THIS WEEK’S QUICK HITS:
• VCU and Drexel are tied for first place in the league standings. James Madison bumped to No. 3 as they fell to VCU on Sunday without the services of one of the nation’s top scorers in Dawn Evans. Old Dominion follows at fourth.
• The CAA is ranked ninth 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. 15). The CAA saw five teams, the most this season, in the top 100. VCU continued in front of the conference ranked at 27, while Old Dominion, perennial powerhouse of the CAA, followed at 69. James Madison has an RPI of 70, while Drexel entered the top 100 at 89. Towson closed out the five teams in the top 100 at 93.
• The CAA has the two of the top three scorers in the nation playing in the league- JMU’s Dawn Evans (24.3 ppg/2nd) and Drexel’s Gabriela Marginean (23.9 ppg/3rd). (NCAA will update on Tuesday, Feb. 17).
• VCU received votes in the latest AP Poll on Monday. This is the second time this season that the Rams have received votes in the AP Poll. VCU also received votes in the Feb. 10 version of the Coaches’ Poll. The ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll comes out on Tuesdays.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
Gabriela Marginean • Drexel
Cluj-Napoca, Romania/Mt. de Chantal Academy, Jr., Forward
Drexel junior forward Gabriela Marginean earned CAA Player of the Week honors for the fourth consecutive week and sixth time this season after leading the Dragons to a pair of conference victories. She averaged 34.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. Marginean turned in one of her best performances of her career in the Dragons’ home win over Old Dominion Thursday as she scored 40 points on 13-of-17 shooting and pulled down a season-high tying 11 rebounds. She also led the team with four steals. It was her second straight double-double and second straight 30+ point consecutive game. Against Georgia State, Marginean lead all scorers with 29 points and moved into sole possession of second place on Drexel’s career scoring list and 10th on the CAA all-time list.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Taysha Pye • William & Mary
Bronx, N.Y./St. Annes-Belfield (Va.), Fr., Guard
William & Mary freshman guard Taysha Pye received CAA Rookie of the Week honors for the second consecutive week after leading the Tribe with 18.0 points per game. She also contributed 7.5 rebounds, three assists and 2.5 steals per contest. Pye posted 13 points, four rebounds and two steals as the team’s second-leading scorer against Delaware. The Bronx, N.Y., native, led all players with 23 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and three steals in William & Mary’s win over George Mason. In addition to recording her first double-double, Pye set or tied career-highs in six categories, including points, rebounds, assists, minutes (33), free throws made (13) and free throws attempted (18).
NCAA STAT LEADERS (THROUGH GAMES OF Feb. 12--NCAA WILL UPDATE FEB. 17): The CAA has the two of the top three scorers in the nation playing in the league. James Madison’s Dawn Evans fell to No. 2 while averaging 24.3 points per outing. Drexel’s Gabriela Marginean is moved up to third as she is averaging 23.9 points per contest. Drexel’s Andrea Peterson has an assist turnover ratio of 2.81 for the best mark among Division I women’s basketball. Marginean is ninth in free-throw percentage while shooting 89.3 this far this season. Towson’s Shanae Baker-Brice improved to 11th averaging 3.2 steals per game. William & Mary’s Tiffany Benson steadied at eighth pulling down 11.0 rebounds per contest. Hofstra’s Jess Fuller is ranked ninth with a shooting percentage of 59.7 percent from the field. Fuller joins Benson ranked in blocked shots per game as Fuller is ranked 12th (3.0 bpg) and Benson is 16th (2.8 bpg). Drexel’s Jasmina Rosseel and Evans are averaging 2.8 made treys per game are ranked ninth and 12th, respectively. The Hofstra Pride defense stands strong and tall as they are third in the nation in blocked shots averaging 7.0 per game. The Pride is also holding its opponents to 34.6 percent from the field to be ranked 11th in field-goal percentage defense. The Delaware’s defense is second in the nation while holding its opponents to shooting only 24.0 percent from the three-point range and James Madison follows at 18th holding its opponents to 26.8 percent from beyond the arc. The Dragons of Drexel are third in the nation in free-throw percentage while shooting 80.9 from the charity stripe. The Georgia State Panthers are seventh in the nation averaging 12.4 steals per match-up and is eighth with a turnover margin of 6.04.
