CONFERENCE NOTES:LAST WEEK IN THE CAA: The CAA women’s basketball teams started the season playing some of the top teams in the country, including #1 Maryland, #6 Duke and #19 Baylor. The CAA went 5-9 in the first week of play, but look to quickly improve on that record in the upcoming weeks. Delaware and Towson each turned in a victory over a Big East team, while Hofstra advanced to the second round of the WNIT with a win over Missouri Valley’s Witchita State in the opening round. Virginia Commonwealth and James Madison also added victories to their records, starting 1-0 on the new season.
CO-PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
Hanover Township, Pa./Bishop Hoban, Sr., Center
James Madison center Meredith Alexis received CAA Co-Player of the Week honors after leading the Dukes to an 82-66 win over East Carolina in JMU’s season opener. The senior center posted game highs of 30 points and 13 rebounds, tabbing her 41st career double-double. She shot 12-for-16, including 6-for-9 from the free throw line. With her 13 rebounds, she also inched closer to the 1,000-rebound plateau as she currently owns 943. Alexis also moved from 19th to 17th place on JMU’s career list with 1,183 career points.
Tyresa Smith• Delaware
Dover, Del./Polytech, Sr., Guard
Delaware guard Tyresa Smith received CAA Co-Player of the Week honors after recording game highs of 27 points and 11 rebounds in the Blue Hens’ come-from-behind win over Villanova, 68-63, at home. She posted her sixth career double-double in the win and assisted the Blue Hens to extend their winning streak at home in non-conference regular season to 13 games. The veteran played a team-high 38 minutes.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Shanae Baker-Brice • Towson
Washington, D.C./Roosevelt, Fr., Guard
Towson guard Shanae Baker-Brice earned CAA Rookie of the Week honors after making her collegiate debut and leading the Tigers in a 65-5 win over Georgetown by scoring a game-high 25 points. She made 7-of-17 shots from the floor while converting 10-of-13 free throw attempts. The freshman guard also added six rebounds, four steals and three assists on Saturday. The starter played 32 minutes for the Tigers.
THIS WEEK IN THE CAA: The CAA women’s basketball teams will face four Atlantic 10 teams, two ACC teams, two Big East members, two Patriot League squads and a pair of Big South teams. The Blue Hens of Delaware will visit Boston College early in the week, while Northeastern will travel to Providence. Georgia State will head to cross-town rival Georgia Tech in search of its’ first win of the 2006-07 season and UNC Wilmington will make the trip to Raleigh, N.C. to face N.C. State. William & Mary, Drexel, VCU and James Madison will compete against A-10 members. The Tribe and the Dukes will face in-state rival Richmond at the Robbins Center in the capital of Virginia. Radford and Liberty will be challenged by CAA members VCU and George Mason. Old Dominion will open its home schedule against Kentucky over the weekend.
ENTERING THE 2006-07 SEASON:
STRONG RETURNING NUMBERS:CAA teams return an amazing 75% (45-of-60) of their starting line-ups from a season ago. James Madison, UNC Wilmington and Virginia Commonwealth University have all five starters back, while Delaware, George Mason, Hofstra, Old Dominion and William & Mary have four starters returning.
ALL-CONFERENCE RETURNEES: Twelve of the 15 members from last year’s All-CAA team will return for the 2006-07 season. All five first-team honorees are back: William & Mary forward Kyra Kaylor, James Madison center Meredith Alexis, Hofstra center Vanessa Gidden, Delaware guard Tyresa Smith and JMU guard Tamera Young. Also returning are the league’s Player of the Year (Kaylor), Defensive Player of the Year (Smith) and Rookie of the Year (VCU’s Quanitra Hollingsworth).
STREET & SMITH RANKS ODU 18th: Street and Smith’s Magazine listed the Old Dominion women's basketball team at No. 18 in its in their annual College Basketball Yearbook. The Old Dominion women's basketball team returns four starters and nine letterwinners from last year's 22-9 team.
TOP SCORERS: The CAA welcomes back 17 of its top 20 scorers from last season. Also back are 13 of the CAA’s top 15 in rebounding, nine of the top 10 in assists and steals and the top five in blocked shots.
RANKED 8th IN RPI: The CAA was the eighth-ranked Division I conference in the final RPI rankings compiled by the NCAA. The ranking was the best for the conference since 1997-98. Four of the league’s 12 teams were in the top 76 (Old Dominion - 20, James Madison - 55, Delaware - 69 and Hofstra - 76).
2006 CHAMPIONSHIP RECAP: Old Dominion edged James Madison 58-54 in a thrilling title game to capture its NCAA record 15th consecutive CAA championship. 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 23rd NCAA Tournament, which ranks as the third-most appearances in Division I behind only Tennessee and Louisiana Tech. The Lady Monarchs have won 20 or more games during all 15 seasons as a CAA member.
