QUICK NOTES ABOUT THE UPCOMING WEEK:
• James Madison, Northeastern, Georgia State, and George Mason will all participate in tournaments this week.
• Old Dominion will look to snap its three game losing streak as they host Rutgers on Saturday, which is currently receiving votes in the latest AP Poll.
• Delaware is scheduled to play #25 Bowling Green on Friday. The Blue Hens defeated Bowling Green a year ago by a score of 48-44. Delaware also looks to spoil the Falcons’ 21 home court winning streak, which is currently the second longest in the nation.
QUICK NOTES ABOUT LAST WEEK:
• Georgia State head coach Lea Henry notched her 200th last Monday at the helm of the Panthers in the 66-63 victory over Florida A&M. The Panthers went 2-0 at the UCF Holiday Classic.
• James Madison defeated Savannah State, 77-48, on Monday to extend their winning streak at home to 18 games.
• Northeastern snapped a nine-game losing streak as the Huskies captured their first win of the season over Harvard on Thursday, 87-77. Freshman guard Kateema McLean scored a game- and career-high 29 points against New Hampshire on Tuesday.
• Hofstra defeated Hartford on Friday evening as the Pride won its eight straight game (school record). Now 9-1 on the season, Hofstra established a new school record for the best 10-game start in the Pride’s Division I history.
• The Blue Hens of Delaware won its ninth straight game and extended its regular season non-conference home winning streak to 17 with a victory over Fordham on Friday.
• The Towson Tigers are currently 9-1 and are off to the best start in the program’s 25-year Division I history, eclipsing the 8-1 mark they posted during the 2003-04 season. It is only the third time in school history that the Tigers have opened the year with nine wins in their first 10 games.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Meredith Alexis • James MadisonHanover Township, Pa./Bishop Hoban, Sr., Center
James Madison senior center Meredith Alexis received CAA Player of the Week honors for the third time this season as she averaged a double-double (14 ppg/10.5 rpg) to lead the Dukes to victories over Savannah State and Wake Forest. The senior center collected her 48th career double-double against Savannah State with 16 rebounds and 13 points as the Dukes extended their home winning streak to 18 games, dating back to last season. She set a school record of six straight double-doubles on Tuesday against Savannah State. Alexis assisted JMU in a win over Wake Forest on the road, snapping the Demon Deacons’ seven-game winning streak, with 15 points and five rebounds. She played in her 100th consecutive contest against Wake Forest.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Kateema McLean • NortheasternMonclair, N.J./Bloomfield Vocational, Fr., Guard
Northeastern guard Kateema McLean earned CAA Rookie of the Week honors as she led the Huskies on Tuesday with a game-high 29 points against New Hampshire. The rookie added 14 points as Northeastern collected its first win of the season against Harvard on Thursday. In back-to-back starts, McLean averaged 21.5 points last week. McLean also added two rebounds, six assists and four steals on the week. She finished the week shooting 45.7 percent.
CAA No. 10 IN THIRD RPI RANKING: The CAA is ranked 10th 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. 25. The CAA finished ranked eighth in last season’s final RPI report. The CAA was ranked as high as sixth this season in the first RPI report. Delaware, who was ranked as high as 13th a week ago, tops the conference at #18, while James Madison follows at #22. Hofstra is ranked #28 in the third edition of the Collegiate Basketball News RPI report and Towson (#86) rounds out the members in the top 100.
CAA WEEKLY TELECONFERENCES: The CAA weekly telephonic press conferences for basketball began on Tuesday, January 2 and will continue each Tuesday until February 27. The men’s call takes place from 10 a.m. - Noon, with all 12 CAA coaches available in 10-minute segments. In addition to the men’s coaches, the CAA will also involve women’s coaches in the calls again this season. Each Tuesday at noon, two or more women’s coaches will be available for 15-20 minutes to discuss their teams and the league in general. The weekly telephonic press conferences will be archived on CAAsports.com. On January 2, UNC Wilmington head coach Ann Hancock and VCU head coach Beth Cunningham will be available for interviews.
RECEIVING VOTES: Both Hofstra and Delaware received votes in the latest Associated Press Top 25 Poll, for the fifth consecutive week. The Pride received 37 votes and moved to third (from fourth) among the "Others Receiving Votes", while the Blue Hens tabbed six votes and were listed 11th. Both teams have also received votes in the past four USA Today Coaches Polls.
