WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - The William and Mary Women's basketball team will began play in the Virginia 529 Colonial Athletic Association Championship on Thursday, March 8. The No. 11-seeded Tribe will play the No.6 seeded VCU Rams at 7:30 p.m., from the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, Md. Thursday night's winner will advance to face the No. 3-seeded Drexel Dragons on Friday, March 9, at 7:30 p.m.
- Last Wednesday, W&M concluded its regular season with 79-53 setback to the No. 8 ranked Delaware Blue Hens. Junior Janine Aldridge and senior Taysha Pye led the Green and Gold charge with 15 and 14 points, respectively. With the loss, W&M finished the regular season with an overall record of 10-19 and a CAA ledger of 3-15.
- Averaging 68.6 points per game as a team this season, W&M's offensive output can be attributed to its balanced scoring attack. Through 29 regular season games, the College is the only league team placing four players in double-digit scoring. Anchoring the impressive balance are senior Taysha Pye (14.0 ppg.), and juniors Emily Correal (13.1 ppg.), Janine Aldridge (13.0 ppg.) and Jaclyn McKenna (10.2 ppg.)
- Seniors Taysha Pye and Katherine DeHenzel are about to finish off successful W&M careers. Pye's most memorable Tribe moment may have come during this season's contest against rival Old Dominion. In the historic victory over ODU, Pye scored a game-high 23 points with 19 of those 23 coming during the second half of the come-from-behind triumph. Pye will end her W&M career as one of the College's most prolific scorers, as she currently ranks second all-time in school history with 1,647 career points. DeHenzel currently ranks third all-time in W&M history in both assists and steals. For her career, the Bowie, Md., native has dished out 425 dimes and has recorded 228 thefts.
Under ninth-year head coach Beth Cunningham, VCU enters the 2012 Virginia 529 CAA Championship with an overall record of 16-13 and a league mark of 9-9. In its last regular season game, the Rams fell at Drexel, 73-63. Senior Courtney Hurt's 20 points and seven rebounds led the Rams against the Dragons. Senior Andrea Barbour and junior Carleeda Green chipped in with 17 and 11 points, respectively.
For the year, Hurt sets the tone for the Rams, averaging 22.0 points and 12.6 rebounds per game. Her 12.6 boards per outing ranks first in the nation, and her 22.0 points per outing rank 22nd in the country. The VCU production doesn't stop with Hurt. Barbour pours in 16.4 points per game, which places the Charlottesville, Va., native at seventh in the CAA in scoring. As a team, VCU ranks fourth in the CAA in scoring, averaging 65.3 points per game. Defensively, the Rams allow 64.3 points per outing, which ranks sixth in the league.
VCU holds a 79-38 series lead over the College, but W&M won the last match-up, 66-63, on Feb. 16, in Richmond. In that game, seniors Taysha Pye and Katherine DeHenzel paced the Green and Gold, scoring 15 points each. The three-point triumph in Richmond was the College's first victory at VCU since the 2005 -06 campaign. The Green and Gold also revenged a mid-January., 83-80, defeat to VCU in Kaplan Arena.
W&M in the CAA
Since joining the CAA in 1985, William and Mary has won 11 tournament games. In the 1992-93 season, the Green and Gold advanced all the way to the championship game but fell to eventual champion Old Dominion, 65-51. The Tribe and Rams have squared off twice in the league tournament with VCU winning both contests. W&M's last victory in the championship came during the 2008-09 campaign when the Green and Gold defeated Hofstra, 63-62, in first round action.
Last CAA Tournament
When W&M and VCU face off Thursday night from the Show Place Arena, it will be the third time that the two schools have met in the CAA tournament. In their last tournament clash, the College fell to VCU, 72-52, in quarterfinal action of the 2009 tournament. In that game, former Tribe standout Tiffany Benson led the Green and Gold with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Current players, senior Taysha Pye and junior Janine Aldridge poured in 14 and nine points, respectively. In the 1999 CAA Tournament VCU defeated W&M, 65-54, in Norfolk, Va.
This season, DeHenzel set a new W&M single-season mark with 168 assists. Her 168 dimes broke the old single-season record of 157 set by Katie Averyt during the 1996-97 season. For the year, DeHenzel's 5.8 assists per game stands in a tie for first in school history. The Bowie, Md., native will finish her career ranking third all-time on the College's career assist list with 425 career helpers. The senior floor general's 228 career steals also rank as third-most all-time in the Tribe record books.
Pye's 364 points this season has placed the former St. Anne's Belfield standout into the upper echelon of any player to ever don the Green and Gold. The 364 points this season brings her career total to 1,647, which ranks second all-time in school history, behind only Kyra Kaylor's (2003-08) 1,873 career points. Like any true scorer, Pye gets to the foul line on a regular basis. So regular, that her 475 career made foul shots rank second all-time in the College's history and ties for fifth most in CAA history. For her career, the Bronx, N.Y., native is averaging 14.2 points per game, which stands as the third best average in W&M history.
Against Northeastern on Jan. 29, Aldridge's nine 3-pointers established multiple new school records. With the nine triples made against NU, Aldridge became the College's all-time leader in 3-pointers made. Aldridge also set the W&M single-game record for 3-pointers made with nine. Just 20 games into the 2011-12 season, her 75 3-pointers broke the old single-season mark of 72. The nine drained triples also stand second all-time in the CAA for 3-pointers made in a game. Aldridge became only the fourth player in conference history to hit nine threes in a game. Aldridge finished the 2011-12 regular season with 89 3-pointers made, which gives her a career total of 218. Standing as just a junior, her 218 career triples already stands in a tie for ninth all-time in the CAA record books.
Tribe in the National
In the latest national rankings released by the NCAA on March 5, William and Mary and its players were well represented in various categories. As a team, W&M ranks 57th nationally in scoring, averaging 68.6 points per game. The College is ranked 10th in the country in 3-point field goal percentage (36.8 percent) and 26th in assists per game at 15.6. Individually, junior Janine Aldridge's 3.1 made triples per game rank sixth nationally and her 3-point field goal percentage of 39.4 percent stands at 18th best in the nation. Senior guard Katherine DeHenzel checks in at 16th nationally, averaging 5.8 assists per game.