QUICK NOTES ON AN EXCITING WEEK:
• The CAA women’s basketball teams finished with a 16-6 overall record.
• The CAA improved its overall record against non-conference opponents to above .500.
• Hofstra and Delaware each defeated a ranked opponent for the first time in school history.
• UNC Wilmington and Delaware both earned a tournament title.
• With a 5-0 record, Towson and VCU lead the conference standings.
• Drexel, Georgia State and UNCW picked up their first wins of the season.
BIRDS OF A FEATHER, FLOCK TOGETHER: Eleven of the 12 CAA squads were in action last week and recorded an impressive 16-6 mark. With the 16 victories, the CAA improved to 30-22 (.577) against non-conference opponents thus far this season. The .577 winning percentage against non-conference foes is the first mark over .500 this season.
CAA TOPS RANKED TEAMS: Hofstra and Delaware defeated a ranked team for the first time in school history. On Wednesday, Hofstra downed No. 17 Michigan State on the road (57-53), before Delaware defeated #20 Kentucky (86-70) on Friday evening.
TOURNAMENT CHAMPS: UNC Wilmington and Delaware were both crowned champions at their respective tournaments last weekend. The Seahawks picked up a pair of victories at home and won the Hilton Wilmington Riverside Classic. UNCW defeated Youngstown State and Furman. Delaware was crowned the Odwalla Classic Champions, after defeating #20 Kentucky and San Francisco.
STRONG START: Seven of the 12 league schools own a record of .500 or more headed into play this week, including Towson and VCU which currently own an unbeaten record. With a 78-73 win over East Carolina the Rams improved to 5-0 for the first time in school history. Towson’s 5-0 start is the best since the 1979-80 campaign when the Tigers began the year with nine consecutive victories.
RECEIVING VOTES: Both Hofstra and Delaware received votes in the latest Associated Press Top 25 Poll. The Pride received 13 votes and was 11th among the "Others Receiving Votes", while the Blue Hens tabbed nine votes and were listed 15th.
CO-PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
Dover, Del./Polytech, Sr., Guard
Delaware senior guard Tyresa Smith received CAA Player of the Week honors for the second time this season after assisting the Blue Hens to a 2-0 week and tournament title. The senior guard earned the Odwalla Classic MVP award after recording 51 points (25.5 ppg), setting a new tournament record. Smith scored a career-best 28 points in Delaware’s win over #20 Kentucky and added 23 points in the win over host San Francisco. She averaged 6.0 rebounds per game and shot 57 percent from the floor. Smith added six steals and nine assist on the weekend.
Krystal Vaughn • VCU
Baltimore, Md./Lake Clifton-Eastern, Jr., Forward
VCU junior forward Krystal Vaughn received CAA Player of the Week honors after leading the Rams to a pair of wins last week. The junior forward averaged 20.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. Vaughn helped the Rams to their best start in school history as the Rams improved to 5-0 with wins over East Carolina and Albany. She registered 24 points against the Pirates, missing her career-high by one point, and 16 points against the Great Danes.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Shanae Baker-Brice • Towson
Washington, D.C./Roosevelt, Fr., Guard
Towson guard Shanae Baker-Brice earned CAA Rookie of the Week honors for the second time this season after leading her team to a pair of road wins and extending the Tigers’ record to 5-0. Baker-Brice averaged 19.5 points per game in the wins over UMBC and Loyola (Md.). She also averaged 9.0 rebounds and 4.0 steals per game. The freshman guard scored a team-high 13 points with a career-high nine rebounds in the victory over the Retrievers and then registered a career-high 26 points in the overtime win against the Greyhounds.
THIS WEEK IN THE CAA: The CAA women’s basketball teams are scheduled to play 18 contests this week, including four conference games which will begin the 2006-07 conference schedule. Drexel will host Delaware, William & Mary will entertain Towson, VCU will visit James Madison and Georgia State will travel to Hofstra on Sunday for the first CAA contests of the season. George Mason, which will resuming play after a two week break, will visit Howard before hosting Siena this weekend. Mason and Northeastern will play their first conference contest on Tuesday, Dec. 5. Old Dominion will visit fifth-ranked Duke on Tuesday before traveling to Penn State on Sunday.
