Friday, December 27, 2013

Statistical leaders - holiday edition

Assist leader Keira Robinson
The state's Division I leaders in the Triple Crown stats (points-rebounds-assists) as we head into post-Christmas break action:


1. Robyn Parks, VCU                                   11   251   22.8
   - Atlantic 10's leading scorer, 14th in Division I. Is shooting 59.4 percent from the field over her last six games. For the season, Parks' overall average efficiency is 25.2, 5th in Division I.

2. Uju Ugoka, Virginia Tech                         11   216   19.6
   - Tech's leading scorer in eight straight games and has posted double-doubles in six straight and eight of her last nine.

3. Taylor Brown, George Mason                  11   205   18.6
   - Highly anticipated Georgetown transfer also leads the Patriots in assists (5.3), steals (1.5), three-pointers made (17, tied with Sandra Ngoie), free throw percentage (82.0) and (gulp) fouling out (3). No one's perfect, right?

4. Malia Tate-DeFreitas, Hampton             12   217   18.1
   - High-scoring freshman picking up where she left off at Pennsylvania's Steel-High, where she finished as the second-leading scorer in state history with 3,366 points.

5. Alyssa Bennett, Hampton                         12   215   17.9
   - In her first two seasons at Hampton, Bennett had three 20-plus point games. Through 12 games this season, she has seven.

6. Daeisha Brown, Longwood                       8   143   17.9
   - Thanks to the incredible website, we have access to usage percentage, a statistic that calculates how involved each player is in their team's offense. And while it's overstating it to say that Brown IS the Longwood offense, the numbers reveal that no player in Virginia - and only a handful in all of Division I - has a bigger role in their team's attack than Brown does for the Lancers. Brown has missed Longwood's last two games, as has guard Kyndal Skersick (9.1 ppg).
7. Kirby Burkholder, JMU                           11   196   17.8
   - Has cooled a bit after a white-hot start - 15 of 44 FGs, 34.4 percent over her last three games - but deadly as always from the free-throw line (85.7 percent).

8. Shae Kelley, Old Dominion                       11   188   17.1
   - One of six players in Virginia currently averaging a double-double, along with VCU's Robyn Parks, Virginia Tech's Uju Ugoka, George Mason's Janaa Pickard, Liberty's Ashley Rininger and Norfolk State's Rachel Gordon.

9. Ashley Rininger, Liberty                           10   160   16.0
   - Has led or shared the team lead in scoring in seven of 10 games while doing the same in rebounding in nine of 10.

10. Janaa Pickard, George Mason                 11   167   15.2
   - Is averaging a double-double (10.1 rpg) and a shade under two blocks per game while shooting 50 percent from the field and 80 percent from the line. In short, a stunningly efficient player. Just watch those fouls, Janaa!

11. Nicole Hamilton, Hampton                       12   174   14.5
   - Is averaging 37.6 minutes per game, 10th in Division I. Teammate Alyssa Bennett is at 37.0 mpg, 21st in D-I. There are roughly 4,950 Division I women's basketball players.

12. Rae Corbo, Norfolk State                         10   144   14.4
   - Making a splendid return from the ACL injury that cost her all but one and a half games of the 2012-13 season.

13. Kaitlyn Mathieu, William and Mary           9   123    13.7
   - The 2010 Cancun Classic Mathieu is back, folks. We knew you could do it, Kaitlyn.

Others (averaging at least 10 ppg while playing at least half their team's games): Isis Thorpe, VCU 13.6; Ataira Franklin, Virginia 12.9; Toia Giggetts, JMU 12.6; Sandra Ngoie, George Mason 12.6; Jazmen Boone, William and Mary 12.3; Genevieve Okoro, Richmond 12.1; Ayana Avery, Radford 11.9; Kyla Kerstetter, William and Mary 11.9; Ebony Brown, Norfolk State 11.8; Marlena Tremba, William and Mary 11.8; Rachel Gordon, Norfolk State 11.6; Liv Healy, Richmond 11.5; Faith Randolph, Virginia 11.4; Precious Hall, JMU 11.3; Vanessa Panousis, Virginia Tech 11.4; Keira Robinson, VCU 11.1; Sarah Imovbioh, Virginia 10.7; Jessica Pellechio, VCU 10.6.


1. Rachel Gordon, Norfolk State                   10    135   13.5
   - The rebounding average is a career high, but so are her points per game (11.6) and field goal percentage (55.1) numbers.

2. Shae Kelley, Old Dominion                       11    125   11.4

2. Uju Ugoka, Virginia Tech                          11    125   11.4

4. Ashley Rininger, Liberty                          10   104    10.4

5. Janaa Pickard, George Mason                 11   111    10.1

6. Robyn Parks, VCU                                   11   110    10.0

7. Alyssa Bennett, Hampton                         12   114    9.5

8. Genevieve Okoro, Richmond                   12   101    8.4

9. Brielle Ward, Hampton                            12    97    8.1

10. Kirby Burkholder, JMU                         11   88     8.0

10. Sarah Imovbioh, Virginia                        11   88     8.0

10. Kaitlyn Mathieu, William and Mary        9   72     8.0

Others (at least 5 rpg while appearing in at least half their team's games): Hannah Young, Virginia Tech 7.6; Liv Healy, Richmond 7.6; Talisha Watts, George Mason 7.6; Katelyn Adams, Liberty 7.4; Taijah Campbell, Virginia Tech 7.3; Ayana Avery, Radford 7.1; Khalilah Ali, Longwood 7.0; Sandra Ngoie, George Mason 6.5; Daeisha Brown, Longwood 6.3; Toia Giggetts, JMU 6.2; Jordynn Gaymon, Radford 6.0; , Hampton 5.9; Catherine Kearney, Liberty 5.8; Monet Tellier, Virginia Tech 5.8; Chelisa Painter, Old Dominion 5.5 Rachael Ross, Radford 5.5; Malia Tate-DeFreitas, Hampton 5.2.


1. Keira Robinson, VCU                               11   67    6.1
   - Third-highest average nationally among Division I freshmen. Has dished out eight assists in three straight games.

2. Nicole Hamilton, Hampton                       12   65    5.4

3. Taylor Brown, George Mason                  11   58   5.3

4. Monet Tellier, Virginia Tech                    10   47    4.7

5. Sadalia Ellis, Liberty                                10   44    4.4

6. Vanessa Panousis, Virginia Tech              11   47    4.3

7. Angela Mickens, JMU                              11   43    3.9

8. Rae Corbo, Norfolk State                         10   37    3.7

8. Emily Frazier, Liberty                              10   37   3.7

10. Kelsey Wolfe, Virginia                             11   36    3.3

11. Galaisha Goodhope, Old Dominion        11   33   3.0

11. Shae Kelley, Old Dominion                     11  33   3.0

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Ho, ho holiday traditions from ODU, William and Mary

Wishing all our coaches, players and readers a wonderful Christmas. We thank the folks from Old Dominion and William and Mary who took the time to share some of their favorite holiday traditions with us.

"I'm going to Busch Gardens with the kids. I'm looking forward to taking part in the Williamsburg festivities."
    -- William and Mary Coach Ed Swanson on his newest holiday tradition

"We have a gift exchange, and it's really competitive in my family. If we see a gift we like, we're going to go for it. "
     -- ODU's Destinee Young

"The food, definitely, because on Christmas we cook the same thing that we cook at Thanksgiving, only it's more. (Her fave?) Mashed potatoes!"
      -- ODU's Shae Kelley

"I love to sing. I like classic hip hop and to sing. I think probably being with my mom and dad and the nephews and nieces and singing songs and making them laugh. I like Elvis Presley's "Blue Christmas," and I love "Joy to the World" because my mom's name is Joy. It's always fun games on Christmas Eve, and I'm the big kid out of all of them."
     -- ODU Coach Karen Barefoot

"We do a Secret Santa ($40 limit) and on Christmas Eve the entire family gets together and hands out the gifts we got each other. But the greatest gift is actually being with your family on Christmas Day. It''s really hard when you're an athlete because you don't get to see your family that often. Actually having time off from being an athlete and spending time with your family is the best Christmas present you can get."
    -- William and Mary's Jazmen Boone

"Whether it's "Jingle Bells" or "White Christmas," I always bring my guitar out for Christmas and play with my boys."
    -- ODU assistant Trina Patterson

"I'm looking forward to my grandparents coming down to visit every year, and sometimes, my grandma from Hong Kong comes over and we get to spend time with her. And my birthday's actually the 22nd so we have a big dinner for my birthday." Doesn't it kind of stink having a birthday so close to Christmas? "People think that, but actually, it's like I get double."
    -- William and Mary's Marlena Tremba

"Not home this year but when she is, ODU's Becca Allison says, "We always drive out to my grandparents house. We have turkey, ham and what's that Christmas pudding called? You put whiskey on it and light it on fire? We do that every year."
   --ODU's Becca Allison

"We have Secret Santa, so we pick a name." (In the interest of her recipient being a LadySwish reader, we must stop there, but it's a great gift!)
   -- ODU's Galaisha Goodhope

"Seeing my family is one of my best parts. Christmas Eve is the big thing, because I have to fly back on Christmas day. I make baklava with my grandmother every year for Christmas. We're not Greek; we're French and English, but it's really good!"
 -- William and Mary's Kaitlyn Mathieu

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Twas the Night Before Christmas by LadySwish

Twas the night
Before Christmas
When all though the state
Not a player was stirring
Not even HU's Malia Tate.

