THIS WEEK’S QUICK HITS:
• VCU and Drexel are tied for first place in the league standings. James Madison stayed at No. 3 as they played another pair of contests without the services of one of the nations’ top scorers in Dawn Evans. Old Dominion follows at fourth, while dropping a pair of road contests last week.
• 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. 22). The CAA saw five teams for the second consecutive week in the top 100. VCU, James Madison, Drexel, Old Dominion and Towson made an appearance in the top 97.
• 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 (24.0 ppg/3rd).
• VCU received votes in the latest AP on Monday. This is the third time this season that the Rams have received votes in that poll. VCU has received votes in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll twice this season as well. The poll will be released on Tuesday, Feb. 24.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
Shanae Baker-Brice • Towson
Washington, D.C./Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., Guard
Towson junior guard Shanae Baker-Brice received CAA Player of the Week honors for the second time this season after leading the Tigers to a pair of conference wins over George Mason and Delaware last week. The junior guard averaged 22.0 points and 4.0 assists per outing. Baker-Brice shot 50 percent (17-of-34) from the floor, 50 percent from long range (3-of-6) and perfect from the line going 7-of-7. She tabbed 21 points in the win over Mason and 23 points against Delaware, posting her sixth and seventh 20+ point performance of the season.
Greta Luksyte • UNC Wilmington
Vilnius, Lithuania/Walsingham Academy, Jr., Guard
UNC Wilmington junior guard Greta Luksyte was named CAA Player of the Week for the first time this season as she led the Seahawks to a pair of conference victories. The junior guard averaged 18.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.0 steals on the week. She shot 82 percent (19-of-23) from the charity stripe, including a 3-of-3 effort to send the contest against William & Mary into overtime with 0.4 seconds left in regulation. Luksyte recorded a game-high 19 points in UNCW’s win at James Madison and follow that with an 18-point performance in an overtime victory over the Tribe.
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 third time this season as she led the Huskies with 17.0 points per game and added four steals, 10 rebounds, one assists and one block in NU’s two games. She scored 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting in 22 minutes in the Huskies’ win over Williams & Mary. The rookie followed that up with a 17 point, six rebound, two steal performance in an overtime loss to league-leading Drexel.
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. 22). The CAA saw five teams for the second consecutive week in the top 100. VCU continued in front of the conference ranked at 27, while James Madison and Drexel jumped in front of Old Dominion, at 71 and 87, respectively. Old Dominion was ranked 89, while Towson dipped inside the top 100 at 97.
NCAA STAT LEADERS (THROUGH GAMES OF FEB. 22): 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 steadied at third as she is averaging 24.1 points per contest. Drexel’s Andrea Peterson has an assist turnover ratio of 2.52 for the second best mark among Division I women’s basketball. Marginean is 10th in free-throw percentage while shooting 88.5 this far this season. Towson’s Shanae Baker-Brice is ranked 11th averaging 3.0 steals per game. William & Mary’s Tiffany Benson improved to seventh pulling down 11.3 rebounds per contest. Hofstra’s Jess Fuller is ranked ninth with a shooting percentage of 59.6 percent from the field. Fuller joins Benson ranked in blocked shots per game as Fuller is ranked fifth (3.2 bpg) and Benson is 12th (3.0 bpg). Drexel’s Jasmina Rosseel (2.9) and Evans (2.8) are ranked in made treys per game at seventh and 11th, respectively. The Hofstra Pride defense stands strong and tall as they top the nation in blocked shots averaging 7.2 per game. The Pride is also holding its opponents to 34.8 percent from the field to be ranked 10th in field-goal percentage defense. The Delaware’s defense tops the nation while holding its opponents to shooting only 24.3 percent from the three-point range and Drexel follows at 16th holding its opponents to 27.0 percent from beyond the arc. The Dragons of Drexel are third in the nation in free-throw percentage while shooting 80.5 from the charity stripe. The Georgia State Panthers are 10th in the nation averaging 11.9 steals per match-up and is eighth with a turnover margin of 5.694.
