THIS WEEK’S QUICK HITS:
• James Madison, Drexel, Northeastern, William & Mary and UNC Wilmington opened conference play with victories. The Seahawks were the only team to win on their home court. VCU and Old Dominion will open their CAA schedules on Monday evening as the Lady Monarchs, 2008 CAA Champions, host the 2008 CAA runner-up Rams in Norfolk, Va. at 7 p.m.
• The CAA looks to improve on its 76-53 record as George Mason hosts Saint Joseph’s on Tuesday evening.
• The CAA improved to 10th among the nation’s 32 Division I conferences in women’s basketball according to the RPI report compiled by Collegiate Basketball News (through games of Jan. 4). VCU leads the league with an RPI rating of 28. Old Dominion follows ranked at 56 and Towson at 66. UNC Wilmington caps the Top 100 at 100.
• Ten of the league’s 12 teams own a winning percentage of .500 or better.
• The CAA has the two of the top three scorers in the nation playing in the league. James Madison’s Dawn Evans jumped back to No. 1 after averaging 25.3 points per outing. Drexel’s Gabriela Marginean fell to No. 3 as she is averaging 23.8. Marginean was most recently held to only two points in Drexel’s victory over Delaware after getting into foul trouble.
LAST WEEK’S QUICK HITS:
• The CAA posted a 76-53 non-conference record as the CAA teams compiled a 12-5 non-conference record last week.
• Towson, which fell to William & Mary on Sunday, has lost all three of its contests this season by only one point.
• With a record of 8-4, the Hofstra Pride is currently tied for third in the nation for top turnaround record. The Pride has won three more games than they had won all year in 2007-08. Delaware follows tied for 13th as they are one above what they finished a year ago.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
Dawn Evans • James Madison
Clarksville, Tenn./Northeast, So., Guard
James Madison sophomore earned CAA Player of the Week honors for the third time this season after leading the Dukes to a 2-0 week and averaging 30.5 points and 6.5 assists per game last week. The sophomore guard recorded game highs of 32 points and seven assists in the win over Siena and posted game highs of 29 points and six assists in the conference win over George Mason. Evans shot 60.5 percent from the floor on the week and reached the 700-point plateau in her 42nd career game to capture the school record.
Tiffany Benson • William & Mary
Virginia Beach, Va./Princess Anne, Jr., Forward
William & Mary junior forward Tiffany Benson collected CAA Player of the Week honors after helping the Tribe to a 3-0 week, including a one-point victory over Towson in the conference opener. The junior was named MVP of the Saint Peter’s Classic after scoring double-doubles in each contest (18 pts, 12 rbs vs. SPC/13 pts, 15 rbs vs. NJIT) and totaling 10 blocks to become W&M’s all-time block leader. For the week, Benson averaged 13.3 points, 11.7 rebounds and 3.3 blocks per outing.
ROOKIES OF THE WEEK
Kamile Nacickaite • Drexel
Siauliai, Lithuania/Regis Jesuit, Fr., Guard
Drexel freshman guard Kamile Nacickaite was named CAA Rookie of the Week after leading the Dragons to a 2-0 week averaging a team-best 14.5 points per outing. She knocked down a season-high four treys and finished with 16 points in the win over Maine, before posting 13 points and five rebounds while helping to fill the void of a teammate Gabriela Marginean, who was benched due to foul trouble, in the win over Delaware.
Janine Aldridge • William & Mary
Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa, Fr., Guard
William & Mary freshman guard Janine Aldridge received CAA Rookie of the Week honors leading the Tribe to a 3-0 week averaging a team-best 13.7 points per game. The rookie earned All-Tournament honors after her performance at the Saint Peter’s Classic after setting or tying eight career-highs, including 14 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals between the tournament contests. In conference play, Aldridge led the Tribe with a game-best 22 points and finished with five rebounds, six assists and zero turnovers. In addition to her 13.7 points per game, the rookie averaged five rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.3 steals per contest last week.