The basketballs sat
By the hoop with care
Waiting for Kirby Burkholder
To soon be there.

Lexie Gerson and Kaitlyn Mathieu were nestled
Each safe in her beds
While visions of winning the Cavalier Classic and Cyclone Challenge
Danced in their heads.

And Uju Ugoka and Rachel Gordon
Gave rebounding a rest
Awaiting a conference season
That is sure to be the best.

When out on the court
There arose such a clatter
That Carey Green removed his stocking cap
And shouted, "What's the matter?"

Over near the rim
Oh, what a sight!
There was Karen Barefoot
Singing "Blue Christmas" this night.

When what
To my wandering eyes should appear
But a miniature sleigh
And eight tiny reindeer.

With a little ol driver
With a couple of sticks
Was that Santa Claus?
Or was it David Six?

More rapid than dribblers
Driving down the lane
As he whistled
And shouted
And called
Them by name.

Now Camille!
Now Isis!
Now all you young Rams
It's time for the holidays
Stop being such hams!

To the top
Of the key
To the top
How they roared
Now dash away
When going for the board!

So up
To the housetop
The courses
They flew
With a sleigh
Full of toys
And Heather Tobeck, too.

And then
In a twinkle
I heard on the floor
Gen Okoro leaping up
To greet Santa at the door.

He was dressed
All in red
A bundle of toys on his back
I know one for Taylor Brown
Must be in that sack.

His eyes - how they sparkled
His cheeks full of good looks
It's Santa indeed
Played by Kenny Brooks.

A wink of his eye
And a suit as brilliant as fire
No, wait that's not Kenny
It's Mike McGuire.

He sprang to his sleigh
to his team gave a whistle
Away they all sprinted
Like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim
With one last wish
Merry Christmas to all
from LadySwish!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Team Emily: UConn would be no match

UConn would have no chance against this team. The Old Dominion Lady Monarchs are on it, including coach Karen Barefoot. So is Carrollton Fire and Rescue, Portsmouth Firestation 1 C, Sentara College of Health Sciences and U.S. Olympic gymnast Jake Dalton. Ditto for Girl Scout Troop 517, the Western Branch Bandits, Geico Claims Liability School, the U.S. Marines 3rd Intelligence Battalion Okinawa, Mrs. Baiza's class at Chittum Elementary….

Team Emily.

Add LadySwish to the list, too.

We're on board to show our support for 9-year-old Emily Friar, who idolizes the teen band One Direction and has only recently grown tall enough to ride the Loch Ness Monster at Busch Gardens. She's crazy about her American Girl dolls -- she's got two identical twins -- and four of them stare back at you in her room. It's a room full of craft supplies, puzzles, board games, stuffed toys, snow globes and recently added, an ODU basketball hoop.

Lady Monarchs

This room is on the eighth floor of Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters in Norfolk. It's home for Emily, who has been there since the Monday after Thanksgiving and where she will spend her second straight Christmas instead of at home with her mom, Kelly, her dad, Terry, and her 5-year-old sister, Caitlyn.

Only it's not home. It's leukemia. It's cancer, a word mom Kelly Friar refused to say to Emily until one day Emily asked, "Is it cancer?" Kelly, who just lost her 42-year-old sister Tracy to breast cancer in September 2012, won't google acute myeloid leukemia (AML), either. She can't read about statistics and odds and data. This isn't a numbers game. This is Emily.

Chittum Elementary bus drivers

AML is when too many white blood cells turn cancerous and multiply when they shouldn't. The abnormal white blood cells interfere with the body's ability to function. It's the rarest form of leukemia among children. Emily has it.

A little more than a year ago, Emily got a fever and then another and another. The first trips to Patient First and then another doc resulted in an answer that most moms accept with a grain of salt -- it's viral and will run its course. Then Emily's temperature spiked to 103, and the abdominal pain was excruciating. Kelly didn't waste any more time with doctors offices and headed for CHKD. When mono was mentioned, Kelly groaned at the prospect of the long recovery time.

Kelly  had been dealing with the ER doctor when he told her mono was ruled out. He said he was going to bring an oncologist into the room.

Terry was outside the door with Caitlyn. "You need to get in here now," she told him.
Mrs. Baiza's class at Chittum.

A few hours later, a bone marrow test confirmed that Emily Friar, 8, had leukemia. It was Dec. 13, 2012. A day later her central line was put in and the chemo started on Dec. 15. Treatment time was four months. That's 20-plus days in the hospital, then roughly five days at home before the cycle was repeated.

The treatment seemed to do its job. Emily came home in April and returned to third grade at Chittum Elementary in Chesapeake. "She was leukemia-free, or so we thought," Kelly says.

Monthly, she had checkups. The lab results had been good until November. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Kelly and Terry learned Emily had relapsed.

"That means I'm going to be in there for Christmas again," Emily said when told the news.

In medical terms, the news means different and more aggressive chemo -- three different kinds in all -- and again lowering Emily's immunity to zero as chemo kills the good cells along with the bad. That's why everyone who enters sanitizes hands immediately and why Emily's bedsheets are changed every day and why her time in the CHKD playtime is without other kids and why she wears a mask covering her mouth any time she leaves that hospital room. Always in tow with her, too -- a clunky IV pole far taller than she.

A bone marrow transplant appears inevitable and would likely be done at Duke University, but Kelly and Terry and Emily aren't there yet, so talking too much about an uncertain future is overwhelming.

All of this continues to overwhelm a family that saw none of it coming. Terry and Kelly, both agents for Geico, were enjoying their careers along with the girls, a pair of giddy sisters who one-up each other often, bicker on occasion but love each other to pieces.

From Okinawa

"You don't know the words," Emily says as Caitlyn tries to sing "Joy to the World" along with a DVD playing in the portable player. Both are sitting on Grandma Paula's lap in the eighth-floor room.

"I can hum," says Caitlyn, angling to thumb-wrestle anyone who comes into the room.

Emily continues to sing.

"Up on the house top, click, click, click...."

Kelly no longer works at Geico; Terry is taking family leave. Neither has hair. Kelly shaved hers as did Paula; Terry didn't have much before and has none now. One parent or the other is in the room 24/7, though Paula is a huge help, visiting from Ohio. Kelly points to the two pillows on the pullout couch that don't look terribly comfortable, though she's not about to complain.

This room, these four walls that often feel as if they are closing in, is home, only it's not.

So enter Team Emily, an idea that started from the father of one of Emily's classmates. Somehow it caught on and now in addition to shirts and bumper stickers with the logo, there is a Facebook page that recently surpassed 4,100 followers, many of them groups holding up signs of good wishes followed by #TeamEmily. Initially Barefoot donated a signed ball, but that was only the tip. Emily has visited ODU's locker room and the Lady Monarchs have visited her hospital room. Emily has cheered for them; the Lady Monarchs clap for her.

"I wear the green bracelet Emily made me every day," says Barefoot, who learned of Emily through her former volunteer assistant, Sara Jones, who died earlier this year of cancer at age 40. A special seat in the Constant Center is for Emily during home games.

US Olympic gymnast Jake Dalton
Team Emily continues to mushroom to proportions the Friars never imagined. Emily gets a kick out of visiting the page and seeing the photos, well wishes and level of support from groups she's never heard of much less met. Packages come regularly in the mail -- so much so that Terry has taken to sending some to Caitlyn so she doesn't feel excluded.

