LAST WEEK IN THE CAA:The CAA women’s basketball teams went 9-8 on the week. James Madison (2-0), Towson (3-0) and VCU (3-0) remained perfect on the year, while Hofstra, Delaware and William & Mary improved to 2-1 this season. The Richmond Spiders tabbed two losses against CAA Rivals (JMU and William & Mary) and American dropped a set of CAA contests to Towson and Delaware. A set of Big East members (Boston College & Providence) defeated two CAA opponents (Delaware and Northeastern) last week with a pair of close games.
THIS WEEK IN THE CAA: The CAA women’s basketball teams are schedule for 22 total games this week. UNC Wilmington will play a trio of contests as they visit High Point on Monday before hosting its own Wilmington Classic. Delaware will open the week with Kentucky, which recently defeated Old Dominion, at the San Francisco Tournament. ODU, Northeastern, UNCW, Drexel and Georgia State will be looking for their first victories of the season in the upcoming week. George Mason will resume play after the holidays on Nov. 28.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Rumson, N.J./Fair Haven, Sr., Forward
Delaware forward Chrissy Fisher received CAA Player of the Week honors after averaging 25.5 points and 11.0 rebounds per game last week as the Blue Hens went 1-1 last week. The senior forward tallied 51 points and 22 rebounds, while shooting 65 percent from the field and 83 percent from the three-point line. Fisher posted a career-high 26 points, shot 4-for-4 from the three-point line and tied a career-high 14 rebounds against Boston College. The senior registered a perfect shooting percentage as she hit her first 11 shots from the field in the first half against American on Sunday.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Gabriela Marginean • Drexel
Cluj-Napoca, Romania/Mt. de Chantal Academy, Fr., Forward
Drexel forward Gabriela Marginean earned CAA Rookie of the Week honors after posting her second consecutive double-double of the season with 18 points and 11 rebounds against Temple. She scored nine of Drexel’s 20 first-half points and grabbed eight second-half rebounds to help the Dragons out-rebound Temple 23-19 in the second period after being dominated on the glass in the opening 20 minutes. The freshman forward currently leads the Dragons in scoring (18.7 ppg), rebounding (9.7 rpg), steals (5) and shooting percentage (.434).
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 (2-1, 0-0 CAA):
DREXEL (0-3, 0-0 CAA):
Drexel dropped to 0-3 on the season after a tough loss to cross-town rival Temple, 61-50, on Friday. The Dragons came all the way back from a 15-point first-half deficit to take a 49-48 lead with 2:21 left in the game. Temple used blocks on three consecutive Drexel possessions to go on a 13-1 run to pull away for the victory. Freshman forward Gabriela Marginean led the Dragons with 18 points and 11 rebounds to record her second consecutive double-double of the season. The last player to record back-to-back double-doubles was All-CAA forward Catherine Scanlon, who went on to record three-straight dual double-digit tallies against Howard, Northeastern and Hofstra from Dec. 31, 2005 to Jan. 8, 2006 last season. Scanlon is also the last freshman to achieve the feat when she did it in the 2002-03 season en route to nine double-doubles in her first campaign with Drexel. The rookie currently leads the Dragons in scoring (18.7 ppg), rebounding (9.7 rpg), steals (5) and shooting percentage (.434). Teammate Narissa Suber has scored 30 of her 34 points this season in the second half. The junior guard has not missed a free throw this season (13-for-13). Senior point guard Kira Karlstrom has matched her career high for assists with five in each of the last two games. Drexel travels to Dayton, Ohio to take on the Flyers on Tuesday at 5 p.m. The Dragons will return home on Nov. 26 to host Lehigh.
GEORGE MASON (0-2, 0-0 CAA):
George Mason fell to Liberty, 61-56, in its home opener on Tuesday. Mason dropped its first contest ever against the Flames in school history. Junior Lateisha Wade scored in double figures for the second time this season as she tied for a team-high 10 points and also dished out a game-high seven assists, along with tying for a game-best three steals. Junior C’Vette Henson came off the bench to match Wade’s effort after shooting 4-for-9 from the field and 2-for-4 from long range. Junior forward Moni Akintunde grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds and also added eight points for the Patriots. As a team, Mason had a slight advantage on the boards, 36-34, against LU. Senior forward Tracy Ann Holness came off the bench to net a team third-best nine points, while sophomore Jessica Smith grabbed a team second-best nine caroms. George Mason will have two weeks off before they visit Howard on the road on Nov. 28.