CAA NO. 9 IN RPI RANKING: The CAA is ranked ninth 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. 15). The CAA saw five teams, the most this season, in the top 100. VCU continued in front of the conference ranked at 27, while Old Dominion, perennial powerhouse of the CAA, followed at 69. James Madison has an RPI of 70, while Drexel entered the top 100 at 89. Towson closed out the five teams in the top 100 at 93.
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.
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 965 points in just 53 contests. If Evans continues to average her current average, 24.3 points per game, she can score her 1,000th point in her 55th 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 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 14-0 record at the Siegel Center this season. VCU currently own a 16 game win streak at home, dating back to the end of the 2007-08 season. The streak ranks tied for seventh in the nation. The 16 straight wins at home is the second longest home winning streak in school history and are just two away from tying the school-record 18 straight home wins. The Rams will entertain Georgia State on Thursday in Richmond and will close out the season at home on March 1 when they host Northeastern. 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: Virginia Commonwealth received votes in the most recent AP Poll on Feb. 16. This is the second time this year that the Rams have received votes in the AP Poll. The Rams also received votes in last week’s ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll on Tuesday (Feb. 10). That is the first time in VCU history that the women’s basketball program has received votes in the Coaches’ Poll. 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. That was 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.
2009 CAA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP - HARRISONBURG, VA: The CAA Championship will be hosted by James Madison University for the first of two years March 12-15, 2009. All 12 teams will participate in the thrilling event, which will be held at the JMU Convocation Center. If you are interested in attending this year’s championship and have not requested a credential, please contact Niki DeSantis at 804-754-1616 or via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). The deadline to request a credential is March 2.
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 14-8, the Hofstra Pride has produced the second best turnaround record in the nation with just under a month left of the regular season in Division I women’s basketball. The Pride has won nine more games than they had won all year in 2007-08. Delaware is tied for 14th as they have won five more games than the previous season and Georgia State is tied for 28st, 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 15 this current year.
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 (12-12, 4-9 CAA)
Delaware split on the week as they defeated William & Mary, 61-51, at home on Wednesday, but then fell to Old Dominion, 70-55, on the road Sunday. Sophomore guard Tesia Harris led the Blue Hens on the week posting 15.0 points per game and adding five steals and 10 rebounds. Three other players averaged double-digit points as Corinthia Benison posted 14.5 ppg, Ariene Jenkins and Jocelyn Bailey each added 10.0 points per outing. Sophomore center Eva Reddick grabbed a team-best 19 rebounds in the two games, while also leading the team with four blocks. Against the Tribe, Benison scored nine of her 11 points in a two-minute span down the stretch to hold off a W&M rally. Harris posted her second straight 20-point effort with a game-high 22 points to go with eight rebounds and four steals and Jenkins and Bailey each contributed 10 points as the Blue Hens snapped a two-game losing streak. Jenkins, who also had six rebounds, missed most of the second half when she suffered a concussion after a collision near the William & Mary basket with just over 15 minutes left to play. On Sunday, Delaware jumped to an 8-0 lead to start the game, but then surrendered a 8-0 run to the Lady Monarchs. ODU went on a 20-8 run to close out the half which carried over the second half for an ODU victory. Benison led the Blue Hens with 18 points. Sophomore guard Vanessa Kabongo, who started the game scoring six of Delaware’s first eight points and finished the first half with 12, was held scoreless in the second half going 0-for-6 in the second stanza. Bailey came off the bench for 10 points. Jenkins sat out of the game due to her concussion on Wednesday evening, but is expected to return to the court during the next week. The Blue Hens will continue a three-game road stretch as they visit league-leading Drexel on Thursday before traveling to Towson on Sunday. Both games will close out the season series with each team.
