QUICK NOTES ABOUT THIS WEEK:
• The first televised women’s conference game is scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 14 when Towson takes on Delaware in Newark at Noon. The game will be televised on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic and Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia.
• VCU will visit Towson for a contest on Wednesday, rather than the typical Thursday game, due to a men’s televised game at Towson on Thursday.
• James Madison returns to home in the second part of the week and hopes to extend its 18-game winning streak at the Convo.
QUICK NOTES ABOUT LAST WEEK:
• With only a handful of non-conference games left on the schedule, the CAA currently owns a 76-49 overall record (60.8%) against its opponents.
• On Tuesday, two CAA teams defeated a pair of Atlantic 10 opponents. William & Mary downed Duquesne and George Mason was victorious over Fordham, both on the road.
• Delaware snapped Hofstra’s 10-game winning streak with a 59-56 win in Newark, Del. on Thursday. Old Dominion, UNC Wilmington, Georgia State and William & Mary picked up their first CAA wins.
• Northeastern collected its first CAA victory of the season with a 65-52 win over Towson on Sunday.
• Old Dominion continues its winning ways as they finished the week 2-0, as well as James Madison and Delaware.
CO-PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
T.J. Jordan • Old Dominion
Portsmouth, Va./Wilson, Jr., Guard
Old Dominion junior guard T.J. Jordan received CAA Player of the Week honors after averaging 21.5 points to led the Lady Monarchs to a 2-0 start in conference play last week. Against Virginia Commonwealth, Jordan poured in a season-high 25 points. She shot a blistering 56.3 percent (9-for-16) from the floor, including a career-tying seven three-pointers all in the first half. She was just two treys shy of tying the school record. Jordan is currently third in the nation in three-pointers made averaging 3.5 per game. Against Drexel, Jordan shot 5-5 from the free throw line, the fifth time she had gone perfect from the charity stripe.
Meredith Alexis • James Madison
Hanover Township, Pa./Bishop Hoban, Sr., Center
James Madison senior center Meredith Alexis earned CAA Player of the Week honors for the fourth time this season after averaging 23.0 points and 15.0 rebounds per game. She led the Dukes to 2-0 record in conference play last weekend. The senior center posted game highs of 24 points and 16 rebounds in the Dukes’ win over Towson, before registering a team-high 22 points and game-high 12 rebounds in the victory over Georgia State. She has recorded 52 career double-doubles and 63 career double-figure rebounding games. Alexis is currently ranked fourth in the nation averaging 12.5 rebounds per game and 22nd in scoring (19.7 ppg).
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Danyiell McKeller • Georgia State
Fayetteville, N.C./Westover, Fr., Forward
Georgia State forward Dayiell McKeller received CAA Rookie of the Week honors as she averaged a double-double last week with 10 points and 10 rebounds per game. The freshman registered her third career double-double with 13 points and tied a career best with 11 rebounds in the Panthers’ win over Northeastern. McKeller also tied a personal best with three steals and shot 60 percent from the floor in the win. She posted a team-high nine rebounds against James Madison and added seven points for Georgia State on Sunday.
CAA No. 10 IN FIFTH RPI RANKING: The CAA is ranked 10th among the nations 32 Division I conferences in women’s basketball according to the RPI report compiled by Collegiate Basketball News through games of Jan. 7. The CAA finished ranked eighth in last season’s final RPI report. The CAA was ranked as high as sixth this season in the first RPI report. James Madison currently leads the CAA ranked at 19. Delaware, who was ranked as high as 13th this season, follows at #26, while Hofstra is ranked #38. Old Dominion jumped 31 spots from #108 last week to #77 this week.
RECEIVING VOTES: Both Hofstra and Delaware received votes in the latest Associated Press Top 25 Poll, for the sixth consecutive week. For the first time this season, James Madison also received votes. The Blue Hens received 19 votes, while the Pride received 16 nods among the "Others Receiving Votes". Both Hofstra and Delaware have also received votes in the past five USA Today Coaches Polls.
