Jan 6, 2014, 4:12 PM EDT
Conference play began, as the 2013 CAA defending champs – Delaware – welcomed Hofstra to the Bob in Newark on Sunday, Jan. 5 as the only CAA contest of the opening day. The Blue Hens earned an overtime win over the Pride to extend their CAA winning streak (regular season and tournament games) to 43. Six other CAA squads will open conference play on Jan. 9, while James Madison will kick open its CAA schedule on Jan. 12.
The CAA teams are 51-63 (.447) against non-conference opponents. Delaware (9-3, 1-0 CAA) and James Madison (10-4, 0-0 CAA) are sitting at the top of the league standings as the conference schedule kicks off.
Helping the Blue Hens this past week was senior Kelsey Buchanan, who poured in a career-high 27 points against the Pride, including eight of UD’s nine in OT. She earned CAA Player of the Week honors for her efforts on the week after also a strong performance as the Blue Hens fell to St. John’s by just three points earlier this week. William & Mary’s Latrice Hunter has been stepping up each and every game as she led the Tribe with a career-high 17 points in a two-point loss to North Carolina A&T and earned CAA Rookie of the Week honors. To read more about these two student-athlete’s accomplishments, check out the full CAA Weekly Report on CAASports.com.
The CAA was ranked No. 11 among the nation’s 33 Division I conferences in women’s basketball according to the RPI report compiled by Collegiate Basketball News. James Madison led the league at No. 68 in the team RPI ranking. Hofstra (106), Delaware (114), Drexel (119), College of Charleston (126) and Northeastern (148) round out the CAA squads in the Top 200.
As conference play starts, JMU’s Kirby Burkholder leads the league in scoring with 18.0 points per game. Delaware’s Kelsey Buchanan leaped to second in the league with 17.4 ppg, sinking just one three-pointer this season. UNCW’s Kelva Atkins at third with 16.8 ppg and Towson’s Tanisha McTiller follows closely at fourth with the same 16.8 ppg. Tigers’ LaTorri Hines-Allen leaped into the top five league scorers with 15.4 ppg, with no three-pointers to her name.
Northeastern’s Jewel Tunstull returned as the conference’s leading rebounder pulling down 9.5 boards per outing. College of Charleston’s Afreyea Tolbert followed at second with 8.8 rpg, while Burkholder is averaging 8.5 rpg for the third best mark in the league.
Despite their record, the Tribe of William & Mary has four players ranked among the CAA’s top 20 scorers as conference play beings. Freshman Marlena Tremba, who is averaging a team-best 12.9 ppg, is ranked ninth, while Kaitlyn Mathieu (12.5 ppg/T.11th), Jazmen Boone (11.8 ppg/14th) and Kyla Kerstetter (11.4 ppg/16th) follow. James Madison and Towson each have three players ranked among the league’s top 20 scorers. JMU is led by the league’s leading scorer – Kirby Birkholder (18.0 ppg), along with Toia Giggetts (12.6 ppg/10th) and Precious Hall (11.4 ppg/15th). Towson is led by Tanisha McTiller (16.8 ppg/4th), along with LaTorri Hines-Allen (15.4/5th) and Dominique Johnson (12.4 ppg/13th).
Northeastern’s Jewel Tunstull returned as the conference’s leading rebounder pulling down 9.8 boards per outing. College of Charleston’s Afreyea Tolbert followed at second with 8.5 rpg, while Buchanan also jumped into the top three in rebounding pulling down 8.3 rpg. Towson’s Nyree Williams and Burkholder are averaging 8.0 rpg making them tied for the fourth best marks in the league.
Charleston’s Jill Brown is averaging a league-best 5.8 assists per game and ranks nationally in that category. Hofstra’s Andreana Thomas ranks second in the league with 5.6 helpers per contest, also ranking in the Top 50 nationally. Northeastern’s Amencie is producing 4.7 helpers per game, good for third among the CAA leaders, and Towson’s Dominique Johnson is ranked fourth with 4.4 apg. JMU’s Angela Mickens and Drexel’s Meghan Creighton round out of the top five tied with 4.0 apg.
Full CAA Women’s Basketball Statistics are updated after each game day, and can be found on CAASports.com.
To find where the CAA teams and individuals rank among the national leaders, check out NCAA.com.
Around the League – Did You Knows…
College of Charleston: The Cougars snapped a six-game win streak at home as they dropped a 64-55 decision to visiting East Carolina on Thursday. Afreyea Tolbert led CofC with 20 pts.
Delaware: Delaware fell to St. John’s by just three points, but opened CAA action with an OT win over Hofstra. Kelsey Buchanan poured in a career-high 27 points against the Pride.
Drexel: The Dragons snapped a two-game losing skid with a road victory over Cornell. Rachel Pearson hit her first six three-point attempts and finished with a career-high 23 points to lead all scorers. Abby Redick scored a career-high 13 points.
Hofstra: The Pride fell to Central Connecticut on a buzzer beater, 64-62, but snapped a three-game losing streak with a win over Albany.
James Madison: The Dukes won the JMU Invitational and then wrapped up their week and non-conference schedule with a battle against #10/11 North Carolina falling to the Tar Heels by just three points. Kirby Burkholder led the team with 19.0 ppg on the week.
UNCW: UNCW fell to App State and Charlotte this week. D’Asia Cain led the team with a career-high 15 points in the game against the 49ers.
Northeastern: Despite a season-high 23 points from senior center Jewel Tunstull, the Huskies closed out its non-conference slate with a 75-66 loss to Albany Saturday afternoon.
Towson: The Tigers extended their win streak as they defeated Coppin St. on the road Saturday. LaTorri Hines-Allen poured in career-high 23 points to lead Towson.
William & Mary: Freshman Latrice Hunter led four Tribe players in double-figures with a career-high 17 points. Freshman Marlena Tremba (13), junior Jazmen Boone (12), and senior Kaitlyn Mathieu (11) were also in double-figures for the Tribe.
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