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Lady Monarchs Favored To Repeat As CAA Women's Basketball Champions

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: October 27, 2004
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Oct. 27, 2004

RICHMOND, Va.-- Old Dominion University, which has won the past 13 CAA women's basketball titles, was chosen to repeat as league champion in 2004-05 according to a vote of the media during Wednesday's CAA Basketball Media Day at the Richmond Coliseum.

The Monarchs received 18 of 19 first-place votes and 189 total points in the poll, while second-place Delaware tallied 162 points. Virginia Commonwealth got the other first-place vote and was third with 133 points, while James Madison was fourth with 121 points. Hofstra was chosen fifth, followed by William & Mary, George Mason, UNC Wilmington, Drexel and Towson.

ODU returns a pair of starters from last season's 25-7 team that continued its dominance in the CAA with a 17-1 mark. Back to lead the Lady Monarchs is senior guard Shareese Grant (12.9 ppg, 4.0 apg), who earned second-team All-CAA honors and was named CAA Tournament MVP for the second year in a row. Also returning are junior wing player Lawona Davis (7.8 ppg) and 6-6 center Corrina Turner, who missed last year with a knee injury.

Delaware has four starters and eight of its top nine scorers back from a 19-10 team a year ago. The Blue Hens' strength is up front with senior forward Tiara Malcom (15.5 ppg, 6.8 rpg), a second-team All-CAA selection, and senior forward Tiffany Young (10.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg). In the backcourt, senior Julie Sailer (9.6 ppg) enters her third season as a starter.

VCU posted a 14-14 overall record and advanced to the semifinals of the CAA Tournament in its first season under coach Beth Cunningham a year ago. Four starters return for the Rams including senior forward Lauren Hogan (11.7 ppg, 9.6 rpg) and 6-8 senior center Kristina Cesnaviciute (8.4 ppg, 7.0 rpg). On the wing, senior Maria Giovannetti (8.6 ppg) is a two-year starter.

JMU should improve on last year's 13-18 mark as five of the team's top six scorers return. The Dukes are led by sophomore guard Lesley Dickinson (15.4 ppg), who was the CAA's Rookie of the Year and a third-team All-CAA pick after scoring a school freshman-record 476 points. Sophomore forward/center Meredith Alexis also made the All-CAA third team after averaging 10.2 points and a league-high 10.4 rebounds per game.

Delaware's Malcom was chosen as the CAA Preseason Player of the Year. She was joined on the preseason All-CAA first team by ODU's Grant, JMU's Dickinson, Hofstra senior forward Amaka Agugua and Towson junior guard Kacy O'Brien. Making the preseason All-CAA second team were JMU's Alexis, VCU's Hogan, Drexel junior guard Catherine Scanlon, William & Mary sophomore guard Kyle DeHaven and W&M sophomore forward Kyra Kaylor.

2004-05 CAA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH
(as voted on by the media)

1. Old Dominion (18 first-place votes) 189
2. Delaware 162
3. Virginia Commonwealth (1 first-place vote) 133
4. James Madison 121
5. Hofstra 113
6. William & Mary 87
7. George Mason 86
8. UNC Wilmington 63
9. Drexel 58
10. Towson 38

(Teams received 10 points for a first-place vote, 9 for second, etc.)

2004-05 CAA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAMS
(as voted on by the media)

First Team Cl. Pos. Ht. Hometown/High School
Tiara Malcom, Delaware Sr. F 6-1 Wilmington, Del./Caravel Academy
Shareese Grant, Old Dominion Sr. G 5-8 Virginia Beach, Va./Princess Anne
Amaka Agugua, Hofstra Sr. F 5-11 Herndon, Va./Oakton
Lesley Dickinson, James Madison So. G 5-10 Queens Village, N.Y./Christ the King
Kacy O'Brien, Towson Jr. G 5-11 Pittsburgh, Pa./Carlynton

Second Team Cl. Pos. Ht. Hometown/High School
Meredith Alexis, James Madison So. F/C 6-3 Hanover Township, Pa./Bishop Hoban
Catherine Scanlon, Drexel Jr. G/F 5-11 Drexel Hill, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara
Kyra Kaylor, William & Mary So. G/F 6-0 Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Clair
Kyle DeHaven, William & Mary So. G 5-9 Herndon, Va./Herndon
Lauren Hogan, Va. Commonwealth Sr. F 6-1 Prince George, Va./Prince George

CAA Preseason Player of the Year: Tiara Malcom, Delaware

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