GEORGIA STATE (0-3, 0-0 CAA):
Georgia State fell to 0-3 for the first time since 1990-91 after dropping back-to-back games at Georgia Tech, 83-41, and Hampton, 62-55. The Panthers held the Yellow Jackets to under 35 percent from the fiel, while State only shot 24.6 percent from the field. Georgia State’s 41 points at Tech was its lowest output since dropping a 58-41 contest against Pepperdine at the Tulane/DoubleTree Classic on Dec. 28, 2004. Thursday's win was Tech's largest margin of victory since a 72-30 win over Georgia State on Nov. 19, 2004. Freshmen forwards Danyiell McKeller and RaShay Rawls are the first Georgia State freshmen to start in the first three games of the regular season since Leslie McElrath (1997-2001) did during the 1997-1998 campaign. McKeller totaled a team-high 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the loss at Georgia Tech (her third straight game of 10 or more points). Rawls totaled eight points and grabbed a team-high and career-high 11 rebounds. Sophomore guard Brittany Hollins added five points, six rebounds and three assists. McKeller collected her first career double-double at Hampton, scoring 16 points and grabbing a game- and career-high 11 rebounds. Senior guard Kelcey Roegiers-Jensen led all scorers with 19 points and added five rebounds, a game-high seven assists and three blocked shots. Hampton was 25-of-36 from the free throw line compared to 6-of-12 for State. The Panthers’ five straight road games to start the regular season is a school record. Georgia State will play Norfolk State on Tuesday and Jacksonville State on Saturday.
HOFSTRA (2-1, 0-0 CAA):
Hofstra continued its four-game road trip to start the season and added another victory, pulling away from Long Island University, 68-57, on Friday evening. With the game tied at 44 with just over four minutes into the second half, Hofstra broke open the tight game with a 21-3 run and never looked back in posting the 11-point victory. Senior forward Lizanne Murphy picked up her second double-double of the season as she had 15 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. She also shot 70 percent in the victory (7-for-10). In addition to Murphy’s double-double, senior center Vanessa Gidden picked up her first double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds against the Blackbirds. In addition, the 6-2 Connecticut native blocked her first shot of the season and now has 133 blocks in her stellar career, just one behind Diane Leonard (1978-82) for the all-time school record. The four straight road games to start the season is Hofstra’s longest season-opening road swing since the 1988-89 squad played its first five games away from Hempstead. Hofstra finishes up its road trip this week as they visit nationally-ranked Michigan State on Wednesday before hosting their first home game of the season on Sunday versus Rider.
JAMES MADISON (2-0, 0-0 CAA):
James Madison improved on its perfect record as they defeated Richmond, 62-58, on Sunday. The Dukes were led by Tamera Young as she posted game highs of 24 points and nine rebounds. The junior scored 15 of JMU’s first 28 points. Late in the game, Young produced the last four points to break a 58-58 tie in the last 1:02 of the contest and secure the win. Senior center Meredith Alexis, who holds the JMU career record for double-doubles with 42, did not score in double-figures or have a double-figure rebounding game against the Spiders. That was only the second time that she has not been in double figures in either category in her last 44 games and only her 14th of her 93 game career. Alexis’ seven rebounds on Sunday pushed her over the 950-career rebound mark and she moved from 17th to 16th place on JMU’s career scoring list (1,190). Young added a pair of three-pointers against UR to move into a tie for sixth place on the Dukes’ career three-point list (83). Senior Andrea Benvenuto scored 15 points, one below her career high, as she shot 7-for-10 from the field and 1-for-2 from beyond the arc. Benvenuto has only scored in double figures in 10 career games and this was the first time she had registered in double figures in back-to-back games (14 points vs. ECU). She marked a personal best with her seven field goals. Senior Shirley McCall was out of the starting lineup with a injured shooting hand against the Spiders for the first time in JMU’s last 34 games. Prior to the UR game, she had started 43 of the Dukes’ 44 contests. The Dukes will play at No. 25 George Washington on Saturday, Nov. 25.
