average in the nation. UNC Wilmington's Brittany Blackwell is shooting 56.5 percent from the floor for 13th in the nation. Drexel's Kamile Nacickaite is ranked eighth in three-point field goal percentage with 45.0. JMU's Dawn Evans is ranked second in three-point field goals per game (3.4) and Drexel's Jasmina Rosseel follows at sixth (3.1). Hurt leads the nation with 15 double-doubles on the season. (CAA Top 50 individual & team listing on page 9)
STAT WATCH: Delaware sophomore All-American Elena Delle Donne is nearing the 1,000-point plateau. She has recorded 956 career points in 36 games and if she continues to average 26.0 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: VCU's Courtney Hurt is the most recent CAA member to reach the 1,000-point milestone. She joins William & Mary's Taysha Pye, Drexel's Jasmina Rosseel and Old Dominion's Jasmine Parker after reaching the 1,000-point milestone this season with her 26-point performance at James Madison. JMU's Dawn Evans posted 31 points against Monmouth and set a new JMU career record for the Dukes. She currently has 2,344 career points. Evans now ranks second in the CAA record books and looks to pass Drexel's Gabriela Marginean (2,581).
DOUBLE THE TROUBLE: There are three players in the CAA that are averaging a double-double thus far this season. VCU's Courtney Hurt leads the league with 15 double-double performances out of 17 outings and averages 23.9 ppg to go along with 13.2 rpg. Hofstra's Shante Evans follows closely with 17.2 ppg and 10.9 rpg, while Georgia State's Chan Harris is pouring in 13.1 ppg along with her 10.0 rpg.
FIVE CAA WBB TEAMS RANKED IN COLLEGEINSIDER.COM TOP 25 MID-MAJOR POLL: The CAA has five teams ranked in the Top 25 of the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll. Old Dominion steadied at #8 in the Mid-Major Poll and a top the CAA schools. Drexel fell to #13, while James Madison (#18), Delaware (#19) and UNC Wilmington (#23) followed in the Jan. 18th poll. Hofstra received votes (7). 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 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. Tickets are on sale now through all 12 schools and TicketMaster.com.
HOME-SWEET-HOME: Drexel has a perfect 8-0 record at the Daskalakis Athletic Center this season, including a 3-0 mark against conference opponents. UNC Wilmington (6-1) has just one loss on their home court this season, while Hofstra (5-2), James Madison (9-2), Old Dominion (8-2) and VCU (5-2) each have two losses at home. As a league, the teams own a 66-37 (.641) overall record on their home courts. In conference play, four of the 12 teams are still perfect at home -- Drexel (3-0), JMU (4-0), UNCW (3-0), and VCU (3-0).
WATCH LISTS - KEEPING AN EYE ON CAA PLAYERS: 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 received honorable mention All-America honors from the Associated Press. Evans was also recently named to the mid-season Wooden Award.
CAA 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 29 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.
SIGN ON FOR DAWN: The NephCure Foundation's "Sign on for Dawn" (www.signonfordawn.org) fundraising campaign is past the halfway point, with $5,751 raised toward its $10,000 goal. The NephCure Foundation is a non-profit foundation that funds research into finding effective treatments and provides support for patients suffering from the kidney diseases FSGS (Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis) and Nephrotic Syndrome. JMU's Dawn Evans has been suffering from FSGS since December 2009.
GIRL SCOUT APPRECIATION DAYS: For the 17th 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, sleep over events, 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.
PLAY FOR THE CURE - WBCA PINK ZONE DAYS: The CAA, all 12 women's basketball programs and Kroger are teaming up to fight breast cancer. The CAA women's basketball programs have committed to participate in a variety of different ways to assist in raising breast cancer awareness on the court, across campuses, in communities and beyond. The week set aside for this year's initiative is February 11-20, however some schools are participating outside of that window due to the scheduling conflicts. A large number of schools have committed to participate nationwide in the 2011 WBCA's Pink Zone initiative. The CAA, the women's basketball programs and Kroger are asking fans to attend one of the CAA's Pink Zone women's basketball games and donate to help fight breast cancer and increase early detection and prevention.
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. 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 (2010): For the first time in conference history, the CAA sent seven women's basketball teams to the postseason in 2010. 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.
2010-11 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. 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.
2010-11 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 (11-7, 4-3 CAA)
The Blue Hens split on the week as they fell on the road to UNC Wilmington, 66-48, before rebounding with a 50-46 road victory at Georgia State. Delaware was led by Lauren Carra' 14.5 ppg, as she was the only player to averaged double-figures on the week. Danielle Parker grabbed a team-best 14 rebounds in the two outings, while Eva Reddick added 10. Parker also finished the week with 9.0 points per outing. Vanessa Kabongo led the team with six assists, and Parker snatched a team-high five steals for the Blue Hens. Delaware finished the game against the Panthers with a season-tying 47 rebounds and held GSU to just 46 points, UD's third lowest opponent point total of the season. Sophomore standout Elena Delle Donne, currently averaging 26.0 ppg, has sat the bench for the last 10 games due to a back injury. She is listed as day-to-day. Delaware will return home for an outing against George Mason before visiting Hofstra this week.
