**Full Report in PDF format located in link at the bottom of this release**
THIS WEEKS QUICK HITS:
• The CAA steadied with a RPI rating of 11 in the most recent report by Collegiate Basketball News. The league finished the non-conference schedule with a 72-59 record.
• Six teams are ranked in the Top 25 of the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll. With six teams ranked, the CAA has the most of any conference ranked in the Top 25. Delaware (#11), Old Dominion (#12), Drexel (#14), James Madison (#18), Hofstra (#24) and UNC Wilmington (#25) ranked in the Jan. 4th poll.
• The CAA Women's Basketball Weekly Teleconference call will continue on Tuesday, Jan. 11 at Noon. Hofstra's Krista Kilburn-Steveskey, UNC Wilmington's Cynthia Cooper-Dyke and Northeastern's Daynia La-Force Mann will join the call.
• The Show Place Arena (Upper Marlboro, Md.) will host the 2011 Virginia 529 College Savings Plan CAA Women's Basketball Championship on March 10-13.
• The CAA has 29 games slated to be televised for the 2010-11 season.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
Courtney Hurt • VCU
Conyers, Ga./Salem, Jr., Forward
Hurt earned CAA Player of the Week honors after leading the Rams to a pair of CAA wins over UNC Wilmington and George Mason. The junior forward averaged a double-double on the week with 26.0 ppg and 10.0 rpg. In the win over the Seahawks, Hurt poured in 35 points, tying the VCU single-game scoring record. She finished the week shooting 47.4 percent (18-for-38) from the floor, 50.0 percent (2-for-4) from three-point range and 93.3 percent (14-for-15) from the charity stripe. Hurt added six steals, two assists and one block.
Tia Lewis • Old Dominion
Poulan, Ga./Worth County, Jr., Forward/Center
Lewis received CAA Player of the Week honors after helping the Lady Monarchs extend their winning streak in conference play with wins over George Mason and James Madison. The junior forward/center posted back-to-back double-doubles, including a career-tying 24 points and 10 rebounds against Mason. She finished the week averaging 17.0 points and 11.0 rebounds per outing. Lewis shot 54.2 percent (13-for-24) from the field and 61.5 percent (8-for-13) from the free throw line. The junior finished the week with two steals, one block and one assist for ODU.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Kendra Long • Georgia State
Atlanta, Ga./Benjamin Mays, Fr., Guard
Long collected CAA Rookie of the Week honors leading the Panthers with 17.0 points per game and helped GSU capture its first CAA victory over Hofstra. The freshman guard added 6.5 rebounds per game, including 10 defensive boards. Long shot 42.3 percent (11-of-26) from the field, 45.5 percent (10-for-22) from long range and 50.0 percent (2-for-4) from the charity stripe. The freshman also added three assists, one block and one steal for the Panthers on the week.
CAA AT NO. 11 IN RPI RANKING (though games of Jan. 9): The RPI report compiled by Collegiate Basketball News ranked the CAA as 11th out of 32 conferences at the start of conference play. The CAA has five ranked in the top 87, led by Drexel ranked at #42 in the team ranking. Old Dominion (44), Delaware (76), James Madison (80), and UNC Wilmington (87) are also in the Top 100.
STANDING OUT IN NATIONAL STATS (through games of Jan. 9): The CAA has the top two leading scorers in the nation with top-ranked Dawn Evans (25.2 ppg) from James Madison and second-ranked VCU's Courtney Hurt (24.3 ppg). Hurt leads the nation with 13.2 rebounds per outing, while Hofstra's Candice Bellocchio is ranked 10th in assists with 6.3 per outing. Old Dominion's Jasmine Parker's 3.4 steals per contest is the sixth best average in the nation. Drexel's Kamile Nacickaite is ranked fourth with 94.6 free throw percentage. JMU's Dawn Evans is ranked second in three-point field goals per game (3.4), while Hurt leads the nation with 12 double-doubles on the season. (CAA Top 50 individual & team listing on page 8)
CAA INDIVIDUAL LEADERS: JMU's Dawn Evans is the league leader averaging 25.2 ppg on the season and VCU's Courtney Hurt (24.3 ppg) follows. Hurt continues to lead the league in rebounding with 13.2 rpg, while Hofstra's Shante Evans (10.5 rpg) and GSU's Chan Harris (10.5 rpg) follow. Hofstra's Candice Bellocchio leads the conference dishing out 6.3 assists per game and is 1.5 assists per game more than the next best in the CAA. Old Dominion's Jasmine Parker tops the conference with 3.4 steals per outing. Drexel's Kamile Nacickaite has shot 42-for-45 (.933) from the charity stripe, while Dawn Evans at 88.3 percent (68-for-77) to top free-throw shooters. Dawn Evans leads the conference shooting 3.4 treys per outing.
