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Courtesy: CAA
Delaware's Elena Delle Donne

CAA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL WEEKLY REPORT - NOV. 21

Courtesy: CAA
          Release: 11/21/2011
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**Complete release located in PDF format at the bottom of this article**

CAA 4-1-1:

        • CAA squads are currently 18-18 in non-conference play, reaching the .500 mark for the first time this season. James Madison improved to 4-0, while Delaware is now 2-0 after defeating #11/12 Penn State, 80-71.

        • In the Blue Hens' win over top-ranked PSU, junior forward guard Elena Delle Donne poured in a game-high 40 points. That ranks 10th in the CAA record books for single game high.

        • VCU's Courtney Hurt scored a school-record 40 points in the Rams' road win over UMKC, to give the league its second 40-point performance this week.

        • Delaware was selected as the preseason CAA favorite to win the 2011-12 title. VCU followed along with James Madison and Hofstra. The Blue Hens received votes in the Nov. 14 AP Poll.

        • Virginia 529 Women's Basketball Championship will return to The Show Place Arena in 2012 in Upper Marlboro, Md.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK:

Elena Delle Donne • Delaware

Wilmington, Del./Ursuline, Jr., Guard/Forward


Delle Donne collected CAA Player of the Week accolades for the second straight week after leading the Blue Hens to an impressive 80-71 upset win over #11/12 Penn State last week at the Bob Carpenter Center. The junior guard/forward poured in a game-high 40 points on 15-of-23 (.652) shooting from the floor and 10-of-12 (.833) from the free-throw line. She notched the third highest game scoring mark in school history (all set by her). Her 40 point performance was a BCC record for a women's player. Delle Donne earned a double-double adding 12 rebounds. The junior played all 40 minutes and did not commit a turnover, while adding four blocks, three steals and one assist.

ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:

Ashley Betz-White • Old Dominion

Mechanicsburg, Pa./Trinity, Fr., Guard

Betz-White received CAA Rookie of the Week honors for the second straight week after averaging 12.5 points per outing for the Lady Monarchs. Betz-White recorded a team-high 18 points and added five rebounds against Richmond. Old Dominion faced a tough fifth-ranked Stanford team on the road where Betz-White also contributed seven points. She finished the week shooting 88.9 percent (8-of-9) from the free-throw line. The rookie recorded two assists, two steals and one block on the week.     

Stellar Outings & Strong Stats: Another strong week for CAA players contributing impressive stats. Delaware's Elena Delle Donne and VCU's Courtney Hurt scored 40 points in separate outings last week.  Delle Donne's, which was an arena women's record, came in a victory over #11/12 Penn State, while Hurt's, which was a school record, was recorded against UMKC. George Mason's Taleia Moton poured in a career-high 30 points against Longwood, which marked the first time since 2004 a Mason player scored 30+ points. Hofstra's Katelyn Loper (29.0 pts) and Shante Evans (27.0 pts) produced big numbers to push the Pride over Big East member St. John's. Evans led the league in rebounding this week grabbing 14 against SJU. Drexel's Kamile Nacickaite averaged 21 points on the week in a pair of Dragon victories and posted a career-high 33 points in the win over Akron, including going 8-for-8 from the free-throw line. UNCW's Alisha Andrews averaged 18.0 points per game and captured a career-high 23 points against N.C. State. Towson's Nyree Williams (24 rbs) and Delle Donne (12 rbs) took charge of the boards each averaging 12.0 rpg. Hofstra's Candice Bellocchio dished out a league-best 12 assists on the week in just one outing and William & Mary's Katherine DeHenzel snatched a conference-high 12 steals in two games.  Towson's Sheree Ledbetter shot perfect, 9-for-9, from the free-throw line last week, as did five others.

Extra Honors: CollegeSportsMadness.com has named Delaware's Elena Delle Donne a Madness High-Major Conference Player of the Week representing the CAA. She received this honor after pouring in a game-high 33 points in 24 minutes of action in Delaware's win over Rhode Island at home on Nov. 11. 

Upset City: Delaware women's basketball squad pulled off the biggest upset in school history on Nov. 17 as the Blue Hens brought down No. 11/12 ranked Penn State with an 80-71 victory. Backed by another brilliant performance from All-American Elena Delle Donne (40pts/12 rbs), the Blue Hens made history by defeating their highest ranked opponent in school history. Delaware had knocked off a Top 25 team just two other times in school history in 28 previous tries, including an 86-70 win over No. 20 Kentucky during the 2006-07 season and a 77-67 victory over then No. 22 James Madison at the BCC on Feb. 22, 2007.

Setting Records: In the upset of #11/12 Penn State, Delaware's Elena Delle Donne scored 25 of her game-high 40 points in the second half as Delaware recovered from an eight-point deficit midway through the second half with a big final flurry. Her 40 points set a Bob Carpenter Center record and was the third highest total in school history, trailing only her school-record 54-point performance at James Madison on Feb. 18, 2010 and her 41-point explosion against Yale on Nov. 20, 2010. Her 40 point performance ties the CAA all-time 10th best single game mark. Joining Delle Donne on the CAA all-time list, was VCU's Courtney Hurt as she poured in a school-record 40 points against UMKC.

Two CAA WBB Teams Ranked In CollegeInsider.com Nov 15 Mid-Major Poll: Delaware jumped to sixth in the CollegeInsider.com Nov. 15 edition of the mid-major poll, while James Madison followed at 10th. VCU and Old Dominion also received votes in the weekly poll. Atop the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 is Green Bay, which received 25 first-place votes. The women's Mid-Major Top 25 is comprised of teams from the following conferences: America East, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Great West, Horizon, Independents, Ivy, Metro Atlantic, Mid-American, Mid-Eastern, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern, Southland, Southwestern, Summit, Sun Belt, West Coast Conferences. The Mid-Major Top 25 will be released every Tuesday throughout the season.

