QUICK NOTES ABOUT LAST WEEK:
• Delaware handed La Salle its first loss of the season with a 66-52 victory on Tuesday evening, and finished the week 2-0 with a win over Boston University also.
• George Mason opened conference play with a 67-61 victory over Northeastern on Tuesday.
• JMU’s Meredith Alexis became the first Duke to record 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in her career.
• James Madison extended its home winning streak to 17 games, the second longest in school history.
• Hofstra’s Vanessa Gidden set a new school record for blocks in a career with 135 in the win over Central Connecticut State on Wednesday.
• Old Dominion’s win over Chicago State gave head coach Wendy Larry her 500th career win.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Tyresa Smith • Delaware
Dover, Del./Polytech, Sr., Guard
Delaware senior guard Tyresa Smith received CAA Player of the Week honors for the third time this season after leading the Blue Hens in a pair of non-conference victories last week. The senior guard averaged 21.5 points and 11.5 rebounds on the week. Smith poured in a game-high 19 points and added 10 rebounds as Delaware handed La Salle its first loss of the season. She returned to the court on Sunday tying a game-high 24 points and 13 rebounds as the Blue Hens defeated Boston University at home. The 5-10 guard added a pair of assists and four steals on the week. She became UD’s all-time career leader in steals with 278.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Sam Brigham • Hofstra
Simsbury, Conn./Simsbury, Fr., Guard
Hofstra guard Sam Brigham earned CAA Rookie of the Week honors as she averaged 9.5 points per game and assisted the Pride to a pair of victories last week. She led the Pride with 14 points against Stony Brook, including perfect 4-for-4 efforts from long range on Saturday. Brigham added five points in Hofstra’s win over Connecticut State on Wednesday. The freshman guard went 7-of-13 from the floor (.538) and 5-of-8 from behind the arc on the week. She also averaged 1.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game.
CAA No. 6 IN FIRST RPI RANKING: The CAA is ranked sixth among the nations 32 Division I conferences in women’s basketball according to the RPI report compiled by Collegiate Basketball News through games of Dec. 10. The CAA finished ranked eighth in last season’s final RPI report. James Madison tops the conference at #18, while Delaware follows directly behind at #19. Hofstra is ranked #24 in the first edition of the Collegiate Basketball News RPI report and Towson (#50) rounds out the members in the top 50.
RECEIVING VOTES: Both Hofstra and Delaware received votes in the latest Associated Press Top 25 Poll, for the third consecutive week. The Pride received 26 votes and was fifth among the "Others Receiving Votes", while the Blue Hens tabbed nine votes and were listed 10th. Both teams have also received votes in the past two USA Today Coaches Polls.
THIS WEEK IN THE CAA: As the academic semester wraps up, CAA Women’s Basketball will play five contests this week. Hofstra will host Yale on Tuesday, while Northeastern visits Long Island and Drexel entertains Monmouth on Saturday. To finish the week, Old Dominion will travel to play Charlotte and Delaware will visit Massachusetts.
CAA TOPS RANKED TEAMS: Hofstra and Delaware defeated a ranked team for the first time in school history. 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.
HOME SWEET HOME: James Madison extended their home court winning streak last week to an impressive 17 games, which is the fourth best home streak 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. Delaware extended their regular season home winning streak against non-league opponents to 16 games, which dates back to the 2002-03 season.
HOW LONG CAN THEY GO?: Delaware has posted the eighth longest winning streak of the season with seven straight wins. Hofstra follows close behind with six wins and is tied for the 10th longest winning streak in the nation.
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 (8-1, 1-0 CAA):
DREXEL (2-6, 0-1 CAA):
Drexel fell to cross-town rival La Salle on Saturday, 67-53, in its only contest of the week. The Dragons were led by Kira Karlstrom’s career-high 16 rebounds, including 15 in the second half. Her 16 rebounds was the most rebounds for a Dragon since Katrina Martin grabbed 20 against Rider on Nov. 20, 2001. Nine of Karlstrom’s boards came on the offensive glass. The 5-4 guard is currently leading Drexel in rebounds, at 7.6 boards per game, offensive rebounds (3.1 rpg), defensive rebounds (4.5 rpg) and assists (4.0 apg). Anora Suber registered 12 points on a personal best 4-for-9 shooting performance from deep. Freshman Jennifer Stjarnstrom scored a season-high nine points, all in the first half, and also matched her best marks with two rebounds, two assists and a steal. The Dragons shot just 21 percent from the floor in the second half, which allowed the Explorers to pull away for the victory. Transfer guard Andrea Peterson will be eligible to play in Drexel’s December 21 game against Pennsylvania. After transferring to Drexel early last season, Peterson was required to sit out until the completion of the fall 2006 term due to NCAA transfer rules. Drexel will face Monmouth at home on Saturday.