STAT WATCH: Delaware sophomore All-American Elena Delle Donne is nearing the 1,000-point plateau. She has recorded 956 career points in 36 games and if she continues to average 26.0 points per game, she should reach her 1,000th-career point during her 38th career game as a Blue Hen. The fastest player to reach 1,000th career points in CAA history is JMU's Dawn Evans, who reached the milestone in 55 games. VCU's Courtney Hurt needs 69 points to reach the same career mark.
REACHING MILESTONES: William & Mary's Taysha Pye joined Drexel's Jasmina Rosseel and Old Dominion's Jasmine Parker after reaching the 1,000-point milestone this season with her 20-point performance at Northeastern. JMU's Dawn Evans posted 31 points against Monmouth and set a new JMU career record for the Dukes. She currently has 2,259 career points. Evans now ranks second in the CAA record books and looks to pass Drexel's Gabriela Marginean.
SIX CAA WBB TEAMS RANKED IN COLLEGEINSIDER.COM TOP 25 MID-MAJOR POLL: The CAA has six teams ranked in the Top 25 of the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll. With six teams ranked, the CAA has the most of any conference ranked in the Top 25. Delaware steadied in the Mid-Major Poll and a top the CAA schools at #11. Old Dominion stayed at #12, while Drexel (#14), James Madison (#18), Hofstra (#24) and UNC Wilmington (#25) followed in the Jan. 4th poll. Atop the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 is Green Bay, which received 27 first-place votes. The women's Mid-Major Top 25 is comprised of teams from America East, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, CAA, Great West, Horizon, Independents, Ivy, Metro Atlantic, Mid-American, Mid-Eastern, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern, Southland, Southwestern, Summit, Sun Belt and West Coast Conference. The Mid-Major Top 25 will be released every Tuesday throughout the 2010-11 season.
2011 & 2012 CAA WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIPS TO BE HOSTED BY NEUTRAL SITE: The Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, Md. has been selected to host the Virginia 529 College Savings Plan CAA Women's Basketball Championship in 2011 and 2012 by the league's athletic directors. It will be the first time that The Show Place Arena has served as host of the CAA women's championship. All games in the four-day, 11-game tournament will be played at the 5,000-seat arena, with the winner earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. This season's event will be held from March 10-13, 2011.
SIGN ON FOR DAWN: The NephCure Foundation's "Sign on for Dawn" (www.signonfordawn.org) fundraising campaign is past the halfway point, with $5,651 raised toward its $10,000 goal. The NephCure Foundation is a non-profit foundation that funds research into finding effective treatments and provides support for patients suffering from the kidney diseases FSGS (Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis) and Nephrotic Syndrome. JMU's Dawn Evans has been suffering from FSGS since December 2009.
HOME-SWEET-HOME: Drexel has a perfect 7-0 record at the Daskalakis Athletic Center this season, including a 2-0 mark against conference opponents. Old Dominion (7-1), George Mason (6-1), UNC Wilmington (5-1) and Hofstra (4-1) each have just one loss on their home court this season. As a league the teams own a 54-25 (.684) record on their home courts.
TWO CAA PLAYERS ADDED TO WATCH LISTS: CAA women's basketball standouts Elena Delle Donne of Delaware and Dawn Evans of James Madison were added to the 2010-11 Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) State Farm® Wade Trophy Division I Player of the Year and the Naismith preseason watch lists. Delle Donne, a sophomore forward/guard, led Delaware to a 21-12 record and a berth in the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) as a freshman. The Blue Hens' forward was named the CAA Player and Rookie of the Year and became the first player in UD history to earn All-America honors when she garnered third team Associated Press and honorable mention WBCA accolades. Evans, a senior guard at JMU, ranked fifth in the nation in scoring with 24.6 points per game, was third nationally in three-pointers per game (3.6) and also was third in the CAA with 4.6 assists per game last season. Evans also honorable mention All-America honors from the Associated Press.
TV EXPOSURE: The CAA surpassed its all-time record of 25 game (2007-08) with 27 games aired during the 2009-10 season and looks to accomplish the same task in 2010-11. The league has 29 games scheduled for the current season. All 12 teams will make at least one television appearance. The CAA women's basketball television package has aired over 20 games for at least the last three seasons.
