THIS WEEK’S QUICK HITS:
• The CAA has three contests scheduled to be televised this week starting with a WSKY airing of the contest between William & Mary and Old Dominion in Williamsburg on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. On Sunday, the 1 p.m. tip of Towson at Drexel will be broadcast on The Comcast Network (formerly CN8), which will be followed by a 3 p.m. tip of James Madison at Old Dominion. The Dukes/Lady Monarchs match-up will be carried on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic and Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia.
• The CAA has posted a 76-54 record in non-conference play.
• The CAA is ranked 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. 18). VCU jumped back in front with an RPI rating of 34, while Old Dominion, perennial powerhouse of the CAA, followed at 47. Towson follows with a rating of 86 and James Madison is ranked 89.
• Nine of the league’s 12 teams own a winning percentage of .500 or better.
• The CAA has the two of the top four scorers in the nation playing in the league. James Madison’s Dawn Evans continued to steady her spot at No. 1 while averaging 24.1 points per outing. Drexel’s Gabriela Marginean is ranked fourth as she is averaging 22.8.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
Jess Fuller • Hofstra
Queens, N.Y./Francis Lewis/Monroe CC, Jr., Center
Hofstra junior center Jess Fuller was named CAA Player of the Week after leading the Pride to a pair of conference wins over Towson and William & Mary. The junior center posted two double-doubles in the wins. Fuller, who ranks amongst the nation’s leaders in field goal percentage and blocked shots, was 9-of-14 (.643) from the field and 5-of-6 (.833) from the charity stripe. She also posted six blocks for the Pride. Fuller finished the week recording 11.5 points and 11.0 rebounds per game and led the league averaging 3.0 blocks per game and shooting a league-high .643 from the floor.
Quanitra Hollingsworth • VCU
Chesapeake, Va./Great Bridge, Sr., Center
VCU senior center Quanitra Hollingsworth received CAA Player of the Week honors for the second time this season after leading the Rams to a pair of victories over William & Mary and Delaware. She posted back-to-back double-doubles and finished the week averaging 13.0 points and 11.0 rebounds between the two victories. Hollingsworth tallied five blocks, four steals and three assists in the wins. The senior shot 52.6 percent (10-of-19) from the floor and 60 percent (6-of-10) from the free throw line.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Brittany Wilson • Northeastern
Pawtucket, R.I./Bay View, Fr., Guard
Northeastern freshman guard Brittany Wilson earned CAA Rookie of the Week honors for the second time this season after helping the Huskies earn a pair of conference wins as they defeated UNC Wilmington and George Mason. The Pawtucket, R.I., native, averaged 10.0 points and 5.0 rebounds in the two victories. She also contributed four steals and two assists on the week.
NCAA STAT LEADERS (THROUGH GAMES OF JAN. 15): (to be updated after J. 20) The CAA has the two of the top four scorers in the nation playing in the league. James Madison’s Dawn Evans continued to steady her spot at No. 1 while averaging 24.1 points per outing. Drexel’s Gabriela Marginean steadied at No. 4 as she is averaging 22.8. Evans is ranked eighth in the nation in three-point field goals made per game as she is averaging 2.9 per game. Marginean also steadied at fifth in free-throw percentage while shooting 91.4 this far this season. William & Mary’s Tiffany Benson is ranked ninth while blocking 3.2 shots per game. Hofstra’s Jess Fuller jumped into the top 10 while shooting 59.8 percent from the floor (10th). Drexel’s Andrea Peterson is ranked second with an assist turnover ratio of 3.07. The Dragons of Drexel lead the nation in free-throw percentage while shooting 83.8 from the charity stripe, while the Hofstra defense stands strong and tall as they are second in the nation in blocking (7.5 bpg). The Georgia State Panthers are sixth in the nation averaging 13.0 steals per match-up and rank fourth with a turnover margin of 7.5. Delaware’s defense is holdings its opponents to an average of 53.3 points per game, which is ranked 10th in the nation. James Madison’s defense is ranked ninth holding its opponents to a three-point field goal percentage to .246.
CAA NO. 10 IN RPI RANKING: The CAA is ranked 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. 18). VCU jumped back in front with an RPI rating of 34, while Old Dominion, perennial powerhouse of the CAA, followed at 47. Towson follows with a rating of 86 and James Madison is ranked 89.