GEORGE MASON (4-2, 1-0 CAA):
George Mason opened CAA play with a 67-61 victory over Northeastern on Tuesday evening. The Patriots extended their winning streak to four games with a win over American, 60-53, on Friday. This is the first time since the 2003-04 season in which the Patriots have won four-straight contests. Junior guard Casey Quigley led Mason with 14 points and senior forward Tracy Ann Holness added 13. Sophomore center Jessica Smith led the team in rebounds with nine. With just two minutes left in the regulation, Mason led by just one point (60-59) after the Huskies overcame a 21-point deficit. Against the Eagles, the Patriots were led by Lateisha Wade’s game-high 18 points, while Holness added 16. Smith mirrored her career-high of 10 rebounds, which was also a game-best, while Quigley scored in double figures with 11. Wade also grabbed a game-high four steals to assist Mason in the road win. The Patriots will not play again until Wednesday, December 20 when they welcome Georgia.
GEORGIA STATE (4-4, 0-1 CAA):
The Panthers defeated Savannah State, 90-46, on Saturday in a home contest. Every Georgia State player scored a field goal in the victory. Sophomore Brittany Hollins totaled a game- and career-best 22 points to lead the Panthers, which has won four of its last five games. Hollins also tied game-high honors with eight rebounds. Junior center Vatai Smith came off the bench to record 13 points and eight rebounds for Georgia State. Freshman guard Tabitha David finished with 12 points -- all of which came in the second half. Senior Kelcey Roegiers-Jensen nearly collected her first career triple-double after registering eight points, eight rebounds and a game-and career-high 10 assists. Sophomore center Marcquitta Head finished with nine points, eight caroms and three blocked shots in her first start of the season. State has won back-to-back games at home for the first time since Dec. 19 and Dec. 29 of 2005. Georgia State has scored 90 points or more in a game twice this season, including its 91-70 victory over Norfolk State. The last time the Panthers scored 90+ points twice in a season was back during the 2000-01 campaign. The 44-point margin of victory is the most for the Panthers since winning by 59 points (89-30) over Morris Brown on Dec. 14, 2002. The Panthers look to give head coach Lea Henry her 200th win in their next outing. GSU will take a week off before it plays in the University of Central Florida Holiday Classic. The Panthers will play Florida A&M on Dec. 18, before playing North Florida on Dec. 19.
HOFSTRA (7-1, 1-0 CAA):
Hofstra improved to 7-1 with a 65-49 win over Central Connecticut State on Wednesday and a 82-67 victory over Stony Brook on Saturday. The six-game win streak ties a streak originally set in 1982-83 and tied in 1983-84 and last season. The 7-1 start matches the 1982-83 squad, the Pride's first at the Division I level, for the best start in school history. Against Central Connecticut State, senior center Vanessa Gidden established a new school record for blocks in a career with 135 and tallied a game-high 21 points and 11 rebounds in the victory. Senior forward Lizanne Murphy finished with nine points and a team-high 12 rebounds in the contest, while Lana Harshaw added 14 points and eight rebounds for her third straight game in double digits. Jeanell Hughes handed out a game-high five assists. Hofstra held its fifth straight opponent below 60 points and improved 42-4 over its last 46 games when holding their opponents below 60 points. On Saturday, Murphy tallied 11 points, 12 rebounds and added five assists to lead Hofstra to a school record-tying sixth straight win. The double-double was the third this season and the 19th of Murphy's career, while senior guard Cigi McCollin sank three three-pointers in the game to give her 229 for her career, one short of the school record set by Jen Brickey (1999-2003). McCollin finished with 14 points in the contest, tying her with freshman guard Sam Brigham for team-high honors. The Pride got some great efforts out of the bench in the game, as Brigham had 11 first half points and junior forward Linn Quamme nailed a pair of three-pointers on her way to six first half points. Hughes and Gidden joined the other three in double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively. With her two games in double figures, Gidden has now scored in double figures in 19 straight games and her 21-point, 11-rebound effort against CCSU was her second double-double and third game of 20-plus points this season. Saturday’s game marked the first time all season that Hofstra had five players in double figures. Hofstra will host Yale on Tuesday for its only contest of the week.