"Where was that package she just got from?" Kelly asks.

Terry thinks for a moment. "Cypress."

Terry and Kelly are grateful for the support. When they think about what gets them through, they list each other, family, friends, Team Emily, the Western Branch community but mainly it's Emily -- a little girl so shy it's hard to get her to meet the gaze of a newcomer; a little girl in a One Direction robe, monkey slippers and a green knit cap to cover her baldness; a little girl who has a tabby named Samson and a guinea pig named Goldie she misses; a little girl whose story inspires so many…..

Mrs. Elswick's class at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, the bus drivers at Chittum, the United States Coast Guard, Girl Scout Troop 123 ….

Team Emily. Are you on board?

CEO of Team Emily

Show your support for Emily by liking her page here.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Remembering Arthur Lovisi

I didn't know Arthur was sick. A few hours ago I found out he was being moved off life support and yes, he has passed.

Arthur Lovisi, devoted Lady Monarch fan.

Arthur and I rarely agreed about anything politically, and often we didn't see eye-to-eye basketball wise. But it's hard to find a more devout fan of ODU. He was always at the Constant Center in his familiar perch. He bled blue whether the coach was Wendy Larry or Karen Barefoot.

Arthur lost his daughter, Christina, in 2006 when a deer struck her car. He loved that girl and kept her memory alive through the years. I can only hope they have been reunited.

Rest in peace, Arthur Lovisi. You will be missed by many and forgotten by none.

Liberty's Frazees in little town of Bethlehem

From left, Megan, Molly and Moriah Frazee.

How perfect that the Liberty's Frazee triplets visited Bethlehem the week before Christmas. Molly and Mariah are visiting Megan, who continues to play for Ramat HaSharon (check out Megan's blog here). Molly and Moriah have just completed their first semester of nurse practitioner school at Cedarville University.

"So far we have gone to Bethlehem and Jerusalem," Megan says. "We plan on checking out the Dead Sea and hopefully going up north to the Sea of Galilee. The best part of all is being able to spend time with one another and catch up."

We wish them all a blessed holiday.

Catching up with former teammate Tolu Omotola.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Ciao! from W&M's Correal, now an Italian citizen

William and Mary graduate Emily Correal is playing her first season of international basketball in Italy with Fila San Martino. She is blogging for LadySwish.

I can't believe that my season is almost half way over. We have two more teams to play, and then it's time for Christmas break. I am so excited I get to go home and spend time with my family over the holiday.
The last time I blogged I was simply an American, but now I am also an Italian citizen! Getting my Italian passport was the end of a process that started in the summer. Since my great grandparents were Italians who never naturalized in America, the citizenship passed down to me. My dad and my agent worked together to get all the necessary papers and all their hard work paid off, because I was invited to train with the Italian national team.

I spent three days in November and three days this month with the national team. It was a great experience. I got to know the players and coaches and learned some of their system. This summer if they would like me to play with them they will call me and I will play and hopefully help them qualify for the Euro League championships.
My team, Fila San Martino, has had some difficulties winning in the first half of the season with one of our foreign players injured, but we have been working hard to overcome the loss, and I think we will win more games in the second half of the season.Individually things are going well. I am in the league top ten for scoring and rebounds, averaging a double-double. Against a good Cagliari team featuring Atlantic 10 player of the year Jennifer Hailey, I scored 35 points with 8 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals. This is a challenging league with many good American post players. I enjoy it very much.
Buon Natale e felice anno nuovo!

Friday, December 13, 2013

JMU preps for St. John's tourney

For JMU, the next five days are filled with opportunity and possibilities.

The Dukes (6-2) will play three games over this span, with two of them coming against resume-enhancing opponents. If successful, JMU can brand itself as not just a team good enough to make the NCAA Tournament, but one capable of making some noise once they get there. And trust us, perception is important when it comes to the NCAA selection committee.

It all starts Saturday at 2:30 p.m. when the Dukes take on Prairie View in the opening round of the sixth annual Chartwells Holiday Classic at St. John's. On Sunday, JMU will face the Big East-based host school at 2 p.m. Both games air on ESPN3.

And on Wednesday, it'll be the Dukes doing the hosting against Southeastern Conference power Vanderbilt.

Of course, the Dukes will be focused only on today's game. But the rest of us can take a peek at where all this might be headed. And for NCAA at-large and seeding purposes, JMU needs to pile up as many victories over major conference opponents as it can. That's why we were thrilled when we saw JMU's non-conference schedule was littered with power conference foes. Because beating these teams isn't just a good way to impress the selection committee. It's the only way.

We won't bore you with the numbers - you can e-mail us for them if you'd like - but we examined every non-power conference team that's received an NCAA at-large bid over the past five years. Simply put, you're not getting invited without at least one victory over a quality opponent from the SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 or Pac-12. Now it's possible to post such a victory and still not get invited. But without one - at least one - you have no chance.

 Remember a couple of years ago, when JMU had a better record, better RPI, better everything than Middle Tennessee State, plus a win over the Blue Raiders, and MTSU still got an NCAA invite when the Dukes were relegated to the WNIT? Well, Middle Tennessee had a win over powerhouse Kentucky. JMU had no such comparable win. That's what the committee focused in on.

In short, the Dukes can pile up all the non-power conference victories they want. Heck, they can can even go undefeated in the CAA regular season, the way Florida Gulf Coast did last year in the Atlantic Sun. Based on recent history, it won't matter to the NCAA selection types.

You see, the unfortunate perception not just within the committee but among fans, media types and even coaches who hang the second-class "mid-major" label around their own necks is that even halfway-decent teams from the Pac-12, SEC, Big Ten, Big 12 and ACC are inherently better than everyone else. So if you're part of that "everyone else," unless you can document success over one of more of the big money conference teams, you're not getting the benefit of the doubt - from virtually anyone.

Fortunately for the Dukes, with wins already over Virginia and UCLA, they've already started building their case (JMU has also beaten new ACC member Pittsburgh, although based on recent history that win might not meet the "quality" standard). Now neither the Cavaliers nor the Bruins has hit stride yet. But if both teams play to their capabilities, those wins should look a lot better come March.

Instead of banking on that, though, the Dukes have a chance to chop down some more heavyweights.
Now the Big East ain't what it used to be, but St. John's still looks like a Top-50 team, at least. Vanderbilt is a perennial force in the SEC. And on Jan. 2, the Dukes will close out non-conference play with the toughest assignment of them all, a trip to North Carolina.

For now, though, this stuff is for us to talk about - the Dukes need to be locked in on Saturday's date with Prairie View. Assuming they are, they don't figure to have too many problems. While Prairie View has won the last three SWAC Tournament titles, the Lady Panthers have stumbled to an 0-6 start this year under interim coach Dawn Brown (former head coach Toyelle Wilson resigned over the summer to become an assistant at Baylor).

So far this year the Lady Panthers have struggled offensively (the team has yet to have more than one player finish in double figures scoring in any game); defensively (teams shoot 46.3 percent against Prairie View, a figure that ranks 332rd in Division I); and in rebounding (the Lady Panthers average a minus-12 on the boards and will be facing a JMU team that's at plus-11.2).

Other than that, Prairie View should be OK. Look anything can happen after tipoff. But if the Dukes play anywhere near their normal level, the Lady Panthers are in deep doo-doo.

St. John's (5-2) poses a much greater challenge, particularly at home where the Red Storm is 4-0. The team also has a big-time baller in sophomore guard Aliyyah Handford, who is averaging 23.4 points per game (13th in Division I)  on eye-popping 58.5 percent shooting (from a 5-9 guard?).

But hey, games like these aren't supposed to be easy. Neither is getting the selection committee's attention. But the Dukes are off to a great start.

Let's see how many more heads they can turn.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Virginia's finest - Division I players from the Commonwealth

Former Lake Taylor star Feyonda Fitzgerald
After compiling this list of all the players from Virginia high schools currently playing Division I ball, we'll just say this - if the recent hoopster graduates from Princess Anne and Lake Taylor ever decide to square off in a pick-up game, just tell us when and where. We definitely wouldn't want to miss that.

If you know of anyone we've missed, pass it along to

Princess Anne (7)

Jazmen Boone, 5-8 Jr. G, William and Mary (1-6)
   - Has started all seven games, is averaging 11.1 ppg and has scored a career-high 24 in each of her last two contests (UMass, La Salle).