CAA In The AP Poll: The Delaware Blue Hens received two votes in the 2011-12 AP Top 25 (Nov. 14), following the Blue Hens' 89-53 season-opening win over Rhode Island. For the third time in her tenure as head coach, Tina Martin's squad has earned notice in the Associated Press Top 25 poll (received one vote in the 2011-12 preseason poll). The Blue Hens were the only team in the CAA to be recognized. Delaware also received notice in the AP Top 25 polls during the 2006-07 and 2009-10 campaigns. The votes in 2009-10 also occurred in the preseason poll.

CAA Preseason Team Predicted Order of Finish: Delaware, which returns five starters from last year's 20-14 team, is picked to win the 2012 CAA Women's Basketball title according to a vote of the league's head coaches. The results of the poll were announced during Tuesday's CAA Basketball Media Day at Champps-Pentagon Row in Arlington, Va. The Blue Hens were followed in the voting by VCU, James Madison and Hofstra.  Drexel and Old Dominion tied for fifth, followed by UNCW, George Mason, William & Mary, Georgia State, Towson and Northeastern.

CAA Preseason Individual Honors: Delaware's Elena Delle Donne was chosen as the CAA Preseason Player of the Year. She is joined on the preseason All-CAA first team by Hofstra's Shante Evans, VCU's Courtney Hurt and Andrea Barbour and Drexel's Kamile Nacickaite. Voted to the preseason All-CAA second team were UNCW's Alisha Andrews, Georgia State's Chan Harris, JMU's Hislop, Old Dominion's Tia Lewis and William & Mary's Taysha Pye.

Hungry For More: Nine of the 15 players who received all-conference honors in 2010-11 return this season. Back from the All-CAA first team are Delaware's Elena Delle Donne, Hofstra's Shante Evans and VCU's Courtney Hurt, who all earned All-America accolades. All but one of the All-CAA third team will return. The CAA teams also return 70% of their starters from a year ago.

Top Guns: The CAA returns four of the top five scorers from a year ago, including VCU's Courtney Hurt who was ranked second in the nation in scoring with 23.2 points per game. Overall, 21 of the CAA's top 30 scorers from last season are back in 2011-12. Hurt led the nation in rebounding with 12.4 boards per game, as well as double-doubles (25), and joins 12 of the top 20 rebounders returning for the new season. The conference also welcomes back eight of the top 10 in assists.

Returning Three All-America Honorees: The CAA welcomes back three Associated Press All-America honorees in Delaware's Elena Delle Donne, Hofstra's Shante Evans and VCU's Courtney Hurt. The trio joined former JMU all-star Dawn Evans in receiving Honorable Mention accolades in 2011.

2012 Virginia 529 CAA Women's Basketball Championship: The 2012 Virginia 529 CAA Women's Basketball Championship will return to The Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, Md., for the second straight season. The 2011 outing was the first time that The Show Place Arena had served as host of the CAA women's championship. The Show Place was the first neutral site since 1998 for the CAA women's championship and the teams played in front of 7,727 fans during the four-day event.

Old Dominion Welcomes Karen Barefoot As Head Coach: Former Lady Monarch assistant coach Karen Barefoot, who last season led Elon to its first ever Division I postseason appearance, was named Old Dominion's new head women's basketball coach on June 8, 2011. Barefoot became just the sixth head coach in Lady Monarch basketball history and first new hire since 1987. Barefoot, the school's first Native American head coaching hire, takes over a program that has reached postseason play in 19 of its last 20 years and has won 929 games, the third most all-time in women's basketball history. Barefoot, who hails from Newport News, Va., has a career head coaching record of 209-144, resulting in 11 winning seasons. Aside from Elon, Barefoot has also held the head coaching position at Division II Lenoir Rhyne College and at the Apprentice School. A three-time Kodak/WBCA All-American, she has been inducted into the CNU Athletic Hall of Fame and had her college jersey (No. 10) retired. In 2006 she was named to USA South's 25th Anniversary Team.

TV Exposure: The CAA is scheduled to see at least 26 regular season games on television this season, plus three televised games during the CAA championship. All 12 teams will make at least one television appearance during the 2011-12 season. The CAA women's basketball television package has aired over 20 games for the last four seasons. The CAA also enjoyed a record amount of exposure through new media efforts.

Representing The United States In Women's Hoops: Colonial Athletic Association women's basketball standouts Elena Delle Donne of Delaware and Shante Evans of Hofstra were invited to participate in a pair of USA Basketball events.  Delle Donne was selected for the 2011 USA World University Games Team and led her team to a gold medal in China in August 2011. VCU's Courtney Hurt also received an invite to the team trials with Delle Donne. The Delaware stand-out and All-American led the USA team averaging 15.7 points and 8.5 rebounds for the Red, White and Blue during six games. Evans was selected as a member of the USA Basketball Women's Pan American Games Team. She averaged 6.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per game during her four outings with the Pan American Games Team which went 2-2.    

Six Teams Dance In Postseason Play: For the sixth consecutive season, at least three CAA teams advanced to the postseason and for the 11th consecutive season the CAA had a representative in the WNIT, as the CAA was just one of three conferences to see five teams in the WNIT. CAA champion James Madison was selected as the 11th-seed in the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament, while Delaware, Drexel, UNCW, Old Dominion, and VCU were invited to the Women's National Invitation Tournament. The Southeastern and Atlantic 10 also saw five conference teams advance to the postseason WNIT event in 2011.

--complete team notes included in PDF Report--

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