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 (email@example.com). The deadline to request a credential is March 2.
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.
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 own a 15-0 record at the Siegel Center this season. VCU currently owns a 17 game win streak at home, dating back to the end of the 2007-08 season. The streak ranks tied for fifth in the nation. The 17 straight wins at home is the second longest home winning streak in school history and are just one away from tying the school-record 18 straight home wins. The Rams will close out the regular 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 (Feb. 23) and ESPN/USA Today Coaches (Feb. 16) polls on. This is the third time this year that the Rams have received votes in the AP Poll. Other Poll Appearances: 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.
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.
IMPROVEMENTS FOR 2008-09: With a record of 15-8, the Hofstra Pride has produced the third best turnaround record in the nation with just under a three games left of the regular season in Division I women’s basketball. The Pride has won 10 more games than they had won all year in 2007-08. Delaware is tied for 18th as they have won five more games than the previous season and Georgia State is tied for 40th, 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 17 this current year.
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.
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 (12-14, 4-11 CAA)
Delaware suffered a pair of road losses last week as they fell to a tough Drexel squad on Thursday, 54-33, in Philadelphia, and then lost a 71-55 battle with Towson on Sunday. The Blue Hens were led by sophomore guard Tesia Harris as she averaged 17.0 points per outing and recorded three blocked shots. Junior guard Corinthia Benison added 9.5 points per game and a total of seven assists in the two contests. Benison also finished the week shooting 15-of-15 from the free throw line. Against league-leading Drexel, UD was led by Benison, its only double-figure scorer with 10 points to go with team-highs of seven rebounds and four assists. Harris posted seven points, two blocks and a steal. Her two three-point field goals on the night moved her past Kyle DeHaven (‘08) for ninth place on the all-time three-point field goal list with 60. Delaware’s 33 points was the lowest scoring output since Mar. 2, 2008 when the Hens were also held to 33 points by VCU. Delaware was without its leading rebounder Ariene Jenkins for the second straight game because of a concussion she suffered in the win over William & Mary on Feb. 11. Against Towson, Delaware was led by Harris, who collected a game-high 27 points while Ethlynne Thomas collected 12 rebounds. Eva Riddick was the other Blue Hen in double figures finishing with 10 points and nine rebounds. The Blue Hens never led in either game last week, and have not led an opponent since the 6:16 mark of the first half in the game against Old Dominion on Feb. 15. After a three-game road stretch, the Blue Hens will return home for a pair of conference contests. Delaware will entertain Northeastern on Thursday before welcoming Georgia State on Sunday.
DREXEL (18-8, 13-2 CAA)
Drexel extended its winning streak to 10 games, ranked 16th nationally, with victories over Delaware and an overtime win over Northeastern. The Dragons defeated the Blue Hens, 54-33, holding UD to its lowest point total since March 2, 2008 when VCU held UD to the same total. Drexel was pushed to overtime against Northeastern, 58-53. The last time Drexel played an overtime game against the Huskies was on Feb. 22, 2006 when it set an NCAA record going five extra periods for a Dragon victory. Junior forward Gabriela Marginean led the team posting 23.5 points per outing and 9.0 rebounds per game. Senior guard Andrea Peterson led the team with eight assists and five steals on the week and sophomore guard Jasmina Rosseel poured in 8.5 points per contest and also added six assists. In the win over Delaware, Marginean posted her 21st career double-double with 25 points and 11 rebounds. Against Northeastern, Peterson knocked down a three-pointer with 13 seconds left in regulation to complete a furious Drexel rally that saw the Dragons recover from a nine-point deficit at Northeastern with just over four minutes to play. The Dragons used a pair of overtime three-pointers by Rosseel and Marisa Crane to forge a six-point advantage and hold for a thrilling 58-53 win over the Huskies . Marginean led all scorers with 22 points, giving her 625 on the season which matches Michelle Maslowski’s single-season scoring record at Drexel. The Dragons will face one of their toughest games this season as they welcome VCU to Philadelphia on Thursday evening and look to extend their winning streak and take sole possession of first place in the conference standings. The two teams are currently tied for first place in the CAA Standings and only play each other once in the regular season. Drexel will welcome George Mason for the last contest at home this season on Sunday.
