CAA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL WEEKLY REPORT - NOV. 28
**Complete release located in PDF format at the bottom of this article**
• CAA squads are currently 31-26 in non-conference play. CAA teams earned some strong wins last week including victories pair of victories over Big East opponents (Villanova and Pittsburgh). The league also gathered wins over ACC (Virginia Tech), SEC (Alabama) and Big 12 (Kansas State) members.
• Delaware cracks the AP Top 25 (Nov. 28) at #24. The Blue Hens are currently 4-0 with victories over ranked-Penn State, Villanova, Saint Bonaventure and Rhode Island.
• NCAA Division I Women's Basketball National Stat Rankings were loaded for the first time this season. The CAA boasts the top scorere in the nation in UD's Elena Delle Donne (30.3 ppg), the top steals leader in W&M's Katherine DeHenzel (5.5 spg), and Drexel's Marisa Crane leads the nation in assist turnover ratio (7.0). Full listing on page 5 of this report.
• Delaware was selected as the preseason CAA favorite to win the 2011-12 title. VCU followed along with James Madison and Hofstra.
• Virginia 529 Women's Basketball Championship will return to The Show Place Arena in 2012 in Upper Marlboro, Md.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
Taleia Moton • George Mason
Fort Washington, Md./Suitland, Sr., Guard
Moton received CAA Player of the Week accolades after leading the Patriots to a 2-0 week. The senior guard poured in 24.0 points per game, including her second 30-point performance this year which came against UNC Asheville. Moton shot 63.3 percent (19-for-30) from the field and 83.3 percent (10-of-12) from the free-throw line. She also added eight assists and eight steals on the week for Mason to go with nine rebounds.
Krystal Parnell • Towson
Brooklyn, N.Y./Murry Bergtraum, Sr., Guard
Parnell earned CAA Player of the Week honors after guiding the Tigers to a 2-0 week and topping the team with 19.0 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. The senior shot 63.6 percent (14-of-22) from the floor, 50 percent (2-of-4) from beyond the arc and 72.7 percent (8-for-11) from the free-throw line. Parnell dished out 12 assists (6.0 apg) and made five steals on the week. She finished the week with her second career double-double of 20 points and 11 rebound against UMBC, nearly missing a triple-double with eight assists.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Andreana Thomas • Hofstra
West Haven, Conn./James Hillhouse, Fr., Guard
Thomas collected CAA Rookie of the Week honors as she helped the Pride go 2-0 on the week with wins over Kansas State and Drake at the Cancun Challenge. The freshman guard came off the bench and contributed 6.5 points per game to go along with 2.5 rebounds per contest. She played in just 15 minutes against KSU, but saw 24 minutes against Drake producing nine points and two rebounds. She went 5-for-5 from the free-throw line against the Bulldogs. Thomas added two assists and two steals in Hofstra's victories.
CAA IN THE AP POLL: The Delaware Blue Hens cracked the AP poll after their 4-0 start to the season. The Blue Hens was awarded the #24 spot in the Nov. 28 AP Top 25 with 117 votes. For the third time in her tenure as head coach, Tina Martin's squad is receiving notice in the Associated Press Top 25 poll. Delaware received notice in the AP Top 25 polls during the 2006-07 and 2009-10 campaigns. The Blue Hens also received votes for the first time this season in the ESPN/WBCA Coaches Poll with 13 votes.
STELLAR OUTINGS & STRONG STATS (Week Ending Nov. 28): Delaware, George Mason, Hofstra and Towson went 2-0 on the week, while Drexel and William & Mary posted a 1-0 record. VCU's Courtney Hurt led the league on the week pouring in 26.0 points per game, while Delaware's Elena Delle Donne (24.0 ppg), Mason's Taleia Moton (24.0 ppg), Drexel's Kamile Nacickaite (23.0 ppg), ODU's Tia Lewis (20.7 ppg) and William & Mary's Janine Aldridge (20.0 ppg) all averaged 20+ points per game last week. Delle Donne led the league in rebounding pulling down 13. 5 boards per outing, while Hurt (12.5 rpg), Drexel's Tyler Hale (12.0 rpg), Georgia State's Chan Harris (11.0 rpg), Aldridge (11.0 rpg), Lewis (10.7 rpg) and W&M's Emily Correal (10.0 rpg) added 10+ boards per contest. Harris grabbed a career-best 19 boards against Appalachian State on Nov. 26. Northeastern's Jamie Conroy dished out a league-best 17 assists, while Moton posted a conference-best eight steals. Harris made a league-best six blocks on the week.
EXTRA HONORS: CollegeSportsMadness.com has named Drexel's Kamile Nacickaite a Madness High-Major Conference Player of the Week representing the CAA. She received this honor after scoring a game-high 23 points in the Dragon's win at Pittsburgh on Saturday. Nacickaite's 23 points marked the highest total allowed by a Pitt opponent since UConn's Maya Moore scored 28 on Jan. 22, 2011.
TWO CAA WBB TEAMS RANKED IN COLLEGEINSIDER.COM MID-MAJOR POLL (NOV. 22): Delaware jumped to fourth & received a first place vote in the CollegeInsider.com Nov. 22 edition of the mid-major poll, while James Madison followed at sixth. VCU and Hofstra also received votes in the weekly 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 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.
UPSET CITY-NEWARK, DEL.: 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.
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.
TV Exposure: The CAA is scheduled to see at least 27 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.