THIS WEEK’S QUICK HITS:
• VCU, James Madison and Drexel are tied for first place with 7-2 records in conference play. Old Dominion, the perennial power, fell to both James Madison and VCU in the last eight days as the Lady Monarchs are suffering from a number of injuries. The last time ODU lost three conference consecutive contests was in 2002-03 when the Lady Monarchs fell to James Madison, VCU and Delaware, all on the road mid-season.
• The CAA has posted a 77-54 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 Feb. 1). VCU continued in front of the conference ranked at 40, while Old Dominion, perennial powerhouse of the CAA, followed at 52. James Madison jumped in front of Towson at 75, while Towson followed with a rating of 89.
• The CAA has the two of the top five scorers in the nation playing in the league- JMU’s Dawn Evans (24.9 ppg) and Drexel’s Gabriela Marginean (22.9 ppg).
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
Quanitra Hollingsworth • VCU
Chesapeake, Va./Great Bridge, Sr., Center
VCU senior center Quanitra Hollingsworth received CAA Player of the Week after leading the Rams to a pair of conference wins last week, including a home victory over Old Dominion. The senior center averaged 18.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per outing, while shooting 57.7 percent from the floor (15-of-26). She tallied 16 point on a very effecient 8-of-11 shooting in a road victory over William & Mary. Hollingsworth then led VCU to its first win over ODU since 2002-03 by recording her 47th career double-double with season highs of 21 points and 15 rebounds.
Gabriela Marginean • Drexel
Cluj-Napoca, Romania/Mt. de Chantal Academy, Jr., Forward
Drexel junior forward Gabriela Marginean was named CAA Player of the Week honors for the second consecutive week and fourth time this season after leading the Dragons to a pair of road wins. She averaged 23.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game in Drexel’s wins at Hofstra and UNC Wilmington. Against Hofstra, Marginean poured in 29 points, her highest scoring game in conference play this season. She then completed the week recording 18 points and eight rebounds against the Seahawks. Marginean shot 51.4 percent from the floor to go along with 83.3 percent from the free-throw line. She also added three steals on the week.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Crystal Johnson • Georgia State
Gainesville, Fla./Yonge, Fr., Guard
Georgia State freshman guard Crystal Johnson earned CAA Rookie of the Week honors for the third time this season after leading the Panthers with 5.7 assists per game in the three-games for GSU. She also contributed 12.7 points and 3.0 steals per outing last week. The rookie guard posted a team high 21 points in State’s win over Old Dominion. She finished the week dishing out a game-high seven assists against William & Mary. Johnson added nine steals, six rebounds and one block as the Panthers went 2-1.
NCAA STAT LEADERS (THROUGH GAMES OF FEB. 1): The CAA has the two of the top five scorers in the nation playing in the league. James Madison’s Dawn Evans continued to steady her spot at No. 1 while averaging 24.9 points per outing. Drexel’s Gabriela Marginean is ranked fifth as she is averaging 22.9 points per contest. Drexel’s Andrea Peterson has an assit turnover ratio of 2.77 for the third best mark among Division I women’s basketball. Marginean is seventh in free-throw percentage while shooting 89.7 this far this season. Towson’s Shanae Baker-Brice steadied at seventh averaging 3.4 steals per game. William & Mary’s Tiffany Benson is also eighth pulling down 11.3 rebounds per contest. Hofstra’s Jess Fuller is ranked ninth with a shooting percentage of 60.5 percent from the field. Fuller joins Benson ranked ninth in blocked shots per game (3.0 bpg). Drexel’s Jasmina Rosseel is averaging 3.0 made treys per game and is ranked sixth, while Evans improved to seventh in the nation as she is averaging 2.9 three-pointers made per outing. The Hofstra Pride defense stands strong and tall as they are top in the nation in blocked shots averaging 7.4 per game. The Pride is also holding its opponents to 34.7 percent from the field to be ranked 10th in field-goal percentage defense. The Dragons of Drexel are second in the nation in free-throw percentage while shooting 81.8 from the charity stripe. The Georgia State Panthers are sixth in the nation averaging 12.9 steals per match-up and improved to sixth with a turnover margin of 6.45. The Towson Tigers are ranked 14th grabbing 11.7 steals per outing. The Delaware’s defense is ranked fourth holding its opponents to shooting only 24.8 percent from the three-point range and Drexel follows at ninth holding its opponents to 25.9 percent from beyond the arc. James Madison is also ranked in that category at 12th allowing their opponents to shoot 26.4 percent from long range.