GIRL SCOUT APPRECIATION DAYS: For the 17th consecutive year, the CAA and the 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 and participate in a variety of activities, including autograph sessions with players, instructional clinics with coaches and spirit contests. To receive the special admission, Girl Scouts must wear their uniforms (i.e., t-shirt or sweatshirt, pins) to the game. James Madison will host their GS Day on Jan. 23 against VCU, Hofstra will host their day on Feb. 20 against Old Dominion and UNC Wilmington will host their "Be Your Best" day on Feb. 27 against George Mason. The rest of the schools should release their Girl Scout Days in the upcoming weeks.
TWO NEW HEAD COACHES WELCOMED TO THE LEAGUE: Two CAA schools have new head coaches this season. UNC Wilmington hired Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, who has previously served as head coach at Prairie View A&M. The former college great, Olympic gold medalist and Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) Most Valuable Player was enshrined into the James Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on August 13 in Springfield, Mass. She replaces Ann Hancock. Georgia State hired Sharon Baldwin-Tener to replace Lea Henry. Baldwin-Tener had spent the past eight seasons with the East Carolina Lady Pirates and previously was the head coach Mercer and Life.
ONE OF THE BEST WBB COLLEGE POINT GUARDS: James Madison women's basketball player Dawn Evans has been ranked as one of the top five point guards in the country by AOL FanHouse. The selections were made by FanHouse women's basketball writers Michelle Smith and Milton Kent. Evans averaged a team-high 24.6 points per game (fifth-highest in the NCAA) and a team-high 4.6 assists per game last season. She enters the 2010-11 season 215 points away from the school career points record of 2,121 and is on pace to also break the CAA career scoring record of 2,581. The FanHouse point guard ranking was as follows: 1. Danielle Robinson, Sr., Oklahoma; 2. Jasmine Thomas, Jr., Duke; 3. Samantha Prahalis, Jr., Ohio State; 4. Courtney Vandersloot, Sr., Gonzaga; 5. Dawn Evans, Sr., James Madison.
RECORD-HIGH SEVEN TEAMS IN POSTSEASON PLAY: For the first time in conference history, the CAA sent seven women's basketball teams to the postseason. James Madison earned a bid in the NCAA Women's Basketball tournament, while Old Dominion, Delaware, Drexel, Hofstra, and VCU earned bids to the Women's National Invitation Tournament and Towson played in the Women's Basketball Invitational. For the fifth consecutive season, at least three CAA teams advanced to the postseason and for the 10th consecutive season the CAA had a representative in the WNIT. The CAA was just one of four conferences to see five teams in the WNIT. The Big Ten, Big East and Atlantic 10 also saw five conference teams advance to the postseason event.
CAA PRESEASON TEAM PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH: James Madison, which captured the 2010 CAA women's basketball championship, is favored to win the conference title again in 2010-11 according to a vote of the league's coaches, sports information directors and media members. The results of the poll were announced during the CAA Basketball Media Day at Champps-Pentagon Row in Arlington, Va. The Dukes were followed in the voting by Old Dominion, Delaware, Hofstra and VCU. Drexel was picked to finish sixth, followed by William and Mary, UNC Wilmington, Georgia State, George Mason, Towson and Northeastern.
CAA PRESEASON INDIVIDUAL HONORS: Delaware's Elena Delle Donne and JMU's Dawn Evans were chosen as the CAA Preseason Co-Players of the Year. They are joined on the preseason All-CAA first team by Hofstra's Evans, UNC Wilmington senior guard/forward Brittany Blackwell (12.9 ppg/7.7 rpg) and William and Mary junior guard Taysha Pye (16.4 ppg/5.2 rpg). Voted to the preseason All-CAA second team were Old Dominion's Green, Lewis and Parker, James Madison's Hislop and VCU junior forward Courtney Hurt (13.7 ppg/7.7 rpg).
DELAWARE (9-5, 2-1 CAA)
The Blue Hens went 1-1 in conference play last week with a 61-51 victory over Northeastern before falling to Drexel 59-56 in Philly. With the victory over the Huskies, head coach Tina Martin became the winningest coach in the program's history with 267 wins. Lauren Carra and Danielle Parker led the team with 18.0 and 11.0 points per game, respectively. Parker led the team with 8.5 rebounds per outing, while Jocelyn Bailey added 6.5 per contest. Carra and Vanessa Kabongo each dished out a team-high five assists in the two outings. Elena Delle Donne has missed the last six outings due to a back injury. The sophomore, who is averaging 26.0 ppg, is listed as day-to-day. Delaware will continue conference play as they host back-to-back contests against William & Mary and Old Dominion this week.