DREXEL (16-8, 11-2 CAA)
Drexel improved to 11-2 in the conference and is currently tied with VCU for first-place in the standings. The Dragons earned a 67-55 home win over Old Dominion on Thursday before recording a 72-53 road victory over Georgia State on Sunday. Junior forward Gabriela Marginean provided a strong surge for the Dragons as she lead the league and her team netting 34.5 points per game last week. She also led the team capturing 9.5 rebounds per outing. The junior shot a blazing 63 percent from the field, 67 percent from long range and 88 percent from the free-throw line. She was joined by sophomore guard Jasmina Rosseel (12.5 ppg) and senior guard Andrea Peterson (10.0 ppg) scoring double-figures. Peterson led the team with seven steals on the week and senior forward Nicole Hester dished out a team-high seven assists. With the two victories, the Dragons extended their winning streak to eight straight. It is the Dragons’ longest win streak since Dec. 16, 2007-Jan. 24, 2008 of last year when the team won nine in a row. The last time Drexel defeated ODU was on March 6, 2005 in the regular season finale, which deprived the Lady Monarchs of the top-seed in the CAA Championship. On Thursday, Drexel’s win over the Lady Monarchs was the team’s second victory ever against ODU. Marginean led the Dragons with a season-high 40 point performance to go along with 11 rebounds for her20th career double-double. She shot 76 percent from the floor and went 2-of-3 from three-point range and 12-of-13 from the charity stripe. Her 40 points was a regulation (40-minute) single-game record for Drexel. She also holds the all-time single game record with 47 points scored in a 5OT win versus Northeastern on Feb. 22, 2007. Teammate Peterson also added 12 points in the victory. In the Dragons’ win over Georgia State on Sunday, Marginean lit it up again posting a game-high 29 points, while Rosseel added 20 on 5-for-8 three-point shooting. Marginean’s performance moved her into sole possession of second place on Drexel’s all-time scoring list (1,663). She also jumped onto the Top 10 CAA all-time scoring leaders, bumping off Hofstra’s Cigi McCollin (2003-07). With six games remaining in the regular season of her junior season, Marginean is only 227 points away from tying Michelle Maslowski as the program’s all-time leading scorer. Rosseel’s five treys against GSU moved into third place all-time in three-pointers made (113) at Drexel. Drexel’s win at Georgia State on Sunday improved the Dragons’ record to 5-2 in conference road games this season, matching their best mark ever for CAA games on the road, which was set by the 2007-08 squad that went 5-3 on the road in CAA action. The Dragons will host Delaware on Thursday before visiting Northeastern on Sunday.
GEORGE MASON (3-21, 1-12 CAA)
George Mason fell in both of its contests last week. The Patriots dropped a 69-40 decision at UNC Wilmington before falling to William & Mary on the road Sunday, 74-63. Sophomore guard Brittany Poindexter (11.5 ppg), senior forward Brittney Wilkins (11.5 ppg) and junior guard Rashauna Hobbs (11.0 ppg) all contributed double-figures on the week. Poindexter and Wilkins also led the team in rebounds grabbing 8.0 per contest. Against the Seahawks, George Mason was led by Hobbs who scored 14 points, including 4-of-8 from beyond the arc. Sophomore guard Brittany Eley chipped in 10 points to round out the double digit scorers. On Sunday at William & Mary, Mason made up a nine-point halftime deficit and led by as many as 10 in the second half until a 12-0 Tribe run returned the lead to W&M for good. Poindexter led the team with 20 points and tallied her first career double-double with 11 rebounds, while Wilkins earned her second career double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Mason dressed just seven players for the contest against the Tribe, with freshman guard Becky Cox missing the contest due to an ankle injury. The Patriots will be back in action on Thursday, closing out a three-game road trip at Towson. Mason will then entertain Old Dominion on Sunday when the Patriots will also be hosting WBCA Pink Zone day at the Patriot Center.
GEORGIA STATE (11-13, 3-10 CAA)
The Panthers dropped a pair of conference games last week as they fell at Northeastern in overtime, 68-66, Thursday and then fell at home to league-leading Drexel, 72-53, on Sunday. State was led by three players as freshmen Jylisa Williams and Crystal Johnson joined senior Brittany Hollins in averaging 10.0 points per outing last week. The trio also contributed over four rebounds a contest. Johnson stepped up as a guard dishing out 12 assists and also added a team-best five steals. Against the Huskies, Georgia State erased an 11-point second half deficit to force overtime thanks to a three-point field goal as time expired in regulation by Traci Haltiwanger. Georgia State had a game-high 14 points in regulation by Williams, but she fouled out in the closing minute of regulation and that hurt State in the overtime. Johnson had 11 points and seven assists, while Haltiwanger also finished with 11 points. Chandra Harris and Hollins had 10 each to give State five in double figures. Danyiell McKeller led in rebounds with a game-high 11 to go with her six points. Against Drexel, Georgia State was led by Hollins’ 10 points, while point guard Johnson had nine points and added five assists to her CAA best 131 on the season. Stacie Young came off the bench to add eight points and five rebounds. Georgia State’s freshman guards have been the story of the season for the team as the pair have shown they will be a major factor for Georgia State’s growth. Williams leads all CAA freshmen with 274 points (11.4), is second overall in the CAA in steals (62), is second on the team with 116 rebounds, and has 49 assists. Johnson has been the CAA assist leader most of the season. Johnson has 131 assists (5.5), has scored 203 points (8.5), made 47 steals and grabbed 77 rebounds. Combined, those two freshmen have provided 477 points (19.8 ppg), 174 rebounds (8.0), 180 assists (7.5) and 109 steals (4.5) with 29 double-figure scoring games. With starting forward Dana Olsen now out for the year, the 15-member roster that started the year is down to 10 players. The Panthers will visit league-leading VCU on Thursday in search of their first conference road win before returning home to host James Madison on Sunday.