THE START OF CAA ACTION: League action started on Jan. 4, as James Madison, Drexel, William & Mary, UNC Wilmington and Northeastern earned victories. Old Dominion, which captured its 17th consecutive CAA Championship title in 2008, was favored to carry on tradition and win the 2009 Women’s Basketball title. The Lady Monarchs were followed in the voting by VCU, James Madison, Drexel and Towson. UNC Wilmington was picked to finish sixth, followed by Delaware, Georgia State, Northeastern, William & Mary, Hofstra and George Mason. The Lady Monarchs will open their CAA schedule when they host VCU on Monday, Jan. 5 at 7 p.m. VCU was the runners-up at the 2008 CAA Women’s Basketball Championship and challenged ODU for the title.
QUICK FLASHBACK TO 2008 - ODU CAPTURES 17TH STRAIGHT CAA TITLE: Old Dominion edged VCU, 71-64, in another thrilling title game to capture its NCAA-record 17th consecutive CAA championship in 2008. The Lady Monarchs have never lost a CAA tournament game since joining the league back in 1991-92. With the win, ODU advanced to its 25th NCAA Tournament, which is tied with Louisiana Tech for the second-most appearances in Division I behind only Tennessee. The Lady Monarchs have won 20 or more games during all 17 seasons as a CAA member.
NCAA STAT LEADERS (THROUGH GAMES OF JAN. 4): The CAA has the two of the top three scorers in the nation playing in the league. James Madison’s Dawn Evans jumped back to No. 1 after averaging 25.3 points per outing. Drexel’s Gabriela Marginean fell to No. 3 as she is averaging 23.8. Marginean was most recently held to only two points in Drexel’s victory over Delaware after getting into foul trouble. Middle Tennessee’s Alysha Clark slipped in between the CAA duo averaging 24.1 points per outing. Evans is tied is ranked seventh in the nation in three-point field goals made per game as she is averaging 3.1 per game. Marginean is ranked ninth in free-throw percentage while shooting 90.3 this far this season. Also ranked in the top 10 in the NCAA statistic summaries is Hofstra’s Jess Fuller as she is shooting 60.6 percent from the field. The Hofstra defense stands strong and tall as they lead the nation in blocking (7.5 bpg). The Georgia State Panthers are fourth in the nation averaging 14.5 steals per match-up and rank third with a turnover margin of 9.27. The Dragons of Drexel improved to fourth with a team shooting percentage of 81.7 from the free-throw line. Delaware’s defense is holdings its opponents to an average of 51.0 points per game, which is ranked fourth in the nation. The Blue Hens are also ranked eighth holding their opponents to shooting 33.7 percent from the floor. James Madison ranks 10th scoring an average of 78.3 points per game.
CAA NO. 10 IN RPI RANKING: The CAA improved to 10th among the nation’s 32 Division I conferences in women’s basketball according to the RPI report compiled by Collegiate Basketball News (through games of Jan. 4). VCU leads the league with an RPI rating of 28. Old Dominion follows ranked at 56 and Towson at 66. UNC Wilmington caps the Top 100 at 100.
TV EXPOSURE: CAA women’s basketball increased its television exposure with 25 games on the air in 2007-08. All 12 teams made at least one television appearance. The CAA women’s basketball semifinals (The Comcast Network) and championship (Comcast SportsNet) games were included in the 2007-08 season package. The 25 games broadcast for CAA women’s basketball is an all-time best in the history of the league. Heading into the season, 19 games are slated for the 2008-09 season for CAA women’s basketball. This weekend highlights Hofstra at Drexel on Sunday, Jan. 11. The contest will be aired at Noon on The Comcast Network and Madison Square Garden Network.
CAA TEAMS UP WITH GIRL SCOUTS: For the 15th consecutive year, the CAA and 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. A variety of activities is planned in conjunction with the games, 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.
HOME SWEET HOME: James Madison has won 11 straight games at the Convocation Center in Harrisonburg and is ranked tied for 12th amongst longest home winning streaks. Old Dominion’s 29 game winning streak on its home court was spoiled by #11/14 Tennessee on Dec. 18. ODU was the only CAA team that did not lose a contest on its home court in 2007-08 and was hoping to continue that streak in 2008. The Lady Monarchs were tied with Hartford for the nation’s longest home winning streaks at 29. James Madison recently started re-building their home winning streak as they posted a 30 game win streak at home from Nov 18, 2005 to Nov. 30, 2007. That streak was ended with a visit from #4 Maryland on Dec. 20, 2007.