GEORGE MASON (4-22, 2-13 CAA)
George Mason fell to Towson, 67-52, on Thursday and then rebounded with a 63-57 home victory over Old Dominion Sunday. The Patriots earned their first win over ODU in program history, a streak dates back 34 seasons and was the second-longest drought against one opponent in the nation. Senior Brittney Wilkins led the team on the week averaging 15.5 points per game and also added 13 rebounds. Sophomore guard Brittany Poindexter followed with 12.0 points per outing and sophomore guard Brittany Eley contributed 11.5 points per contest. Eley also led the team in rebounds pulling down 9.0 per game. Against Towson, Wilkins exploded for 17 points in the second half en route to a team-high 19. Wilkins was joined in double figures by freshman Becky Cox, who chipped in 11 points. Poindexter led Mason off the glass with nine rebounds. In the win over ODU, Mason dominated the Lady Monarchs off the glass, holding a 47-to-35 rebounding advantage. The Patriots were led by Eley, who notched her first career double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Poindexter and Wilkins also contributed double-digit scoring, chipping in 15 and 12, respectively. The Patriots, who have won two straight games at home, will look to make it three in a row when they host Hofstra Thursday before making one final road trip to visit first-place Drexel on Sunday afternoon.
GEORGIA STATE (11-15, 3-12 CAA)
The Panthers fell in a pair of very close contests as they fell with a 63-60 loss on the road at VCU Thursday before suffering a 63-62 loss at home to James Madison Sunday. For the season, eight of the Panthers’ losses have been single-digit losses of nine points or fewer. Junior forward Daniell McKeller led the team pouring in 16.0 points per outing and grabbing a team-best 13 rebounds. Senior guard Brittany Hollins added 13.0 points per contest and nine assists on the week. Freshman Crystal Johnson dished out a team-best 15 assists on the week and sophomore forward Chandra Harris tied McKeller with 13 boards in the two contests. Against the Rams, Georgia State was led by Hollins with 18 points, including a pair of three-point baskets, and five assists. McKeller added 15 points and six rebounds. Harris added 10 points and a team-high seven rebounds. Point guard Johnson, who leads the CAA in assists, had eight assists. In the one-point loss to James Madison, McKeller with 17 points and seven rebounds. Johnson scored 12 points and had a game-high seven assists. JMU led by as many as 11 (52-41 at 9:55) in the second half. But then the Panthers outscored the Dukes 17-6 in just under six minutes to tie the game at 58-58 with 3:49 remaining. GSU’s freshmen guards have been the story of the season for the team. Williams leads all CAA freshmen with 287 points and is fourth overall in the CAA in steals, while Johnson has been the CAA assist leader most of the season. The Panthers will host UNC Wilmington, which is on a four-game winning streak, before traveling to the north to play Delaware in Wilmington, Del.
HOFSTRA (15-11, 7-8 CAA)
Hofstra earned its 15th win of the season with a 66-51 victory at home over Old Dominion on Thursday, but then fell to a tough VCU squad, 55-43, on Sunday. The win over ODU came on “Family Fun Day” at the Mack Sports Complex and a season-high of 1,434 fans were in attendance to see the victory by the Pride. The Pride was led by a trio as junior center Jess Fuller (11.0 ppg), junior guard Sam Brigham (11.0 ppg) and freshman forward Joelle Connelly (10.0 ppg) all averaged double digits in the two outings. Fuller also led the team pulling down 10.5 rebounds per outing and posted 13 blocked shots. Senior guard Niki Williams handed out a team-best 12 assists on the week. Against the Lady Monarchs, Fuller had her ninth double-double of the season with 12 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks to lead Hofstra. Brigham added 12 points in the game, including nine in a decisive second half in which the Pride outscored the Lady Monarchs, 40-27. Fuller and Brigham were joined in double figures by senior guard Natty Fripp (team-high 14 points), Williams (11 points) and Connelly (10 points). Williams added seven rebounds and six assists in the game, while Fripp chipped in with six rebounds and four assists. Sophomore Aamira Terry made the first start of her career for the Pride Thursday and assisted in the winning effort with five points and seven rebounds. Against VCU, Fuller fell three blocks short of a triple-double as she totaled 10 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high tying seven blocks, but she did tab her team-leading 10th double-double of the season. VCU rebounded from a nine-point halftime deficit to defeat Hofstra, 55-43, at the Mack Sports Complex on Sunday afternoon. Hofstra, which also got 10 points from Brigham and 10 points, seven rebounds and three blocks from Connelly, tied a season-high with 12 blocks. Previously Hofstra had 12 blocks against New Jersey Institute of Technology on December 29. Hofstra will travel to George Mason on Thursday before hosting UNC Wilmington on Sunday.
