Twenty was a big number for the men’s and women’s basketball teams this year.
The programs celebrated their 20th anniversary as members of the Colonial Athletic
Association (CAA) by each winning more than 20 games in the same season for the first
time. TU was one of eight Division I schools to accomplish the feat this year.
The men finished 25-9 overall and 15-3 in the CAA to earn a share of the regular season
title and the top seed in the CAA Tournament. The women reached the 20-win plateau
for the second time in three years, going 24-8. In 2019–20, they won the CAA Tournament
and made their first NCAA Tournament appearance. The Tigers’ 20-plus wins then were
the most since the 2007–08 season.
The success of each program earned them bids to the 2022 National Invitational Tournament
(NIT) as well. The men drew Wake Forest, while the women met Old Dominion in the first
“This team has really epitomized strength and resilience. From the very beginning
of the season, they were committed to play for each other, no matter what,” women’s
head coach Diane Richardson says.
The women’s team won 11 of its first 12 games, sparking the program to its best start
in 45 years. The Tigers picked up wins against Florida, Wofford, East Carolina and
American during that run. TU also strung together five-game winning streaks twice
later in the season.
Aleah Nelson, Allie Kubek and Anissa “Peanut” Rivera each averaged double figures
in points for the Tigers. Rivera’s 227 rebounds and 30 blocks were best on the team.
Nelson led TU in assists and steals. She also earned first-team All-CAA honors, while
Kubek landed a spot on the third team. Kylie Kornegay-Lucas was named Sixth Player
of the Year.
The women’s team started strong, and the men really picked up steam at the end. They
finished the regular season on a six-game win streak, winning 10 of the last 11. The
men's CAA crown was their first title since the 1994 Big South championship.
Nick Timberlake, Cam Holden and Charles Thompson averaged at least 10.0 points per
game. Holden led the team in rebounds, assists and steals and Thompson was tops in
blocks. Timberlake and Holden were named All-CAA First Team, while Thompson earned
All-CAA Second Team honors.
“I’m incredibly proud of our group this year, especially the returners who endured
a trying season during COVID-19,” men’s head coach Pat Skerry says. “We look forward
to seeing how we can commit even further to improve our program in the expanding CAA
and are excited for what the future holds.”
Coach Diane Richardson departed TU after the season to become the head coach at Temple
University. Laura Harper was named to replace her.
Welcome, Steven Eigenbrot
Steven Eigenbrot was named TU’s new director of athletics on Feb. 14. He joined TU
from the University of South Carolina, where he oversaw fundraising, ticketing and
a variety of facilities projects. “I think we’re in an amazing spot to be successful
for a long period of time,” he says. “We have a chance to dominate the space we’re
in, and who doesn’t want to be part of dominance?”
Wins by the Dozen
Sophomore Brian Benzing successfully defended his 100-yard breaststroke title at the
CAA Championship meet, setting new school, league and championship meet records with
a time of 52.34 seconds and extending his unbeaten streak in the event to a dozen.
The Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), the conference home of TU’s athletic program, will
welcome Hampton, Monmouth and Stony Brook universities as members starting in July.
The CAA will have expanded to 12 participant universities by the fall 2022 term.
TU student-athletes stand with a 3.225 cumulative grade point average (GPA) after
earning a 3.085 fall 2021 term GPA. This includes 194 student-athletes earning at
least a 3.5 GPA this past term, including 34 with a perfect 4.0.
Watch this Space
Fifth-year senior defenseman Koby Smith was selected to the Tewaaraton Trophy Watch
List, landing him among the most elite players in the country. Smith was also named
Preseason Media All-America Honorable Mention by Inside Lacrosse.