CAA women’s basketball tournament preview

2011 CAA Women’s Basketball Tournament
The Show Place Arena, Upper Marlboro, Maryland

Thursday, March 10

No. 8 George Mason (7-11) vs. No. 9 Georgia State (6-12), noon
The Patriots enter Friday’s match coming off a convincing 77-55 win over Northeastern, while the Panthers come in having lost four of their last games of the regular season. The two teams have split the regular season series with each squad winning on its respective home court. The winner of Thursday’s noon tilt will advance to face the No. 1 seeded Dukes of James Madison.

No. 5 Hofstra (10-8) vs. No. 12 William & Mary (2-16), 2:30 p.m.
Hofstra and William & Mary will meet each other in the CAA tournament for the seventh time since the Pride joined the CAA. Hofstra will have now met William & Mary in each of its last three CAA tournament appearances. The Pride swept the season series between the two teams this year, winning by an average margin of just under 11 points over both meetings. The winner of this match will move on to face No. 4 VCU on Friday.

No. 7 Delaware (10-8) vs. No. 10 Northeastern (3-15), 5 p.m.
The Blue Hens have captured wins in both meetings between these two teams so far this season, each featuring milestones for the program. Delaware head coach Tina Martin won her 267th career game in the first meeting on Jan.6 while All-American Elena Delle Donne became the fastest player in CAA history to score 1,000 points. The two squads have met just twice at a neutral site, with the Blue Hens coming away with victories on both occasions. The winner will advance to face No. 2 Old Dominion Friday.

No. 6 Drexel (10-8) vs. No. 11 Towson (3-15), 7:30 p.m.
This will be the fifth meeting between these two teams in the CAA tournament since both programs joined in 2001. Drexel holds a 40-19 lead in the all-time series and has won three of four meetings in the CAA championship between the two squads. The Dragons enter the tournament on a three-game winning streak, while the Tigers come in having lost their last three games of the regular season. The winner will move on to face No. 3 UNCW on Friday.

Friday, March 11
No. 1 James Madison (16-2) vs. No. 8 George Mason/No. 9 Georgia State, noon
James Madison holds sole possession of first place in the CAA standings for the first time since 1989. The Dukes are the number one seed for the first time since 1995, when the Dukes tied for first place in the league standings. JMU has won 14 of its last 15 games behind senior guard Dawn Evans who is second in the NCAA in scoring at 23.6 points per game.

No. 4 VCU (13-5) vs. No. 5 Hofstra/No. 12 William & Mary, 2:30 p.m.
VCU comes into the CAA tournament following a win at Georgia State in which junior guard Courtney Hurt set a single-season conference record and NCAA-leading 23rd double-double. The Rams concluded the regular season on a two-game winning streak with help from their 41.2 rebounds per game that ranks second in the league behind James Madison. VCU will face the winner of No. 5 Hofstra and No. 12 William & Mary on Friday.

No. 2 Old Dominion (14-4) vs. No. 7 Delaware/No. 10 Northeastern, 5 p.m.
Old Dominion enters CAA tournament seeking its 18th league championship and the automatic bid into the NCAA tournament that would come with it. The Monarchs have been the No. 2 seed twice in the tournament (1995, 2005), winning the league title on both occasions. ODU will face the winner of Thursday’s first round contest between No. 7 Delaware and No. 10 Northeastern on Friday. The Monarchs went a combined 3-0 this season against its potential opponents.

No. 3 UNCW (14-4) vs. No. 6 Drexel/No. 11 Towson, 7:30 p.m.
UNCW enters the CAA tournament coming off a tough loss to No. 1 seeded James Madison that ended the regular season. The Seahawks concluded the regular season as the best shooting team in the conference, shooting just under 47 percent. They also led the CAA in assists (16 apg.) and steals (12.4 spg.) and will face the winner of No. 6 Drexel and No. 11 Towson on Friday.

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