HOW LONG CAN THEY GO?: Hofstra had posted the CAA’s longest winning streak of the season with 10 straight wins before Delaware spoiled it on Thursday, Jan. 4. Delaware previously owned a nine game winning streak earlier this season.
HOME SWEET HOME: James Madison extended their home court winning streak to an impressive 18 games, which is ranked fourth in the nation. The streak dates back to last season, when the Dukes posted a 13-0 record at home. It's the second longest known streak in school history. Hofstra, which currently owns a 11 game-winning streak at home, is ranked 14th. The Pride’s streak dates back to Feb. 10, 2006. Delaware extended their regular season home winning streak against non-league opponents to 18 games, which dates back to the 2002-03 season.
CAA TOPS RANKED TEAMS: Hofstra and Delaware each defeated a ranked team for the first time in their respective school histories. On Wednesday, Nov. 22 Hofstra downed No. 17 Michigan State on the road (57-53), before Delaware defeated #20 Kentucky (86-70) on Friday, Nov. 24.
TOP RETURNING STARTERS: With the CAA returning 75% of its starters, two CAA teams rank among the top five with total starts. James Madison’s returning players entered the 2006-07 season with a combined 379 starts, which is more than any total starts for a Division I team in the country. The Dukes have 35 more starts than second-place Oklahoma, whose returning players have started 344 contests. Hofstra follows fifth with 292 starts entering this season.
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. Sunday’s match up of Towson at Delaware is the first televised conference game of the season. It will air on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic and Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia at Noon.
2007-08 DEAL WITH THE AMERICA CHANNEL: Colonial Athletic Association Commissioner Tom Yeager announced that the league has entered into an agreement with The America Channel, which will provide live television coverage of a minimum of 18 women’s basketball games and several other CAA Championships beginning in the 2007-08 academic year. The America Channel® is a new programming network that will explore and celebrate our communities, campuses, real heroes, and ordinary people who accomplish the extraordinary. The America Channel’s SportsLife ™ initiative merges life and sport – combining broadcast of over 200 NCAA sports games and matches, with real-life drama about the aspirations, achievements, challenges, adventures, community service, and lifestyles of students and student athletes from numerous NCAA conferences.
DELAWARE (12-2, 3-0 CAA):
DREXEL (5-9, 0-3 CAA):
Drexel went 0-2 last week. The Dragons fell in a close 48-43 decision against William & Mary at home on Thursday and then dropped a 70-45 decision at Old Dominion on Sunday. Against the Tribe, Narissa Suber scored 11 of the Dragons’ 18 first-half points, including three three-pointers, but the sharp shooters’ shots ceased to fall in the second stanza as she went scoreless for the duration of the game. Drexel led by as much as five points in the first half and saw the lead slip away just before halftime. While the Dragons shot a season-low 18 percent from the floor and matched it with as many points, the team trailed by a slim 19-18 margin at the break. Peterson scored all nine of her points in the second half and teamed with Anora Suber to put in 17 of the team’s 25 points in the final 20 minutes of play. But this was not enough to keep the Dragons afloat in the contest. Gabriela Marginean grabbed a season-high 14 rebounds, eight of them contributed to Drexel’s 25 boards on the offensive glass. On Sunday, Drexel had two in double figures with Gabriela Marginean and Narissa Suber each contributing 10 points each. Delise Johnson and Jennifer Stjarnstrom turned in solid performances in the post. Johnson matched her career high by grabbing nine rebounds, including six on the offensive boards. For a second straight game Drexel hustled to grab more offensive rebounds (18) than it did defensive (16). Stjarnstrom swatted a season-high three shots while helping to defend in the post. The Dragons will host a tough Hofstra team on Thursday before visiting Northeastern on Sunday.