Galaisha Goodhope, 5-5 Soph. G, Old Dominion (5-4)
   - The high-motor G.G. has started eight of nine games. Averaging 8.1 ppg and has a team-high 29 assists.

Bria Powell
Bria Powell, 5-9 Soph. G, Richmond (4-5)
   - has started all nine games and is averaging 4.4 ppg.

Elizabeth Williams, 6-3 Jr. F/C, Duke (10-0)
   - Two-time All-American averages 13.8 points and 6.0 rebounds while blocking a team-high 28 shots. By the way, her parents throw a mean party.

Samisha Powell, 5-8 Sr. G, Georgetown (6-3)
   - Has started all 9 games and is averaging 7.4 points and a team-best 4.3 assists.

Aisha Foy, 5-6 Soph. G, Radford (2-6)
   - Has started all eight games and is averaging 7.9 ppg. Scored a season-high 15 points Saturday at Liberty.

Amanda Andrades, 5-3 Jr. G, Fairleigh Dickinson (1-7)
   - Has started seven games and averages 7.6 points and a team-best 4.0 assists.

Lake Taylor (7)

Toia Giggetts, 6-0 Jr. F, JMU (6-2)
   - Reigning Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Week is coming off a career-high 23-point performance at Pitt. Is averaging 11.8 points and 5.5 rebounds and has started four of the Dukes' eight games.

Feyonda Fitzgerald, 5-7 Fr. G, Temple (4-2)
   - Two-time American Athletic Conference Freshman of the Week winner started her first six games and leads the Owls in scoring at 14.8 ppg. Also averages 3.8 assists per game.

Linda Stepney, 5-7 Jr. G, West Virginia (7-1)
   - Has started all eight games and leads her team in assists (27). Also averages 4.8 ppg.

Crystal Leary, 6-2 Jr. F, West Virginia (7-1)
   - Has appeared in all eight games and ranks second among Mountaineers in rebounding (6.4 rpg). Also averages 5.4 ppg.

Tasia Majors, 5-6 Sr. G, Howard (3-6)
   - Has appeared in five games with one start but has logged just nine minutes this season.

Breshara Gordon, 5-6 Sr. G, Radford (2-6)
   - Has battled back from a second ACL injury in three years to start five of the Highlanders' eight games. Is averaging 7.4 points and has dished out a team-high 23 assists.

Jordan Mitchell-Harmel, 5-9 Fr. F, Grambling (2-5)
   - Has appeared in her team's first six games and averages 6.7 points and 4.8 rebounds in 16.2 minutes per contest.

Potomac (6)

Kyana Jacobs, 5-8 Sr. G, George Mason (5-5)
   - Has started all 10 games and is averaging 4.5 points and 3.4 rebounds.

Amber Porter, 6-3 Fr. F/C, Stetson (5-4)
   - Reigning Atlantic Sun Newcomer of the Week started eight of nine games and is averaging 12.7 points and 7.4 rebounds and ranks second in the A-Sun with 33 blocks.

Shianne Goodwin, 6-3 Soph. C, Furman (5-5)
   - Has appeared in seven games with one start. Is averaging 5.6 ppg and 2.3 rpg.

Te'Shya Heslip, 5-5 Soph. G, Howard (3-6)
   - Has started seven of nine games and leads the Bison in scoring (14.2 ppg), rebounding (4.8 rpg), assists (3.8 apg) and steals (2.8 spg).

Danielle Robinson, 5-10 Fr. G, Morgan State (1-6)
   - Has appeared in all seven games with two starts and is averaging 5.0 ppg.

Grace Dewey, 6-2 Fr. F, Delaware (5-1)
 -Holds the single-season block record at Potomac with 68 in 11 games; has yet to appear in a Blue Hens game.

Oakton (5)

Elizabeth Manner, 6-1 Fr. F, Stony Brook (6-3)
   - Has appeared in seven games (9.1 minutes per) and is averaging 2.9 points and 1.9 rebounds.

Zora Stephenson
Zora Stephenson, 5-10 Jr. G, Elon (2-5)
   - Has started all seven games and leads Elon in scoring (13.3 ppg).

Caroline Coyer, 5-10 Soph. G, Villanova (7-1)
   - Has started four of eight games and is averaging 10.4 points and 4.8 rebounds. Is also tied for the team high with 35 assists.

Katherine Coyer, 5-11 Soph. G, Villanova (7-1)
   - Has appeared in all eight games with one start and is averaging 5.8 points.

Danielle Davis, 5-8 Soph. G, New Orleans (0-7)
   - Central Connecticut State transfer has started all seven games and averages 6.3 ppg (which, unfortunately, is the second-highest figure for the winless Privateers) and has a team-leading 11 steals.

Stonewall Jackson (4)

Joy Caracciolo
Kyani White, 5-6 Jr. G, East Carolina (7-0)
   - Appeared in three games and averaged 5.7 ppg. Is currently suspended indefinitely due to a violation of university policy.

Joy Caracciolo, 6-1 Soph. F, Delaware (6-1)
   - Has appeared in all seven games with two starts. Is averaging 8.3 points and 7.6 rebounds.

Ryan Jordan, 6-0 Soph. G/F, Hampton (7-3)
   - Started five of 10 games (22.6 minutes per) and averages 6.0 points and 4.8 rebounds.

Amanda Hinton, 5-7 Fr. G, Bryant (3-6)
   - Has yet to appear in a game this season.

Osbourn Park (4)

Alexis Carter, 5-8 Soph. G, Hofstra (4-4)
   - Has started all eight games and averages 2.3 points and 2.6 rebounds.

Destiny Shearin, 5-11 Jr. G, Towson (4-5)
   - Is on the team but will not play this season. From the Towson website: "Junior Destiny Shearin returns to the Tigers this season but in a player-coach role. The medical injury that cost Shearin the final 19 games last season will also keep her sidelined this season."

Kelly Hamner, 5-9 Sr. G, Holy Cross (6-1)
   - Appeared in six games (14.8 minutes per) and averages 2.3 points and 2.0 rebounds. Sister of former JMU star Courtney Hamner.

Rachel Gordon, 6-0 Sr. F, Norfolk State (3-5)
   - A three-time MEAC Defensive Player of the Week selection and the Division I rebounding leader at 14.6 rpg.

Hampton (4)

Alyssa Bennett, 6-2 Sr. G/F, Hampton (7-3)
   - All-world defender proving she knows a bit about gettin' buckets, too, as she checks in with a team-leading 17.8 points through 10 games.

Quineshia Leonard, 6-1 Jr. C, Norfolk State (3-5)
   - Has started seven of eight games and is averaging 9.5 points and 5.6 rebounds.

Debbie Smith, 5-10 Jr. G, North Carolina A&T (6-1)
   - Ex-JMU Duke has appeared in seven games with one start. Averaging 5.1 points and 4.1 assists.

Qua Brown, 6-1 Fr. F, Campbell (5-2)
   - Appeared in three games; 12 minutes total.

Stafford (3)

Merritt Hempe
Marquel Davis, 5-9 Sr. G, Pittsburgh (5-4)
   - Appeared in five games (11.4 minutes per) and is averaging 3.2 rebounds and 1.6 points.

Merritt Hempe, 6-2 Soph. F, Georgia (8-0)
   - Started seven of eight games and is averaging 6.0 points and 4.4 rebounds.

Taysia Gray, 5-8 Soph. G, Weber State (4-4)
   - Had six points and eight rebounds in Weber State's first game but has not played since. By the way, Gray was born in Utah, where Weber State is located, and still has family that resides there.

Highland Springs (3)

Kermisha Clark, 5-7 Fr. G, Radford (2-6)
   - Has appeared in six games with three starts and is averaging 7.7 ppg. Is also shooting 50 percent from 3-point range (7-of-14).

De'June Robinson, 5-5 Fr. G, Radford (2-6)
   - Has appeared in seven games. Is averaging 2.3 points and 2.4 rebounds in 10.4 minutes per.

Kyra Coleman, 5-10 Sr. F, Coppin State (4-4)
   - Has started all eight games (33.6 minutes per) and averages a team-leading 16.1 ppg.

Thomas Dale (3)

Alyssa Frye, 5-8 Sr. G, Charleston (4-3)
   - Started all seven games and averages a team-leading 14.1 ppg.

Ka'lia Johnson, 5-10 Jr. G/F, Duke (10-0)
   - Appeared in two games; 12 minutes total.