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.
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 (4-1, 0-0 CAA):
DREXEL (1-4, 0-0 CAA):
Drexel split on the week, but picked up its first win of the season as they defeated Lehigh, 62-55. The Dragons fell to Dayton on the road, 62-47, earlier in the week. Against the Flyers, junior guard Narissa Suber and Gabriela Marginean put in 14 points each. Senior guard Kira Karlstrom pulled down a career-high 12 boards in the game and also led the team with five assists. Suber closed out the game with nine of her 14 points in the second stanza to cap her best shooting night of the young season, shooting 4-for-10 from deep. Nine of the 5-foot-4 Karlstrom's career-high 12 rebounds came in the second half. This is the most rebounds for one Drexel player this season. On Sunday, three Dragon players scored in double-figures for the first time this year. Suber, Marginean and Karlstrom recorded 26, 14, and 10 points respectively. Marginean also shot 6-of-6 from the free throw line and grabbed a team-best seven rebounds. Sophomore walk-on Kelly Golden saw a career-high 28 minutes of play against the Mountain Hawks and contributed a key three-pointer in the first half to go along with her career-high two assists. Junior forward Anna Karlsson also make the first two starts of her career against Dayton and Lehigh last week. The Dragons will visit Siena on Wendesday before opening conference play at home against Delaware on Sunday.
GEORGE MASON (0-2, 0-0 CAA):
George Mason has had two weeks off from play. The Patriots will visit Howard on the road on Tuesday and will host Siena on Saturday in Fairfax.
GEORGIA STATE (2-3, 0-0 CAA):
The Panthers recorded a 2-0 mark last week as they defeated Norfolk State and Jacksonville State. A lineup change that placed sophomore Brittany Hollins at point guard and freshman Tabitha David as small forward reaped huge benefits for GSU last week, which averaged 84.5 points per game. Five players averaged double figures, including freshman Danyiell McKeller (18.0 ppg), David (15.5 ppg), senior Kelcey Roegiers-Jensen (14.0 ppg), Hollins (13.0 ppg) and sophomore Marcquitta Head (10.5 ppg). In her first collegiate start, David scored 18 points in the first half en route to a game-high 21, including a 6-of-7 effort from the three-point range, as the Panthers defeated NSU. McKeller totaled 15 points, while Roegiers-Jensen 14 points. Hollins handed out a game-high nine assists. Also in double figures was freshman guard Eboni Fields who came off the bench to record 11 points. Head collected her fourth career double-double with 12 points and a game-best 12 rebounds also in reserve for the Panthers. Against JSU, McKeller registered a team- and career-high 21 points along with a game-high nine rebounds. Hollins added 13 points and game highs of seven assists and seven steals, and Roegiers-Jensen recorded 14 points. A freshman has led or tied for the team lead in scoring in three of the Panthers’ five games played and has led or tied for the team best in rebounding in four of the five games played. Head coach Lea Henry is three wins away from 200 victories in 13 seasons with the Panthers. Roegiers-Jensen has moved into sixth-place all-time on the career list with 309 three-pointers and needs only 32 more this season to set a new school record, which is currently held by Monica Thomas (131 in 2005-06). Georgia State will play their first home contest this week as they host Samford on Tuesday. The Panthers will open conference play on Sunday at Hofstra.