GEORGE MASON (6-6, 1-2 CAA):
George Mason opened the week ending its three-game road trip with a 59-42 win over Fordham on Tuesday afternoon. The Patriots then fell in a pair of thrilling contests to UNC Wilmington, 59-57, on Thursday and to William & Mary, 47-46, on Sunday. On Tuesday, junior forward Moni Akintunde scored 11 of her 15 points in the second stanza, which included her second career 3-pointer. Akintunde tied Fordham's Lisa Carrol in point total, while Quigley and junior guard Lateisha Wade each added 13 points for the Patriots. Mason outshot the Rams, 43 percent to 37, and also had a 38-19 advantage on the boards. The Patriots had 13 second chance points, while Fordham had none and the Patriots' bench scored 21 points to the Rams' nine. On Thursday, junior forward Moni Akintunde, who tied for a game-high 18 points, put Mason up by one with just 16 seconds remaining against UNCW. Tracy Ann Holness added 10 points, while Jessica Smith added a team-best seven rebounds. Mason shot 38 percent on the night (23-of-61), while the Seahawks made 21-of-44 field goal attempts. The Patriots won the battle of the boards, 36-29, and also scored 32 points in the paint to UNCW's 16. Against the Tribe, the Patriots were victims of a three-point Tribe bucket with 2.6 left in the game. Mason was led by Lateisha Wade’s 13 points. The Patriots take a break from conference action and host Brown on Jan. 9 at the Patriot Center. Mason will also host James Madison on Thursday in conference play and Georgia State on Sunday.
GEORGIA STATE (9-5, 1-2 CAA):
The Panthers won their CAA home opener when they defeated Northeastern, 76-51, on Thursday. Georgia State then fell to a tough James Madison team on Sunday, 84-61. Five State players scored in double figures against the Huskies. Georgia State sophomore guard Brittany Hollins led all scorers with 16 points. Senior guard Kelcey Roegiers-Jensen finished with 14 in becoming the 17th women's basketball player in school history to score 1,000 or more points in a career. She has 1,003 points in four seasons as a Panther. Freshman guard Tabitha David went 4-of-8 from 3-point range and collected 14 points for the Panthers. Sophomore center Marcquitta Head totaled 13 and a team-high 15 rebounds for her eighth career double-double. Freshman forward Danyiell McKeller posted her third career double-double with 13 points and 11 boards -- tying her career-high. On Sunday, James Madison snapped the Panthers’ six-game winning streak and handed GSU its first home loss of the season. Georgia State was led by Roegiers-Jensen with a game-high 26 points. Also in double figures was sophomore center Head with 12. Head has made at least one three-point basket in every game she has played this season (12). McKeller led the Panthers with nine rebounds, and Head grabbed eight rebounds. Georgia State's nine victories this season ties its overall win total from last year when the team finished 9-20. Roegiers-Jensen became the 17th player in GSU history to score 1,000 or more points after scoring 14 versus Northeastern. She needs 24 more three-pointers to break the career record, which was set just a year ago (131) by Monica Thomas. State is scoring 20 or more points per game since moving Hollins to the point and inserting David into the starting lineup. The Panthers will visit Old Dominion on Thursday before traveling to play George Mason in Fairfax on Sunday.
HOFSTRA (12-2, 2-1 CAA):
Hofstra had its 10-game winning streak snapped as they fell to Delaware, 59-56, on Thursday in conference play. The Pride extended its winning streak at home to 11-games as they defeated VCU on Sunday, 63-57, to finish the week 1-1 in conference play. Prior to the game against Delaware, Hofstra was one of just three schools nationally (#1 Maryland and #2 North Carolina) to have an overall win streak and a home court win streak of at least 10 games simultaneously. The loss to the Blue Hens ended Hofstra's 25-game win streak when holding its opponent under 60 points and dropped the Pride to 0-21 as a Division I program when facing the Blue Hens in Newark. With a perfect 10-10 showing from the free throw line against Delaware , it marked the first time Hofstra was perfect from the line since going 2-2 against Army on November 29, 1998. Senior guard Cigi McCollin led Hofstra in scoring during the week, scoring 19 against Delaware, including five three-pointers, and 21 in the win over VCU. Senior forward Lizanne Murphy was a force on the boards for the Pride in the two games, pulling down games in both with 13 against Delaware and 16 against the Rams. The 16 rebounds against VCU marked a season-high and fell one short of Murphy’s career-high set against William & Mary on January 14, 2005. With her seven rebounds against VCU, senior center Vanessa Gidden took over sixth place on Hofstra’s all-time rebounding charts, while fellow senior, Murphy is moving closer to the top three of that category with her 824 career caroms. In addition, Murphy has made 20 straight free throws dating back to the Yale contest on Dec. 12. Hofstra has a pair of road games this week as they will travel to Drexel on Thursday before taking on Old Dominion on Sunday in Norfolk.