JAMES MADISON (18-8, 11-4 CAA)
James Madison was without the services of one of the nation’s top leaders, Dawn Evans, last week when they split on the week. The Dukes dropped a 68-63 decision at home to UNC Wilmington on Thursday before sneaking past Georgia State in a one-point 63-62 victory in Atlanta, Ga. Junior transfer Sarah Williams stepped up for the Duke due to the absence of Evans and poured in a team-best 24.5 points per game last week. Three JMU players averaged a team-best 6.0 rebounds per game in Williams, Brittany Crowell and Jalissa Taylor. Sophomore guard Courtney Hamner dished out a team-high nine assists in the two games and added seven steals. Against UNCW, JMU was led by Williams with a career-high 27 points, which included a career-high six three-pointers. Taylor had a double-double with 11 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, and freshman guard/forward Kiara Francisco added 10 points. JMU dressed only eight players due to injuries. Those sidelined include the number two ranked scorer in the nation, Dawn Evans (24.3 ppg), and the team’s third-leading scorer, Lauren Jimenez (8.8 ppg). The loss to the Seahawks marks the first time since the 2004-05 season that JMU had lost two CAA games at home. In the one-point victory over Georgia State, Williams, who led all scorers with 22 points, was 8-for-11 from the field, including 5-for-8 from three-point range. She also tied for game rebounding honors with seven and handed out four assists and made three steals. Crowell added 10 points and six rebounds in only 14 minutes of play. JMU led by as many as 11 (52-41 at 9:55) in the second half. But then the Panthers outscored the Dukes 17-6 in just under six minutes to tie the game at 58-58 with 3:49 remaining. The Dukes shot 54.8 percent (23-of-42) from the field against the Panthers, which was JMU’s second-highest shooting percentage of the season. Redshirt senior forward Nina Uqdah had three blocked shots last week and increased her season total to 39. That is the sixth-highest season blocks total in school history. The Dukes will visit William & Mary on Thursday before returning home Sunday when they host Old Dominion.
UNC WILMINGTON (14-12, 8-7 CAA)
The Seahawks earned a pair of conference victories last week and extended their win streak to four games. UNC Wilmington collected a 68-63 win at James Madison Thursday before taking William & Mary to overtime and earning a 70-66 victory at home Sunday. Junior guard Greta Luksyte posted a team-best 18.5 points per game and added 2.5 rebounds and four steals for the week. Sophomore center Martha White recorded 15.0 points per game and sophomore Brittany Blackwell scored 10.5 points and grabbed a team-best 8.0 rebounds per outing. Blackwell also led the team in assists with nine. In the win over JMU, Luksyte scored a season-high 19 points and White added a career-high 14. Luksyte was 12-for-14 from the charity stripe to lead a UNCW offense that was 19-of-25 (.760) at the line. White made 7-of-9 tries from the field as the Seahawks were 22-of-45 (.489) from the floor for the contest. Blackwell joined Luksyte and White in double figures with 13 points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. On Sunday, Luksyte sank three free throws with .4 seconds remaining to force overtime and then added a pair of baskets in the extra period to lift UNCW over William & Mary, 70-66, Sunday at Trask Coliseum. Luksyte led three Seahawks in double figures with 18 points, followed by White with 16 points and freshman guard Kristen Hanzer with 11. UNCW returns to action this week with a pair of road contests. The Seahawks are at Georgia State Thursday before traveling to Hofstra for a Sunday match-up.