LADY MONARCHS FALL OUT OF AP & USA TODAY/ESPN COACHES’ POLLS: After the loss to then-ranked #24 Michigan State, the Lady Monarchs fell out of the Top 25 AP Poll on Dec. 1 and then out of the USA Today/ESPN Coaches’ Poll on Dec. 2. This is the first time this since Nov. 20, 2007 that Old Dominion dropped below the Top 25, but continued to receive points. Michigan State jumped to #21 with the win over the Lady Monarchs, but then fell out of the Top 25 after a loss to St. Bonaventure. ODU is still receiving votes for the past four weeks, just short of the top 25.
GEORGE MASON HIRES JERI PORTER AS NEW HEAD COACH: George Mason will be the only CAA team with a new head coach this season as Jeri Porter replaces Debbie Taneyhill. Porter was the head coach at Radford for the past six seasons, where she guided the Highlanders to a 93-85 overall record. Prior to that, she spent four years at the helm of the North Alabama program finishing with a 64-43 mark.
DREXEL’S MARGINEAN TIES FASTEST PLAYER TO REACH 1,000 POINTS: Drexel forward Gabriela Marginean collected the 1,000th point of her career against Towson on Feb. 28, 2008 and tied ODU’s Clarisse Machanguana for the fastest in the CAA to reach the career milestone in just 58 games.
MOST IMPROVED SQUADS: Four CAA teams were among the top 25 most improved squads in Division I women’s basketball in 2007-08. Northeastern topped the league with a 10-game turnaround, going 14-16 last year in the second season under coach Daynia La-Force Mann after going 4-26 in 2006-07. UNC Wilmington (9), Drexel (8.5), and VCU (7) also ranked among the top 25 most improved squads.
IMPROVEMENTS FOR 2008-09: With a record of 8-4, the Hofstra Pride is currently tied for third in the nation for top turnaround record. The Pride has won three more games than they had won all year in 2007-08. Delaware follows tied for 13th as they are one above what they finished a year ago. Leading the list currently is Fordham who were winless a year ago and are currently 7-7.
WINNING BIG & SETTING RECORDS: Four CAA teams completed the 2007-08 season with 22 or more victories. Over the past three seasons, 12 CAA squads have eclipsed the 22-win total. Old Dominion finished last season with 31 victories, the most wins since 1996-97 when the Lady Monarchs won 35 contests. ODU was followed by VCU’s school-record 26 wins, James Madison’s 24 and Towson’s school-record 22 victories.
POSTSEASON SUCCESS IN THE NCAA: Old Dominion captured its 17th straight CAA title, danced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament and finished with a 31-5 record in 2007-08. It was the Lady Monarchs’ best record since the 1996-97 season when they advanced to the national championship game. ODU, which was seeded fifth in the Greensboro Regional, reached the NCAA Sweet 16 for the first time since 2002 by defeating Liberty and Virginia before falling to Connecticut in the Regional semifinals. Four of the Lady Monarchs’ five losses came against teams that reached the 2008 Final Four (Connecticut, Stanford, Tennessee). The Lady Monarchs spent 18 weeks in the Top 25 polls and finished the season ranked 10th.
POSTSEASON SUCCESS IN THE WNIT: James Madison and VCU were selected to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament, making it the third consecutive season that at least three CAA teams continued in the postseason. JMU received an automatic bid to the WNIT and VCU earned a postseason berth for just the second time in school history with an at-large bid to the WNIT. The Dukes reached the third round with a win over Radford at home and an overtime victory at Indiana. VCU defeated Charlotte on the road for their first postseason victory since 1995. It was the first time in CAA history that two different teams won WNIT games in the same season.