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. The CAA has three contests scheduled to be televised this week starting with a WSKY airing of the contest between William & Mary and Old Dominion in Williamsburg on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. On Sunday, the 1 p.m. tip of Towson at Drexel will be broadcast on The Comcast Network (formerly CN8), which will be followed by a 3 p.m. tip of James Madison at Old Dominion. The Dukes/Lady Monarchs match-up will be carried on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic and Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia.
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: Georgia State and VCU are the only teams in the CAA that have perfect records on their home court, as VCU enters the week with a 10-0 record at the Siegel Center this season and Georgia State owns a 7-0 mark at the Georgia State Sports Arena. The Rams currently own a 12 game win streak at home, dating back to the end of the 2007-08 season. The streak ranks 15th in the nation tied with New Mexico. Two hearty home court winning streaks have been broken this year in the CAA, as Old Dominion’s 29-game streak and James Madison’s 12-game stretch were snapped. James Madison had won 12 straight games at the Convocation Center in Harrisonburg, before VCU captured a victory over the Dukes on Jan. 11. 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.
ON THE WATCH-HISTORY IN THE MAKING: There is something in common with VCU’s Rochelle Luckett, Old Dominion’s Mery Andrade & Tisha Penicheiro and with three assists Georgia State’s Brittany Hollins will also join this unique group as they will all have recorded at least 1,000 points, 400 rebounds, 400 assists and 300 steals. Luckett, Andrade and Penicheiro are the only three that have accomplished these numbers in CAA history and Hollins looks forward to joining this special group of women’s basketball players.
LADY MONARCHS FALL OUT OF AP & USA TODAY/ESPN COACHES’ POLLS: After the loss to then-ranked #24 Michigan State in November, 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.
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.
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.
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 11-5, the Hofstra Pride is ranked third in the nation for top turnaround record. The Pride has won five more games than they had won all year in 2007-08. Delaware and Georgia State follow tied for 18th as they are one above what they finished a year ago. Leading the list currently is Fordham and Central Connecticut State with an increase of seven more wins than the previous season.
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 (8-8, 0-5 CAA)
Delaware dropped a 70-53 decision at home to James Madison in conference play on Wednesday evening before falling to a tough VCU squad on Sunday, 68-45. On the week, Sophomore forward Ariene Jenkins led the team averaging 9.5 points per game. Sophomore guard Tesia Harris also contributed 9.0 points per game and Jocelyn added 7.5 points and a team-best 6.0 rebounds per contest. Corinthia Benison (6) and Meghan McLean (6) split 12 thefts on the week. Against James Madison, the Hens pulled to within 10 points in the final four minutes against the Dukes, but could never get closer and dropped their fourth straight game. Delaware allowed a season-high 70 points in the loss. Harris led the Hens with 14 points, while Jenkins added 12 points and nine rebounds, Benison chipped in with eight points, and McLean dished out a career-high five assists in her first career start. Against the Rams, Vanessa Kabongo led the Hens with 10 points, four rebounds and two steals. With the loss to VCU, the Blue Hens are now off to their first ever 0-5 start in conference play in any conference they have competed in dating back to the 1982-83 season. The Hens, whose nine-player rotation features seven freshmen and sophomores and just one senior, will travel Wilmington, N.C. to take on the Seahawks of UNC Wilmington on Thursday. Delaware will finish the week when they host George Mason at home on Sunday.
DREXEL (8-8, 3-2 CAA)
Drexel earned a 74-65 win at home over Georgia State on Thursday, before falling to James Madison, 60-56, on the road Sunday. On the week, junior forward Gabriela Marginean averaged 21.5 points per outing and shot 86.7 from the free throw line as the Dragons split in conference play. She also contributed a team-high six rebounds per outing last week. Jamina Rosseel added 14.0 points per contest and Nicole Hester dished out a team-best 10 assists in the two match-ups. Against the Panthers, Rosseel poured in a career-high 20 points on 5-for-11 shooting from deep and the Dragons once again used their superior free-throw accuracy to close out Georgia State down the stretch. For the second straight game she dropped in a career-high-tying five three-pointers and is now among Drexel’s all-time top 10 in career treys. Marginean finished with 18 points and a game-high nine rebounds. The junior forward saw her streak of consecutive free-throws come to an end at 37 straight when she missed a free-throw early in the second half against the Panthers. Drexel’s Andrea Peterson turned in another strong performance, knocking down her first two three point attempts and rolling to 13 points and three assists and four the third game in a row, the Dragons point guard did not commit a turnover. Hester had a solid all-around game for Drexel, chipping in seven points, six boards, two blocks, one steal and a team-leading five assists. In the match-up of the conference’s top two scorers, Marginean led her team with 25 points, while pouring in 18 in the second half. Marginean’s 25-point effort moved her ahead of Catherine Scanlon for sixth place on Drexel’s all-time scoring list with 1,452 points, one behind 2008 graduate Narissa Suber. Drexel committed a season-low 11 turnovers against GSU and matched the superlative ball-handling effort with just 11 miscues against James Madison. The Dragons return to Philadelphia for a two-game homestand against Northeastern, on Thursday, and Towson, on Sunday in a game that will be televised on The Comcast Network (formerly CN8).