DREXEL (10-4, 2-1 CAA)
Drexel improved to 2-1 in conference play with a pair of home victories last week. The Dragons defeated Georgia State, 56-46, before sneaking by Delaware, 59-56, at the DAC. With the wins, Drexel pushed its home court winning streak to seven straight this season (7-0). Kamile Nacickaite and Hollie Mershon teamed up to lead the Dragons in the wins with 16.0 and 14.5 points per game, respectively. Nacickaite led the team pulling down 13 rebounds on the week, while Taylor Wootton dished out team bests of seven assists and four steals. Mershon shot an impressive 62.5 percent from the field (10-of-16) for the Dragons and scored a career-best 18 points off the bench against the GSU Panthers. Drexel will hit the road for a pair of conference outings as they visit James Madison on Thursday before visiting William & Mary on Sunday.
GEORGE MASON (7-7, 1-2 CAA)
George Mason suffered back-to-back conference losses this week as they fell to Old Dominion, 70-66, and VCU, 64-46. Both outings were on the road for the Patriots. Three Mason players averaged double-figure points on the week. Taleia Moton and Brittany Poindexter each poured in 14.0 points per outing, while Ashleigh Braxton added 13 points in her only outing of the week. Angelee LaTouche and Evelyn Lewis each grabbed a team-best 12 rebounds on the week, while Poindexter added 11. The Patriots will open a three-game homestand when they welcome UNC Wilmington on Thursday and James Madison on Sunday. Mason owns a 6-1 record on their home court thus far this season with their only loss going to Radford.
GEORGIA STATE (6-6, 1-2 CAA)
Georgia State went 1-1 on the week with a 56-46 loss at Drexel and an 84-70 home victory over Hofstra. The Panthers were led by freshman Kendra Long's 17.0 points per outing on the week, while Chan Harris added 15.0 points per game. Angelique Burtts returned to the line-up, after suffering an ankle injury a week ago, to pour in 18 points for the Panthers in the win over the Pride. Harris grabbed a team-best 23 rebounds (11.5 rpg) on the week, while Burtts added 11 in her return. Lanajia Ernest dished out a team-best eight assists in the two outings, while Harris made team highs of nine blocks and four steals. The win over Hofstra was Georgia State's 500th all-time win in the program's 36-year history and was head coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener's first CAA victory. The Panthers will host Old Dominion on Thursday before hitting the road for an outing at Towson on Sunday.
HOFSTRA (9-5, 1-2 CAA)
Hofstra posted a 1-1 record on the week. The Pride snapped a three-game losing streak with a 66-55 victory over Towson, before falling to Georgia State, 84-70, on the road. Three players led the Pride in double-digit scoring on the week, led by Shante Evans' 14.0 points per game. Nicole Capurso and Kate Loper added 11.0 points per outing. Evans also led the team with 10.0 rebounds per contest. Candice Bellocchio dished out a team-best 11 assists in the two outings, while Candace Bond led the team with five steals and four blocks. The Pride will be home for its next two games as they host Northeastern on Thursday afternoon for "What I Want To Be Day" and then will host UNC Wilmington on Sunday. The game against the Seahawks will be televised on The Comcast Network, Madison Square Garden PLUS and Time Warner Cable-Wilmington.
JAMES MADISON (9-6, 2-1 CAA)
James Madison split (1-1) on the road last week with an 89-75 victory at William & Mary, before falling 71-55 to Old Dominion. The Dukes' longest winning streak of the season (4 games) was snapped against ODU. Senior guard Dawn Evans led the team pouring in 23.0 points per outing and Lauren Jimenez, who sat out during the ODU match-up, scored 23 points against the Tribe. Jimenez also added 11 rebounds in the outing against W&M, while Lauren Whitehurst averaged 10.5 rebounds per contest and Jalissa Taylor added 9.5 rpg. Tarik Hislop (13.5 ppg) and Courtney Hamner (10.0 ppg) contributed double-digit points on the week. Evans dished out a team-best nine assists and Whitehurst led the team with four blocks. Against the Tribe, Evans went 7-of-8 from the free throw line to break the JMU career record for made free throws (458), surpassing Lesley Dickinson's (2003-07) record of 457. She increased the record to 461 with three free throws against ODU. The Dukes will welcome Drexel on Thursday before traveling to play George Mason on Sunday.