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 Feb. 1). VCU continued in front of the conference ranked at 40, while Old Dominion, perennial powerhouse of the CAA, followed at 52. James Madison jumped in front of Towson at 75, while Towson followed with a rating of 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. This week VCU will visit Delaware on Feb. 8 for a televised contest on The Comcast Network at 2 p.m. Northeastern will visit Harrisonburg, Va. to play James Madison on Sunday for a televised contest on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic at 3:30 p.m. Comcast SportsNet New England will show the game on tape delay starting at 4 p.m.
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. STAT WATCH: Dawn Evans has scored 902 points in just 50 contests. If Evans continues to average her current average, 24.9 points per game, she can score her 1,000th point in her 54th contest, becoming the fastest player to reach 1,000 points in CAA history.
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.
CAA TEAMS UP WBCA FOR THINK PINK: 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 13-22, however many schools are participating outside of that window due to the scheduling conflicts. A large number of schools have committed to participate nationwide in the 2009 WBCA’s “Think Pink” initiative.
A TOUCH OF HISTORY: There is something in common with VCU’s Rochelle Luckett, Old Dominion’s Mery Andrade & Tisha Penicheiro and Georgia State’s Brittany Hollins as they all have recorded at least 1,000 points, 400 rebounds, 400 assists and 300 steals in their careers. Hollins just recently joined Luckett, Andrade, Penicheiro as the only four that have accomplished these numbers in CAA history.
HOME SWEET HOME: VCU is the only women’s team in the CAA that has a perfect record on their home court, as the Rams enters the week with a 12-0 record at the Siegel Center this season. VCU currently own a 14 game win streak at home, dating back to the end of the 2007-08 season. The streak ranks tied for ninth in the nation. The 14 straight wins at home is the second longest home winning streak in school history. 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. The Lady Monarchs were tied with Hartford for the nation’s longest home winning streaks at 29. Georgia State had a seven game winning streak snapped when Hofstra earned a victory in Atlanta on Jan. 25.
AP & USA TODAY/ESPN COACHES’ POLLS: After the loss to then-ranked #24 Michigan State in November, the ODU 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. On Jan. 26, Virginia Commonwealth received a vote in the AP Poll. The Rams were 15-4 overall and 5-2 in CAA action at that time. This is the first time in VCU history that the women’s basketball program has received votes in the AP Poll. The Rams fell out the following week.
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.
IMPROVEMENTS FOR 2008-09: With a record of 12-8, the Hofstra Pride is tied for the second best turnaround record in the nation in Division I women’s basketball. The Pride has won seven more games than they had won all year in 2007-08. Delaware is tied for 12th as they have won four more games than the previous season and Georgia State is tied for 17th, winning three games more than last year. Leading the nation is Central Connecticut State as they have gone from winning only four games last season to 12 this current year. Tying Hofstra with seven more wins than last season is Fordham.