DELAWARE (8-4, 0-1 CAA)
Delaware went 1-1 on the week as they defeated Loyola Marymount, 66-60, to clinch the LMU Tournament title and then fell to Drexel, 56-40, at home in its first conference contest of the season. On the week, sophomore guard Tesia Harris led the Blue Hens averaging 17.0 points per game, while sophomore Ariene Jenkins led the team on the boards collecting 6.5 rebounds per outing. Jocelyn Bailey netted 10.0 points per contest last week and six UD players averaged 4.5 rebounds or more, including Jenkins. Harris also finished the week averaging 3.0 steals per outing and shot an impressive team-high 92.3 percent from the free-throw line. On Monday, Harris led the Blue Hens with game highs of 21 points and four steals in the win over Loyola Marymount to clinch the tournament title. Vanessa Kabongo (14) and Bailey (10) also added double-figure points. Jenkins pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds. Drexel spoiled the Blue Hens’ six-game winning streak on Sunday afternoon in the first conference match for both teams. Harris scored a team-high 13 points, including three three-pointers, for Delaware, while Jenkins added 12 points and Bailey came off the bench to contribute 10 points and seven rebounds. The Blue Hens shot a season-low 24.0 percent from the field on 12-of-50 shooting. They held the nation’s leading scorer in Gabriela Marginean to her lowest point total (2) since her freshman season as Drexel’s star was saddled with foul trouble all game. Delaware has been without its second-leading rebounder in freshman forward Danielle Parker for the first time after she suffered a season-ending torn ACL and meniscus injury. The Hens, whose nine-player rotation features seven freshmen and sophomores and just one senior, will return to action Thursday when they host Hofstra. The Blue Hens will conclude the week with a trip to Atlanta to take on Georgia State on Sunday, Jan. 11 in conference play.
DREXEL (6-6, 1-0 CAA)
The Dragons posted a 2-0 record last week to even their record at .500 with wins over Maine and Delaware. Drexel completed the St. Joseph’s Hawk Classic with a 87-55 victory over Maine on Monday, before earning a win over Delaware in its first CAA contest of the year, 56-40. Surprisingly, freshman Kamile Nacickaite came up strong for the Dragons averaging a team-best 14.5 points per game last week, while the nation’s leading scorer was held to only 12.5 points in the two outings. Sophomore Jasmina Rosseel also contributed double-figure points averaging 11.5 per match-up, while also leading the team on the boards with 5.5 rebounds per outing. Marginean, who leads the team in free-throw percentage, shot a perfect 14-of-14 from the line last week. Against Maine, Marginean led all scorers with 23 points. Andrea Peterson put in a season-high 12 and matched her career high with four steals. Nacickaite reached double-figures for a third straight game with 16 points on four three-pointers. Marginean matched the tournament record, which she set yesterday, by making all 14 of her free-throw attempts. The Dragons’ 87 points was the team’s highest offensive output of the season. They shot a season-best 50 percent (10-of-20) from beyond the arc, led by Nacickaite’s 4-of-8 shooting. On Sunday against the Blue Hens, Drexel’s trio of seniors stepped to the forefront with the nation’s leading scorer, Marginean, shackled with foul trouble and held to a season-low two points in just 16 minutes of play. It was her lowest scoring game of the season and second only to a game against LaSalle on Dec. 9, 2006, in her freshman year, when she played just six minutes due to injury and did not score, as the lowest scoring game of her career. Peterson pulled away a career-high five steals, Nicole Hester led the team with four assists to go with a season-high 10 points and Brooke Cornish contributed career highs of eight points and four rebounds in 15 minutes. Rosseel added game highs of 15 points and eight rebounds while playing a career-high 40 minutes. Drexel held Delaware to its lowest point total of the season (40) and it is also the Dragons’ best defensive effort ever against the Blue Hens. After snapping a 19-game losing streak to UD last season, the Dragons have now won three in a row against the Blue Hens. The Dragons will visit William & Mary on Thursday before hosting Hofstra on Sunday. The Noon tip against the Pride will be aired on The Comcast Networks (formerly CN8) and Madison Square Garden Network.
