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Women's Basketball Standouts Recognized

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: March 14, 2004
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March 9, 2004

NORFOLK, Va. - The Colonial Athletic Association tonight announced members of its all-conference women's basketball team as well as its Player-, Coach-, Rookie- and Defensive-Player-of-the-Year as selected by the league's head coaches, women's basketball sports information directors and a panel of media.

Virginia Commonwealth University guard Cyndy Wilks (Bridgeton, N.J./Bridgeton), the fifth leading scorer in the nation, captured CAA Player of the Year honors. A 5-11 senior, Wilks is averaging 21.8 points per game which is 5.5 points higher than any other player in the conference. She opened the year with a season-high 31 points and has scored in double figures in all 26 VCU games this season. On pace to eclipse the CAA single season scoring record (20.5ppg) currently held by three-time CAA Player of the Year Celeste Hill (Old Dominion, 1994) and former UNC Wilmington standout Elizabeth Bell (1987), Wilks is fourth in the CAA in three-pointers made (51) and tied for second in free throws made (126). She is the second consecutive Ram to win the award (Kristine Austgulen, 2003).

Joining Wilks on the All-CAA First Team are ODU seniors Monique Coker (Bronx, N.Y./ Monsignor Scanlan) and Max Nhassengo (Maputo, Mozambique), George Mason University senior Jen Derevjanik (Staten Island, N.Y./St. Peter's) and UNCW senior Cherie Lea (Blanch, N.C./Yancy).

Coker led the CAA regular season champion Lady Monarchs in scoring (14.8ppg) and ranks second in the conference in rebounding (9.6rpg). She was the CAA's top offensive rebounder and also ranked third in the conference in blocked shots (1.5bpg). Nhassengo averaged 14.2 points per game and was second in the CAA in field goal accuracy (52.7%). She was also honored as the CAA Defensive Player of the Year after leading the Lady Monarchs and ranking fifth in the conference in steals (2.4spg).

Derevjanik, who along with Coker moved up from the 2003 All-CAA Second Team, was second in the conference in both scoring (16.3ppg) and assists (4.1apg) and topped the conference in assist/turnover ratio. She was a First Team Academic All-District selection and was a member of the CAA's All Academic Team along with Lea and 11 other players. Lea, the CAA pre-season Player of the Year, is the only First Team All-CAA repeater from last season. She ranked third in the conference in scoring (15.7ppg), sixth in assist/turnover ratio and seventh in field goal accuracy (46.4%). Lea was also honored with the Dean Ehlers Leadership Award which recognizes the basketball student-athlete who "embodies the highest standards of leadership, integrity and sportsmanship through her academic and athletic achievement."

Hofstra University's Felisha Legette-Jack garnered CAA Coach of the Year honors after guiding the Pride to just their fourth regular season winning record since joining the Division I ranks in 1982. Hofstra posted a school record 11 conference victories to tie for second in the regular season CAA standings after being picked seventh in the pre-season media day poll. The Pride posted an overall mark of 14-13 which included a 74-72 win over ODU on January 18 in what most observers consider the biggest win in school history. Legette-Jack, who was recently named to the BIG EAST Conference silver anniversary team, has helped Hofstra become one of the most improved programs in Division I with a roster that features six new faces from last season including five freshmen and a junior college transfer.

James Madison University freshman standout Lesley Dickinson (Queens Village, N.Y./Christ the King) was voted the 2004 CAA Rookie of the Year. A 5-10 forward, Dickinson ranked fourth in the conference in scoring (15.2 ppg) and grabbed 5.1 rebounds per game. Dickinson, who started all 29 games for the Dukes, was voted CAA Rookie of the Week four times during the regular season and set a JMU freshman single season scoring record with 450 points.

The 2004 CAA Women's Basketball Championship tips off on March 10 at the Constant Convocation Center on the campus of Old Dominion University where the host Lady Monarchs will be gunning for their 13th consecutive tournament title. The tournament runs through Saturday, March 13 and the finals are slated to be available to more than 25 million households via Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, Comcast Sportsnet ? Philadelphia, FOX-New York, Fox SportsNet South and KTVS-TV (Albuquerque, N.M.). The championship game tips off at noon.