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 (11-9, 3-6 CAA)
Delaware extended its winning streak to three games as they earned victories over Northeastern, 65-58, and Towson, 64-59. The win over the Huskies came in Boston, while the win over the Tigers came at home in overtime. On the week, sophomore guard Tesia Harris led the Blue Hens averaging 23.0 points in the two outings, including a career-high 29-point performance against Towson. Sophomore forward Ariene Jenkins led UD on the boards grabbing 11.5 per game and junior guard Corinthia recorded team highs of nine assists and seven steals on the week. Against Northeastern, Delaware was led by four scorers in double-figures, namely Harris, who led the Hens with 17 points on 6-of-16 shooting from the field, including three three-pointers. Jenkins posted her fourth double-double of the year, scoring a career-high 16 points and pulling down 13 boards. Sophomore guard Vanessa Kabongo and Benison each added 10 points on the night, with Benison also tying her career-high for assists with six. In the overtime win over Towson, Kabongo and Jenkins combined to score 12 of UD’s 15 points in the extra period and Harris netted a career-high 29 in the win. Harris scored the Hens’ first 10 points and 20 of the team’s first 23 and finished with 29 points, while Benison and Kabongo each chipped in with 10 points apiece and Jenkins added nine points and a game-high 10 rebounds as the Hens avenged a season sweep by the Tigers last season. Harris’ 29 points were the most since the WNBA’s Tyresa Smith scored 32 against James Madison on Feb. 22, 2007. The Hens, whose nine-player rotation features seven freshmen and sophomores and just one senior, will visit Hofstra on Thursday before entertaining league-leading VCU in a televised contest on Sunday. The battle on Sunday will be broadcast on The Comcast Network at 2 p.m.
DREXEL (12-8, 7-2 CAA)
Drexel went 2-0 against last week to extend its winning streak to four games, the Dragons’ longest of the season. The Dragons picked up a pair of road wins as they defeated Hofstra, 57-50, and UNC Wilmington, 55-50. Junior forward Gabriela Marginean led the team averaging 23.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per contest last week. Sophomore guard Jasmina Rosseel poured in 14.5 points per game and dished out six assists. Against Hofstra, Marginean led all scorers with 29 points, including 12 of Drexel’s first 13 points in the contest, helping the Dragons jump out to an early lead. No other Drexel player besides Marginean scored in double figures. Rosseel and Kamile Nacickaite hit key three-pointers in the final minutes, helping to stave off a late rally by the Pride. Nicole Hester matched season-highs with nine rebounds and five assists against Hofstra. On Sunday against UNCW, Rosseel led the Dragons as she drained a career-high seven three-pointers for a career-high 21 points in the win over the Seahawks. Rosseel became the fifth player in Drexel history to make 100 three-pointers, as she now has 102 in her career and needs just two more to move into fourth place on the Dragons’ all-time list. Tyler Hale and Marginean knocked down four straight free throws in the final 12 seconds, allowing the Dragons to cling to a slim lead and hold on for their fourth straight victory. Hale led the Dragons with a career-high nine rebounds and played strong defense with a team-leading three steals. Marginean added 18 points and eight boards in the victory. Andrea Peterson distributed five assists while committing just one turnover, she also led the team with three steals. Brooke Cornish Blocked four shots in the contest, all in the first half. Drexel’s win over Hofstra improved head coach Denise Dillon’s career record to 83-83, and moving her career winning percentage to .500 for the first time since Dec. 30, 2006. She is now 84-83 all-time. The Dragons will travel to George Mason on Thursday before hosting William & Mary on Sunday.
GEORGE MASON (2-18, 0-9 CAA)
George Mason was unable to collect its first conference win as they fell to UNC Wilmington, 68-52, and Northeastern, 57-47, last week. The Patriots were led by senior Brittney Wilkins as she poured in a team-high 14.0 points per outing. Freshman Becky Cox added 10.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per outing. Eugenia Broadus led Mason under the boards pulling down 5.5 per game. Against UNC Wilmington, Cox scored a career-high 14 points, 12 of which coming from behind the arc, to lead Mason. Cox was one of two Patriots in double figures, as Wilkins contributed 13 points. In Boston on Sunday, Mason was led on offense by 15 points from Wilkins. Broadus pulled down six rebounds and dished out a team-best four assists. Despite a game-opening 11-0 run by the Huskies, the Patriots were able to pull within two points at 38-36, but NU held off Mason down the stretch with an 11-3 run. Mason opens a two-game homestand this week, facing Drexel on Thursday before hosting Georgia State on Sunday for the “Pack the House” Challenge.
