Tuesday, January 25, 2011

CAA notes: Delle Donne could have Lyme disease

Around the horn in the CAA:

EDD update: Elena Delle Donne is feeling better, at least a little. But Delaware coach Tina Martin said last year's CAA Player of the Year has not practiced since Dec. 19.

Martin said Lyme disease is one possibility to explain the sophomore's symptoms, which include heaviness in the arms and legs, nerve problems and back issues. Delle Donne has seen the gamut of specialists, including a spine specialist since she began having problems in late November.

"Most of the time she's at doctors' offices when we have been having our practices almost for the full month," Martin said. "She's on medication now and she's starting to feel better."

Delle Donne is doing some running, said Martin, and will soon start shooting. Martin is still hopeful the 6-5 center All-American, who was leading the nation in scoring before having to sit out, will return this season. "It's going to be a long haul," she said. "She'll need to get back in shape, and hopefully she'll be able to do that. She is starting to feel better, which is a good sign because for weeks and weeks and weeks she saw all these specialists and we couldn't figure out what it was."


W&M coach Debbie Taylor let out a "Whew-hoo!" to celebrate the Tribe's first conference victory on Sunday. W&M, which defeated George Mason 69-57, bemoaned her team's lack of inconsistency for much of the season.

"We might be the most inconsistent team in America," Taylor said. "In the last three games, we've gotten a lot more consistent. We've started to play together better, and in turn, be a better team."

In the first of those games, W&M was beaten by Drexel at the buzzer. The Tribe held Dawn Evans without a field goal in the first half of its next game before enduring foul trouble and running out of gas, Taylor said. The Tribe was also without Emily Correal in that game because of a flagrant foul called against her in the first half of W&M's game against VCU on Jan. 2.

W&M only played seven players against the Dukes in Harrisonburg and led 35-31 at the break.

"That's one of the efforts I'm most proud of," Taylor said. "Both of those games provided the jolt of confidence we need."

The Tribe hosts Old Dominion on Thursday. Quipped Taylor: "I'm just happy I'm not Wendy Larry's 600th game."

Larry marked her 600th career victory on Sunday by defeating Towson.


The Patriots are seeing excellent competition in the league, coach Jeri Porter said, but mental toughness has a lot to do with her team's 2-5 CAA record.

"We've got to be tougher," Porter said. "That's a word that comes up a lot in our vernacular."

Hampton High School graduate Evelyn Lewis has provided some much needed size at 6-3, but Porter said the transfer from Penn State has struggled offensively. "Her offense has been sketchy," Porter said. "She has given us some size and done a pretty good job defending."

The Rams became only the second CAA team to defeat ODU twice on its home floor with a 63-60 victory last Thursday. James Madison is the other.

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