2004 CAA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL AWARD WINNERS

FIRST TEAM ALL-CAA Pos. Ht. Cl. Hometown/High School or College Cyndy Wilks, VCU G 5-11 SR Bridgeton, N.J./Bridgeton %Monique Coker, ODU G/F 6-1 SR Bronx, N.Y./Monsignor Scanlan Max Nhassengo, ODU G 5-10 SR Maputo, Mozambique %$Jen Derevjanik, GMU G 5-10 SR Staten Island, N.Y./St. Peter's *Cherie Lea, UNCW G 5-9 SR Blanch, N.C./Bartlett Yancy/UNC-Chapel Hill

SECOND TEAM ALL-CAA Pos. Ht. Cl. Hometown/High School or College %Tiara Malcom, DEL F 6-1 JR Wilmington, Del./Caravel Academy Vernessa Neamo, GMU G 5-10 SR Forestville, Md./DuVal Amaka Agugua, Hofstra F 5-11 JR Herndon, Va./Oakton Shareese Grant, ODU G 5-8 JR Virginia Beach, Va./Princess Anne Kacy O'Brien, TU G 5-11 SO Pittsburgh, Pa./Carlynton

THIRD TEAM ALL-CAA Pos. Ht. Cl. Hometown/High School or College Jennifer Kapper, UNCW G 5-7 SR Waynesville, Ohio/Waynesville Lesley Dickinson, JMU F 5-10 FR Queens Village, N.Y./Christ the King Catherine Scanlon, Drexel G 5-11 SO Drexel Hill, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara Kyra Kaylor, W&M G/F 6-0 FR Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Clair Meredith Alexis, JMU F/C 6-1 FR Ashley, Pa./Bishop Hoban

ALL-ROOKIE TEAM Pos. Ht. Cl. Hometown/High School or College Lesley Dickinson, JMU F 5-10 FR Queens Village, N.Y./Christ the King Kyra Kaylor, W&M G/F 6-0 FR Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Clair Kyle DeHaven, W&M G 5-9 FR Herndon, Va./Herndon Meredith Alexis, JMU F/C 6-2 FR Ashley, Pa./Bishop Hoban Kelly Robinson, Towson F 6-1 FR Hazlet, N.J./Raritan

ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM Max Nhassengo, ODU G 5-10 SR Maputo, Mozambique Staceyann Claxton, Hofstra G 5-5 SR Hempstead, N.Y./Monsignor Scanlan Vernessa Neamo, GMU G 5-10 SR Forestville, Md./DuVal Kristina Cesnaviciute, VCU C 6-8 JR Kaunas, Lithuania Kyle DeHaven, W&M G 5-9 FR Herndon, Va./Herndon

ALL-ACADEMIC TEAM Kristina Cesnaviciute, VCU C 6-8 JR Kaunas, Lithuania Staceyann Claxton, Hofstra G 5-5 SR Hempstead, N.Y./Monsignor Scanlan Jen Derevjanik, GMU G 5-10 SR Staten Island, N.Y./St. Peter's Meagan Evans, VCU G 5-9 JR Sherbrooke Australia Christin Gethers, W&M F 6-1 SR Yorktown, Va./Grafton Maria Giovannetti, VCU F 5-11 JR Richmond, Va./St. Gertrude's Laura Kooij, GMU G/F 6-1 JR Den Helder, Holland/ OSG Willem Blaue Cherie Lea, UNCW G 5-9 SR Blanch, N.C./Bartlett Yancy Katrina Martin, Drexel G/F 5-9 JR Bowie, Md./Elizabeth Seton Natalia Oehninger, VCU G 5-8 SO Norfolk, Va./Catholic Susan Otim, GMU F 5-10 SR Fairfax, Va./Fairfax Julie Sailer, Delaware G 5-11 JR Washington Crossing, Pa./Council Rock Urszula Smolarek, Hofstra G 5-9 SR Gorzow, Poland/Okaloosa-Walton CC

*2003 First Team All-CAA
%2003 Second Team All-CAA
$2002 Second Team All-CAA

MAJOR AWARD WINNERS
2004 CAA COACH OF THE YEAR: Felisha Legette-Jack, Hofstra
2004 CAA PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Cyndy Wilks, VCU
2004 CAA ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Lesley Dickinson, JMU
2004 CAA DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Max Nhassengo, ODU
2004 DEAN EHLERS LEADERSHIP AWARD: Cherie Lea, UNCW

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