JAMES MADISON (11-2, 3-0 CAA):
James Madison improved to 3-0 in conference play with a 84-66 win over Towson on Thursday and a win over Georgia State, 84-61, on Sunday. Against the Tigers, senior center Meredith Alexis registered game highs of 24 points and 16 rebounds to lead James Madison. Alexis was one of four Dukes in double figures. Junior forward Tamera Young finished with 17 points and nine rebounds, senior guard Lesley Dickinson added 16 points, and senior forward Shirley McCall had a season-high 14 points. JMU played much of the opening period without starters Andrea Benvenuto and Dickinson, who each picked up two fouls in the first period. Against the Panthers, Alexis and Young each had double-doubles. Alexis had a team-high 22 points and a game-high 14 rebounds, while Young added 20 points and 10 rebounds. Senior forward Shirley McCall had 12 points in the first half, when she hit six of seven field-goal attempts and finished with a season-high 16 points. Senior guard Lesley Dickinson was also in double figures with 11. Senior guard Andrea Benvenuto handed out a game-high eight assists. Alexis extended her school career records to 1,092 rebounds, 52 double-doubles and 63 double-figure rebounding games. It was her 11th double-double of the season, while Young recorded her fifth double-double of the year. Redshirt freshman Nana Fobi-Agyeman played her first career game at Georgia State. The Dukes conclude a stretch of six straight road games when they play George Mason on Thursday. Madison will host William & Mary on Sunday, for the first game since Dec. 18.
UNC WILMINGTON (5-8, 1-1 CAA):
UNC Wilmington earned a win in its conference opener in Fairfax with a 59-57 thrilling win over George Mason on Thursday, but fell to Delaware on Sunday at home. With the win against the Patriots, the Seahawks snap a four game losing streak. Senior guard Lori Drake scored 18 points, including a three point play with 1.4 seconds left in the game. UNCW led most of the game before the Patriots grabbed a 53-52 lead with 2:11 left in the second half. The lead then changed hands six times over the final two minutes with Mason taking a 57-56 advantage on a putback by Moni Akintunde with just 15.5 seconds, setting up Drake’s heroics. In addition to Drake, UNCW was led by Taylor, who ended the game with 12 points and nine rebounds, while Lyksyte finished with 15 points, including three from behind the arc. UNCW shot 47.7 percent in the game, the second best field goal percentage this season, while holding the Patriots to a 37.7 percentage. After holding a 21-13 advantage on the board in the first half, the Seahawks only grabbed eight in the second stanza and allowed Mason to record 23 to take a 36-29 advantage on the boards. Against the Blue Hens, Senior Lori Drake paced the Seahawks with 14 points and nine rebounds, while Sahsha Taylor finished with six points and seven rebounds. The Seahawks hit the road to play William & Mary on Thursday before visiting VCU on Sunday.
NORTHEASTERN (2-12, 1-2 CAA):
The Northeastern University women’s basketball fell to Georgia State on Thursday, 76-51, on the road, but rebounded with its first CAA victory of the season with a 65-52 win over Towson at home. Against the Panthers, freshman Kateema McLean led three Huskies in double figures with 14 points and four assists. Ashlee Feldman added 13 and freshman Kim Carr had 11. The Huskies leading rebounder Stefanie Hodell continued to work hard on the glass, pulling down a game-high and career best 17 rebounds. On Sunday, Lucia Pablos led the Huskies with 19 points, eight assists and five rebounds. Stefanie Hodell registered a double-double, scoring 13 points and racking up 16 rebounds, four assists and two blocks. Hodell is averaging 11.5 rebounds over the past eight games. Ashlee Feldman added 14 points. Combined, those three players were 18-of-32 (56.3 percent) from the field. Overall, the Huskies shot 45.6 percent while limiting Towson to 33.9 percent shooting from the field and 11.8 percent from 3-point range. The Huskies look to continue their winning streak as they visit Delaware on Thursday. Northeastern will host Drexel on Sunday in Boston.