GEORGE MASON (2-9, 0-1 CAA)
Mason opened the week with a 65-57 victory over Appalachian State on Tuesday evening, but then fell to a tough James Madison squad, 90-65, in the conference opener on Sunday. Five Mason players averaged double-figure points on the week led by Brittany Eley (14.5 ppg). Whitney Ward and Brittany Poindexter each averaged 12.0 points and Becky Cox and Eugenia Broadus each contributed 11.0 points per outing last week. Ward led the team pulling down 8.0 boards per match-up. Against App State, Mason saw five players score in double figures, led by a career-high 18 points from sophomore Eugenia Broadus. Senior Whitney Ward led Mason off the glass with eight rebounds to go with her 12 points along with a career-best four assists. It was the first time since Nov. 28, 2006 that a quintet of Patriot players reached double-digit points in a single game. Mason opened the game on an 11-2 run and never trailed for the remainder of the game. The Patriots lead of 12 at the half was its largest halftime lead since Jan. 9, 2007. On Sunday, Mason was unable to continue its winning streak as the Patriots ran into a hot-shooting JMU team in a 90-65 loss. Brittany Eley put down a career-best 18 points in the loss, one of four Mason players to reach double figures. The game was close in the early going, as there were a total of six lead changes, but the Dukes seized control with a 9-0 run to go up for good with seven minutes left in the half. Mason will look for a return to the win column when they return to action Tuesday evening in their non-conference finale against St. Joseph’s, followed by a road contest at VCU on Thursday and a home tilt against Towson on Sunday.
GEORGIA STATE (7-4, 0-1 CAA)
Georgia State went 2-0 at the 15th annual Georgia State Invitational with victories over Mississippi Valley State and Texas A&M Corpus Christi, but fell to UNC Wilmington on the road in their conference opener on Sunday. Georgia State advanced to the championship game of the 15th annual Georgia State Invitational with a 70-60 win over Mississippi Valley State. State won for the fifth time in its last six games with its pressure defense that was No. 4 in the nation in steals going into today’s game. The aggressive Panthers added 20 steals and forced 31 Mississippi Valley State turnovers. Junior forward Danyiell McKeller led three Panthers in double-figures with her 16 points, all in the first half. Freshman point guard Crystal Johnson had 15 points and six assists, while freshman two-guard Jylisa Williams added 13 more points, nine steals, eight rebounds and six assists. On Tuesday, the host Panthers won a third straight game and posted a sixth win in their last seven outings with its defense that held the Islanders to 31.3 percent shooting, forcing 18 turnovers and making 11 steals. Georgia State was led today by senior guard Brittany Hollins with 14 points and six rebounds, by freshman guard Jylisa Williams with 13 points, five steals, four rebounds and three assists and by McKeller’s 13 points. In addition, Johnson excelled with nine assists, seven points and six rebounds, while junior forward Dana Olsen added eight rebounds to tie junior forward Shay Rawls’ eight boards. The Panthers Jylisa Williams was Tournament MVP with her two-day total of 26 points, 14 steals, 12 rebounds and nine assists and was joined by teammates Brittany Hollins and Crystal Johnson on the All-Tournament squad. Against the Seahawks, visiting Georgia State shot just 30.7 percent from the floor, 3-of-17 outside the three-point arc and 0-for-5 from the free throw line in dropping the CAA opener. Hollins scored 11 points and McKeller added 10 points and seven rebounds in the loss. Hollins played in her 100th career game Sunday as she continues to fill up her career totals that now read 1,071 points, 431 rebounds, 392 assists. Her 288 steals are a school record total and she needs four more to move up to seventh in all-time CAA history. Her two double-figure scoring games this week up her career total to 63. McKeller leads the Panthers in scoring and rebounds and has produced double-figure games in nine of the 11 this year. She passed the 700-point milestone and the 400-rebound milestone against UNCW. The Panthers will settle at home for the next two contests as they host Northeastern on Thursday before entertaining Delaware on Sunday.