HOFSTRA (4-1, 0-0 CAA):
The Pride improved to 4-1 as they defeated 17th-ranked Michigan State on Tuesday and Rider on Sunday. Hofstra is off to the program’s best start since the 1997-98 squad, which also began 4-1. On Wednesday, the Pride shocked #17 Michigan State, 57-53, on the road, behind 24 points and seven rebounds from senior guard Cigi McCollin. Gidden was the only other Pride player in double figures against the Spartans as she chipped in with 12 points and seven rebounds, while senior forward Lana Harshaw added eight points and a game-high 11 rebounds in the stunning victory. Hofstra used a huge advantage on the boards as they outrebounded MSU, 41-38, including picking up 18 offensive rebounds in the contest. The win was Hofstra’s first-ever over a ranked opponent and the Pride handed the Spartans just their second home loss since the 2004 season. The game against Michigan State ended a four-game season-opening road trip, the program’s longest season-opening trip since the squad opened the 1988-89 season with five straight road contests. With its 85-52 rout of Rider on Sunday, Hofstra has now won six straight home games dating back to last season and the home court win streak is the Pride’s longest since an eight-game streak in 2003-04. Gidden led Hofstra with 16 points and added nine rebounds, all offensive, as Hofstra pulled away from Rider midway through the first half. Senior forward Lizanne Murphy also had a solid all-around game as she chipped in with seven points, nine rebounds and six assists in the 33-point win. The 33-point margin of victory is Hofstra’s largest since early last season when they beat Sacred Heart by 33 points as well, 83-50, on November 22, 2005. With at least one three-pointer in each of its games this week, Hofstra has now hit a three-pointer in 100 consecutive games and in 223 of its last 225 contests. Hofstra has just one game this week as they will open CAA play on Sunday when they host Georgia State at 2 p.m.
JAMES MADISON (2-1, 0-0 CAA):
James Madison dropped a 68-56 decision to No. 25 George Washington on Saturday. The Dukes were led by senior center Meredith Alexis’ game-high 25 points and season-high 15 rebounds. She scored 19 of the team’s 36 first-half points and the senior center also shot 10-for-24 tagging a career-high in field goal attempts. With her efforts on Saturday, Alexis increased her school career record to 966 rebounds, 43 career double-doubles, 54 career double-figure rebounding games and passed the 1,200-point career mark. Senior Leslie Dickinson moved from 13th to 11th place on JMU’s career scoring list, now owning 1,285 career points. Junior Tamera Young currently owns 146 career steals and is ranked 12th on JMU’s all-time list, while senior Andrea Benvenuto increased her assist total to 398. With only two more assists, Benvenuto will become only the sixth player in school history with 400+ career assists. Teammate Shirley McCall, a starter for the last three seasons at forward, continues to be sidelined with a broken finger in her shooting hand and is out indefinitely. James Madison plays its next three games at home and will take a 14-game home winning streak into a Nov. 29 game versus an undefeated Liberty. The streak ties for the fifth-longest in the program’s 85-year history. The Dukes will open CAA play on Sunday when they host the Rams of VCU.
UNC WILMINGTON (2-3, 0-0 CAA):
UNC Wilmington went 2-1 on the week as they fell to High Point on Tuesday, but rebounded over the weekend with a pair of wins at its own Hilton Wilmington Riverside Classic. The Seahawks earned their first win of the season with the 56-52 victory over Youngstown State and defeated Furman, 50-43, for the crown. On Tuesday, UNC Wilmington dropped a 63-49 decision to High Point on the road. Sophomore Alex Stewart poured in a game-high 16 points, while teammate Sahsha Taylor added 10. Stewart registered her first double-double of the season grabbing 10 rebounds to go along with her game-high points. Against YSU, Taylor led three Seahawks in double figures with 15 points. Freshman Greta Luksyte added 14 points and senior guard Lori Drake notched a double-double, matching her career high with 13 points and grabbing a career-best 11 boards. In the championship game against Furman, Luksyte registered a game-high 20 points, while Drake recorded another double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Luksyte finished the week averaging 12.7 points per game and joined Drake on the All-Tournament team. Drake, who led the Seahawks to the tournament title averaging 12 ppg and 10.5 rpg, was honored with the MVP award for the classic. Luksyte currently leads the Seahawks with 11.8 points per game. UNC Wilmington is back on the road Wednesday against South Carolina State before returning home for a contest against College of Charleston on Saturday.