Shawnee Sweeney, 5-7 Jr. G, Maryland-Eastern Shore (3-5)
   - Started seven of eight games and ranks second on the team in scoring at 11.9 ppg.

Woodside (3)

Alecia Bell, 6-0 Soph. G, Delaware (6-1)
   - Has appeared in six of the seven games with two starts. Averaging 1.3 points and 2.2 rebounds in 15.3 minutes per.

Adrienne Motley, 5-9 Fr. G, Miami (5-3)
   - Has started all eight games, is averaging 5.8 ppg and has a team-leading 20 assists.

Aianna Kelly, 5-8 Fr. G, Presbyterian (1-7)
   - Has started four of eight games (21.3 minutes per) and averages 3.9 points and 3.5 rebounds.

Paul VI (3)

Kasey Curtis, 6-2 Fr. F, William and Mary (1-6)
   - Appeared in all seven games with two starts. Ranks fifth on the team in steals (7).

Marlena Tremba, 5-9 Fr. G, William and Mary (1-6)
   - Appeared in all seven games with 2 starts. Second on the team in scoring (12.9 ppg) and tops in assists (3.0) and 3-pointers per game (2.0).

Blair Koniszewski, 5-11 Soph. F, Sacred Heart (2-6)
   - Has not played this season due to injury.

Miller School (3)

Kelsey Corcoran, 6-2 Jr. F/C, Georgia Southern (2-7)
   - Has appeared in just two games, nine minutes total, but has made both of her field goal attempts, grabbed three rebounds and recorded a steal in her brief stints. Hey, coach, how 'bout giving Kelsey a little more run?

Ashleigh Claybrooks, 6-0 Soph. F, Maryland-Eastern Shore (3-5)
   - Started three of eight games (18.8 minutes per) and is averaging 7.9 points and 7.0 rebounds.

Whitney Martin, 5-9 Fr. G, North Carolina A&T (6-1)
   - Appeared in two games; 11 minutes total.

W.T. Woodson (2)

Melissa Gallo, 5-10 Sr. G, Boston University (3-7)
   - Has appeared in seven games and is averaging 3.9 ppg.

Keara Finnerty, 5-9 Fr. G, Stetson (5-4)
   - Has yet to appear in a game.

Fairfax (2)

Liz McNaughton, 6-0 Soph. G/F, UMBC (1-8)
   - Has started seven of nine games and is averaging 4.7 ppg.

Lauren Burford, 6-0 Jr. F, Villanova (7-1)
   - Has started all eight games and is second on the team in scoring at 10.8 ppg.

Liz Wood

Liberty (2)

Liz Wood, 5-10 Soph. F, Maine (5-4)
   - A notorious statsheet stuffer in high school, Wood has started all nine games and is averaging 12.1 points while leading the team in rebounding (7.6 rpg) and assists (3.8 apg). In other words, she's doing it again.

Jazmon Gwathmey, 6-2 Soph. G, JMU (6-2)
   - Has started seven of eight games and is averaging 7.6 ppg and 4.5 rpg. Is also shooting 90.5 percent (19 of 21) from the free throw line. By the way, JMU players rank 1-2-3 in the CAA in free throw percentage: 1. Gwathmey; 2. Toia Giggetts 90.0 percent; 3. Kirby Burkholder 88.1 percent.

Forest Park (2)

Danni Jackson, 5-3 Sr. G, George Washington (5-4)
   - Has started all nine games and is averaging 10.1 points and a team-high 4.4 assists.

Breyana Mason, 5-8 Fr. G, Virginia (3-5)
   - Has appeared in seven of eight games (15.4 minutes per) and is averaging 3.7 ppg.

Norfolk Christian (2)

Lefty (Danielle) Webster, 5-8 Fr. G, Charlotte (4-5)
   - Appeared in all nine games - 14.4 minutes per - and is averaging 5.6 ppg and 3.1 rpg. By the way, how come no one ever goes by the nickname "Righty?"

Latrice Hunter, 5-5 Fr. G, William and Mary (1-6)
   - Appeared in all seven games. Averaging 3.6 ppg. Has attempted just 14 shots but has made nine of them for a robust 64.3 field goal percentage. (Memo to Latrice - take more shots!).

Western Branch (2)

Da'Lishia Griffin, 6-2 Fr. F, JMU (6-2)
   - Has appeared in three games (5.7 minutes per) and has made the only shot she's attempted.

 Shanese Harris, 5-9 Fr. G, UNC Greensboro (4-4)
   - Has started six of eight games and is averaging 5.3 ppg.

Turner Ashby (2)

Kirby Burkholder, 6-0 Sr. G, JMU (6-2)
   - Two-time All-CAA selection and the conference's preseason player of the year leads the Dukes in scoring (18.4 ppg) and rebounding (8.5 rpg). Question for Dukes coach Kenny Brooks - have you ever had a player improve as dramatically in each year of her four-year cycle as this young lady? Has anyone?

Nikki Newman, 6-2 Sr. F, JMU (6-2)
   - Former CAA Defensive Player of the Year is averaging 4.9 points (with a team-best 53.6 field goal percentage) and 4.4 rebounds.

Cape Henry (2)

Alexis Smith, 5-8 Fr. G, Binghamton (1-8)
   - Has yet to appear in a game.

Ashanti Kennedy, 5-8 Fr. F, Navy (7-3)
   - Has appeared in three games, 19 minutes total, during which she's made two of her three field goal attempts and five of eight free throws.

Cosby (3)

Kelsey Conyers, 5-9 Jr. G, Virginia Tech (7-2)
   - Has appeared in three games, 12 minutes total, made one 3-pointer and grabbed a pair of rebounds.

Adriane Vaughan, 5-8 Fr. G, East Tennessee State (2-5)
   - Appeared in five games - 5.8  minutes per - and is 2 for 3 from the field and 5 of 6 from the free throw line.

Becca Wann, 5-10 Sr. G, Richmond
   - A soccer All-American and a preseason All-Atlantic 10 pick in basketball, Wann was forced to the sidelines in both sports after sustaining a concussion early in the soccer season.

Millbrook (2)

Courtni Green, 5-7 Soph. G, Delaware (6-1)
   - Has started all seven games, ranks second on the team in scoring (10.4 ppg) and adds 6.1 rebounds.

Sara Mead, 5-7 Soph. G, Columbia (1-9)
   - Has started four of 10 games and is averaging 2.7 points and 3.6 rebounds.

Flint Hill (2)

Alexandra Long, 5-10 Soph. G, Davidson (5-6)
   - Started six of 11 games and is averaging 2.8 ppg and 2.0 rpg.

Audrey Dotson, 6-1 Jr. F, Bucknell (4-5)
   - Has started all nine games and leads the team with 17.7 ppg and 8.1 rpg.

Appomattox Regional Governor's School (2)

Paris Brower, 5-10 Fr. F, Radford (2-6)
   - Has appeared in six games. Is averaging 2.2 rebounds and has made three of her six shots.

Roslyn Presley, 5-11 Sr. F, Campbell (5-2)
   - Started all seven games and ranks second on the team in scoring at 12.1 ppg.

Mount Vernon (2)

Kelly Loftus, 5-10 Fr. G, Hofstra (4-4)
   - Appeared in seven games (13.7 minutes per) and averages 3.6 points and 2.7 rebounds.

Tracy King, 5-10 Sr. F, North Carolina A&T (6-1)
   - Has started all seven games and shares the team lead in points (with VCU transfer Christina Carter) at 13.7 ppg. Also leads the team with 5.9 rpg and 25 steals.

Edison (2)

Ruth Sherrill, 6-0 Soph. F, Hofstra (4-4)
   - Has started seven of eight games (15.3 minutes per) and averages 6.8 points and 5.7 rebounds.

Myisha Goodwin-Coleman, 5-4 Sr. G, N.C. State (10-1)
   - Has started all 11 games and is averaging 8.3 ppg and shooting 39.7 percent from 3-point range (27 of 68).

Westfield (2)

Siobhan Beslow, 5-11 Soph. F, La Salle (3-4)
   - Started all seven games and is averaging 6.7 points and 6.9 rebounds.

Shelby Romine, 5-9 Sr. G, Bucknell (4-5)
   - Has started all nine games and is averaging 13.1 ppg and 5.4 rpg.

Patrick Henry (2)

Sarah Williams, 5-5 Jr. G, Texas Southern (4-3)
   - Has started all seven games and is averaging 6.4 points and a team-best 4.4 assists.