OLD DOMINION (6-7, 2-0 CAA):
The Old Dominion women’s basketball team is currently on a three-game win streak after opening the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) portion of its schedule with wins at Virginia Commonwealth and against Drexel. The Lady Monarchs improved to 16-0 in CAA openers last Thursday as they defeated Virginia Commonwealth, 81-70. It was the fourth time that Old Dominion opened the CAA schedule against the Rams. The 81 points netted by the Lady Monarchs mark the most the team has scored this season. A majority of those points came from junior guard T.J. Jordan who exploded for a season-high 25 points on 9-of-16 shooting from the floor, including a career-tying seven three-pointers. Jordan was just two treys shy of tying the school record. She also sunk seven treys at Delaware (2/11/05) and at George Mason (2/10/06). Senior Tish Lyons added in a season-high 14 points and dished out a career record six assists. The Old Dominion bench also managed to outscore the VCU bench, 32-7. Old Dominion then returned home on Sunday for its CAA home opener against Drexel recording a 70-45 win to improve to 15-1 in conference home openers. The foul plagued second half saw the Lady Monarchs go to the line 13 times, making 11 shots. They shot 84.6 for the half from the charity stripe and a season-high 76.0 percent for the game. Jordan once again led the Lady Monarchs in scoring pouring in a game-high 18 points which included a perfect 5-of-5 effort from the line. It was the fifth time this season the third year Lady Monarch has shot perfect from the charity stripe. The foul plagued second half saw the Lady Monarchs go to the line 13 times, making 11 shots. Old Dominion, who has struggled from the line this season, shot 84.6 percent in the second half from the charity stripe and a season-high 76.0 percent for the game. The Lady Monarchs close out a three-game home stand this week hosting Georgia State on Thursday and Hofstra on Sunday.
TOWSON (10-3, 1-2 CAA):
The Tigers’ five-game winning streak was snapped by James Madison in a 84-66 decision on Thursday. On Sunday, the Tigers fell to Northeastern, 65-52, in Boston. The losses marked the first time the Tigers have dropped consecutive contests this year. Led by freshman guard Shanae Baker-Brice, who scored 17 of her team high 21 points in the second half, the Tigers cut their deficit to 67-57 with 2:56 left against the Dukes. But, the Dukes used 10-for-10 free throw shooting in the final minutes to hold on for the win. Baker-Brice, who was named as the CAA Rookie of the Week for the third time earlier this week, scored 21 points with four assists. It was her fourth 20-point game of the season. Junior guard Jamell Beasley came off the bench to add 14 points for the Tigers while senior Kelly Robinson had 12 points and six rebounds. The defeat was also the Tigers’ first home loss of the season. Led by sophomore guard Alis Freeman, who had seven steals, the Tigers forced 19 JMU turnovers. On Sunday afternoon, Senior forward Kelly Robinson scored a season-high 20 points in the loss at Northeastern, including 16 in the first half. Entering Wednesday’s game against Virginia Commonwealth, the Hazlet, N.J. native needs just one point to become the 13th player in Tiger women’s basketball history to reach 1,000 career points. She will also reach 100 career appearances in her next game, becoming the 27th player in Towson history to play in 100 career games. When she reaches 1,000 career points, Robinson will also become the fifth player in school history to reach 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds. She enters this week’s games with 572 career rebounds. Junior guard Jamell Beasley made her first start of the season in the loss at Northeastern. The Tigers’ 4th-leading scorer this year, Beasley was held to five points and three assists against the Huskies. Meanwhile, junior guard Holly Mahan tallied a career-high six blocks in the loss at Northeastern. The Tigers will return to the Towson Center on Wednesday night when they host Virginia Commonwealth at 7:00 p.m. before making the short trip to Delaware on Sunday afternoon for a 12:00 p.m. tip-off against the Blue Hens. The match against the Blue Hens will be televised on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic and Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia.
