University senior Jesyka Burks-Wiley (Kansas City, Mo./Lincoln College Prep) is
the recipient of the America East Women’s Basketball Player of the Week for the
period ending February 15. Burks-Wiley, receiving the award for the fifth time
this season, and the Terriers are winners of 12 straight games and are 11-0 in
league play. First-time winner Viive Rebane (Talinn, Estonia/Audentes School),
freshman forward from Binghamton University, is the Rookie of the Week, giving
the Bearcats four of the last five rookie accolades.
averaged 23 points and 10 rebounds in two games last week, while shooting 60.9%
from the floor and 84.2% from the charity stripe. She added 2-for-3 three-point
shooting, two assists and two blocks for good measure. On Wednesday,
Burks-Wiley's 28-point performance against Stony Brook helped the Terriers
capture their sixth straight home-court win. She went 11-for-13 from the foul
line in the effort. The senior followed that performance with her seventh double-double
of the season with 18 points and 11 rebounds at New Hampshire on Sunday.
Burks-Wiley is second among America East scoring leaders with 18.5 ppg, and
third in rebounding with 7.6 rpg.
the absence of senior center Laura Franceski, Rebane stepped in as a post
presence for Binghamton, averaging 12.5 points and 10 rebounds per game. The
rookie forward also chipped in 1.0 assist per game, a block and a steal. Rebane
had a game-high 15 points and a career-high 15 rebounds in Saturday's game at Stony
Brook. It marked her first career double-double as well as the most rebounds
turned in by a Binghamton player since 2001. Earlier in the week, Rebane posted
10 points and five rebounds against second-place Hartford. The freshman ranks
fourth on the Bearcats with 7.8 points per game and second with 5.3 rebounds
per contest. Against America East opponents, she is averaging 8.7 points and
of Hartford junior forward Erica Beverly (Bridgeport, Conn./Kolbe Cathedral)
turned in her seventh double-double of the season against Marist on Sunday with
18 points and 11 rebounds. She also posted 13 points and five rebounds earlier
in the week against Binghamton... University of Maine junior forward Brittany
Boser (Palmer, Mass./Palmer) scored in double-figures in both games this past
week, including a 21 point-performance in Sunday's game against UMBC. She also
led the Black Bears to their first AE win with 13 points against New Hampshire
on Thursday... Stony Brook split its two games last week, and was led by
sophomore forward Kirsten Jeter (Elmont, N.Y./Elmont), who averaged a
double-double of 13.5 points and 10 rebounds... UMBC's Carlee Cassidy
(Syracuse, N.Y./Westhill) scored 22 points at Maine Sunday to record her
31st-straight double-digit performance dating back to last season... In
Albany's only game of the week against Vermont on Saturday, junior guard
Britney McGee (Bakersfield, Calif./West) netted a team-high eight points, while
playing tight defense and not letting up a field-goal in her match-up.
The Report Is In
Basketball News put out its weekly Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) report this
morning, an unofficial look at what the NCAA Selection Committee looks at
throughout the season and at the end of the regular season to pick out
tournament participants. America East is ranked 22 out of 32 conferences, down
one spot from last week. Neither of the two top-rated teams in the conference,
Hartford at 72 and Boston U. at 91, budged this week. This is something we will
keep an eye on for the rest of the season as the fourth tie-breaker for
championship seeding is the RPI ranking, and that could come into play if the
Terriers and Hawks tie atop the conference standings at the end of the regular
And Then There Was One
U. became the last undefeated squad in America East this season when it knocked
off Hartford at Case Gym on January 21, and it remains undefeated at 11-0. The
Terriers' start in conference play is the best in program history, and their
current 12-game winning streak is the longest for a Terrier women's hoops team.
Boston U. is one of 12 teams in the country to still be undefeated in
conference play, and is tied for 8th in active win streaks around the nation.
The Difference A Year Makes
four teams this year, conference games are a little easier to come by than last
season. Three teams--Boston University (11 wins), UMBC (5) and New Hampshire
(4)--have already matched their AE win total from the 2007-08 season in five
fewer games. For Michele Cherry's Stony Brook squad, its win total, four, has
doubled since last year with still six games to go.
Hartford Hawks hosted fellow mid-major giant Marist on ESPN2 Sunday for
February Frenzy, where a record 3,217 fans showed up at Chase Arena to watch.