HOFSTRA (8-4, 0-1 CAA)
Hofstra extended its winning streak to seven games with a victories over NJIT and Saint Peter’s at the Saint Peter’s Holiday Classic, before Northeastern snapped the steak as the Pride fell 57-52 in the conference opener. In the opening contest of the Saint Peter’s College Holiday Classic on Monday evening, the Pride defeated NJIT, 60-43. Fuller had 14 points and five rebounds and freshman forward Joelle Connelly added 11 points and nine rebounds. On Tuesday, the Pride completed the Holiday Classic with a 64-57 overtime victory over host Saint Peter’s. Fuller had her fourth double-double of the season with 19 points and 15 rebounds, while sophomore guard Aamira Terry added 16 points and eight rebounds. Freshman Nicole Capurso finished with 12 points for Hofstra, marking her fourth game in a row with double figures. The Staten Island native, along with Fuller earned all-tournament honors. The Pride has won both of its overtime games this season. Against Northeastern, Fuller had her second double-double of the week and fifth of the season, with 14 points and 11 rebounds. She also added a career-high seven blocks in the game. With an 8-4 record, Hofstra is off to the program’s third-best Division I start since Hofstra became an NCAA DI program in 1982-83. Hofstra’s previous seven-game win streak is the program’s third-longest in the Division I era, with the only two longer being an eight-game and a 10-game streak during the 2006-07 campaign. Hofstra has a pair of games on the schedule this week as they will travel to Delaware on Thursday before taking on Drexel in Philadelphia on Sunday. The contest against the Dragons will be aired on The Comcast Networks and Madison Square Garden Network.
JAMES MADISON (8-4, 1-0 CAA)
James Madison posted a 2-0 record on the week as the Dukes won their fourth straight contest with an 87-62 decision over Siena on Tuesday evening and extended that streak to five with a 90-65 win over George Mason in conference play on Sunday. On the week, sophomore guard Dawn Evans led the Dukes averaging 30.5 points per game and dished out 13 assists. She shot an impressive 60.5 percent from the floor, 50 percent from long range and 69.2 from the charity stripe. Sophomore guard Courtney Hamner contributed 13.0 points per outing for the Dukes, while senior forward Kisha Stokes and Nina Uqdah each grabbed 7.5 rebounds per contest. Against Siena, sophomore guard Dawn Evans scored 32 points to lead JMU. For the game, also scoring in double figures for JMU were sophomore guard Courtney Hamner with 11 and redshirt junior guard Sarah Williams with 10. Sophomore forward/center Jalissa Taylor tied for game rebounding honors and matched her career high with nine. Evans had a game-high seven assists. In the conference outing against George Mason, Evans tallied game highs of 29 points and six assists. Every JMU player scored, and Evans was joined in double figures by Hamner with 15 and Stokes, who had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. The Dukes shot a season-high 60.7 percent (34-56) from the floor and out-rebounded Mason 42-27. James Madison returns to the Convo this week with a goal to extend the current 11-game win streak at home. The Dukes will host Towson on Thursday before entertaining VCU on Sunday.
UNC WILMINGTON (7-5, 1-0 CAA)
The Seahawks have suffered back-to-back losses this week as they fell to Western Carolina, 73-63, on Tuesday evening and then dropping a 72-58 loss at Wake Forest on New Year’s Day before earning a 61-49 victory over Georgia State in conference play. Sophomore Brittany Blackwell led the team averaging 17.7 points and 7.3 rebounds per game over the trio of outings. She also led the team with eight steals. Junior Greta Luksyte contributed 10.0 points per match-up last week. Against Western Carolina, Blackwell scored a game-high 23 points to lead UNCW, who shot 39.7 percent from the field in the contest. Senior Sahsha Taylor was the only other UNCW player to break double figures as she added 10, while Luksyte pitched in nine. Junior Candace Walker pulled down a team-best nine rebounds, while Blackwell added eight and Taylor grabbed seven as UNCW held a 40-39 edge in that category. The Seahawks struggled from the free-throw line in the contest, as the team with the 24th highest free-throw percentage in the nation was held to a season-low 50.0 percent (15-of-30) from the charity stripe. On New Year’s Day, Blackwell was the only UNCW player in double figures as she scored 16 points, 12 of which came in the first half. Taylor added nine points and Luksyte pitched in eight. Luksyte also pulled down a team-best six rebounds, while Taylor matched a career-high with four assists. In the conference opener against Georgia State, sophomore Treasure Johnson posted career-highs of 18 points and eight rebounds to lead UNCW. Johnson was one of three UNCW players in double figures as Blackwell added 14 points and Luksyte chipped in 13. Blackwell also grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season, while Taylor chipped in eight rebounds and six points. Junior Whitney Simmons dished out career-best five assists. The Seahawks return to action this week with a pair of CAA contests. UNCW hosts Old Dominion on Thursday before heading north to play William & Mary on Sunday.