GEORGIA STATE (11-9, 3-6 CAA)
Georgia State went 2-1 on the week. The Panthers opened the week with a win over Winthrop in non-conference play before defeating Old Dominion, 75-62, on Thursday in Atlanta for the first time in Panther history, and ended the week when State fell to William & Mary, 82-68, on the road Sunday. Sophomore forward Chandra Harris led the Panthers with 14.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per outing. Crystal Johnson (12.7 ppg), Jylisa Williams (12.3 ppg) and Brittany Williams (11.0 ppg) all contributed double-digit points on the three-game week. Johnson finished the week with 17 assists (5.7 apg) and Hollins added 10 steals. On Tuesday, Harris poured in 22 points on 7-10 field goals and 8-9 free throws, while making four steals and blocking two shots. Williams and Hollins added 12 and 11 points, respectively. Johnson had six assists to support her task. In the win over visiting Old Dominion, Johnson scored 21 points, all in the second half, and Hollins added 15 points and seven steals to lead Georgia State. Johnson connected on 7-for-10 from the field and also contributed four assists, four rebounds and three steals. Hollins grabbed six rebounds and handed four assists to go along with her 15 points and seven steals. Four of State’s five starters reached double figures as Williams added 12 points, four assists and three steals, and Harris chipped in 11 points. In Williamsburg, Va., on Sunday, Williams led the Panthers in scoring with 13 points, while Brittany Graham added 12 points and Johnson contributed 11 points and seven assists. The Panthers have played six straight games without leading scorer and rebounder Danyiell McKeller. The Panthers will host Towson on Thursday before visiting George Mason in Fairfax, Va., on Sunday.
HOFSTRA (12-8, 4-5 CAA)
Hofstra lost a pair of tight games this week to Drexel, 57-50, and James Madison, 71-68, in overtime. Senior guard Natty Fripp led the team averaging 13.5 points per outing to go along with a team-high 10 steals and added 6.5 rebounds per contest. Freshman Joelle Connelly pulled down a team-high 7.5 rebounds per game and senior Niki Williams dished out a team-best 10 assists. Fuller and Ashley Wilcots split 10 blocks evenly to help the Pride return to the top blocking team in the nation (7.4 bpg). Against Drexel on Thursday, Hofstra got a team-high 11 points from junior center Jess Fuller. Freshman guard Nicole Capurso hit a three-pointer from the left elbow with 1:42 remaining, cutting a second-half deficit that was as high as 16 points down to four. The loss dropped Hofstra to 9-2 this season and 51-6 in its last 57 games when holding their opponent under 60 points. The Pride had won four straight in that scenario. Fripp had a solid all-around game for Hofstra against Drexel as she chipped in with nine points, seven rebounds, five steals and four assists, while senior guard Niki Williams dished out a game-high six assists. Against JMU, Fripp scored a season-high 18 points and three Hofstra players finished in double figures. The loss was Hofstra’s first in four overtime games this season. In addition, Hofstra committed a season-low nine turnovers against the Dukes to assist the comeback effort. Brigham finished with nine points and Connelly recorded 11 rebounds and fell just two points shy of her fifth double-double. Hofstra will finish its three-game homestand on Thursday when they host Delaware at 7 p.m. before traveling to Towson on Sunday for a 2 p.m. contest.