Though the Hawks fell in overtime, 78-73, it was the largest in-house
attendance at Chase to watch a women's basketball game.
schools held their Pink Zone games this past weekend, raising over $10,000 through
ticket sales, auctions and donations at both women's and men's basketball
games. All nine America East schools are taking part in the WBCA's Pink Zone
week, an initiative to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer via women's
basketball games across the country. The campaign, which officially kicked off
this past weekend, takes place at games between February 13-22, 2009. Below is
a list of Pink Zone dates for each America East school.
Pink Zone Dates
Saturday, Feb. 21, vs. Hartford
Saturday, Feb. 21 vs. Maine
Sunday, March 1 vs. Maine
Sunday, Feb. 15 vs. Marist (ESPN2)
Sunday, Feb. 15 vs. UMBC (WABI)
Saturday, Feb. 21 vs. Stony Brook
Hampshire: Sunday, Feb. 15 vs. Boston U.
Brook: Tuesday, Feb. 17 vs. Vermont
Saturday, Feb. 14 vs. Albany
May Kotsopoulos (Waterloo, Ontario/Waterloo Collegiate Institute) and Maine's
Brittany Boser (Palmer, Mass./Palmer) were named to the ESPN The Magazine
Academic All-District I Teams earlier this month by the College Sports
Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Based on nominations from school
SIDs, CoSIDA members voted Kotsopoulos to the All-District I first team and
Boser to the All-District I second team. Kotsopoulos, the reigning America East
Scholar-Athlete for women's basketball, is a business administration major with
a 3.62 GPA. Boser, a repeat selection for the honor, is a chemical engineering
major with a GPA of 3.85.
Were They Right?
nine America East coaches named five players to the preseason all-conference
team as predictions for who would make first-team all-conference at the end of
the season. Below is a look at how those five players have done this season.
Beverly, UH 11.0 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.1 bpg
Pilypaitis, UVM 14.5 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 5.3 apg
Burks-Wiley, BU 18.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg, .474 fg%
Cassidy, UMBC 22.1 ppg, .792 ft%, 3.0 3fgm
Delva, UH 12.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg, .625 fg%
What A Good Shot
Boser currently leads the conference in free-throw percentage (.847), and has a
cushion of more than .03 over the next closest in the rankings. If Boser were
to remain on top through the end of the 2008-09 season, she would become the
third different Black Bear to lead America East in that statistic in the last
five seasons. Bracey Barker did it in 2006-07 and Ashley Underwood led the
conference in 2004-05. As of last Friday, Boser was 22nd in Division I
free-throw percentage. She also joins two Terriers--Burks-Wiley and Amarachi
Umez-Eronini--as the only players to rank in the America East top-10 of both
free-throw and field goal percentages.
Hitting The Mark
players have reached 1,000 career points this season, with the latest being Vermont's
Amy Rosenkrantz (Tempe, Arizona/Corona del Sol) who did so last week at UMBC.
Rosenkrantz became the third Catamount to reach the milestone this season, the
first time in program history that has happened. The other players who have
earned their 1,000th career point earlier this season are junior Courtnay
Pilypaitis (Vermont), senior Jesyka Burks-Wiley (Boston U.), junior Carlee
Cassidy (UMBC), and junior May Kotsopoulos (Vermont).
as America East players have done to the 1,000-point plateau this season, they
are also rapidly surpassing 500 career rebounds. Pilypaitis, Burks-Wiley and
Rosenkrantz each collected their 500th rebound this season and are the only
active members of the 1,000-point/500-rebound club in America East. While the
former two collected the points prior to the rebounds, Rosenkrantz earned the
status once compiling her 1,000th point, having had the 500 rebounds under her
belt a week earlier.
Ringing Up Long-Distance Shots
junior guard Carlee Cassidy is a long-range shooter who ranks first in the
conference with 3.0 three's per game. Last Sunday afternoon at UNH, Cassidy
sunk her 70th triple of the season in the waning minutes of the game, which
tied her for fifth all-time in the conference for three-pointers in a season,
as well as tied the school's career record. She added three more to her resume
last week to move up to second on the league's single-season list. The America
East single-season record is 76 treys in 2003-04 by Northeastern's Melissa
Kowalski. Kowalski also holds the record for three-point field goals attempted
(218). Cassidy has attempted 211 long-range shots this season.
Dishing Out The Record
University senior guard Christine Kinneary (Plainedge, N.Y./Holy Trinity) broke
a school record that had been firm in place for over 25 years when she dished
out her 478th career assist on February 4 at Albany. Kinneary now is fourth
all-time in America East history with 494 career assists after surpassing
Maine's Cindy Blodgett this past week.