FOUR TEAMS IN POST-SEASON PLAY: For the first time in CAA history, four women’s basketball teams continued play in the post season. Conference champion Old Dominion received the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, while James Madison, Delaware and Hofstra each received a bid in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament.
TOP NOTCH RECORDS: For the first time in CAA women’s history, three teams recorded 22 or more wins last season. James Madison went 24-7 overall, while Delaware was 22-8 and ODU was 22-9.
OUTSTANDING OVERALL BALANCE : Seven CAA women’s basketball teams finished the 2005-06 season with a winning record for the first time in conference history.
DOUBLE THE PLEASURE: The CAA had 36 women’s basketball players produce at least one double-double last season, which was the third highest number of players among the Division I conferences. Five players posted 12 or more double-doubles and all return this season. William & Mary’s Kyra Kaylor led the conference and ranked fourth nationally with 22, followed by JMU’s Meredith Alexis (17), VCU’s Quanitra Hollingsworth (14), Hofstra’s Vanessa Gidden (13) and James Madison’s Tamera Young (12).
TV EXPOSURE: CAA women’s basketball is scheduled to increase its television exposure with 17 games on the air this season. All 12 teams will make at least one television appearance.
DELAWARE (1-0, 0-0 CAA):
DREXEL (0-2, 0-0 CAA):
The Dragons dropped a pair of home contests to Penn State, 74-56, on Friday and Loyola (Md.), 66-57, on Sunday. Drexel started two freshman forwards in both games last week, including Gabriela Marginean who led the squad in scoring (19.0 ppg). The rookie scored 12 points against the Lady Lions in her collegiate debut and turned in a 26-point showing against the Greyhounds. She averaged a team-best nine rebounds a game over the weekend. Marginean’s 26-point/12-rebound outing against Loyola marked the first double-double for a Drexel freshman since Catherine Scanlon (2002-06) compiled nine in 2002-03, her freshman season. Junior Narrissa Suber led Drexel with 18 points against PSU, averaged 11.0 points per game and tied a career high with seven rebounds against Loyola. She also shot a perfect 9-for-9 from the free-throw line over the weekend. Twin sister Anora Suber, junior forward, made her fifth start of her career against the Lady Lions on Friday and scored a career-best 10 points. The Dragons will host cross-town rival Temple on Friday to conclude their three-game home stretch before making their debut on the road next week.
GEORGE MASON (0-1, 0-0 CAA):
George Mason opened its 2006-07 season at No. 1 Maryland, the defending national champions, and lost by a score of 99-43. Junior guard Lateisha Wade led the Patriots in scoring with 15 points, which included an 8-for-13 showing from the free-throw line. Senior guard Nikkia Slade added a team second-best six points as well as two steals. Junior forward Moni Akintunde grabbed a team-high five rebounds for Mason. The Patriots will play its first home game of the year on Tuesday when they host Liberty. Mason leads the overall record against the Flames, 11-0, including a 6-0 showing at the Patriot Center. The last time these two teams faced off was on January 18, 1991 as Mason won by a score of 55-47 on the Flames’ home court. Liberty, the Big South’s coaches’ pick for 2006-07, has won the conference title and earned the Big South’s automatic bid to the NCAA’s for the past 10 years.
GEORGIA STATE (0-1, 0-0 CAA):
Georgia State dropped a close 68-60 game to Miami on the road last Friday to open the season. Senior Kelcey Roegiers-Jensen led all scorers with 20 points, scoring 17 in the second period, as the Panthers rallied from a 22-point second-half deficit to pull within four, 62-58, with 1:10 led in the game. Roegiers-Jensen added five rebounds and a game high six assists. Freshman forward Danyiell McKeller, who made her first start of her career, posted 17 points. Freshman forward RaShay Rawls collected four points and tied for team-high honors with eight rebounds. Sophomore center Marcquitta Head came off the bench to post eight points and eight boards, tying the team high. The Panthers held the Hurricanes to 29 percent field goal shooting in the second half. Georgia State is now 24-8 overall in season openers and 15-17 overall in its first road game of a season. The Panthers’ five straight road games to start the regular season is a school record. Head coach Lea Henry is five wins away from 200 victories in 13 seasons at Georgia State. Roegiers-Jensen is 159 points from becoming the 17th player in GSU history with 1,000 or more career points. She needs 37 three-pointers to break the career school record set last year (131) by Monica Thomas. After dishing out six assists, Roegiers-Jensen has moved into ninth-place all-time on the career list with 287. Georgia State will visit cross-town rival Georgia Tech on Thursday before traveling to Virginia for a Sunday contest at Hampton .