GEORGE MASON (2-14, 0-5 CAA)
George Mason lead in the early minutes, but fell to Old Dominion, 73-42, on the road Thursday, and then suffered a 59-43 loss at home to Northeastern on Sunday. The Patriots were led by Brittany Poindexter’s 10 points per game last week, while Brittany Eley contributed nine points per outing. Eugenia Broadus grabbed a team-best 6.5 rebounds per outing. On Thursday, the Patriots were plagued by shooting woes in the game, as ODU held a 41.7-to-26.3 percent field goal shooting advantage. The Lady Monarchs controlled the paint as well, outscoring Mason 38-to-14 while also out-rebounding the Patriots, 48-to-35. Mason was led by 10 points and eight rebounds from Poindexter, while all five ODU starters reached double figures. On Sunday, the Patriots had another strong start, but it lasted 20 minutes as Mason fell in its third contest after leading at halftime to Northeastern. Mason fell prey to another big scoring run, as this time the Huskies scored 21 straight points in the second stanza to erase the Mason lead and ultimately record a victory. Poindexter led Mason for the second straight contest with 10 points. The Patriots will travel for a pair of contests this week as they face James Madison and Delaware.
GEORGIA STATE (9-6, 2-3 CAA)
Georgia State opened their three-game road stand with losses at Drexel, 74-65, on Thursday, and Old Dominion, 62-46, on Sunday. Chandra Harris led the Panthers on the week averaging 14.5 points and nine rebounds per outing. Rookie Crystal Johnson dished out a team-high 12 assists and averaged 6.5 points per contest. Johnson’s classmate, Jylisa Williams posted 11.0 points per game and transfer Brittany Graham contributed 10.5 points per outing in the two contests. In the contest against Drexel, four players reached double figures for Georgia State. Harris paced the Panthers with 17 points. She was joined in double-figure scoring by Graham (16 points), Williams (12) and Johnson (11). Johnson, who is the CAA’s leader in assists, dished out a game-high seven. On Sunday, Old Dominion came from behind to capture the 62-46 win over the Panthers. Georgia State led at halftime, 24-23, was leading 37-34 with 11:15 and was still tied at 39 with 8:35 left. But, foul troubles and mistakes cost their Panthers a chance for an upset. Harris led State with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Senior guard Brittany Hollins had 10 points, five rebounds, three steals, three assists and two blocked shots. The Panthers were hurt most when point guard Johnson got two fouls in the first half and left with State up eight with six minutes in that half. Then, Johnson picked up her fourth foul just four minutes into the second half and couldn’t be as effective on either end of the court. Back-up point guard Monica Mann had season-ending knee surgery on Wednesday. Leading scorer and rebounder Danyiell McKeller missed the game with a knee injury and watched from the bench. The Panthers will return to the court on Thursday when they travel to Towson for their third straight road contest. Georgia State will wrap up the week at home as they look to defend its undefeated record (7-0) when they host Hofstra.