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.
HOW LONG CAN THEY GO?: Hofstra and Delaware have posted the CAA’s longest winning streaks of the season with eight and nine straight wins, respectively.
HOME SWEET HOME: James Madison extended their home court winning streak to an impressive 18 games, which is ranked fourth 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 17 games, which dates back to the 2002-03 season.
TOP RETURNING STARTERS: With the CAA returning 75% of its starters, two CAA teams rank among the top five with total starts. James Madison’s returning players entered the 2006-07 season with a combined 379 starts, which is more than any total starts for a Division I team in the country. The Dukes have 35 more starts than second-place Oklahoma, whose returning players have started 344 contests. Hofstra follows fifth with 292 starts entering this season.
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 (10-1, 1-0 CAA):
DREXEL (3-6, 0-1 CAA):
Drexel lost a close game against Penn on Thursday as the Dragons fell 60-57. Gabriela Marginean put in a team-high 18 points. Transfer guard Andrea Peterson made her Drexel debut against Penn and added 11 points and led the team with four assists. She also knocked down a key three-pointer with 35 seconds remaining to help trim a five-point Penn lead to one. Peterson started 18 games for St. John’s as a freshman and transferred at the beginning of her sophomore season. She sat out until Dec. 21 due to NCAA transfer regulations. Kira Karlstrom grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds, her team-leading third double-figure rebound performance this season. She currently leads Drexel in rebounding at 7.6 boards per game and at 5-foot-4 she is the shortest player in the nation to lead her team in rebounding. Drexel closes out non-conference play with a road swing, playing at Mount St. Mary’s and American this week.
GEORGE MASON (4-3, 1-0 CAA):
George Mason’s four-game winning streak was snapped by No. 11 Georgia on Wednesday. The Bulldogs defeated the Patriots 76-51 in Fairfax, Va. Lateisha Wade scored 17 points on 6-for-15 shooting to lead the Patriots. Tracy Ann Holness followed Wade with 16 points, while Nikkia Slade grabbed a team-high eight rebounds on Wednesday. The Patriots will participate in the Florida International University Tournament this week. They will play host FIU on Friday at 5:30 p.m., before facing either Rice or Kansas State on Saturday.
GEORGIA STATE (6-4, 0-1 CAA):
The Panthers had four players score in double figures as Georgia State defeated Florida A&M, 66-63, at the University of Central Florida Holiday Classic on Monday. State followed that with a 76-41 win over North Florida on Tuesday. The Panthers have won three straight and six of their last seven. With the win on Monday, Panthers’ head coach Lea Henry notched her 200th victory at the helm of the program and currently owns a mark of 200-156 in 13 seasons at Georgia State. Sophomore center Marcquitta Head and senior guard Kelcey Roegiers-Jensen each totaled a team-high 14 points for GSU. Head also tied her career-high with a game-best 16 rebounds for her fifth career double-double. Roegiers-Jensen added a game- and career-best 12 assists and posted nine rebounds. Also in double figures were sophomore guard Brittany Hollins, who had 12 points, and freshman guard Tabitha David, who notched 11. State snapped the Lady Rattlers’ four-game win streak. The Panthers tied their season-high with 14 steals against the Lady Rattlers. On Tuesday, David led four Panthers in double figures after scoring a game-high 15 points. Freshman forward Danyiell McKeller collected her second double-double of the season with 14 points and a game-high 10 rebounds for GSU. Hollins registered her second career double-double and first this season with 10 points and a game- and career-best 11 assists. Head tallied 11 points and was named to the all-tournament team along with Roegiers-Jensen. Head was also awarded the tournament’s Most Valuable Player honor. Georgia State shot a season-high 59.6 percent from the floor in its 76-41 victory over North Florida in the UCF Holiday Classic. Roegiers-Jensen is 54 points from becoming the 17th player in Georgia State history with 1,000 or more career points. She needs 29 three-pointers to break the career school record set last year (131) by Monica Thomas. State has five players averaging double figures, and is scoring 20 more points per game since moving Hollins to the point and inserting David into the starting lineup. The Panthers will host the Georgia State Invitational this week. State will open the tournament against Mississippi Valley State at 2 p.m. on Friday, before hosting either UT Martin or Birmingham Southern on Saturday.