JAMES MADISON (6-1, 1-0 CAA):
James Madison improved to 6-1 as they defeated Clemson, 85-72, on Wednesday and collected a 54-45 win over Hampton on Saturday. On Wednesday, senior center Meredith Alexis became the first player in school history to reach 1,000 rebounds as she finished with 13 boards against the Tigers. She is also the only player in school history to reach both 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in her career. In addition to surpassing the 1,000-rebound mark, Alexis blocked her 100th career shot and ended the first half by hitting her first career three-pointer. The Dukes received double-figure performances out of Alexis (26), junior guard Tamera Young (18), red-shirt junior forward Jennifer Brown (12), and senior guard Lesley Dickinson (10). Brown's shooting tied her JMU career best scoring performance. JMU's 17-game home streak dates back to last season, when the Dukes were 13-0 at home. It's the second longest known streak in school history. Against Hampton, four JMU players scored in double figures. Dickinson led all players with 14 points, and Andrea Benvenuto finished with 13. Alexis added 12, and Brown scored 10. Alexis had a game-high 13 rebounds for her fifth consecutive double-double and sixth double-double of the year. She increased her career rebounding record total to 1,017 and her other career records to 47 double-doubles and 58 double-figure rebounding games. Brown had a season-high 11 rebounds. Alexis extended her career records to 58 double-figure scoring games and 47 double-doubles. Senior Shirley McCall, a starter the last three seasons at forward, continues to be sidelined with a broken finger in her shooting hand. Young looks to reach the 1,000-point plateau as she enters the next contest with 999 career points. The Dukes will host Savannah State on Sunday, before playing the next seven games on the road.
UNC WILMINGTON (4-4, 0-0 CAA):
UNC Wilmington dropped a 57-52 decision to East Carolina on Wednesday. Senior guard Lori Drake led the way for the Seahawks with 16 points and 11 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season. Junior guard Stephanie Fernald chipped in a season-high 14 points for UNCW. The Seahawks shot 42.9 percent from the floor, but could not overcome 22 turnovers in the contest. Drake led the Seahawks with 14 first-half points and six rebounds, while Stewart came off the bend to add seven points and four rebounds. The Seahawks trailed as much as 12 points in the second half, but had a chance to tie the game at the free throw line with one minute left in regulation. UNCW’s defense held the Pirates to zero field goals over the last nine minutes of the game and held ECU to 22.7 (5-of-22) shooting in the entire second half. ECU’s 18 points in the second half is the lowest amount of points the Seahawks have given up in the second half this season. UNC Wilmington will take a break from play until Dec. 18 when they host Campbell at Trask Coliseum.
NORTHEASTERN (0-7, 0-1 CAA):
Northeastern dropped to 0-7 on the season with a pair of toughs losses against conference foe George Mason, 67-61, on Tuesday and a 73-67 overtime loss to Ivy League member Dartmouth on Saturday. Against the Patriots, the Huskies overcame a 21-point deficit to trail by only one point with two minutes to go in the contest. Junior guards Shaleyse Smallwood and Lucia Pablos both scored in double-figures with 15 and 11 points, respectively. They both added four assists and to help fill the roll of starter senior guard Jody Burrows, who sidelined due to an injury. Pablos was 4-for-7 from the field including a 3-for-3 performance from behind the arc. Sophomore Ashlee Feldman contributed nine points and Joanna Ausmann had eight. Smallwood and Feldman were both perfect from the free throw line on 4-of-4 shooting. In the overtime contest against Dartmouth, four Huskies scored in double figures led by Smallwood and Joanna Ausmann, who each put up 13 points. Stefanie Hodell and Pablos both added 11 points. Smallwood handed out seven assists and Pablos had two. Hodell grabbed a career best and game-high 16 rebounds, pulling down eight on the offensive end. She was 4-of-8 from the floor and 3-of-5 at the free throw line. Ausmann played well defensively, adding a career-high three blocks and three steals. She also came up with six boards. The Huskies will look for their first win of the season when they host Long Island on Saturday.
OLD DOMINION (3-4, 0-0 CAA):
Head coach Wendy Larry collected career win number 500 on Saturday night at the Ted Constant Convocation Center as the Old Dominion women's basketball team defeated Chicago State, 77-38. The win, which snaps a two-game losing streak, improves Old Dominion to 3-4 overall. With the win, Larry becomes the 30th all-time Division I coach and 23rd active Division I coach to reach the 500-victory milestone. In 23 years as a head coach, she has compiled a 500-186 mark. Now in her 20th season at the helm of the Old Dominion program, Larry holds a 451-155 mark at her alma mater. Sophomore Tiffany Green became the first Lady Monarch this season to perform a double-double. Green netted 17-points, which included a 7-of-7 mark from the field. She also hauled in 12 rebounds. Joining Green in double figures was junior T.J. Jordan with a game-high 21 points. For the second straight game and third time this season, Jordan had a 20+ point game. ODU collected a season-high 56 rebounds (23 offensive/33 defensive) as they outrebounded the Cougars by 27. The Lady Monarchs held a two point lead, 14-12, with 8:53 remaining in the first half before exploding for a 21-5 run to close out the half. The 38 points scored by CSU were the fewest points collected by an ODU opponent since the Lady Monarchs’ 85-33 win over William & Mary on February 26, 2006. Old Dominion will hit the road for two games starting with a trip to Charlotte, which has currently won 14 straight home contests dating back to last season, on Sunday. The Lady Monarchs will follow that with a trip to Middle Tennessee State on Tuesday, Dec. 19.