Miranda Smith, 5-9 Jr. G/F, Georgia State (4-6)
   - Started five of 10 games - 15.3 minutes per - and is averaging 4.0 points and 2.7 rebounds.

T.C. Williams (2)

Jasmine Norman, 5-7 Jr. G, Savannah State (3-5)
   - Has started five of eight games and is averaging 7.4 points and 4.5 rebounds.

Gaby Moss, 5-8 Soph. G, Georgia State (4-6)
   - Has started eight of 10 games - 21.1 minutes per - and is averaging 7.8 ppg.

Woodrow Wilson (2)

Monnazjea Finney-Smith, 6-1 Fr. G, VCU (7-1)
   - Has appeared in eight games, starting once, and is averaging 5.1 ppg.

Khalilah Ali, 6-0 Soph. G/F, Longwood (3-4)
   - Has started all seven games and is averaging 8.4 points and a team-leading 6.9 rebounds.

West Springfield (2)

Logan Battle, 6-2 Soph. G/F, Georgetown (6-3)
   - Has yet to appear in a game. Battle suffered a season-ending knee injury last January.

April Robinson, 5-8 Soph. G, Duquesne (7-3)
   - Has started all 10 games and is averaging 10.9 points and a team-leading 4.7 assists.

L.C. Bird (2)

Victoya Ricks, 6-1 Sr. F, Grambling (2-5)
   - Has started all six games, leads the team in rebounding (7.8 rpg) and ranks second in scoring (10.8 ppg).

Kelsey Cruz, 5-7 Soph. G, Fairleigh Dickinson (1-7)
   - Has appeared in six games with three starts. Ranks second on the team in scoring (12.3 ppg) and is 13-for-13 from the free throw line.

Monacan (2)

Candice Silas, 6-0 Jr. F, Elon (2-5)
   - Has yet to appear in a game. Is out indefinitely with a knee injury.

Raven Williams, 5-8 Soph. G, Longwood (3-4)
   - Began the season like gangbusters, averaging 14.0 points through three games, before being sidelined by a foot injury. Is expected back by the end of this month.


Samantha Mitchell, 5-7 Sr. G, JMU (6-2)
   - Has yet to appear in a game.


Sydney Henderson, 5-6 Sr. G, Mount St. Mary's (3-6)
   - Has started all nine games and is averaging a team-leading 18.1 ppg.


Talisha Watts, 6-2 Jr. F, George Mason (5-5)
   - Has started all 10 games and is averaging 8.2 points and 7.8 rebounds.


Shannon Mosby, 5-3 Fr. G, Longwood (3-4)
   - Has yet to appear in a game.


Erin Meador, 5-10 Jr. G, Navy (7-3)
   - Appeared in all 10 games - 10.8 minutes per - and is averaging 1.9 points and 2.7 rebounds.


Ronesia Spicer, 6-0 Fr. F, Norfolk State (3-5)
   - Has appeared in two games for a total of five minutes.

Clover Hill

Ryen Henry, 6-1 Sr. F, VCU (7-1)
   - Has appeared in eight games, starting once, and is averaging 3.3 rebounds.

Colonial Forge

Tanaysa Henderson, 5-9 Soph. F, Coppin State (4-4)
   - Has appeared in all eight games (8.3 minutes per) and averages 2.5 points and 1.5 rebounds.

Colonial Heights

Tracy Akers, 5-6 Soph. G, Richmond (4-5)
   - Has yet to appear in a game this season.


Breanna Jones, 6-0 Sr. F, Seton Hall (7-2)
   - Hampton University transfer has appeared in nine games with three starts in her third season with the Pirates. This season she's averaging 3.6 rebounds and 2.0 points.

Fort Chiswell

Nancy Thacker, 5-9 Jr. G, Western Carolina (5-3)
   - Has yet to appear in a game due to injury.


Kelsey Buchanan, 6-3 Sr. C, Delaware (6-1)
   - Has started all seven games and leads the Blue Hens (6-1) in scoring (16.7 ppg) and rebounding (8.7 rpg).


Kelly Hartwell, 5-10 Sr. F, Robert Morris (3-4)
   - Has appeared in all seven games with two starts. Is averaging 6.1 points and 4.4 rebounds.

George Mason

Stephanie Cheney, 6-0 Fr. F, Penn (4-2)
   - Has made the most of her 18 minutes played over five games by grabbing 10 rebounds and scoring seven points.


Nola Anderson, 5-9 Fr. G, Oakland (2-6)
   - Has appeared in all eight games with three starts. Is averaging 3.1 points and 3.0 rebounds.

Greensville County

Gabby Tyler, 6-2 Jr. F, Charlotte (4-5)
   - Has started all six game in which she's appeared and averaged 8.2 points and 6.0 rebounds.


Shannen Cochraham, 6-3 Jr. C, Elon (2-5)
   - Has appeared in six games with one start and is averaging 8.2 ppg.


Bria Harris, 5-11 Jr. F, Coppin State (4-4)
   - Has started all eight games and is averaging 6.8 points and 3.9 rebounds.


Kiana Brown, 5-7 Fr. G, Fairleigh Dickinson (1-7)
   - Has appeared in six games with one start. Is averaging 3.0 points in 10.7 minutes per game.


Deborah Headen, 5-9 Soph. G, Longwood (3-4)
   - Has appeared in five games with three starts. Is averaging 5.0 ppg and has 12 assists against just four turnovers.

Hidden Valley

Abby Redick, 6-1 Sr. G/F, Drexel (2-5)
   - Fifth-year senior, Virginia Tech transfer and sister of NBA sharpshooter J.J. Redick has appeared in all seven games with five starts for the reigning WNIT champs. Is averaging 4.9 ppg and has dished out 20 assists.


Daiesha Brown, 5-3 Soph. G, Longwood (3-4)
   - Has started all seven games - at 32.1 minutes per - and is averaging 18.0 points on 45.8 percent shooting, 5.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.6 steals.

Indian River

Chelisa Painter, 6-1 Jr. F, Old Dominion (5-4)
   - George Washington transfer has started all nine games for the Lady Monarchs and is averaging 7.6 points and 5.6 rebounds.

James Madison

Megan LeDuc, 5-6 Fr. G, Cornell (5-4)
   - Has appeared in all nine games - 12.4 minutes per contest - and is averaging 3.2 ppg.

James Monroe

Keyontae Williams, 5-9 So. G/F, Albany (8-0)
   - Has appeared in six games - 8.7 minutes per contest - and has scored 11 points and hauled down seven rebounds.

Lake Braddock

Natalie Butler, 6-5 Fr. C, Georgetown (6-3)
   - Has started all nine games and leads the Hoyas in scoring (15.8 ppg, on 50 percent shooting) and rebounding (12.1 rpg).


Andrea White, 6-0 Sr. F, Georgetown (6-3)
   - Has started all nine games and ranks second on the Hoyas in scoring (14.9 ppg) and rebounding (8.4). Scored a career-high 28 points and added 12 rebounds in Tuesday's 66-65 victory over Yale.


Kristen Kody, 5-10 Sr. G, Penn (4-2)
   - Has not appeared in a game as she suffered a torn ACL in the team's final preseason scrimmage.

Liberty Christian

Raven Jefferson, 5-8 Fr. G, USC-Upstate (4-5)
   - Has started seven of nine games and is averaging 4.0 ppg.

Loudon County

Casey Cummings, 6-1 Soph. F, St. Francis N.Y. (7-2)
   - Has appeared in one game for three minutes. Had two rebounds, though.


Rachel Matthews, 6-1 Sr. F, Mount St. Mary's (3-6)
   - Has started six of eight games at 12.9 minutes per contest. Averaging 3.9 points and 3.8 rebounds.


Breonna Evans, 5-7 Sr. G, Maryland-Eastern Shore (3-5)
   - Has appeared in five games, 31 minutes total. Has five points and seven rebounds.

Nansemond River

Janel Cannon, 5-8 Soph. G, Norfolk State (3-5)
   - Has appeared in five games for a total of 21 minutes.

Nelson County

Emily Stotmeister, 5-10 Fr. G/F, Liberty (4-5)
   - Has yet to appear in a game.

Norfolk Collegiate

Markell Smith, 6-1 Jr. G, Towson (4-5)
   - Has started seven of eight games and is averaging 5.3 points and 5.1 rebounds.

North Stafford

Chelsea Terry, 5-10 Soph. G, Navy (7-3)
   - Has appeared in eight games - 8.6 minutes per - and is averaging 1.3 points and 1.9 rebounds.