HOFSTRA (9-1, 1-0 CAA):
Hofstra improved to 9-1 with a 70-54 win over Hartford, two-time defending America East champion, last week. Senior forward Lana Harshaw posted career-highs of 26 points and 12 rebounds, including a 10-for-14 showing from the free throw line. The double-double by Harshaw on Friday was her second of the season and eighth of her career and the New Jersey native tied her career-high in minutes (35) played as well. Senior guard Cigi McCollin became Hofstra’s all-time leading three-point shooter as her three treys last week gave her 232 in her career, breaking the school record of Jen Brickey (230), who played for the Pride from 1999-2003. The senior guard from Long Island City, New York, set the record with 13:05 left in the first half. With the win, Hofstra established a new school record for the best 10-game start in the Pride’s Division I history (since 1982-83). The eight straight wins overall and the 10 straight wins at home are both current school records as well. With her 13 points against Hartford, senior forward Lizanne Murphy inches closer to joining two of her teammates with 1,000 career points. Murphy now has 962 points in her career and needs just 38 points to join McCollin (1,317) and senior center Vanessa Gidden (1,168) as the 19th member of the 1,000-Point Club at Hofstra. The Pride got seven first half rebounds from sophomore forward Harmonie Calinda, who saw her first action as a member of the Pride after transferring mid-year in 2005-06 from Seton Hall University. By holding Hartford to 54, it marked the seventh time during Hofstra’s current eight-game win streak that the Pride has held its opponent to less than 60 points. The Pride is 44-4 in its last 48 games when they hold their opponent under 60 points (7-0 this season, 11-0 last season and 5-0 in 2004-05). Hofstra has held seven of its last eight opponents under 60 points and has won 24 straight games when holding its opponent under 60 points. Hofstra has a pair of games scheduled this week, as they will travel to Florida to face the University of North Florida on Friday and Stetson University on New Year’s Eve.
JAMES MADISON (8-1, 1-0 CAA):
James Madison extended its home winning streak to 18 games as the Dukes defeated Savannah State, 77-48, on Monday and marked the program’s 250th win in the JMU Convocation Center. JMU has a 250-66 record in 25 years at the Convo. The Dukes then improved their overall winning streak on Thursday with a 57-47 win over Wake Forest. The Dukes’ 8-1 record ties for the second-best start in school history. JMU’s 1973-74 squad won its first nine games and six other teams (including 2005-06) were 8-1 after nine contests. On Monday, senior center Meredith Alexis and senior guard Lesley Dickinson each had 13 points to lead five James Madison players in double figures in scoring. In addition to her 13 points, Alexis finished with a game-high 16 rebounds. She extended her JMU record for career rebounds to 1,033, her team mark for career double-doubles to 48, and her team career record for double-figure rebounds to 59. Also in double figures in scoring for the Dukes were redshirt junior forward Jennifer Brown with 12 points and 10 rebounds, Young with 12 points and 11 rebounds, and Lawrence with 10 points. Young had a three-pointer at the 15:48 mark of the first half to reach the 1,000-point career scoring mark. The Dukes opened a seven game slate on the road at Wake Forest on Thursday. JMU was lead by Alexis, who posted a game-high 15 points. Andrea Benvenuto followed Alexis with 13 points and added seven assists. Young and Brown grabbed 11 and 10 rebounds, respectively. The Dukes will continue its seven-game road trip as they participate in the Miami Holiday Tournament. James Madison will face Auburn on Thursday before playing either Coppin State or Miami on Friday. The Dec. 28-29 Miami Holiday Tournament marks the ninth time a JMU team has traveled to Florida to play and the third time the Dukes are participating in a tournament hosted by Miami. All of JMU’s trips to Florida have been to participate in a tournament. Kenny Brooks’ teams have played four games in Florida and have won all four of those contests.