JAMES MADISON (14-6, 7-2 CAA)
James Madison split on the week as they fell to Towson, 61-51, on Thursday on the road, before earning an overtime victory at Hofstra, 71-68, on Sunday. The Tigers beat the Dukes for the first time since the 1983-84 season. JMU had won the previous 20 meetings. On the week, sophomore guard Dawn Evans posted a league-best 25.5 points per outing. She also dished out 11 assists for the Dukes. Sophomore Lauren Jimenez also contributed double-digit points as she averaged 10.5 points per game and pulled down 9.0 rebounds per outing. Senior forward Nina Uqdah led JMU on the boards with 10.0 rebounds per contest. Against Towson, JMU was led by Evans with 16 points and Jimenez with 12. Uqdah was the Dukes’ top rebounder with nine. Towson outrebounded JMU, 46-33, and held the Dukes to a season-low 33. On Sunday, the Dukes outscored Hofstra, 10-7, in overtime to escape with a 71-68 conference victory. Evans, the only JMU player to score in double-digits, poured in a game-high 35 points in 43 minutes of play. That marked her sixth 30-point game of the season and seventh of her career, adding to her school records in both categories. The sophomore also upped her career total to 902 points in the outing with the Pride. Evans passed the 900-point mark in her 50th career game, setting a new school record as the previous one was 56 games held by Katherina Johnson (1973-76). She also broke the record career points by a sophomore, which was previously 901 held by Lesley Dickinson (2003-05). Her performance in the Hofstra game passed both Tamera Young (2004-06, 884 points) and Dickinson. Three Dukes finished the outing against the Pride in double-figure rebounds as Jimenez captured a game- and career-high 13, sophomore Jylissa Taylor grabbed 12 and Uqdah added 11. The Dukes return home for a pair of conference games as they entertain William & Mary on Thursday before welcoming Northeastern on Sunday. The outing against the Huskies will be televised on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic at 3:30 p.m. and Comcast SportsNet New England on tape delay at 4 p.m.
UNC WILMINGTON (10-10, 4-5 CAA)
The Seahawks defeated George Mason on the road, 68-52, to even its conference mark at 4-4, before falling to Drexel, 55-50, at home on Sunday. Sophomore Brittany Blackwell led the Seahawks pouring in 18.5 points and grabbing 14.0 rebounds per contest last week. Sophomore Martha White contributed 11.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per outing. On Thursday, Blackwell posted game-highs of 19 points and 12 rebounds to record her eighth double-double of the season and lead UNC Wilmington to a win over Mason. Blackwell was one of three UNCW players to reach double figures as White pitched in a career-high 11 points and junior Whitney Simmons chipped in 10. Blackwell’s 12 caroms highlighted a 38-31 advantage on the glass for the Seahawks as White and junior Candace Walker pulled down seven rebounds apiece. On Sunday, Blackwell posted her ninth double-double of the season with 18 points and a career-high 16 rebounds to lead UNCW. White was the only other Seahawk to reach double figures as she matched her career-high with 11. White also matched her personal best for the third straight contest with seven rebounds as UNCW held a 43-35 advantage on the glass. The Seahawks will return to the hardwood on Thursday when they visit VCU in Richmond, Va. UNCW recently gave the Rams their second conference loss on Jan. 25 and the Seahawks will look to spoil the Rams’ home winning streak (14) at the Siegel Center. UNC Wilmington will go onto to visit Old Dominion on Sunday in Norfolk, Va. It will be the second meeting between the Lady Monarchs and the Seahawks also.
NORTHEASTERN (8-12, 5-4 CAA)
Northeastern split on the week as they fell 65-58 to Delaware at home on Thursday evening, before rebounding with a 57-47 win over George Mason at home on Sunday. Freshman Brittany Wilson led the Huskies on the week with 14.0 points per game and added 6.0 rebounds per contest. Kim Carr (11.5 ppg), Kendra Walton (10.5 ppg) and Jasmine Crew (10.0 ppg) also contributed double-figure scoring on the week for NU. Walton led the team pulling down 8.5 rebounds per contest and Crew dished out a team high five assists. Against a feisty Blue Hen squad, it was a back-and-forth contest with both teams shooting over 40 percent from the field for the game. Delaware went on a last second half splurge to solidify the victory. Northeastern was led by Wilson’s 15 point, eight rebound, two assist and two steal performance. Walton supplied nine points and nine boards, while Crew and Ashlee Feldman contributed with 11 points respectively. In the win over the Patriots, Northeastern was piloted by Carr, who had another stellar performance with 15 points, seven rebounds and two steals. Walton contributed with 12 points and eight rebounds, while Wilson added 13 points. NU’s defense held Mason to 32.1 percent shooting and forced 18 turnovers. The Huskies headout for a two-game roadstand as they visit Old Dominion on Thursday before making a stop in Harrisonburg, Va. to face James Madison on Sunday. The outing against the Dukes will be televised on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic at 3:30 p.m. and Comcast SportsNet New England on tape delay at 4 p.m.