DREXEL (12-6, 4-3 CAA)
The Dragons went 1-1 on the week as they fell short against the Patriots, 49-47, but returned home to extend their home winning streak to eight straight with a 69-57 win over Hofstra. Drexel is just one win away from matching their longest home streak, nine games, which was set in 1989-90 and matched last season. Senior Jasmina Rosseel and junior Kamile Nacickaite each poured in 18.0 points per outing for the Dragons. Rosseel poured in a career-high 26 points, all in the second half, in the win over the Pride on Sunday. Nacickaite added 14 rebounds on the week and a team-high four steals. Junior Tyler Hale finished the week with a team-best 20 rebounds and added 16 points. She also compiled her second double-double of the season with 11 points and a career-best 15 rebounds against Hofstra. The Dragons also finished that game with a season-high 55 rebounds. Drexel will remain home and look to extend their streak on Thursday when they host James Madison. The Dragons will finish the week in Richmond, Va., when they visit the Rams of VCU.
GEORGE MASON (8-10, 2-5 CAA)
George Mason captured a 49-47 home victory over Drexel before falling to William & Mary, 69-57. Taleia Moton, who secured the win over the Dragons with a late jumper, finished the week averaging 13.5 points per game. Brittany Poindexter (12.5 ppg) and Amber Easter (12.0 ppg) also averaged double-digit points on the week. Easter led the team with 15 rebounds in the two outings. The Patriots saw three players post five assists on the week, including Angelee LaTouche's five in the win against Drexel. Moton and Poindexter also dished out five assists on the week, while Easter snatched five steals for Mason. The Patriots will hit the road for a pair of conference outings as they visit Delaware and Northeastern.
GEORGIA STATE (7-11, 2-5 CAA)
Georgia State suffered a pair of losses last week as they fell to Northeastern, 72-48, and Delaware, 50-46. The Panthers were led by Angelique Burtts' 11.0 points per outing. Chan Harris led the team on the boards with 7.0 rebounds per contest and added a team-best five blocks. Kendra Long dished out a team-best five assists, while splitting eight steals with Tiffany Anderson. In both outings last week Georgia State led at the half, but could not come away with the victories. The Panthers will hit the road for a pair of conference outings next week when they visit Virginia. GSU will first take on VCU in Richmond, Va., before facing Old Dominion in Norfolk, Va.
HOFSTRA (11-7, 3-4 CAA)
Hofstra posted a 1-1 record on the road last week. The Pride captured its second win over Towson this season with an 81-74 victory, before falling to Drexel, 69-57. Sophomore Shante Evans poured in team highs of 19.5 points and 9.0 rebounds per outing, helping her average a double-double on the season. Evans shot an impressive 66.7 percent (16-for-24) from the floor on the week. Candice Bellocchio added 13.5 points per game and dished out six assists. Jael Pena led the team on assists with 12. Also grabbing double-figure rebounds was Nicole Capurso (14) and Candace Bond (11). All 11 of Bond's rebounds were on the defensive end. Kate Loper, who missed Hofstra's outings a week ago, returned to add 18 points on the week- all three-pointers. Hofstra has two games on the schedule this week as it will travel to UNC Wilmington on Thursday before hosting Delaware on Sunday.
JAMES MADISON (13-6, 6-1 CAA)
James Madison earned a pair of home victories with a 72-59 decision over William & Mary and a 69-59 win over VCU last week. With the wins, JMU has won four straight, seven in a row at home and eight of its last night contests. The Dukes were led by Lauren Jimenez as she returned after missing three games due to a concussion. Jimenez poured in 17.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game and recorded her fifth double-double of the season against William & Mary. Dawn Evans added 17.0 points per game and dished out a team-best 11 assists on the week. Evans is just two assists (498) from becoming the fifth player in school history with 500 or more assists. The senior guard also scored double figures in both outings making it 101 games with double figures in her career. Evans is second all-time at JMU behind Tamera Young's ('08) school record 112. JMU also received big rebound numbers from Lauren Whitehurst (16), Courtney Hamner (14), Jalissa Taylor (12) and Nikki Newman (12). The Dukes will hit the road for a pair of outings as they visit Drexel on Thursday before facing Towson on Sunday.
UNC WILMINGTON (14-4, 6-1 CAA)
UNC Wilmington extended its winning streak to five games with victories over Delaware, 66-48, and Northeastern, 85-68. The Seahawks were led by senior Brittany Blackwell's 18.0 points per game. She shot an impressive 84.2 percent (16-for-19) from the floor on the week and added 6.5 rebounds per outing for UNCW. Martha White added 16.5 ppg to go along with a team-high 8.5 rebounds per outing. Freshman Alisha Andrews contributed 10.0 points and 8.0 assists per game in the two victories. Andrews captured her first double-double with 11 points and 10 assists against Northeastern. The Seahawks as a team shot 54.5 percent (61-for-112) from the floor against the two opponents. Blackwell moved into third place on the program's all-time scoring list with a basket during the second half against Delaware. UNCW excelled once again on the defensive end of the floor as it limited UD and NU to just 34.7 percent (41-of-118) shooting and recorded a combined 20 steals on the week. Andrews led with six steals. The Seahawks begin a three-game home stand when they welcome Hofstra and William & Mary this week.