UNC WILMINGTON (0-2, 0-0 CAA):
The Seahawks fell to N.C. State, 63-48. In her first start, freshman Greta Luksyte recorded a team-high 16 points, including a 3-for-4 effort from behind the arc against the Wolfpack. The freshman guard improved her shooting percentage to .571 from the three-point range for this season. Sophomore Sahsha Taylor tallied 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting against N.C. State and is shooting a team-best .714 (10-for-14) this year. Sophomore forward Alex Stewart matched her career high with three blocks against the Wolfpack. Both Luksyte and Taylor are averaging a team-high 10.5 points per game. Senior guard Lori Drake is averaging 9.5 points and a team-best 7.0 rebounds per game. The Seahawks play their final of three road games to start the season tonight at High Point. The team will host the Hilton Wilmington Riverside Classic over the Thanksgiving weekend, entertaining Duquesne, Furman and Youngstown State.
NORTHEASTERN (0-2, 0-0 CAA):
Northeastern’s Ashlee Feldman had a buzzer beater rim out as the Huskies overcame a 14-point deficit at the 10-minute mark in the second half to lose by one to Providence 75-74 on Saturday. Feldman finished with 15 points. Shaleyse Smallwood led the Huskies with 22 points and seven rebounds, while captain Jody Burrows posted a double-double with 10 points and 10 assists. NU finished the game on a 23-10 run that started with a Kim Carr jumper at the 6:51 point in the second half. As NU inched closer, the Huskies would have an opportunity to win the game after Shaleyse Smallwood scored on six straight possessions and Kendria Holmes of PC missed a pair of free throws with 00:15 left on the clock. The Huskies inbounded the ball to an open Feldman who executed on the shot but the ball rattled around and came out as a tremendous Husky comeback fell one point short. The Huskies trailed by 12 after the first period and looked poised to come back as they opened the second half with back-to-back 3-pointers from Feldman. The Huskies outscored the Friars in the second half 46-35 in a period in which the two teams committed 31 fouls combined. NU capitalized on their opportunities from the line, converting on 14-of-18 free throws in the second half alone. Smallwood finished 8-of-8 from the line with all of her free throws coming in the second half. Burrows handed out 10 assists. Burrows hit a key three pointer that pushed the Huskies within seven points at 69-62 with 3:11 remaining in the game but she fouled out on the following possession and head coach Daynia La-Force Mann turned to Smallwood on the offensive end. Smallwood had 16 of her 22 points in the second half and 10 of those came with under 10 minutes left to play. The Huskies will entertain Boston College on Tuesday before hosting Canisius on Wednesday.
OLD DOMINION (0-2, 0-0 CAA):
The Old Dominion women's basketball team dropped to 0-2 on the season falling, 55-69, to No. 21 (AP)/24 (ESPN/USA Today) Kentucky in its Homecoming Game on Saturday at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. The Wildcats marked the first of four Top 25 teams the Lady Monarchs will face during its non-conference schedule, which will include upcoming contests with Duke, Tennessee, and Rutgers. Junior guard T.J. Jordan was the team's leading scorer for the second straight game and the lone Lady Monarch in double figures. Jordan netted 11 with six points coming from the line. Sophomore Jazzmin Walters added in nine. Old Dominion won the battle of the boards by one, 42-41. Junior Megan Pym hauled in seven rebounds in just six minutes, but missed the rest of the game will an injury. Senior Sherida Triggs and Jordan each pulled down six rebounds. Old Dominion returns to action with a pair of home games next week. The Lady Monarchs host former CAA rival East Carolina on Tuesday, November 21st with a 7:00 p.m. tip and Delaware State on Saturday, November 25th with tip-off at 4:00 p.m.