OLD DOMINION (11-8, 6-3 CAA)
Old Dominion dropped its second and third straight CAA contests as they fell to Georgia State, 75-62, in Atlanta on Thursday and then to VCU, 58-51, in Richmond, Va., on Sunday. It’s just the third time since joining the league in 1991-92 the Lady Monarchs have suffered three consecutive CAA losses. Old Dominion fell to VCU, James Madison, and Delaware in a row in 2002-03 and James Madison, Richmond, and East Carolina in its first season in the league in 1991-92. The Lady Monarchs are 317-20 all-time in the CAA. Senior center Tiffany Green led the Lady Monarchs with 21.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game last week. Sophomore Jasmine Parker added 11.5 points per game and junior Jessica Canady posted 10.5 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.5 steals per contest. On Thursday against the Panthers, Georgia State used a 21-5 run over the game’s final seven minutes to capture its first ever victory over the Lady Monarchs. Georgia State had been one of five teams still looking to record a victory over Old Dominion having dropped their previous seven meetings since joining the CAA in 2005-06. Old Dominion was ahead, 57-54 with 7:12 remaining, before the Panthers made their run. Georgia State also took advantage of a season-high 28 turnovers committed by the Lady Monarchs resulting in 36 Panther points. Green finished the night with a game-high 22 points along with nine rebounds and three steals. Canady shot 6-of-8 from the field for 12 points. Parker recorded 11 points, and senior Jen Nuzzo went 4-of-4 from the field, including 2-of-2 from downtown to finish with 10 points. On Sunday against the Rams, Old Dominion held VCU without a field goal for a 12-minute span in the first half, but was outscored 15-6 in the final minutes of the opening half to trail 25-21 at the intermission. Twice Old Dominion was within striking distance of retaking the lead in the later moments of the game. Then after upped its lead to five, Green hit a pair from the charity stripe pulling ODU to within three, 48-51, with 2:11 remaining. Down the stretch, however, VCU went 7-of-8 from the line and the Rams defense only allowed Green to break through for one last lay-up. Green, who at times has struggled at the line, finished 5-of-5 on the afternoon. Green led the Lady Monarchs with her ninth double-double of the season with 21 points and 12 boards. Parker added 12 points as the other Lady Monarch in double figures. Green totaled 43 points on the week and moved into 21st on the all-time ODU scoring leaders list having accumulated 1,291 points as a Lady Monarch. The Old Dominion women’s basketball team hopes to end its three-game skid when returns home this week. The Lady Monarchs close out the season series with Northeastern on Thursday, February 5th and UNC Wilmington on Sunday, February 8th at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.
TOWSON (12-7, 4-5 CAA)
The Tigers earned a 61-51 win over James Madison at home on Thursday, but then fell to Delaware on the road in overtime, 64-58, on Sunday. The last time the Tigers beat James Madison in 1984, no player on the current roster was born yet. Junior forward Katrina Wheeler averaged 16.0 points and a team-high 10.5 rebounds per outing to lead the Tigers, while junior Shanae Baker-Brice poured in 17.0 points, 6.0 assists and 6.0 steals per contest. Against James Madison, Baker-Brice led Towson with 20 points on the night, her fifth 20-point performance of the season. She would also added six rebounds, five assists and six steals. Wheeler had a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Meredith Kennedy’s six points were a career high. On Sunday, Towson got 15 points and 11 rebounds from Wheeler and 14 points, seven assists, and six steals from Baker-Brice but could not overcome 30 turnovers and 4 of 23 shooting from beyond the arc. Wheeler, who hit 6-of-8 shots from the field and also added two blocks and three steals, posted her team-leading eighth double-double of the season. The Tigers will visit Georgia State on Thursday before returning home to host Hofstra on Sunday.