NORTHEASTERN (0-4, 0-0 CAA):
Northeastern fell to 0-4 on the season with losses to Boston University and Canisius. The Huskies dropped a 93-79 decision against Boston University on Tuesday. Junior Shaleyse Smallwood led Northeastern in scoring with 22 points for the second straight game. Sophomore Ashlee Feldman and Joanna Ausmann also scored in double figures with 10 and 12 points, respectively. Ausmann was perfect on the night, hitting on 4-of-4 from the field with two 3-pointers and going 2-for-2 at the free throw line. She added a team-high seven rebounds. Canisius defeated the Huskies, 68-62, on Friday. Feldman poured in a team-high 21 points, while senior captain Jody Burrows posted seven assists, six rebounds and three steals. Stefanie Hodell added eight points and six rebounds. The score was tied seven times and there were eight lead changes as the Huskies' 40-minute effort fell just short. Feldman was 5-of-11 from the field, with all of her baskets coming from behind the 3-point line. She was also 6-for-7 at the free throw line and is now 17-of-18 on the year. Freshman Kim Carr added eight points off the bench and sent back three blocks on the defensive end. Defensively, NU forced 20 turnovers while only committing 14. Hodell grabbed three steals and Ausmann had two The Huskies will look for its first win of the season when they visit Massachusetts on Saturday for their only contest of the week.
OLD DOMINION (2-2, 0-0 CAA):
The Lady Monarchs went 2-0 this week defeating East Carolina and Delaware State at home. Old Dominion got its first win of the 2006-07 season by handing former CAA rival East Carolina a 77-66 loss at home on Tuesday night. The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Lady Monarchs. Junior T.J. Jordan led the team in scoring for the third straight game with 16 points, connecting on 4-of-7 from the field, 3-of-6 from three-point range, and a perfect 5-of-5 from the free throw line. Junior Tay Ransburg netted 14, while senior Sherida Triggs added 11 with 10 of those points coming in the first half. In a rare occurrence, the opposition outrebounded Old Dominion. The Pirates held a 45-33 advantage on the boards, which included holding the Lady Monarchs to just seven offensive rebounds. Ransburg led the squad on the glass with six rebounds. On Saturday, Wendy Larry earned her earned her 450th win as the head coach of the Lady Monarch program and moved to within one game of collecting her 500th career win as Old Dominion with the victory over the Hornets. Larry's record now stands at 450-153 in her 20th season at the helm of the ODU's women's program. Her overall mark stands at 499-184. Jordan and Triggs led Old Dominion with 12 points each. Jordan has been ODU's leading scorer in all four contests thus far. Triggs did manage to go perfect hitting all four free throw attempts. The Lady Monarchs held the Hornets to 29.0 percent (18-of-62) from the floor, the lowest percentage by an ODU opponent this season. The Lady Monarchs hit the road for their next two games. They return to action Wednesday, November 29th when they travel to fifth-ranked Duke. The Blue Devils will be Old Dominion's first top ten opponent of the season and second from the top 25. The Lady Monarchs then travel to Penn State in a game to be televised locally by Cox Cable. While Old Dominion holds a 4-0 record when playing the Lady Lions in Norfolk, the Lady Monarchs are looking for their first win in University Park since 1983. Penn State holds a 3-1 series advantage on their home court.