HOFSTRA (11-5, 3-2 CAA)
Hofstra collected a pair of victories in conference play last week with wins over Towson (57-55) and William & Mary (55-45). With the two wins, Hofstra has now won 10 of its last 12 games this season and the win over the Tribe on Sunday put the Pride over .500 in conference for the first time this season. The Pride were led by junior center Jess Fuller as she averaged 11.5 points, 11.0 rebounds and shot 64.3 percent from the field and 83.3 percent from the charity stripe last week. Junior guard Sam Brigham also posted 11.0 points per game last week and senior Niki Williams added 10.0 points per contest for the Pride. In the tough match-up against Towson, Joelle Connelly provided the late-game heroics, hitting a jumper from the foul line as time expired. Williams set up the exciting finish, establishing a career-high with 11 assists and was also one of four Pride players to score in double figures. The senior guard logged her third career double-double and became the first Pride player to register double-figure assists this season. She finished just two assists shy of the school record, set by Liz Irwin during the 1979-80 season. Connelly finished with a team-high 16 points. Fuller complemented her effort with her seventh double-double this season, pouring in 12 points and 10 rebounds. The junior forward now claims 13 career double figure scoring games. Brigham chipped in 10 points, three rebounds and two steals. Against the Tribe, Fuller logged her third straight double-double (11 points, 12 rebounds) and senior Natty Fripp scored 12 of her season-high 15 points in the second half. The Pride defense held an opponent below 50 points for the third time this season. Hofstra forced the Tribe to shoot 24.2 percent from the field, marking the fifth time it held an opponent below the 30-percent mark. Williams added 10 points and seven assists from the point guard spot. Hofstra will go on the road for a pair of CAA games this week as they will travel to VCU on Thursday before facing Georgia State on Sunday.
JAMES MADISON (11-5, 4-1 CAA)
James Madison earned a pair of victories last week and has now won eight of its last nine contests with victories over Delaware (70-53) and Drexel (60-56). The nation’s scoring leader, Dawn Evans, did not disappoint this week as she averaged 24.5 points and dished out 7.5 assists per outing. Sophomore Lauren Jimenez contributed 14.0 points and 7.5 rebounds per outing helping the Dukes with the conference wins. Dukes’ sophomore forward/center Jalissa Taylor finished the week with a team-high 8.5 rebounds per contest. On Wednesday in Newark, Del., Jimenez led all players with 20 points, matching her career high, and pulled down nine rebounds, one below her career high. Also in double figures for the Dukes were Evans, who scored 19 points and handed out a career-high 10 assists, and sophomore guard Courtney Hamner, who added 11 points. Taylor led all players with a career-high 11 rebounds, 10 of which came in the first half. Senior forward Kisha Stokes finished with nine rebounds. When the Dukes returned home, they picked up a 60-56 win over visiting Drexel on Sunday. Evans scored her team’s last 22 points and finished with a game-high 30 points against the Dragons. Evans, the nation’s leading scorer, netted her team’s final 22 points in the last 10:22. During that span she hit two three-pointers, a jumper from just inside the three-point line, a 15-foot jumper and a layup. She also knocked down 10 of 12 free-throw attempts and was six for eight from the foul line in the final 17.6 seconds. Evans, along with Drexel’s Gabriela Marginean (25 points), where the only two players to score in double-digits on Sunday. Evans finished the night shooting 13-of-20 from the free-throw line, while setting both JMU and Convocation Center records for attempts. The Dukes will host George Mason on Thursday before traveling to Norfolk, Va. to take on Old Dominion on Sunday. The match-up against the Lady Monarchs will be televised on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic and Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia at 3 p.m. The outing against the Lady Monarchs will be televised in High-Definition, the first of the season for a CAA women’s basketball team.
UNC WILMINGTON (7-9, 1-4 CAA)
The Seahawks dropped its third and fourth straight CAA contests with a close 54-50 loss on the road at Northeastern Thursday and then a 63-54 loss to Towson on Sunday. Greta Luksyte (9.5 ppg), Brittany Blackwell (9.0 ppg) and Sahsha Taylor (8.0 ppg) led the Seahawks in scoring on the week. Taylor led the team with 7.5 rebounds per outing. On Thursday, Blackwell was the only UNCW player to reach double figures with 12 points as the Seahawks were limited to just 34.9 percent shooting for the contest. Freshman Julia Finlay chipped in a career-high nine points on a trio of three-pointers late in the first half and Luksyte pitched in eight points. Sophomore Martha White grabbed a career-high seven rebounds, while Taylor pulled down six caroms. On Sunday, Taylor finished one rebound shy of a double-double with team highs of 16 points and nine rebounds to lead UNCW. She was joined in double figures by Luksyte, who pitched in 11 points on 3-of-4 shooting from beyond the arc. Blackwell, the team’s leading scorer, was held to a season-low six points but grabbed eight rebounds and dished out four assists. Sophomore Sheronda McLean and junior Candace Walker both matched their career highs with seven and five assists, respectively. The Seahawks return to action this week with a pair of home contests when they host Delaware on Thursday and VCU on Sunday.