Mikal Johnson, 5-8 Soph. G, Rider (2-5)
   - Has started three of seven games (25.9 minutes per contest) and is averaging 8.9 ppg.


Nicole Hamilton, 5-8 Sr. G, Hampton (7-3)
   - All-MEAC guard averages 13.2 points, 5.6 assists, 2.3 steals and 1.4 blocks - and 36.4 minutes per game.
Maryah Sydnor


Maryah Sydnor, 6-1 Jr. F, Appalachian State (1-7)
   - The Delle Donne of the SoCon, Sydnor has started all eight games (35.1 minutes per) and leads team with 22.0 ppg and 9.0 rpg while shooting 47.9 percent from the field, 40.3 percent from 3-point range and 81.9 percent from the free throw line.


Ashley Lambert, 5-11 Jr. G, Marshall (3-4)
   - Sitting out this season after transferring from UMBC. Averaged 6.7 points in 28 games (10 starts) at UMBC last season.

Robert E. Lee (Staunton)

Angela Mickens, 5-7 Soph. G, JMU (6-2)
   - Has appeared in all eight games with one start and is averaging 4.6 points while handing out a team-high 33 assists.

(Robert E. Lee) Springfield

Kristine Mial, 5-10 Sr. G/F, East Carolina (7-0)
   - Has appeared in six games (17.8 minutes per) and is averaging 8.8 points and 4.2 rebounds.


Christie Michals, 6-1 Soph. F, Hartford (2-8)
   - Has appeared in six of 10 games, averaging 6.7 minutes per contest.

Salem (near Roanoke)

Ataijah Taylor, 5-9 Fr. G, Wake Forest (5-4)

Salem (Virginia Beach)

Shaleise Boyd, 6-3 Fr. F/C, Hampton (7-3)
   - Has appeared in four games (5.3 minutes per) and averages 1.3 points and 1.8 rebounds.


Bailey Williams, 5-7 Fr. G, UNC Greensboro (4-4)
   - Has started all eight games (28.9 minutes per), is averaging 6.1 ppg and has dished out a team-high 28 assists.


Bria Carter, 6-0 Fr. G, Appalachian State (1-7)
   - Has started four of six games (12.8 minutes per) and averages 2.3 ppg.

Staunton River

Jodi Salyer, 5-10 Fr. G, Delaware (6-1)
   - Has appeared in all seven games and averages 14.3 minutes per contest. Ranks third on the team in assists (11) and has six steals.

St. Anne's-Belfield

Sarah Imovbioh, 6-2 Jr. F, Virginia (3-5)
   - Has started all eight games and is averaging 11.6 points and 8.3 rebounds, more than three rebounds greater than any other Cavalier.

St. John's College High 

Jade Clark, 6-0 Soph. F, Delaware (6-1)
  -Averages 3.3 ppg and 1.7 rpg; has started one game for the Blue Hens this season.

Surry County

RaeChaun Edwards, 5-4 Soph. G, Campbell (5-2)
   - Started six of seven games and is averaging 9.3 ppg. Dropped a career-high 20 points on UNC Asheville during a 67-59 victory Wednesday.


Latrice Phelps, 6-0 Jr. F, High Point (5-3)
   - Has started all eight games (26.1 minutes per contest) and averages 7.1 points and 5.8 rebounds.

Thomas Jefferson Science Tech

Shannon Eriksson, 5-7 Jr. G, Davidson (5-6)
   -  Started five of 11 games and is averaging 3.1 ppg.

Trinity Episcopal

Jillian Brown, 5-6 Sr. G, Charleston (4-3)
   - Started all seven games - at 37.7 minutes per - and averages a Colonial Athletic Association-leading 6.7 assists per game.


Savannah Pippin, 6-1 Jr. F, Coastal Carolina (5-3)
   - Has appeared in six games (10.2 minutes per) and averages 3.7 rebounds and 2.2 points.

Virginia Episcopal School

Jessica Watkins, 6-0 Sr. F, Grambling (2-5)
   - Has appeared in all six games with one start (19.2 minutes per) and is averaging 5.7 points and 4.2 rebounds.


Emily Granruth, 5-11 Fr. G, Niagara (2-5)
   - Has appeared in two games for a total of six minutes (Six minutes Dougie Fresh you're on!). 


LaQuanda Younger, 5-10 Soph. G, Old Dominion (5-4)
   - "Q" has appeared in all nine games and got her first start Saturday against Maryland-Eastern Shore. Is averaging 4.0 ppg.

West Point

Kiera Gaines, 5-11 Jr. G, Campbell (5-2)
   - Has started all seven games; leads Campbell in scoring (13.1 ppg) and rebounding (8.4 rpg).

William Fleming

Ti'Asia McGeorge, 5-4 Sr. G, American (6-2)
   - Has appeared in all eight games (15.4 minutes per). Is averaging 5.0 points and has made 12 3-pointers.

Monday, December 9, 2013

JMU, Va. Tech remain atop state rankings

Toia Giggetts and JMU remain No. 1
Who's ranked where? Don't ask us. Oh, right, we're telling you. After No. 1, which were pretty confident in, ranking the state's teams is no easy task. But we gave it our best shot.

1. James Madison (6-2)

Man, we wish these Dukes hadn't lost a pair over Thanksgiving. Then again, when you consider JMU's two conquerors, Mississippi State and Wright State, have a combined record of 16-4, it's not as though the Dukes lost to some chumps. Besides, there's no doubt after wins over UCLA, Liberty and Virginia that JMU is the No. 1 team in the Commonwealth. Kirby Burkholder is averaging 18.4, Toia Giggetts just came off a career high over Pitt (and she's shooting 52 percent from the field) and Nikki Newman has an impressive 44 percent shooting percentage from 3. Even with the two losses, the Dukes are having the kind of preseason that could get them into the NCAA Tournament's at-large bid discussion.

Next game: Prairie View A&M, Dec. 14

2. Virginia Tech (7-2)

Yeah, Richmond beat 'em. (Frankly, the Spiders are a puzzling bunch to rank). And Indiana in Bloomington wasn't pretty. But the win against Michigan State was big, much like the numbers Uju Ugoka has put up in the last six games (137 points). Hannah Young (8.6) and Taijah Campbell are backing her up on the boards, and Monet Tellier and Vanessa Panousis have been generous enough to impress Kris Kringle with 79 assists between them).

Next game: USC Upstate, Dec. 15

3. VCU (7-1)

We admit, this might be too high for the baby Rams, especially considering their schedule hasn't exactly been a who's who of Top-25 teams. Still, most of their success has come on the road. And the Rams aren't just beat teams; they're flat-out embarrassing them. It's not just Robyn Parks in double socring figures, but Isis Thorpe (14.5) It'll be interesting to see if the Rams can keep this up once the competition gets stiffer. But we can't help thinking back to how they were within five at Ohio State with 1:20 to playing and wondering, hey, maybe they really are this good.

Next game: Cleveland State, Dec. 15

4. Hampton (6-3)

Hard to get a feel for these Lady Pirates, sparked by freshman Malia Tate-DeFreitas, a complement to Alyssa Bennett and Nicole Hamilton. The performance at home against American was ghastly, though we take heart that the Eagles followed that up with a win over always-perplexing Drexel. Speaking of the Dragons, Hampton gets its shot to solve Denise Dillon's offense on Dec. 18.

Next game: Bethune-Cookman, Dec. 9

5. Virginia (3-5)

Headed into finals below .500 is troublesome for a Cavs team that has beaten High Point, Louisiana Tech and Liberty (by one). They haven't won since Nov. 19 -- a date with Maryland Eastern Shore on Dec. 17 should fix that -- and a Christmas tournament awaits where they could face an always-dangerous Florida Gulf Coast team if they get past a first-round meeting with Tulane.

Next game: Maryland Eastern Shore, Dec. 17

6. Liberty (4-5)

Can someone help Ashley Rininger out? The sophomore center, shooting .604 from the field, leads the Flames with 15.7 ppg and 10.1 rpg, but she could use a lift from her teammates. The one-point loss to Virginia still stings, but Liberty has to like winning four of its last five after dropping its opening four.