VCU (7-5, 0-2 CAA):
The Rams dropped their first home contest of the season to Old Dominion, 81-70, on Thursday in a conference outing and then fell to Hofstra, 63-57, in Hempstead. On Thursday, Hollingsworth led the Rams with 22 points and nine rebounds, while Vaughn was close behind with 21 and boards to keep VCU within striking distance. Senior guard Michele Cosel chipped in with 11 for VCU. VCU jumped out to a 7-4 lead in the opening minutes on the strength of two Hollingsworth buckets, but then Jordan began her assault. Her first 3-pointer knotted the game at 7-7 with 15:03 remaining. Erasing the Rams’ final lead of the game. Against the Pride, Hollingsworth scored 17 of her 20 points in the second half to lead a furious Rams’ rally. She topped 20 points in three consecutive games, the longest stretch of her career. Last season she had six 20-point games. This season, despite missing one game and being severely limited in several other because of a sprained ankle, she already has five 20-point games. Hollingsworth, who was 12-of-14 at the free throw line, knocked down a pair with 41 seconds remaining to pull VCU to within 58-57. It was the closest the Rams had been all game and was an unlikely scenario, given Hofstra’s 15-point advantage earlier in the half. Junior guard LaKea Jones had a season-high 11 points, while freshman forward D’Andra Moss kicked in 10 points and six rebounds off the bench for VCU. The Rams will visit Towson on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. tip, before hosting UNC Wilmington on Sunday in Richmond.
WILLIAM & MARY (10-4, 2-1 CAA):
The Tribe finished the week 3-0 and extending their six-game winning streak. William & Mary picked up roads win over Duquesne, 69-54, on Tuesday and Drexel, 48-43, on Thursday. They then defeated George Mason in a 47-46 thriller at home. W&M has is off to its best start since the 1993-94 season. The six-game winning streak is the program’s longest since the 1980-81 season. On Tuesday, playing in her hometown, junior Kyra Kaylor recorded a team-high 20 points and nine rebounds in front of a large contingent of family and friends. Kaylor now has 1,115 career points and moves into ninth place on the school’s all-time scoring list. Senior Sarah Stroh also came up big, totaling a career-high 14 points, while junior Devin James finished with 10 points. As a team, the College limited the Dukes to just 37.5 percent shooting, including a 19.4 percent mark in the second half. Additionally, the Green and Gold dished out a season-high 21 assists, while controlling the glass, 38-37. Kell led the Tribe handing out six assists, while Stroh and James each dished out five. Against the Dragons, the College had a great effort defensively, limiting the Dragons to just 20.6 percent shooting (13-of-63). Additionally, it marked the fourth time this season that the Green and Gold have held an opponent to less than 50 points. W&M was also strong at the free throw line, sinking 17-of-20 attempts. Junior Kyra Kaylor poured in a game-high 16 points to go along with six rebounds and three steals in 37 minutes of action. Sophomore Dani Kell also played well, contributing eight boards, seven points and a pair of steals. Four other players also scored at least five points. With the wins, W&M continues its best start since the 1998-99 season. On Sunday, freshman Robyn Barton hit a three-pointer, her only shot of the game, from the left wing with 2.6 seconds remaining to lift the Tribe to a 47-46 triumph against George Mason. The win was particularly impressive, as the College utilized a 23-2 run to overcome a 20-point second half deficit. James led the Green and Gold with a game-high 13 points, while Kaylor provided eight points and nine rebounds. With the solid performance, Kaylor now has 1,139 points and 704 rebounds during her career, becoming just the third player in school history to post 1,000 points and 700 boards. The Tribe will host UNC Wilmington on Thursday in conference play before they travel to James Madison. William & Mary will be JMU’s next home opponent and will look to spoil the Dukes’ 18-game winning streak at home.