UNC WILMINGTON (4-6, 0-0 CAA):
UNC Wilmington dropped its first home contest of the season to Campbell on Monday night by a score of 66-59. The Seahawks fell in their third straight contest with a 66-59 loss to Coastal Carolina on Wednesday. Junior forward Becca Papach scored a career-high 12 points and sophomore forward Alex Stewart also had 12 points for the Seahawks. Lori Drake scored 11 points and grabbed 11 boards for her third straight double-double and the fifth of the season for the senior guard. UNCW played without sophomore forward Sahsha Taylor, the team’s second leading scorer and rebounder and starting guard Stephanie Fernald saw just 15 minutes of action because of a back injury. On Wednesday, Alex Stewart recorded a career-high 18 points, while Lori Drake added 14, all of which were scored in the second half. Denise Lawrence added a season high 10 points for UNCW. The Seahawks added free throws, including two from Lawrence with 1:20 left in the game, to make the score 59-58. After Stull missed two free throws, UNCW had a chance to tie the score with a little under a minute to play, but Lawrence’s three hit the side iron, forcing the Seahawks to fold. The Seahawks will visit South Carolina on Saturday.
NORTHEASTERN (1-9, 0-1 CAA):
Northeastern snapped a nine-game losing streak as they defeated Harvard on the road on Thursday evening, 87-77, and captured its first win of the 2006-07 season. The Huskies fell to New Hampshire, 71-62, earlier in the week on Tuesday. Against UNH, the Huskies got a game-high and career-best 29 points from freshman Kateema McLean. Stefanie Hodell pulled down a game-high 16 rebounds and added four points, an assist and a block. McLean was 10-for-20 from the field and had four assists. Pablos and Kim Carr each scored eight points. The Huskies came as close as six points with the score 57-51 with seven minutes remaining. Despite being down by as much as 19 points in the second half, an emotional Husky squad continued to play hard throughout, competing without junior guard Shaleyse Smallwood who was the newest addition to a long list of Husky injuries. Senior captain Jody Burrows, who is out for the year, and freshman forward Kendra Walton also sat out with injuries in addition to Sigrid Scherpiet who is out for the year after getting hurt before the season began. On Thursday, Feldman poured in a game-high 26 points, including a 7-of-11 effort from behind the arc. Feldman led four players in double-figure points, including Lucia Pablos (17), Kateema McLean (14) and Stefanie Hodell (12). Pablos handed out a game high 10 assists in the win. The Huskies are scheduled to participate in the St. Joseph’s Tournament on Thursday and Friday. Northeastern will face the Hawks of St. Joe’s on Thursday in the opening round and will play either Vermont or South Florida on Friday.
OLD DOMINION (3-7, 0-0 CAA):
Old Dominion (3-7) fell in both its games last week as they took on teams from the Volunteer State. Old Dominion dropped a 71-86 decision to Middle Tennessee State, a team that is receiving votes in both major polls and knocked off No. 8 Georgia in Athens. The game against Middle Tennessee, the first between the two schools, was a lot closer than the score indicated as the game endured 10 ties and 20 lead changes. The Lady Monarchs were led by starting point guard Jazzmin Walters with a career-high 13 points along with four steals and three assists. Both juniors Shahida Williams and T.J. Jordan added in 12. In the first half, neither team managed more than a four point lead and endured seven ties. Middle Tennessee only held a one-point lead, 39-28, at intermission. The Lady Monarchs had one of its best performance from the field and the line against the Blue Raiders. Old Dominion ended the evening hitting 48.1 percent from the floor and 72.2 from the charity stripe. On Friday evening, Triggs led the Lady Monarchs with 13 points, and Jordan had 11, all in the first half. Old Dominion forced 18 turnovers, but committed 24. The Lady Monarchs closed within 10 twice shortly thereafter, but Tennessee finally pulled away, using a significant height advantage and more depth to wear out ODU. The game drew a crowd of 7,108, the third-largest for a women's game at the Constant Convocation Center. The largest - 7,758 - also came for Tennessee on Jan. 7, 2003, the year the arena opened. Before the game, Tennessee coach Pat Summitt took part in a ceremony to present Old Dominion coach Wendy Larry with the game ball from her 500th career victory, which came Dec. 9 against Chicago State. The Lady Monarchs will host Rutgers, who had received votes in this week’s AP Poll, on Friday. The match-up between ODU and Rutgers will be televised on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic at 2:00 p.m.