NORTHEASTERN (6-10, 3-2 CAA)
Northeastern earned a 2-0 record last week with a 54-50 victory over UNC Wilmington at home Thursday and a 59-43 road win over George Mason on Sunday. Jasmine Crew led the Huskies scoring 16.0 points and grabbing 7.0 rebounds per game last week. She also dished out a team-high 11 assists. Kim Carr finished the week with a team-high nine steals. Also scoring for the Huskies last week was Ashlee Feldman (11.5 ppg) and Brittany Wilson (10.0 ppg). On Thursday, Crew nailed a fade-away jumper and made two key free throws with 28 seconds left, to lift Northeastern to the victory over UNC Wilmington. Crew had a game-high 17 points, six assists, and five rebounds to lead Northeastern. Brittany Wilson added 11 points and six boards. Carr had eight points, a career-high six steals, grabbed five boards, and swatted two shots. Sophomore Tiffany Crews tied a career-high in points (8) and pulled in career-high nine rebounds. At George Mason, NU outscored the Patriots 42-19 in the second half after scoring just 17 points in the first half. Feldman led the way for the Huskies scoring 12 of her game-high 16 points in the second half, all from beyond the arc. Crew added 15 points (13 in the second half), pulled down nine boards, and dished out five assists. Kendra Walton scored all of her 11 points in the second half and pulled down nine rebounds. The Huskies will visit Drexel on Thursday before returning home to host William & Mary on Sunday.
OLD DOMINION (10-5, 5-0 CAA)
Old Dominion improved to 5-0 in the CAA with a 73-42 win at home over George Mason on Thursday and a come-from-behind 62-46- win over Georgia State on Sunday. Senior Jazzmin Walters led the Lady Monarchs scoring 18.0 points in the win over GSU. Teammate Jasmin Parker contributed 13.5 points per game and Tiffany Green posted 13.0 rebounds and 12.5 points per outing. Freshman Mairi Buchan dished out a team-best 11 assists on the week. With three of its starters on the bench, the Old Dominion women’s basketball team still managed to cruise to its 44th straight victory over the George Mason Patriots on Thursday. Five Lady Monarchs scored in double figures with Parker scoring a game-high 16 points, sophomore Sierra Little pouring in a career-high 14 points in her first career start, and Green collecting her sixth double-double of the year with 14 points and 14 rebounds. The Lady Monarchs used a 21-0 run in the first half to break open the game. Also scoring in double figures for the Lady Monarchs Thursday night was Buchan with 10, and senior Jen Nuzzo with 11, one point shy of tying her career mark. Buchan, starting in her fifth game, also added in a season-high seven assists and three steals. Nuzzo tied her career mark with three steals. On Sunday, Walters, who missed Thursday’s game with a knee injury, returned to the court for a game-high 18 points along with five assist and three steals. Joining Walters in double figures were Green and Parker with 11 apiece. Green also hauled in 12 boards for her seventh double-double of the year. The Lady Monarchs return to action this week with a trip to William & Mary on Thursday, which will be aired on WSKY. ODU returns home on Sunday to host James Madison in a televised contest which is scheduled to broadcast on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic and Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia at 3 p.m. The outing against the Dukes will be televised in High-Definition, the first of the season for a CAA women’s basketball team.
TOWSON (10-5, 2-3 CAA)
Towson split on the week as they fell short to Hofstra, 57-55, in Hempstead, N.Y., on Thursday, before rebounding with a 63-54 win over UNC Wilmington on Sunday. Junior guard Shanae Baker-Brice netted 17.0 points per game last week to lead the Tigers, while Simona Petronyte (11.5 ppg) and Haliena Snowden (10.0 ppg) also contributed double-digit points. Baker-Brice finished the week with a team high 10 steals and Katrina Wheeler led the Tigers under the boards recording 7.5 rebounds per outing. Against the Pride, Baker-Brice led the Tigers with 21 points. In addition to her 21 points, Baker-Brice contributed four assists and a career-high eight steals. Petronyte finished with 11 points, while Wheeler contributed six points and a team-high nine rebounds. Sophomore forward Dovile Miliauskaite had five rebounds and four steals for the Tigers. Hofstra shot 40.4% from the floor and 63.6% from the free throw line. The Pride won the battle on the boards by a 42-32 margin. Against the Seahawks, A 15-2 run early in the second half allowed the Towson basketball team to turn a six-point deficit into a seven point advantage and claim an eventual 63-54 victory. Baker-Brice finished with 13 points and a team-high seven rebounds, while Petronyte connected for 12 points. Parker came off the bench to add 11 points and five rebounds for the Tigers. Towson returns to the court on Thursday when they host Georgia State, before visiting Drexel on Sunday. The contest against the Dragons will air on The Comcast Network (formerly CN8) at 1 p.m.