TOWSON (5-0, 0-0 CAA):
The Tigers improve to 5-0 on the season with wins over local rivals UMBC and Loyola last week. The Tigers’ 5-0 start is the best since the 1979-80 campaign when Towson began the year with nine consecutive victories. The 50 points scored by the Tigers in the victory over UMBC on Tuesday were a season-low and also marked the fewest number of points scored in a victory since last year’s 48-45 win against St. Francis (N.Y.) at the Towson Center. Freshman guard Shanae Baker-Brice led the Tigers to the victories last week by averaging 19.5 points per game and seven rebounds per game. She scored 13 points and a career-high nine rebounds in the victory over UMBC on Tuesday night before posting a career-high 26 points in the win over the Greyhounds on Saturday afternoon. Baker-Brice scored 16 of the 26 points after the first half to lead the Tigers to the comeback victory. It was her second 20-point game of the season and she logged a career-high 42 minutes. Senior forward Kelly Robinson scored a season-high 14 points in the victory over Loyola on Saturday afternoon. Entering this week’s action, she needs 78 points to reach 1,000 for her career. When she reaches the milestone, she will be the 13th player in school history to reach the milestone and the fifth player to score 1,000 career points with 500 rebounds. The wins over the Retrievers and the Greyhounds marked the first times this season Towson has trailed after the first half. Against Loyola on Saturday, the Tigers forced 28 turnovers by the Greyhounds and converted them into 30 points. The Tigers also had a season-high 20 steals against the Greyhounds, including 13 after the first half. The Tigers will finish their five-game road trip this week with a pair of road contests. On Wednesday, the Tigers will travel to Wake Forest to face the Demon Deacons in a rematch of last year’s game, which Towson won by 63-48. On Sunday afternoon, Towson opens its CAA schedule when the Tigers face William & Mary. Towson returns home to host Norfolk State on December 10.
VCU (5-0, 0-0 CAA):
The Rams improved to 5-0, the best start in school history, with a 78-73 victory over East Carolina at home on Friday. In addition to establishing a school record, the Rams’ five-game win streak is their longest since ripping off six in a row during the 2001-2002 season. Junior forward Krystal Vaughn erupted for 24 points and seven rebounds in the win over ECU. Vaughn, who missed her career high point total by one, canned 9-of-16 shots from the floor, as well as 6-of-7 from the free throw line, for the Black and Gold. Freshman forward D’Andra Moss added a career-high 17 points, as well as seven rebounds for the Rams, while sophomore center Quanitra Hollingsworth kicked in 13 points. On Tuesday, Hollingsworth had a game-high 22 points and VCU limited Albany to 28-percent first-half shooting on the way to 67-55 win. Hollingsworth, coming off the bench for the first time in her career, scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds in the opening half to spur the offense. She hit on 8-of-11 field goals in the contest and picked up eight boards and two blocked shots. Vaughn pumped in 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field and hauled in seven rebounds in 27 minutes of work for VCU. The junior forward finished the week averaging 20.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. Senior guard Michele Cosel also scored in a double figures for the Black and Gold with 11. She added four assists, four rebounds and two steals. VCU dominated nearly every facet of the game, owning the boards by a 47-27 margin while also shooting 43 percent (23-of-53) for the game. The Rams forced a total of 24 Albany turnovers on the night. VCU will visit Norfolk State before taking on the Dukes of James Madison in Harrisonburg, Va. in its CAA opener on Sunday.
WILLIAM & MARY (3-2, 0-0 CAA):
William & Mary had their three-game winning streak snapped as they lost to High Point on Sunday. The Tribe went 1-1 on the week as they defeated Longwood, 70-27, on Tuesday. In the win over the Lancers, junior Kyra Kaylor became the Tribe’s 11th 1,000-point scorer. In addition to reaching the 1,000-point milestone, Kaylor also eclipsed the 600-rebound mark, becoming just the fourth player in Tribe history to accomplish both feats. The Pittsburgh, Pa., native finished with a game-high 15 points and 13 rebounds in 24 minutes of action. Also coming up big for the College was freshman Tiffany Benson, who recorded 11 points, seven rebounds and four blocks. Six other players totaled at least five points in a well-rounded offensive effort. William & Mary held Longwood to just 27 points on 18.0 percent shooting (9-of-50). It was the lowest point total versus the Tribe in the post-1983 era and the first 40+ point win for the Tribe since it defeated Navy, 90-50, in 1993. On Sunday, Dani Kell led the Tribe with a game-high 26 points and tied a team-best eight rebounds with Kaylor. Robyn Barton (16) and Kaylor (12) also added double-figure points. The Tribe will visit Virginia Tech on Tuesday before opening CAA play on Sunday when they will entertain Towson.