HOFSTRA (1-1, 0-0 CAA):
Hofstra went 1-1 in its opening week, winning its season opener on Friday at Wichita State in the first round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT), 79-72, before falling to #19 and 2005 NCAA Champion Baylor, 81-71, on Sunday in the second round of the WNIT. With the victory over the Shockers, first year Head Coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey picked up her first career victory and the Pride won its third season opener in the past five years. Hofstra trailed by one at half against Wichita State, but used a half-opening 10-0 run to take control of the game and move on to the second round of the WNIT. The nationally-ranked Lady Bears jumped out to a 41-18 halftime lead over the Pride on Sunday before Hofstra staged a furious rally and got within eight with less than a minute to go, but Baylor shot a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity stripe in the final minute to seal the win. Hofstra became just the second-ever CAA school to win a Pre-Season WNIT game, joining the 1996 Old Dominion squad that defeated George Washington, 70-44, in the first round. The games against the Shockers and the Lady Bears marked Hofstra’s first-ever games against schools from the Missouri Valley and Big 12 Conferences. Both were formidable opponents as Wichita State was picked second in the preseason MVC poll, while Baylor was selected fourth in the Big 12. Senior Vanessa Gidden led the Pride on the week averaging 21.0 points per game. Senior Lizanne Murphy pulled down a team-best 10.5 rebounds per game and added 13.5 ppg. Senior Cigi McCollin followed Gidden averaging 16.0 ppg. With four three-pointers last week, McCollin now has 220 three’s in her career and is just 10 shy of tying Jen Brickey for the top spot on the all-time list. Hofstra has just one game scheduled this week as they will head to Long Island University for a 7 p.m. contest on Friday.
JAMES MADISON (1-0, 0-0 CAA):
James Madison opened its season with a 82-66 victory at the JMU Convocation Center over East Carolina on Sunday. With the win, the Dukes won its 14th straight home game, as the 2005-06 squad was 13-0 at home. JMU won its home-opener for the second year in a row and the Dukes have now won 18 of their last 20 home-openers. The Dukes were led by senior center Meredith Alexis, who posted game highs of 30 points and 13 rebounds. The senior added to her school records with her 41st career double-double and her 52nd double-figure rebounding game. Alexis also increased her school career rebounding record total to 943. Her 30 points put her at 1,183 career points and moved her from 19th to 17th place on JMU’s career list. Junior Tamera Young tied Alexis for game rebounding honors with 13, which was her 22nd double-figure rebounding game -- moving her into a tied for seventh on JMU’s all-time career list. Red-shirt junior Jennifer Brown, a transfer from Pittsburgh, had 12 points and nine boards in 18 minutes off of the bench. The Dukes will play one game this week as they travel to the capital of Virginia to play the Richmond Spiders on Sunday at 2 p.m.
UNC WILMINGTON (0-1, 0-0 CAA):
The Seahawks opened the 2006-07 season with a 74-46 loss at UNC Greensboro. Senior Lori Drake led UNC Wilmington with 11 points on 4-for-7 shooting and 2-for-2 from behind the line. Sophomores Alex Stewart and Shasha Taylor both posted nine points. The Seahawks outrebounded UNCG, 33-24, but UNCW committed 40 turnovers in the loss, which is more than they had in any game during the 2005-06 season. The Seahawks are now 17-17 all-time in season openers, including a 3-4 record under Head Coach Ann Hancock. UNC Wilmington will visit N.C. State in search of their first win for the 2006-07 season. The Seahawks will face the Wolfpack on Friday, Nov. 17 at 6 p.m.
NORTHEASTERN (0-1, 0-0 CAA):
Northeastern opened the season at No. 6 Duke and dropped a 102-49 decision in Durham, N.C. Despite 40 minutes of continuous effort from NU, it wasn’t able to overcome 36 turnovers as the Huskies relinquish 29 offensive rebounds to a much taller Duke frontcourt. Jody Burrows played a solid game as she helped control the game’s tempo on both offense and defense with five assists, four steals and five rebounds. Sophomore Ashlee Feldman led the Huskies with 17 points and was 7-for-18 from the field and continued her sharp shooting from behind the line going 1-for-1, as she led the conference in free-throw percentage a year ago (.897). Lucia Pablos posted the team’s second-best 11 points as she went 9-for-9 from the free-throw line. The Huskies trailed only nine points at the 10:28 mark in the first half as NU started the game strong, but couldn’t consistently handle Duke’s pressure defense. The Huskies’ only allowed one Blue Devil to score in double-figures. Northeastern will travel to Rhode Island to face Providence College on Saturday for a 2 p.m. start.