Laura Franceski (Moscow, Pa./North Pocano) has had her own personal block party
this season, rejecting 66 shots (3.3 blocks per game) to lead the conference.
Franceski has 206 for her career, which is third in America East all-time. Her
eight-block performance against Maine helped the cause, tying a school and
America East mark for blocked shots in a single game. She became the fifth
player in America East to reject an opponent 8 times in one game and it is only
the second time it has happened in a conference game. Franceski is 14 swats
away from matching Northeastern's Katasha Artis' career mark of 220 for
Hawks In The Hunt
trio of Hartford Hawks are still closing in on 1,000 points, and could possibly
join the other five players who have already reached it this season.
Beverly, Jr., UH 920 11.0
Delva, Jr., UH 849 12.3
Schaefer, Sr., UH 834 6.7
Home Court Advantage
has been exceptional on its home court, however, its 34-game home-court winning
streak, the second-longest streak in Division I, came to an end Sunday against
Marist. The last loss the Hawks had suffered at Chase Arena was November 29,
2006 to Seton Hall, 53-59. Marist can call the victory sweet revenge--last
season, the Hawks ended the Red Foxes' 26-game win streak at the McCann Center.
University reeled off 13 straight home wins and ranked as high as eighth in
Division I, but also snapped its streak earlier this season. St. John's
defeated the Terriers Tuesday, December 30 to give Boston U. its first loss at
Case Gymnasium in nearly two years. The Terriers have won all six home games
since that loss.
Midday Madness Sets Record
held its annual midday madness when it hosted Albany Wednesday, February 21 and
set an attendance record of 1,517 to watch a women's basketball game at RAC
Arena. Over 900 of those fans were local elementary and middle school students
who came out for the event.
top three three-point shooters in America East -- UMBC's Cassidy, Boston U.'s
Kristi Dini and Albany's Britney McGee-- are all averaging over 2.3 three's per
game. They're all also moving up their schools' respective career three-pointers
rankings. Cassidy now owns the record at UMBC with 171 career triples, McGee is
currently third all-time at Albany with 141, and Dini moved into sole
possession of second-place at Boston U., currently at 168, with nine last week.
Cassidy, Dini and McGee rank 2nd, 8th and 53rd, respectively, in all of
Going On 30
33-point performance against the Terriers became the ninth 30-point performance
in the league this year. Never have so many 30-point individual efforts come in
a single season since the 2004-05 season when there were also nine such
outbursts. That year, eight of the nine came against an America East opponent,
while this season, four have come during league play so far.
Join The Club
Pilypaitis joined two more elite clubs after the game against North Dakota on
Sunday, January 4. With five assists, she moved into Vermont's top-five career
assists list, handing out 369 in her 2+ seasons. Since then, she now has over
400 helpers for her career. The junior guard also grabbed eight rebounds and
became the 12th member of Vermont's 1,000-point/500-rebound club.
East teams went a combined 16-40 (.286) in the month of December with five of
those games coming against ranked opponents. UMBC (4-3) picked up a quarter of
those victories as part of its five-game winning streak.
regular-season tournaments highlighted the 2008-09 non-conference season,
including two hosted by America East institutions, Vermont and Maine. UMBC took
home the only tournament title this season with a 2-0 mark at the Iona
has earned half of the rookie of the week awards during the 2008-09 season, earning
7 of 14 honors. Going back to last year, the Retrievers have actually won 9 of
the past 16 rookie awards. Katie Brooks won weeks two and three this season,
Michelle Kurowski earned recognition three weeks in a row, and Erin Brown took
home the honor in weeks 7 and 11. Meghan Colabella won the America East Rookie
of the Week the final two weeks of the 2007-08 season. The last time one team
has dominated the rookie category was Vermont in 2006-07. Catamounts Courtnay
Pilypaitis, May Kotsopoulos and Sofia Iwobi took home nine of 10 rookie awards
spanning November 19, 2006-January 22, 2007.
Rookie Ramblings 2
around the league have made their way into their teams' respective starting
lineups going into the conference season. Seven of the nine teams have started
a rookie multiple times, and in most instances, consistently. Two freshmen have
started every game this season-- Binghamton's Rebane and Andrea Holmes
(Memphis, Tenn.). Boston U. and Vermont have not started a rookie this season,
but they are also two of the most experienced squads this season.