VCU (16-4, 6-2 CAA)
VCU picked up a road victory over William & Mary on Thursday, 75-61, and then downed Old Dominion, 58-51, at home. With the two victories, the Rams are now tied with James Madison and Drexel for top of the league standings. Senior center Quanitra Hollingsworth led the Rams with 18.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per contest last week. D’Andra Moss (13.0 ppg), Radoslava Bachvarova (12.5 ppg) and La’Tavia Rorie (10.5 ppg) also contributed double-figure points and all averaged 6.0 or more rebounds per outing. Rorie also finished the week with seven assists, while Moss collected six steals. Against William & Mary, Hollingsworth led the way offensively for the Rams as the veteran poured in 16 points and six rebounds, while Bachvarova chipped in 14 points on the night. Moss continued her strong play with 14 points and seven rebounds, while Rorie added 11. Hurt finished with a career-high 10 rebounds, while also tallying six points. On Sunday, in front of a record crowd of 2,437, VCU earned its first victory over Old Dominion since Feb. 6, 2003. The Rams were led by Hollingsworth, who tied a season-high with 21 points and 15 rebounds to lead a balanced attack of four players in double-figures. Moss tallied 12 points and six points for the Black & Gold, while Bachvarova added 11 points and a career-high eight rebounds. Rorie was the final Ram in double-figures with 10 points, seven rebounds and four assists. With the win over the Lady Monarchs, the Rams extended their home winning streak to 14 games, the second longest in school history and the Rams remain the only team in the league that is undefeated at home. Hollingsworth now sits just seven rebounds away from becoming the first VCU women’s player to ever tally 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in her career. VCU will look to defend its home winning streak when they entertain UNC Wilmington on Thursday. The Seahawks are just one of the teams that have handed the Rams a conference loss. The Rams will complete the week with a trip to Delaware for an outing on Sunday. The match-up against the Blue Hens will be televised on The Comcast Network at 2 p.m.
WILLIAM & MARY (10-9, 3-5 CAA)
The Tribe suffered their fifth straight loss as they fell to VCU, 75-61, for the second time this season, but quickly rebounded with an 82-68 win at home over Georgia State on Sunday. Junior guard Kelly Heath stepped it up for the Tribe as she led the team pouring in 18.5 points per outing, while junior forward Tiffany Benson averaged 15.0 points and 13.0 rebounds per contest. Sophomore guard Katy Oblinger dished out a team-best seven assists, while Benson and senior Dani Kell stopped five blocks each in the two outings. Against VCU, Benson totaled a game-high 19 points and 14 rebounds. She finished the night 9-of-14 from the field and also blocked four shots to bring her season total to 59, the second-most ever at W&M behind her own rookie campaign of 67 in 2006-07. Kell also scored in double figures with 11 points and added five rebounds, two assists, and a pair of blocks, while Heath tallied 11 points (all in the second half) as well. Freshman Taysha Pye registered nine points, six rebounds, three assists, and a steal while playing error-free ball. Classmate Janine Aldridge totaled eight points and a pair of steals. In the win over Georgia State, Heath scored a game- and a career-high 26 points on 10-of-15 shooting, and was 3-of-4 both from the free throw line and beyond the arc. Four more players hit double-digits in scoring as the Tribe poured on the coal hot and heavy. Aldridge had 14 points and five rebounds, hitting on 5-of-9 and 4-of-7 from long range. Senior Courtney Portell had 12 points, including two slicing drives to the basket, two triples from deep, and the two clinching free throws with 58 seconds remaining on the clock to peg the final margin at 14. Kell had 11 points and seven rebounds, and Benson also checked in with 11 points to go with her game-high 12 rebounds. Kell was a perfect 6-of-6 from the free-throw line, and also contributed three assists and a season-high three blocks to the win. Benson was especially effective in the second half, scoring nine with eight rebounds. Head coach Debbie Taylor needs four more wins to become William & Mary’s all-time winningest coach, men’s or women’s basketball. Taylor is at 110 and the record is currently held by Bill Chambers, the W&M men’s coach from 1957-66. The Tribe will look to continue its winning streak as they hit the road to visit James Madison on Thursday and Drexel on Sunday.
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