HOFSTRA (14-10, 6-7 CAA)
Hofstra fell in a pair of road contests last week as they dropped a 62-50 decision at James Madison on Thursday and a 72-62 decision at UNC Wilmington Sunday. It marks the second time this season in CAA play and the third time this season that Hofstra has lost back-to-back games. Hofstra has yet to have a losing skid longer than two games this season. Senior guard Niki Williams led the Pride on the week pouring in 11.0 points per game and junior guard Sam Brigham added 10.0 points per outing. Both guards dished out team-high seven assists. Junior center Jess Fuller grabbed a team-best eight rebounds per contest. Against James Madison, Hofstra was led by freshman guard Asia Jenkins with 15 points, her first double-digit scoring game of her career. She was joined in double figures by senior guard Natty Fripp with 10. Fuller snagged a team-high nine rebounds. Hofstra’s second leading scorer, Nicole Capurso, sat out the contest with an injury. Freshman forward Joelle Connelly had 15 points, her first double figure scoring game since January 15, and Williams led Hofstra with 16 points, but it wasn’t enough as Hofstra dropped a 72-62 decision to UNC Wilmington on Sunday afternoon at Trask Coliseum. Brigham was also in double figures for Hofstra as she chipped in with 12 points. Hofstra is home for a pair of games this week as they will host Old Dominion on Thursday as Noon in a special afternoon matinee called “Family Fun Day”. The Pride will also host VCU on Sunday.
JAMES MADISON (17-7, 10-3 CAA)
James Madison split on the week as they defeated Hofstra, 62-50, Thursday, before falling to league-leading VCU, 61-43, on the road Sunday. Sophomore guard Dawn Evans was held to only 10 points in the Hofstra outing and did not play versus VCU. Junior guard Sarah Williams and senior forward Nina Uqdah netted eight points per game for the Dukes, while Uqdah also led the team in rebounding with 8.5 per outing. Williams stepped up and led the team with seven assists on the week. The win over Hofstra was the Dukes eight victory in nine games. Evans and senior forward Kisha Stokes led the Dukes with 10 points apiece. Sophomore forward/center Jalissa Taylor had a game-high 11 rebounds. Against the Rams, JMU was led in scoring and rebounding by Uqdah, who had 10 points and 10 rebounds for her second double-double of the season. The Dukes were without Evans, who leads the CAA and ranks second nationally in scoring at 24.3 points per game. She is out indefinitely with an ankle injury suffered in the Dukes’ 62-50 home win over Hofstra on Feb. 12. The loss to VCU snapped a JMU four-game winning streak. The 43 points JMU scored versus the Rams ties for the 11th lowest-scoring game in school history and was the Dukes lowest scoring game since a 48-37 home loss to Hofstra on Jan. 25, 2004. Uqdah finished the week with two blocks per contest and passed the 100-career blocks mark. She has 103 career blocks and is in fourth place on JMU’s all-time list. The Dukes will entertain UNC Wilmington Thursday before traveling to Atlanta to face Georgia State on Sunday.
UNC WILMINGTON (12-12, 6-7 CAA)
The Seahawks went 2-0 on the week with wins over George Mason, 69-40, and Hofstra, 72-62. UNC Wilmington was led by sophomore forward Brittany Blackwell as she netted 15.0 points, grabbed 8.5 rebounds per outing and snatched a team-high seven steals. Freshman forward Kristen Hanzer followed Blackwell with 10.5 points per game and contributed nine rebounds. In the win over Mason, UNCW had all 11 players score in the game, while Hanzer netted a career- and game-high 14 points. Blackwell chipped in a nine points and nine rebounds. A three-pointer by sophomore guard Treasure Johnson, who finished with nine points, at the 2:07 mark gave UNCW a 23-point lead, its largest lead of the half. The Seahawks closed out the half with a 19-5 run, with Johnson fueling the outburst with five points, to take a 38-16 lead at the half. Against Hofstra, Blackwell posted a game-high 21 points and the Seahawks shot a blistering 52.9 percent from the floor. Blackwell was joined in double figures by junior Greta Luksyte, who chipped in 11 points. Sophomore Martha White pitched nine points and junior Candace Walker added eight. Blackwell also grabbed a game-high eight caroms to help the Seahawks enjoy a 33-27 advantage on the glass as White pulled down six rebounds. UNCW returns to the court this week as they visit James Madison Thursday before hosting William & Mary on Sunday.