NORTHEASTERN (4-8, 1-0 CAA)
Northeastern fell in a home contest against Harvard, 78-72, in overtime on Wednesday afternoon, but quickly rebounded with a 57-52 road victory over Hofstra in its conference opener. Jasmine Crew led the Huskies on the week posting 13.5 points per outing, while Kim Carr followed with 11.5 points per contest. Kendra Walton and Brittany Wilson pulled down a team-high 4.5 rebounds per outing. Against Harvard, the Huskies shot 47.3 percent from the field and 42.3 percent from beyond the arc but it wasn’t enough as clutch free-throw shooting by the Crimson allowed them to sneak away with a win. Northeastern was lead by Carr who had a team-high 17 points, five boards, three blocks and thee steals. Crew chipped in with 15 points, career-high eight assists, and five rebounds. Also in double figures was Ashlee Feldman who poured in 12 points and three boards. The Huskies opened conference play on Sunday with a come-from-behind victory on the road over Hofstra, 57-52, snapping HU’s seven-game win streak. Crew hit four free-throws down the stretch to secure a NU victory. The Huskies forced a season 24 turnovers and collected 16 steals in the win. NU scored 21 points off of turnovers and got 19 points from the bench. Crew led the Huskies with 12 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the charity stripe. Kendra Walton added 11 points and seven rebounds, while Brittany Wilson scored 11 points and two steals.
OLD DOMINION (5-5, 0-0 CAA)
Old Dominion closed out the non-conference portion of its schedule with a 79-72 loss at Ole Miss Friday night. The Lady Monarchs conclude the non-conference schedule at 5-5. The Lady Monarchs went 3-2 at home, 0-2, on the road, and 2-0 in neutral site action. Senior Tiffany Green, the Lady Monarch’s leading scorer at 16.2 points per game, scored a career-high 24 point against the Lady Rebels as Old Dominion tried to rally from a 10-point second half deficit. The Lady Monarch post also hauled in 13 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the year. Green has scored in double figures in all but one contest this season. Green was one three Lady Monarchs to collect double figures in the loss. In addition to Green’s career-high 24 points, sophomore Shadasia Green registered a career-high 15 points. Also scoring in double figures was senior Jazzmin Walters with 15 points. Fellow classmate Jen Nuzzo reset her career mark in assists with seven. The Lady Monarchs have three games on the slate this week. Monday night, Old Dominion opens up CAA play hosting VCU in a rematch of the CAA Championship game in which the Lady Monarchs won its NCAA record 17th straight league title overcoming an 18-point deficit to win the crown with a 71-64 victory. The Lady Monarchs have won 34 straight home CAA contests and hold a 161-2 home CAA mark. On Thursday night the Lady Monarchs travel to UNC Wilmington and Sunday ODU travels to Northeastern.
TOWSON (8-3, 0-1 CAA)
Towson split at the Florida Classic as they fell to Miami (Ohio), 69-68, on Monday before defeating Vermont, 51-48. The Tigers finished the week 1-2 as they fell to William & Mary by a score of 61-60 in the conference opener on Sunday. The Tigers have three losses on the year, which are all one-point losses. Junior guard Shanae Baker-Brice led the Tigers for the week averaging 14.0 points per outing, while junior forward Katrina Wheeler added 12.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. On Monday, the Tigers fell short in just their second game of the season by one point as they fell to Miami (Ohio), 69-68. Miami hit a pair of foul shots with three seconds remaining to lift them to a 69-68 come from behind victory over the Towson basketball team in the first round of the State Farm Classic hosted by the University of Florida. Towson was led by the inside play of Wheeler and junior forward Kandace Davis. Wheeler finished with a team-high 15 points and six rebounds, while Davis posted her third double-double of the year with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Sophomore forward Dovile Miliauskaite had a season-high nine points and nine rebounds. Baker-Brice also finished with nine points and seven assists. Against Vermont, the Tigers got 18 points from Baker-Brice and 12 points from Wheeler in the contest. Baker-Brice finished with six rebounds, four assists and three steals to go along with her 18 points. Wheeler posted 13 rebounds to record her fourth double-double of the season. She would also add five blocked shots in the contest. Miliauskaite had five points, two rebounds and three steals, while Davis grabbed six rebounds. The Tigers suffered their third one-point loss as they fell to William & Mary, 61-60, in the conference opener on Sunday. Towson was led by Baker-Brice and sophomore Simona Petronyte who tied for team-high 15 points in the contest. The Tigers will take a two-game road trip this week as they will visit James Madison on Thursday before facing George Mason on the trip back to Towson, Md.