UNC WILMINGTON (10-4, 2-1 CAA)
UNC Wilmington split (1-1) on the week as they suffered a 70-58 loss at VCU before rebounding with a 61-47 home win over Towson. Martha White stepped up for the Seahawks leading the team with 15.0 points per outing to go along with seven steals and three blocks. She was joined by Brittany Blackwell's 13.0 ppg and Kristen Hanzer's 12.0 ppg efforts. Hanzer led the team with 8.5 rebounds per outing to go with her points, while Blackwell contributed 6.0 boards per game in addition to her team-best nine steals. Freshman Alisha Andrews averaged 7.0 ppg, but led the team with 16 assists on the week, including 11 in the outing against the Tigers. The Seahawks shot 49.0 percent from the field on the week, including 51.0 percent in its win over Towson. Blackwell's nine steals helped her to surpass former program leader Chandra Watkins and become the program's all-time steals leader. UNC Wilmington will jump on the road for a pair of conference outings this week as they visit George Mason on Thursday and Hofstra on Sunday. The outing against the Pride will be televised on The Comcast Network, Madison Square Garden PLUS and Time Warner Cable-Wilmington.
NORTHEASTERN (6-8, 1-2 CAA)
Northeastern went 1-1 at home on the week. The Huskies dropped a 61-51 decision to Delaware, before defeating the Tribe of William & Mary, 69-56. Averaging 14.0 points per game a piece, the Huskies were led by Deanna Kerkof and Kashaia Cannon. Jamie Conroy added 10.5 points and a team-best 6.5 rebounds per game. Conroy also led the team in assists (12) and steals (7). Christine Huber made four blocks to lead NU. The Huskies will play their next two games on the road as they visit Hofstra on Thursday and VCU on Sunday.
OLD DOMINION (9-5, 3-0 CAA)
Old Dominion improved to 3-0 in conference play with a 70-66 victory over George Mason and a 71-55 win over James Madison last week. Both outings were at home for the Lady Monarchs and they improve to 7-1 at The Ted this season. Tia Lewis averaged a double-double for ODU last week with 17.0 ppg and 11.0 rpg. The team also received double-figure scoring from Jasmine Parker (13.5 ppg), Kquanise Byrd (12.0 ppg), and Alena Voronina (10.0 ppg). Parker, Shadasia Green and Jackie Cook all grabbed 12 rebounds (6.0 rpg) on the week. Byrd led the team with seven assists on the week, while Parker snatched a team-best six steals and JoNiquia Guilford added five thefts. In just the last two weeks, ODU snapped Charlotte's seven-game win streak, George Mason's five-game win streak and JMU's four-game win streak. The Lady Monarchs shot 49 percent from the field against Mason, it's second best shooting game of the year. The Lady Monarchs will play two games on the road this week when they visit Georgia State and Delaware.
TOWSON (6-8, 0-3 CAA)
Towson suffered a pair of losses in CAA action as they fell to Hofstra, 66-55, and UNC Wilmington, 61-47. Tanisha McTiller averaged 10.5 points per game for the Tigers, while Deree Fooks added 10.0 points per outing. Dovile Miliauskaite and Sheree Ledbetter led the team in rebounding with 8.0 rpg and 7.5 rpg, respectively. Krystal Parnell dished out a team-best 11 assists, while McTiller, Fooks and Parnell each made four steals on the week. The Tigers will host two conference matches at the Towson Center this week when they welcome VCU and Georgia State.
VCU (8-5, 3-0 CAA)
VCU improved to 3-0 in conference play with a 70-58 win over UNC Wilmington and a 64-46 victory over George Mason. Both outings were at home for the Rams. Courtney Hurt led the team with 26.0 points per outing and averaged a double-double on the week with a team-best 10.0 rebounds per game. Andrea Barbour added 10.0 points and 6.5 rebounds per contest to go along with her team-best eight steals. Jennifer Lane finished the week with six assists to lead the Rams. VCU allowed a season-low 46 points against Mason and turned the ball over just six times for the fewest amount in one game in more than 10 years. Hurt tied a VCU single-game record with her 35 points against the Seahawks. With just seven boards against Mason, Hurt's NCAA-leading and school-record streak of 12 double-doubles came to an end. Hurt needs 69 more points to become the 19th player in program history to reach the 1,000-career point milestone and would be the first player since Quanitra Hollingsworth (2007-08) to reach the plateau as a junior. The Rams will visit Towson on Thursday before returning home to host Northeastern on Sunday.