TOWSON (9-1, 1-0 CAA):
The Tigers improved to 9-1 on the season with wins over Winston-Salem State and Rider last week. Towson defeated Winston-Salem State, 57-50, for the second time this season, on Tuesday before extending their winning streak to four games with a 76-42 victory over Rider on Friday. On Tuesday, junior Holly Mahan posted her third double-double of the season as she scored 10 points and grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds. In a game which featured 11 ties and 16 lead changes, the Tigers rallied from a seven-point deficit in the final ten minutes to pull out the win. Freshman guard Shanae Baker-Brice led the Tigers with 15 points and six steals. Mahan added five steals, while sophomore Alis Freeman scored nine points with four steals. Jamell Beasley chipped in with six points, three assists and three steals. Against Rider, Baker-Brice scored a game-high 16 points and added five steals. Baker-Brice was the only player to score in double figures. She made six of seven shots from the floor, including all four of her attempts in the first half. Junior guard Holly Mahan tallied a career-high 14 rebounds in the win while senior Kelly Robinson and sophomore Alis Freeman each had nine points. With their 9-1 record, the Tigers are off to the best start in the program’s 25-year Division I history, eclipsing the 8-1 mark they posted during the 2003-2004 season. It is the third time in school history that the Tigers have opened the year with nine wins in their first 10 games. Robinson is now 16th on the Tigers’ career scoring list with 956 points after scoring nine points in the win over Rider. She also moved into 15th place on the Towson career field goals list with 363. Meanwhile, Freeman moved into 16th place on the career assists list with 190 after a five-assist performance against the Broncs on Friday night. She is now 16 points shy of reaching 500 for her career. With the pair of victories last week, the Tigers have won nine of their last 10 non-conference games, dating back to last season against Fairfield. The Tigers will play their final non-conference game of the season on Saturday afternoon when they host Mount St. Mary’s University.
VCU (6-4, 0-1 CAA):
The Rams dropped their fourth straight after starting the season 6-0 on Thursday evening. VCU fell to Appalachian State on the road, 79-68. Junior Krystal Vaughn and sophomore Quanitra Hollingsworth registered double-doubles. Vaughn led three Rams’ double-figure scorers with 17 points and added 11 rebounds, while Hollingsworth had 11 points and a game-high 15 boards for her second double-double of the season and the 16th of her career, tying her with Becky Crow and Rachel Jordan for fifth on the VCU career list. It is the first time two Rams have booked double-doubles in the same contest since Feb. 10 of last season, when Hollingsworth and junior LaKea Jones did so at Towson. Hollingsworth had two blocks against the Mountaineers lifting her into fourth-place, past Dawnita Price, on the Black and Gold’s all-time list with 78. The Rams, who trailed by as many as 12, rallied to within one with 6:20 left when freshman La’Tavia Rorie sandwiched two 3-pointers around a layup from junior Brittany Pinkney to make the score 60-59. Since playing in a total of 20 minutes in the Rams’ first four games, freshman guard La’Tavia Rorie is averaging 17.5 minutes per game, scoring 7.5 points and grabbing 3.5 rebounds. She had 10 points and five rebounds at Appalachian State. VCU won the battle on the glass, 48-46, but shot just 26 percent (10-of-38) in the second half and turned the ball over a season-high 28 times. The Rams led by as many as five in the first half, but faltered and watched as the Mountaineers staged a 14-0 run over a six-minute stretch late in the period. The Rams will host Longwood on Saturday.
WILLIAM & MARY (6-4, 0-1 CAA):
The Tribe won their second straight with a decision over Norfolk State on the road Thursday evening. Kyra Kaylor led four players with double-digit scoring with a game-high 17 points. Kaylor added 12 rebounds to register a double-double, while teammate Devin James posted a double-double with 16 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. James had her streak of 20 straight made free throws snapped against NSU. Dani Kell and Tiffany Benson recorded 15 and 11 points, respectively. Sarah Stroh dished out five assists, while Benson registered a game-high three blocked shots. The Tribe dominated Norfolk State on the boards, 60-43, hauling in the third-most rebounds in the program’s history. The impressive effort followed a 56-rebound effort in the Tribe’s last outing, a 78-63 triumph versus Howard. William & Mary held NSU to just 32.2 percent shooting. The Tribe is 6-0 when leading at the half this season and is currently holding its opponents to 29.2 percent shooting in its six wins. William & Mary will return to the court on Thursday when they host Radford.