VCU (10-2, 0-0 CAA)
VCU improved to 10-2 and concluded its non-conference schedule with a 67-63 win over American on Tuesday evening. The victory was the sixth straight overall and ninth straight home win for the Rams. Junior La’Tavia Rorie led three Rams in double-figures with 17 points and six rebounds, while senior Quanitra Hollingsworth notched her 42nd career double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds. Hollingsworth became the first player in the history of VCU women’s basketball to eclipse the 900-rebound plateau and now sits with 910 for her four-year career. Sophomore Jessica Taylor continued her recent offensive surge with 11 points and three assists. It marked third straight game with at least three different Rams in double-figures. VCU dominated the boards to a tune of 42-33, including 26 offensive boards. Hollingsworth grabbed 14 boards (seven offensive), while junior D’Andra Moss continued her great play on the glass with eight boards, four of them offensive. Head coach Beth Cunningham now sits at 91 career victories, just four away from the most all-time at VCU. The Rams open up their CAA slate on Monday evening against the Monarchs of Old Dominion, winners of 17 straight conference titles.
WILLIAM & MARY (8-4, 1-0 CAA)
William & Mary posted a 2-0 record at the Saint Peter’s Holiday Classic with victories over host Saint Peter’s and NJIT and then improved to 3-0 on the week with a close 61-60 conference win over Towson on Sunday. On the week, freshman guard Janine Aldridge led the team averaging 13.7 points per game as junior forward Tiffany Benson followed closely with 13.3 points per outing. Both Aldridge and Benson snatched a team high seven steals and Aldridge also dished out a team best 11 assists. On Monday evening, the Tribe picked up a 60-51 victory at the Holiday Classic over Saint Peter’s. Benson posted her fifth double-double of the season with game highs of 18 points and 12 rebounds. Aldridge also reached double-digits in scoring, contributing 14 points on four field goals and a perfect 4-of-4 from the charity stripe. Aldridge also added five rebounds and four assists, and set or tied eight personal season-highs in the game. Senior Courtney Portell was the third Tribe player with 10 or more points, scoring 10 to go along with five rebounds and three steals. Benson also tallied six blocks to leap up into a tie with Rebecca Dayvault ‘93 for the most career blocks in program history with 155. On Tuesday, the Tribe defeated NJIT, 58-46. History was made 46 seconds into the contest, as Benson altered a Saint Peter’s layup attempt for her 156 career block, moving past Rebecca Dayvault ‘93 as W&M’s all-time top shot-blocker. Benson would finish the contest with four blocks, including a thunderous rejection of a three-point attempt just before the 10 minute mark in the first half. She also earned all-tournament honors after recording her second double-double in as many games, collecting 13 points and 15 rebounds on 6-of-9 shooting from the floor. Freshman Taysha Pye was the team’s leading scorer on the night, converting six attempts and a pair of free-throws for 14 points to go along with four rebounds and a pair of assists. On Sunday, Aldridge led the Tribe to a conference road victory as she poured in 22 points. The rookie didn’t miss a shot for the first 26 minutes (6-of-6), and didn’t miss from long range (5-of-5) for the first 31 minutes, while putting together the first 20-point outing of the season for the Tribe. She also finished with five rebounds for the third straight contest, and had a career-high six assists against zero turnovers. With the win over the Tigers, W&M is 1-0 in the CAA for the first time since 2000-01 and fourth overall. The 1998-99 squad is the only team in school history to start conference play 2-0. Benson finished the week ranked sixth in CAA history with 159 blocks. The Tribe will host Drexel on Thursday and then entertain UNC Wilmington on Sunday for a pair of home contests this week.
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