NORTHEASTERN (10-16, 7-8 CAA)
Northeastern split on the week as they collected a 68-58 win over William & Mary Thursday before falling to Drexel, 58-53, in overtime Sunday. The Huskies have played three overtime games in the last four outings, winning only one. Freshman guard Brittany Wilson led the Huskies on the week pouring in 17.0 points per game and added 10 rebounds and four steals. Sophomore guard Jasmine Crew and junior forward Kendra Walton also posted double-digit scoring on the week with 13.5 ppg and 10.0 ppg, respectively. In the win over the Tribe, four Huskies scored in double figures led by Wilson, who posted a career- and team-high 17 points. Crew (16), senior guard Ashlee Feldman (14), and junior forward Kim Carr (10) also scored in double figures for the Huskies. Against league-leading Drexel, Wilson led the way for the Huskies pouring in a team-best 17 points, while pulling down six rebounds. Crew extended her double-digit scoring streak to six after scoring 11 points. Walton supplied 11 points and six rebounds for NU. Northeastern will hit the road for a pair of outings this week as they visit Delaware on Thursday before taking on VCU and its 17-game winning streak at home in Richmond on Sunday.
OLD DOMINION (14-11, 9-6 CAA)
The Lady Monarchs suffered back-to-back conference losses for the second time this season as they fell to Hofstra and George Mason on the road last week. Old Dominion fell 66-51 at Hofstra Thursday before dropping a 63-57 decision to George Mason Sunday. The Lady Monarchs were led by junior forward Jessica Canady as she recorded 14.0 points and 12.5 rebounds per outing last week. Canady was followed by sophomore guard Shadasia Green (11.5 ppg), senior center Tiffany Green (10.0 ppg) and sophomore guard Jasmine Parker (10.0 ppg) in averaging double-digit points. Freshman center Mairi Buchan dished out a team-best seven assists in the contests, while sophomore forward Sierra Little contributed a team-high seven steals. Against Hofstra, Tiffany Green, the Lady Monarch’s leading scorer who had accounted for six of Old Dominion’s first seven points of the contest, didn’t score after the 17th minute of play having to miss the final 12 minutes of the half with foul trouble. The Lady Monarchs had three in double figures led by Shadasia Green with 14. Canady recorded her sixth double-double of the year with 12 points and 14 boards. Tiffany Green rounded out the double figure scorers with 10. In the loss to Mason, the Lady Monarchs were led by Canady with her sixth double-double of the year. The junior led her squad with 16 points and 11 boards. Parker was the only other Lady Monarch to reach double figures with 13 points. The Lady Monarchs will host Towson Thursday evening before making the trek to Harrisonburg, Va., when they will face James Madison Sunday.
TOWSON (16-9, 8-7 CAA)
Towson posted a 2-0 record on the week as they defeated George Mason, 67-52, and Delaware, 71-55. Junior guard Shanae Baker-Brice led the Tigers with 22.0 points per game and eight assists last week. The junior also recorded three steals. Junior forward Haliena Snowden also contributed double-digit points as she posted 14.5 per game. Junior forward Katrina Wheeler led the team with 7.5 rebounds per contest. Against the Patriots, Baker-Brice scored a game-high 21 points. The Tigers won their second straight game as Baker-Brice combined with Snowden to score 35 points in the contest. Baker-Brice’s 21 points was her sixth 20+ point performance of the season. She would also add three rebounds, two assists and two steals. Snowden finished with 14 points, just two shy of her career-high. Sophomore Jessica Haywood contributed a career-high nine points to go along with four rebounds. Senior guard Brandy Black matched her career-high with seven points, while Omara Parker had seven points and six rebounds. In the win over Delaware, Baker-Brice finished with 23 points and six assists in the contest to lead the Tigers. It was Baker-Brice’s second straight 20+ point contest and seventh of the season. Snowden finished with 15 points, seven rebounds, four assists and a steal. Wheeler had her 10th double-double of the season as she contributed 13 points and 10 rebounds. Jessica Haywood matched her career-high in rebounds as she finished with eight including six offensive boards. Towson is currently tied for fifth in the CAA standings and will visit Old Dominion and William & Mary this week.