Next game: Anderson (S.C.) exhibition, Dec. 12

7. Richmond

Spiders, what do we do with you? The wins over Miami and Tech -- wow! (We give Richmond the nod over ODU here due to those wins.) But losses at North Carolina A&T and at Liberty make us question. It appears Gen Okoro is rounding into form and freshmen Olivia Healy and Janelle Hubbard are having an impact early. And the good news for Spiders fans is Richmond has won three of its last four.

Next game: College of Charleston, Dec. 14

8. Old Dominion (5-4)

Lady Monarch fans might take issue with our ranking, but while Shae Kelley has exceeded our expectations, it's still awfully hard to know exactly where ODU fits among the state's teams. They lost to Tech and beat Radford; their other wins are over a pair of MEAC low-rung teams, winless UMass Lowell and a Boston University team that is 3-6. Wish they had pulled out the OT win over Marist, but we need some convincing before we push ODU up another few rungs. The Dec. 30 date at VCU should be worthwhile.

Next game: At Pitt, Dec. 15

9. George Mason (5-3)

Three straight losses for these Patriots, who last won by nipping Longwood on Nov. 26. Three road games in six days heading into finals made for a weary Patriot effort against Akron on Saturday. First-year coach Nyla Milleson has to be pleased with her trio at the top: Taylor Brown (Hoyas loss), Janaa Pickard (double-double machine) and Sandra Ngoie (13.3 ppg and 6.1 rpg off the bench).

Next game: Alabama Birmingham, Dec. 21

10. Longwood (3-4)

Couldn't be more impressed by Daeisha Brown, and we know there are a couple (Xavier, George Mason) that the Lancers would love to have back. Losing Raven Williams to a broken foot helps, as she averaged 14  ppg (good news is she's due back in a month). While the loss to High Point on Saturday was a disappointment, we're expecting the Lancers to be no fun to play in the Big South.

Next game: Savannah State, Dec. 15

11. Norfolk State (3-5)

Spartans notched their first MEAC win, taking down Bethune-Cookman on Saturday. As for 14.6, that's how many points leading scorer Rae Corbo averages and how many rebounds NCAA leader Rachel Gordon averages.

Next game: East Carolina, Dec. 17

12. William and Mary (1-6)

Love the win against UMass and love the play of freshmen Marlena Tremba and Latrice Hunter. Credit vets Kyla Kerstetter, Jazmen Boone and Kaitlyn Mathieu for making the transition to first-year coach Ed Swanson. Just like McGuire at Radford, growing pains for Swanson at W&M.

Next game: Radford, Dec. 18

13. Radford (2-6)

Long time since Nov. 12, when the Highlanders last won, but it's all part of the growing pains for first-year coach Mike McGuire. Last six have been on the road -- next five at home.

Next game: Appalachian State, Dec. 16

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Shae Kelley doing it all for ODU

Through eight games, Shae Kelley leads Old Dominion in points, rebounds, steals, blocks, field goals made and attempted, free throws made and attempted, minutes played, yards after the catch, goals-against average....

OK, we made a couple of those up. But only a couple.

Remember when this was going to be a season in which Kelley wouldn't be asked to do so much? It's turned out that, so far, the demands on Kelley have never been greater.

Consider that, in addition to leading ODU in the above categories, Kelley also has just one fewer assist than starting point guard G.G. Goodhope and is just five one-hundredths of a percentage point shy off Becca Allison's team lead in field goal percentage. She has more rebounds than any two other Lady Monarchs combined. And her 14 blocked shots are five more than the rest of the entire team combined.

But while this is hardly ideal statistical distribution, for pure entertainment value we have to admit we absolutely love watching Kelley go crazy at both ends like this. She's like the Energizer Bunny with a ponytail (sometimes), a high-motor two-way player with an uncanny knack for being on or around the ball seemingly at all times.

She'll routinely have these 90-second to two-minute chunks in which she's make a shot, steal a pass, dish out an assist, block a shot, score again, grab and rebound and dribble up court... It's like, are there two Shae Kelleys out there?

On Wednesday, for example, the Lady Monarchs eventually blew out UMass-Lowell by 33 points. But ODU didn't separate until early in the second half. And there were stretches during which Kelley was so impactful that we couldn't wondering, if you put Shae on UMass-Lowell and kept everything else the same, would the Lady Monarchs even be winning?

That said, the long-term outlook for Old Dominion is as bright as it was in the preseason. It's just that the added size that should bring the Lady Monarchs so many new dimensions is pretty much still in the over. Freshmen Odegua Oigbokie has shown flashes of excellence in limited minutes, and fellow rookie bigs Ija Ajemba and Destinee Young have barely played at all.

There's nothing alarming about this. Freshmen usually take time to get acclimated to Division I ball, particularly forwards and centers. But with the newcomers seeing minimal time, the Lady Monarchs are essentially fielding last year's team plus transfer Chelisa Painter (and now Michelle Brandao) but minus Jackie Cook, Mairi Buchan and Ashley Betz-White (injured).

No wonder's Kelley's so busy.

The team shouldn't be this shorthanded all season, though. At some point, at least two of the freshmen figure to develop into more regular contributors. Betz-White's return will definitely help, and Painter and Tiffany Minor, who are assuming starter's minutes for the first time in their careers, figure to become more comfortable with the added responsibilities.

If even some of these things happen, the Lady Monarchs should be able to give as good as they get when Conference USA play begins next month. If they all happen, look out.

In the meantime, we're sure Kelley will keep doing what's she's been doing - which is just about everything.

The Lady Monarchs will host Maryland-Eastern Shore Saturday at 7 p.m.

George Mason struggling to finish games

If basketball games last about 38 minutes instead of 40, George Mason might be taking an eight-game winning streak into today's game at Akron.

Instead, the Patriots (5-4) have suffered losses in three of their last four games, largely because of an stunning inability to finish off otherwise winning efforts:

- On Thursday, George Mason led Delaware State by 10 with 1:24 remaining, only to wind up losing by seven (90-83) in overtime.

- On Monday, the Patriots led College of Charleston by 10 with less than four minutes left and were up seven with less than three minutes remaining. Final score: Charleston 66, Mason 64.

- On Nov. 23, the Patriots led Maryland-Eastern Shore by 12 early in the second half and by three with less than 20 seconds left. UMES forced overtime and got a layup at the extra period buzzer for a 93-91 victory.

To be fair, all three opponents have come up with some huge shots down the stretch to reel the Patriots in. But Mason has also had its share of self-inflicted wounds. Against Charleston, for example, the Patriots committed five turnovers inside the last four minutes to assists the Bulldogs in wiping out that 10-point deficit.

Mistakes like this will almost certainly be deadly against Akron, which boasts one of the nation's most explosive offenses (82.3 points per game). The Zips are led by reigning Mid-American Conference Player of the Year Rachel Tecca (27.6 ppg, 2nd in Division I to Baylor's Odyssey Sims' 30.0) and Hanna Luburgh (24.7 ppg, 8th in D-I).

The good news for the Patriots is their late-game issues, while frustrating, are for the most part correctable. So at some point this season, the players may look back on all the late-game struggles they used to have and laugh.

They're just not all that funny now.

Friday, December 6, 2013

VCU: The kids can play (the vets, too)

Isis Thorpe
During a preseason chat with VCU coach Marlene Stollings,  we tried to get her to identify the one or two players out of her boatload of freshmen most likely to make an immediate impact.

"Actually, they're all doing well," Stollings said.

"Oh...uh, OK."

That's what we said. But here's what we thought:

Yeah, right. C'mon, coach. You just don't want to single anyone out. They can't all be ready to go right out of the box.

Then the season started, and in the Rams' very first game Ashlee Mitchell racked up seven assists, Camille Calhoun grabbed 10 rebounds and Monnazjea Finney-Smith scored 18 points.

Oh, so it's those three. She could have just told us that and....

Then Keira Robinson started going off, earning Atlantic 10 Freshman of the Week honors.

OK, Robinson too....

Then Isis Thorpe started going off until she too captured the league's weekly top rookie award.

Hmmm.... Maybe Stollings was giving it to us straight after all.

By the way, during that same conversation, Stollings said she expected senior Robyn Parks to be even better than she was in 2012-13. And we thought, well, that sounds good, but are you really expecting more than 18.7  points and 7.9 rebounds?

Parks is currently averaging 20.3 points and 11.3 rebounds while wearing the A-10 Player of the Week belt for the second straight week.

From now on we're going to stop thinking about what Stollings tells us. Just write it down and move on.

The Rams, who at 6-1 are enjoying their best start in five years, will look to make it six straight victories on Saturday at UMBC.