TOWSON (6-1, 1-0 CAA):
The Tigers earned their second straight victory with a 83-66 win over Norfolk State University in their only game last week. The 83 points scored by the Tigers were a season high and the most scored by Towson since the 2003-2004 season when Towson tallied 92 points in a victory over the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. The Tigers have now scored 70 or more points three times this year. Against the Spartans on Sunday, the Tigers scored a season-high 52 points in the second half and shot 52.9 per cent from the field. Towson also forced Norfolk State to make 23 turnovers, marking the seventh time in the first eight games a Tiger opponent has made 20 or more miscues. Junior guard Holly Mahan scored 18 points to lead the Tigers. After coming off the bench in the second half, Mahan made 8-of-11 shots from the floor and grabbed five steals in 15 minutes. As a team, the Tigers had a season-high 21 steals against the Spartans. Senior Katarina Stimac and freshmen Haliena Snowden and Brandy Black each made their first college starts in the victory over Norfolk State. For Stimac, it was her first start in 57 career games. Snowden posted a career-high eight points in 14 minutes while Black had a career-high six points. Freshman Ashlee Keown recorded seven rebounds in the victory, setting a new career high. Senior Kelly Robinson scored 12 points in the victory over Norfolk State, upping her career total to 945 points, which ranks 17th on the Tigers’ all-time list. In addition, she had four rebounds in the win over Norfolk State and now has 537 rebounds in her career, which is 14th on the all-time list. Sophomore Alis Freeman came off the bench for just the second time in her college career and registered six steals and eight assists. The Tigers will be idle this week when taking their final exams. Towson returns to action on Tuesday, December 19 when the Tigers travel to Winston-Salem State University. It will be a rematch of the Tigers’ home opener which Towson won by 76-51 on November 14. It will be the final non-conference regular season game for the Tigers this season.
VCU (6-3, 0-1 CAA):
After starting the season 6-0, the Rams have dropped three straight games. VCU dropped a 60-56 decision to cross-town rival Richmond on Wednesday and then recorded a 76-50 loss at Toledo on Saturday. Virginia Commonwealth’s La’Tavia Rorie posted a career-best 16 points against the Spiders. She shot 6-of-8 from the floor including a perfect 2-of-2 from three-point territory. LaKea Jones added 10 points and five assists, while Michele Cosel and Krystal Vaughn each grabbed seven rebounds for the Rams. VCU had its largest lead of the game with 5:42 remaining as they held a 52-46 advantage. The Spiders got five straight points to even the score at 53, before Jones banked a three-pointer to give VCU a 56-53 lead with 3:08 in the game. On Saturday, Cosel provided 11 points and three steals. Moss added nine points, sophomore center Quanitra Hollingsworth had eight points and 11 rebounds in 16 minutes and Vaughn chipped in eight points and eight rebounds for VCU. Cosel needs 12 three-pointers to become the fourth Ram with 100 in her career. The Rams are idle this week, but will prepare for a Dec. 21 match-up against Appalachian State on the road.
WILLIAM & MARY (5-4, 0-1 CAA):
The Tribe went 1-1 on the week with an overtime loss to Mount St. Mary’s, 66-58, on Friday, but rebounded with a 78-63 win over Howard on Sunday. On Friday, junior Devin James led the Tribe with 17 points and 10 rebounds, earning her fourth double-double of the season. Sophomore Dani Kell totaled 17 points, while classmate Courtney Portell snared a career-high nine rebounds in her first career start. The Tribe entered the extra session without Kyra Kaylor or James, who fouled out in the final minute of regulation. Against the Bison, Kaylor and James each earned double-doubles, marking it the second time this season that a pair of Tribe players have accomplished the feat in the same game. James poured in a team-high 18 points, while Kaylor added 17. They both grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds. Portell registered 17 points for the Tribe in the win connecting on five three-pointers. James finished the week going 13-of-13 from the free-throw line and averaged 17.5 points and 10.0 rebounds per outing. William & Mary held Howard to only 32.4 percent shooting and outrebounded the Lady Bison, 56-36. The Tribe is 5-0 when leading at the half this season. William & Mary will take a break from action through the next week for the exam period. The Tribe will visit Norfolk State on Dec. 21.