VCU (23-4, 13-2 CAA)
The Rams extended their home winning streak to 17 games as they defeated Georgia State 63-60 on Thursday night and then extended their winning streak to eight with a road victory over Hofstra, 55-43, Sunday. Senior center Quanitra Hollingsworth led VCU averaging 16.0 points and 10.5 rebounds per outing last week. Classmate Radoslava Bachvarova also contributed double-digit points with 13.5 per game. Freshman guard Jennifer Lane handed out a team-best nine assists and junior guard Kita Waller contributed 9.0 points and 6.0 rebounds in the two wins. Against the Panthers, the Rams got a very strong performance from senior Quanitra Hollingsworth, who had her 49th double-double of her career. Hollingsworth finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Bachvarova had 10 points, including the decisive foul shots and a key 3-pointer late in the game. Waller added 11 points. In the Sunday win over Hofstra, Bachvarova scored 13 of her game-high 17 points in the second half. She also had seven rebounds. Hollingsworth recorded the 50th double-double of her career with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Lane scored 12 points, 10 of them in the second half. Lane was 6-6 from the free-throw line. The Rams will look to extend their winning streak and take sole possession of first place as they battle the Dragons of Drexel in Philadelphia on Thursday. VCU will then return home Sunday looking to extend and tie a school record for consecutive wins at home when they host Northeastern.
WILLIAM & MARY (12-14, 5-10 CAA)
William and Mary dropped a pair of conference contests last week as they fell at home to Northeastern, 68-58, on Thursday before suffering a 70-66 overtime loss at UNC Wilmington Sunday. Freshman Taysha Pye led the Tribe scoring 15.5 points per outing. She also added nine rebounds per game to go along with five assists. Senior Dani Kell and junior Kelly Heath each contributed 10.5 points per game last week. Junior forward Tiffany Benson added 9.5 points per game and led the team pulling down 14.5 rebounds per contest. She also led the team with 11 blocks in the two games. Against the Huskies, Kell led the Tribe with her second consecutive 18-point outing, including two three-pointers in the final two minutes of the game. Kell also had seven rebounds on the night. Heath also continued her strong play, contributing 15 points, four assists, and three steals. Benson had a huge night on the glass, pulling in a career-high tying 18 rebounds that also ranks 10th-best in a single-game in school history. Benson also etched her name in the school record book for blocks, recording two rejections against the Huskies to raise her season total to 68 and surpass her own freshman total of 67 blocks. Benson just missed a double-double, finishing the night with eight points. Also close to a double-double was Pye, who had eight points and 10 rebounds while earning her first career start. In the overtime loss to UNCW, several W&M players performed exceedingly well in the game, led in many respects by Benson’s near-triple-double of 11 points, 11 rebounds, and a school-record nine blocks. The total surpasses the school record she set earlier this season against UNCW of eight, and increased Benson’s career total to 202 blocks, just the third athlete in CAA history to surpass 200 blocks in a career. Pye led the Tribe with a career-high tying 23 points on 10-16 shooting, eight rebounds, five assists, and five steals. In her last six games, Pye is averaging 17.2 points. Freshman Janine Aldridge broke out of a five-game streak of scoring in single digits with 14 points and three assists, shooting 5-of-9 from the floor and 4-of-8 from beyond the arc. Senior Courtney Portell and junior Lauren Aadland each set or tied career-bests against the Seahawks, Portell dishing out seven assists to go with six points and seven rebounds, while Aadland pulled down eight rebounds and added a block. The Tribe will return to the court on Thursday when they host James Madison. William & Mary will wrap up the week and its home schedule on Sunday when the Tribe hosts Towson.