NORTHEASTERN (7-11, 2-5 CAA)
Northeastern defeated Georgia State, 72-38, before falling to UNC Wilmington, 85-68. The Huskies had four players average double-figures on the week led by Deanna Kerkhof's 16.0 points per game. Rachael Pecota (12.0 ppg), Kashaia Cannon (11.0 ppg) and Jamie Conroy (10.0 ppg) also added double-figure points. Pecota and Christine Huber each grabbed a team-best 12 rebounds on the week, while Conroy recorded team highs of 11 assists and eight steals. Huber also contributed a team-high four blocks. The Huskies were well rounded as four players scored in double digits in both outings, making it the seventh time this season. Northeastern grabbed a season-high 50 rebounds against the Panthers. The Huskies will host a pair of home CAA contests when they welcome Towson and George Mason to Solomon Court.
OLD DOMINION (12-6, 6-1 CAA)
Old Dominion suffered its first conference loss of the season with a 63-60 loss at home against VCU before handing head coach Wendy Larry her 600th career win with a 71-43 victory at home Sunday over the Towson Tigers. Larry becomes just the 20th Division I women's basketball coach to reach the historic 600-win plateau and she's the 10th fastest to reach the mark. Now in her 27th season, Larry is the 12th winningest active coach with a career record of 600-229. The Lady Monarchs were led by three players averaging double-digits -- Kquanise Byrd (11.5 ppg), Alena Voronina (11.0 ppg) and Tia Lewis (10.0 ppg). Rebounding was also spread around the team as four players grabbed double-figure boards -- Voronina (11), Lewis (11), Jasmine Parker (10) and Shadasia Green (10). Four players dished out five assists or more, while Parker led the team with nine steals on the week. VCU is just the second CAA team to beat ODU on it's home court twice. JMU is just the other team to do so. After winning 11 of its last 12 CAA road games, Old Dominion will his the road for an outing in Williamsburg, Va., on Thursday to play William & Mary. The outing between ODU and W&M will be broadcast on WSKY and Comcast SportsNet Plus. The Lady Monarchs will also host Georgia State on Sunday.
TOWSON (7-11, 1-6 CAA)
Towson went 0-2 on the week with losses to Hofstra, 81-74, and Old Dominion, 71-43. Dovile Miliauskaite nearly averaged a double-double to lead the Tigers with 11.5 points and 9.0 rebounds per outing. Against Hofstra, all five starters posted double figures. Krystal Parnell added 9.5 points per outing, while Simona Petronyte contributed 8.5 points per game. Parnell finished the week with a team-high nine assists, while Miliauskaite posted a team-best four blocks. Jaleesa Dryver snatched a team-high six steals for the Tigers. Towson visits Northeastern on Thursday before returning home to host James Madison Sunday afternoon.
VCU (10-7, 5-2 CAA)
VCU played the top of the league and split on the week with a victory at Old Dominion, 63-60, and a loss at James Madison, 69-59. The Rams were led by Courtney Hurt's 22.5 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. Sonia Johnson and Andrea Barbour also helped with double-figure points with 11.5 ppg and 10.5 ppg, respectively. VCU has handed ODU two of its six CAA home losses since the Lady Monarchs joined the league in 1992. In the match-up against the Dukes, Hurt scored her 1,000th career point and became the first VCU player to reach the milestone as a junior since Quanitra Hollingsworth (2007-08). The junior leads the nation in double-doubles with 15 and needs just three more to tie VCU's single-season record of 18 held by Hollingsworth (2008-09) and Nimah Darcy (1994-95). Hurt has scored in double figures in a school record 26 straight and 41 of VCU's last 45 games. The Rams will look to return to the win column as they host a pair of conference outings this week. VCU will welcome Georgia State for an early tip (4 p.m.) on Thursday before entertaining Drexel on Sunday.
WILLIAM & MARY (2-15, 1-6 CAA)
William & Mary split on the week with a loss to James Madison, 72-59, before earning their first conference win of the season with a 69-57 victory over George Mason. Taysha Pye led the Tribe with 23.5 points per game and added 6.5 rebounds per outing. Emily Correal, who sat out against the Dukes on Thursday serving out her suspension from the conference opener, added 14 points and seven rebounds against Mason and Jaclyn McKenna averaged 12.5 points per contest for the Tribe. McKenna and Taylor Hilton each grabbed 11 rebounds on the week. Katherine DeHenzel tabbed team highs of eight assists and five steals. Against the Dukes, the Tribe held the nation's leading scorer, Dawn Evans, to zero field goals in the first half. It was the first time she's been held without a field goal in any half this season. William & Mary will take on Old Dominion at home on Thursday. The contest will be aired on WSKY and Comcast SportsNet Plus. The Tribe will then visit UNC Wilmington for a Sunday afternoon contest.