NORTHEASTERN (9-15, 6-7 CAA)
Northeastern finished the week 1-1 in conference play as they face a pair of overtime decisions. The Huskies defeated Georgia State, 68-66, in overtime at home Thursday before falling to Towson, 62-58, in overtime at home on Sunday. The Huskies were led by sophomore guard Jasmine Crew as she scored 20.5 points per outing last week. Junior forward Kim Carr added 16.0 points per game and grabbed a team-best 8.5 rebounds per contest. Junior forward Kendra Walton is the only other NU player to post double-figure points with 10.5 per game. Crew led the squad with six assists and joined Carr with team-high four steals each. Against the Panthers, Crew compiled a stellar performance with a career- and game-high 27 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the field and a perfect 3-for-3 from beyond the arc. Crew added five rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Carr also had an excellent outing posting 16 points, nine rebounds, three blocks, and two steals. Senior guard Ashlee Feldman also scored in double figures with 11. In the Huskies second overtime contest of the week, Carr had 16 points and eight rebounds, while Crew had 14 points. Walton was the third Huskies in double figures as she posted 12 points. The Huskies fell in overtime as the Tigers shot 100 percent in the extra period. Northeastern will visit William & Mary Thursday and then return home to face league-leading Drexel in Boston Sunday.
OLD DOMINION (14-9, 9-4 CAA)
Old Dominion split its games this week with a loss at Drexel, 55-67, on Thursday and a victory over Delaware, 70-55, in the annual “Hoops for a Cure” game. Sophomore Jasmine Parker led the Lady Monarchs with 12.5 points per game, while senior center Tiffany Green was up to her same old tricks with 11.0 points and 6.5 rebounds per outing. Sophomore Shadasia Green also posted double-digit points with 10 per contest. Against Drexel, the Lady Monarchs suffered its fourth CAA loss of the 2008-09 season, the most since the 1991-92 season when the Lady Monarchs dropped five league games during its first season in the CAA. That year, however, Old Dominion went on to capture the first of 17 straight CAA crowns. Parker scored 11 of her career-high 21 points during the final five minutes of the contest. Parker who was one of two Lady Monarchs in double figures finished the night going 5-of-10 from the field and 12-of-13 from the line. Senior Tiffany Green netted 10 in the loss as the other Lady Monarch in double digits. On Sunday, senior point guard Jen Nuzzo helped her squad return to the win column with a career-high 18 point performance against the Fightin’ Blue Hens. The senior co-captain went a perfect 7-of-7 from the field, including 2-of-2 from downtown, and 2-of-2 from the line along with four assists and three steals. Along with Nuzzo’s career-high 18 points, three other Lady Monarchs reached double figure scoring. Both Canady and Tiffany Green posted 12 points and eight rebounds. With her eight boards, Tiffany Green moved into ninth on the all-time Lady Monarch rebounding list. Green now has 953 career boards surpassing former Lady Monarch Monique Coker (2000-2004) for the ninth spot on the list. Sophomore Shadasia Green posted 15 points along with six rebounds and three assists in the Lady Monarch victory as well. The Old Dominion women’s basketball team hits the road for the next two games. First up is Hostra on Thursday with a noon tip-off. It will be the lone meeting this season between the Lady Monarchs and the Pride. Old Dominion then travels to George Mason on Sunday to close out the season series with the Patriots.