OLD DOMINION (0-1, 0-0 CAA):
The Old Dominion women's basketball team opened the 2006-07 season with a 92-72 loss at in-state rival Virginia on Sunday afternoon at the brand new John Paul Jones Arena. The game marked the opening of the Cavaliers brand new facility. Virginia had helped open ODU's new home, the Ted Constant Convocation Center, back when the door opened in 2002. Junior guard and Preseason Second Team All-CAA selection T.J. Jordan led the Lady Monarch squad with 21 points, all coming from three-point range. The third-year Lady Monarch shot 6-of-19 from the field, including 6-of-17 from three-point range setting new career-highs in field goals and three-pointers attempted. Senior forward and Pre-Season Second Team All-CAA pick Sherida Triggs sat out most of the first half in foul trouble and scored all 15 of her points in the second half. Triggs also posted 15 boards. Redshirt sophomore Tiffany Green collected a game-high 10 boards as Virginia only held a slight one rebound margin over Old Dominion, 43-42. The Lady Monarchs return to action on Saturday, November 18th when they host No. 15/16 Kentucky on Homecoming. Tip-off is at 4:00 p.m. and the game will be televised by Comcast Sportsnet (Mid-Atlantic). The Wildcats are one of four teams ranked in the Top 25 in the preseason polls the Lady Monarchs will face this season.
TOWSON (1-0, 0-0 CAA):
The Tigers opened their 25th season of Division I basketball with a 65-57 victory at Georgetown on Saturday afternoon, marking the fourth straight season they have opened the season with a win. Freshman guard Shanae Baker-Brice was one of five Tigers to make their Towson debut in the victory. Making a return to her hometown, the Washington, D.C. native recorded a game-high 25 points while adding six rebounds, four steals and three assists. She made 7-of-17 shots from the floor and converted 10-of-13 free throw tries. Baker-Brice scored 10 of her 25 points in the game’s final three minutes as the Tigers held on for the victory after Georgetown rallied from a 13-point deficit. Junior guard Holly Mahan scored 12 points by making four of eight field goal attempts, including a three for seven effort from three-point range. Freshmen Ashlee Keown, Kandace Davis and Haliena Snowden also made their debuts for the Tigers in the win over the Hoyas. Sophomore guard Alis Freeman and senior center Erin Gaston made their first appearances for the Tigers since suffering season-ending injuries last year. Senior forward Kelly Robinson scored nine points and led the Tigers with eight rebounds in the season opener. The Tigers will host Winston-Salem State on Tuesday night in the first all-time meeting between the two teams. It will be the Tigers’ only home game in the month of November as Towson plays six of its first seven games away from the Towson Center. The Tigers will also travel to American on Sunday in a rematch of last year’s season opener, which Towson won by 67-52.
VCU (1-0, 0-0 CAA):
Virginia Commonwealth University earned a 68-47 victory over Central Connecticut State in its season opener on Friday. Freshman forward D’Andra Moss scored 12 of her 14 points and grabbed seven of her eight rebounds in the second half to help spark VCU past CCSU. Trailing 29-23 at halftime, VCU forced 15 turnovers and outscored the Blue Devils 45-18 in the second half. The Black and Gold scored 22 points off CCSU turnovers. Head Coach Beth Cunningham is now 3-1 in season openers. With two blocks Friday, sophomore center Quanitra Hollingsworth moved into a fifth-place tie with Jenny Hecht (1985-89) on the Rams’ career blocks list with 66. With three 3-pointers against CCSU, senior guard Michele Cosel moved within two treys of tying Jennifer Melton’s (1988-93) 81 three-pointers for sixth place in school history. The Rams will host St. Joseph’s on Sunday. The contest is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.
WILLIAM & MARY (0-1, 0-0 CAA):
The Tribe dropped its fourth straight season opener with a 66-46 loss to Maine on the road on Saturday. The Nov. 11 opener was the earliest in program history, as the previous mark was Nov. 13 during the 1998-99 season at Winthrop. Junior guard Devin James posted her second double-double of her career with 15 points and 11 rebounds. The Tribe shot 84.2 percent (16-for-19) from the free throw line, the sixth-best single-game mark in school history. William & Mary outrebounded the Black Bears, 42-34, as sophomore Katie Tausanovitch helped wither her career-best seven rebounds. The 2006 CAA Player of the Year, Kyra Kaylor needs just 39 more points to become the Tribe’s 11th player to reach the 1,000-point plateau. The Tribe will visit the Richmond Spiders on Thursday, Nov. 16 before hosting North Texas in Williamsburg on Sunday, Nov. 19.