TOWSON (3-0, 0-0 CAA):
The Tigers improve to 3-0 on the season with a 76-51 win over Winston-Salem State at home on Tuesday and a 69-57 victory at American. The Tigers are off to their best start since the 1998-1999 season after a pair of wins last week. Towson is off to a 3-0 start for the first time since the 1998-99 campaign when the Tigers won their first four games. All 14 of the Tiger players saw playing time in the victory while 12 different Towson players scored points. Transfer Holly Mahan scored a game-high 20 points in the victory and pulled down a team-best 11 rebounds, marking her first career double-double. She averaged 17.5 points per game while grabbing 13 steals. Against American on Sunday afternoon, Mahan recorded 17 points with six rebounds and seven steals. Freshman Ashlee Keown made her first career start in the win at American on Sunday. She was one of four Tigers in double figures by scoring 10 points and also added five rebounds in 24 minutes. Senior forward Kelly Robinson posted 13 points in the victory against the Eagles and now has 906 points in her college career. The Tigers will continue their five-game road trip this week with a pair of games against local rivals. On Tuesday night, Towson will travel to UMBC to face the Retrievers in a game which will be broadcast on the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. On Saturday afternoon, the Tigers will face Charles Street rival Loyola College at Reitz Arena at 2:00 p.m. The Tigers will not return home to the Towson Center until December 10 when they host Norfolk State.
VCU (3-0, 0-0 CAA):
Virginia Commonwealth improved to 3-0 with a pair of victories last week. The Rams earned a 58-55 win at Radford and returned home for a 60-59 nail-bitting victory against St. Joseph’s on Sunday. Junior forward Krystal Vaughn sank a 16-foot jumper with .8 seconds remaining to lift VCU past Saint Joseph’s. Vaughn finished with a game-high 24 points and 11 rebounds, recording her second career double-double. Sophomore center Quanitra Hollingsworth picked up her 15th career double-double Wednesday at Radford with 20 points and 13 rebounds, moving into a seventh-place tie with Connie Watford and Ellen Corum on the Rams’ all-time list. VCU went 0-for-7 from 3-point range in the 58-55 win over Radford, snapping a streak of 128 games with a 3-pointer. The last time the Rams did not connect from beyond the arc in a game was Jan. 13, 2002, when VCU defeated Hofstra, 70-63 in Hempstead, N.Y. despite going 0-for-7 from 3-point range. The Rams won their second straight game Sunday without the benefit of a 3-point field goal. The Rams were 0-for-12 from 3-point range in two games this week. VCU is 3-0 for the second time in as many years. The Rams are 4-0 in home openers under head coach Beth Cunningham. After losing her first four contests to Atlantic 10 teams, Cunningham has won the last two over that conference’s squads. The Rams will host Albany on Tuesday at the Siegel Center before entertaining East Carolina on Friday.
WILLIAM & MARY (2-1, 0-0 CAA):
William & Mary won two straight last week with victories over Richmond and North Texas. The Tribe improved to 7-3 in the last 10 home openers with the 62-58 win over NT. The Tribe was victorious over Richmond and North Texas. With the 67-54 victory over the Spiders the Tribe earned its first victory of the new season on Thursday. The Tribe shot 55 percent (12-of-21) from the field, the fifth-best mark in school history. Additionally, W&M connected on 64 percent (7-of-11) of its attempts from beyond the arc. On the defensive end, the Green and Gold held UR to 32 percent (22-of-69) shooting. W&M was led by junior Kyra Kaylor, who poured in a game-high 18 points. The reigning Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year was extremely efficient, going 3-of-3 from the floor and 10-of-13 from the charity stripe. Her 10 free throws marks the sixth time during her career that she has made at least 10 free throws in a contest. Junior Devin James tallied 12 points and seven boards in 40 minutes of action, the second consecutive game in which she has played the entire contest. Defensively, the Green and Gold held UR’s leading scorer, Christina Campion, to just six points. Sophomore Dani Kell also came up big, totaling 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting, while recording five rebounds and three blocks. On Sunday, James earned her second double-double of the season with an 11-point, 10-rebound effort versus North Texas and Sarah Stroh registered a career-high 12 points. Kaylor now needs just 12 points to become the 11th Tribe player to reach 1,000 career-points. The Tribe will host Longwood on Tuesday before traveling to High Point on Sunday.