TOWSON (14-9, 6-7 CAA)
The Tigers split on the week as they fell to VCU, 63-34, Thursday before rebounding with a 62-58 overtime win at Northeastern Sunday. Junior guard Shanae Baker-Brice missed the outing against VCU due to an injury, but finished the week with 18 points against the Huskies to lead Towson on the week. Junior forward Kandace Davis grabbed a team-best eight rebounds per game last week, while also posting eight points per outing. Senior guard Alis Freeman dished out a team-high seven assists in the two games. Against VCU, the Tigers found themselves down early and without the services of Baker-Brice. Towson rallied by 14 at the half and was unable to recover. Davis and freshman guard Krystin Fields led the Tigers with eight points a piece. Davis would also pull down a season-high 13 rebounds. Thursday was “Pack The House” Challenge for the Tigers and they set a new attendance record with 1,268 face watching. Against Northeastern, Towson trailed by 10 with 9:06 to play before rallying to tie the score and force the extra session. Baker-Brice, who returned after one game away due to injury, scored eight of her game-high 18 points in the extra session to help seal the victory. Junior forward Katrina Wheeler would add 15 points and three blocks in the win. Towson returns home for a pair of contests this week. The Tigers will host George Mason Thursday before welcoming Delaware on Sunday.
VCU (21-4, 11-2 CAA)
The Rams went 2-0 on the week and steadied at the top of the league with Drexel. VCU earned a 63-34 at Towson on Thursday before returning home and extending its home winning streak to 16 games with a 61-43 victory over James Madison Sunday. Senior forward Radoslava Bachvarova led the team scoring 13.5 points per game. Senior center Quanitra Hollingsworth posted a double-double on the week with 12.5 points and 11.0 rebounds per outing in the two wins. Junior guard La’Tavia Rorie also netted double-figure points with 10.5 per game and led dishing out 11 assists. For the 21st time in 24 games, the Black & Gold had at least three players in double-figures against the Tigers led by 13 points from Hollingsworth. Freshman forward Courtney Hurt and Bachvarova both tallied 11, while Rorie finished 10 points. The 11 points from Hurt was a career-high was the youngster. Rorie had an outstanding overall night with nine rebounds, seven assists and four steals along with her 10 points. Hollingsworth also grabbed eight boards for the Rams. On Sunday, the Rams picked up the victory over the Dukes to push JMU into third place in the standings. Bachvarova led a balanced attack of four players in double-figures as the veteran notched her ninth straight double-digit performance with 16 points. In addition to Bachvarova’s offensive output, she grabbed a career-high nine rebounds. Hollingsworth registered her 48th career double-double with 12 points and 14 rebounds, while junior guard Kita Waller and Rorie each added 11 points in the victory. The win over JMU was the Rams’ 16th straight home victory, just two away from the school record of 18 straight home wins. VCU will face another home contest on Thursday when they welcome Georgia State before traveling to Hempstead, N.Y., to face Hofstra Sunday.
WILLIAM & MARY (12-12, 5-8 CAA)
The Tribe finished a three-game road trip with a 62-51 loss at Delaware on Wednesday evening but quickly rebounded to capture a 74-63 victory at home over George Mason Sunday. Freshman guard Taysha Pye was on fire for the second straight week as she netted 18 points per game and added 7.5 rebounds per outing for the Tribe. Senior forward Dani Kell contributed 13 points and seven rebounds per outing, while junior forward Tiffany Benson led the team with 9.5 rebounds per game and five blocks, but was held to 6.5 points per outing. Senior guard Courtney Portell also helped with 9.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. Against the Blue Hens, Portell led the Tribe’s night with 14 points, just missing her first double-double with a career-high nine rebounds. Pye had 13 in the game, and was 7-9 from the free throw line. Kell and Benson also approached double-double territory with eight points apiece and eight rebounds for Kell, seven for Benson. On Sunday, the Tribe had several outstanding performances key the victory, led by Pye, who set or tied six career records while recording 23 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists for her first career double-double. Pye was especially deadly driving to the basket and drawing fouls, converting 13 of 18 free throw attempts. Also scoring 18 or more points were Kell and junior Kelly Heath, with 18 and 19, respectively. Kell added six rebounds, three assists, and three steals to her line, while Heath had four rebounds and shot 8-14 from the field (3-4 from beyond the arc). Benson had a game-high 12 rebounds and added in three assists, two steals, and three blocks. Benson now has 66 blocks this season, one shy of the school record she set as a freshman, and with her fifth rebound of the afternoon became just the seventh player in school history to record more than 700 rebounds and 700 points in her career (708 and 738, respectively). Pye is 61-of-81 (.753) from the free throw line this season and 36-of-46 (.783) in the last four outings. The Tribe will return to the hardwood on Thursday when they welcome Northeastern to Williamsburg, Va. W&M will then travel to Wilmington, N.C., to face UNC Wilmington Sunday.
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