VCU (14-3, 4-1 CAA)
VCU went 2-0 on the week as they handed William & Mary its first CAA loss of the season with a 69-52 victory at home Thursday before keeping Delaware from their first CAA win on Sunday with a 68-45 victory. The Rams improved to 10-0 on the season on their home court and extended their winning streak at the Siegel Center to 12 games--third longest in school history. With the VCU men’s squad also sitting at a perfect 8-0 at home, VCU is just one of nine Division I schools that boast both undefeated men’s and women’s squads at home. Three players led the Rams on the week as Quanitra Hollingsworth, Radoslava Bachvarova and La’Tavia Rorie averaged 13.0 points per game in the victories. Kita Waller also posted double-digit points netting 11.5 per contest. Hollingsworth snatched 11.0 rebounds per outing for the Rams and freshman Jennifer Lane dished out a team-high 11 assists on the week, while splitting 10 steals evenly with D’Andra Moss. Against the Tribe, four players scored in double figures for the Black and Gold led by Bachvarova’s 13 points. Hollingsworth notched her 45th career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds in the contest. VCU’s defensive intensity was evident right out of the gate as the Rams held William & Mary without a field point for the first 7:00 minutes of the game. Lane finished with 12 points, seven assists, three rebounds and three steals in a great all around effort, while Rorie was the fourth Ram in double-figures with 11 points on the evening. On Sunday against the Blue Hens, the Rams were directed to a victory by head coach Beth Cunningham, who became the all-time winningest coach in VCU’s women’s basketball history. Cunningham sits at 95-71 for her six-plus seasons, an all-time winning percentage of .572. Once again, four different players scored in double-figures led by double-doubles from Hollingsworth, 16 points and 12 rebounds, and Waller, 16 points and 11 rebounds. Hollingsworth’s performance was her third straight and 46th career double-double, while Waller notched her second career double-double on the afternoon. Rorie tallied 15 points, five assists and four rebounds, while Moss finished with 12 points, six rebounds and five assists. Freshman Courtney Hurt continued her outstanding play with nine points and eight rebounds off the bench. Hollingsworth finished the week with five blocks and is one away (148) from jumping into the CAA Top 10 All-Time Career list (149). The Rams return to action on Thursday as they wrap-up a three-game home stand when they host Hofstra. VCU will then hit the road as they visit UNC Wilmington on Sunday in conference action.
WILLIAM & MARY (10-6, 3-2 CAA)
The Tribe went 0-2 after starting their conference schedule 3-0, with road losses to VCU and Hofstra. Junior Tiffany Benson led William & Mary with 12.5 points and 16.0 rebounds per outing last week. Kelly Heath also posted double-digit points with 10.0 per contest. William and Mary dropped its first CAA contest of the season on Thursday night, falling to host VCU, 69-52. Benson finished the contest with nine points, a game-high 15 rebounds, and two blocks, just missing her eighth double-double of the season. Heath finished with a game-high 15 points, while grabbing eight rebounds. Freshman guard Taysha Pye had a solid overall game off the bench, finishing with six points, five rebounds, and two assists, while Courtney Portell chipped in a team-high four assists. On Sunday, the Tribe suffered a 55-45 loss at Hofstra as the Pride outscored the Tribe 33-21 in the second half. Benson recorded her league-leading 10th game with double-digit rebounds, pulling in 17 boards to go with 16 points. Freshman Janine Aldridge scored 11 points to go with five rebounds and four assists. Senior Dani Kell contributed seven points and nine rebounds. Head coach Debbie Taylor needs five more wins to become William & Mary’s all-time winningest coach, men’s or women’s basketball. Taylor is at 109 and the record is currently held by Bill Chambers, the W&M men’s coach from 1957-66. William and Mary will look to get back on the winning side of the ledger Thursday, when the Tribe hosts the Old Dominion Monarchs at 7 p.m. in Kaplan Arena. The game will be televised live in the Hampton Roads area on WSKY Channel 4. The Tribe will finish the week with an outing in Boston when they visit Northeastern on Sunday.
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