RICHMOND, Va., March 8, 2010 - Top-seeded Old Dominion held off a late run by #3 William & Mary and defeated the Tribe 60-53 in the championship game of the 2010 Virginia 529 College Savings Plan CAA Men's Basketball Championship.
The Monarchs (26-8) earn the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship. ODU will be making its sixth straight post-season appearance, including its third trip to the NCAA's in the last six years.
The Tribe, which reached the CAA championship game for the second time in the last three years, dropped to 22-10 with the loss, but are expected to receive a post-season tournament berth.
Senior center Gerald Lee (Uusikapunki, Finland) was named the championship's Most Outstanding Player after averaging 17.3 points per game in the Monarchs' three contests, including nine points in the title game. Junior guard Darius James (Virginia Beach, Va.) tallied a team-high 12 points and dished out four assists. Sophomore guard Kent Bazemore chipped in 10 points and joined Lee on the all-tournament team.
Senior guard Danny Sumner (Fairfax, Va.) paced the Tribe with a game-high 19 points, making 5-of-11 from three-point range. Sophomore guard Quinn McDowell (Mason, Ohio) added nine points and junior forward Marcus Kitts (Holly Springs, N.C.) had seven points. Sumner and senior guard David Schneider (Phoenix, Ariz.) earned spots on the all-tournament squad.
ODU jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead, but the Tribe struck back with an 8-2 run capped off by a Sean McCurdy (Jersey City, N.J.) three-point play with 15:52 left that gave W&M its only lead of the game, 8-7.
The Monarchs came right back with six straight points as Ben Finney (Portsmouth, Va.) converted a three-point play and Trian Iliadis (Perth, Western Australia) nailed a long range jumper to put ODU ahead 13-8 lead with 14:49 remaining in the first half.
Holding a narrow 17-14 advantage, Bazemore scored five points during a 10-0 Monarchs' run that expanded the margin to 13 with eight minutes to go in the period. A pair of three-point jumpers from Schneider and sophomore forward JohnMark Ludwick (San Antonio, Tex.) trimmed the ODU lead to 27-20 and the Tribe was down 31-24 at the half.
ODU took its largest lead of the game, 41-26, on a Finney 3-pointer with 16:02 remaining. The Tribe fought back behind Sumner, who hit three treys and scored 13 points over a seven-minute span to cut the deficit to 52-45 with 6:22 left.
A Sumner three-pointer with 1:01 to go brought W&M as close as 56-51, but ODU converted four-of-six from the free throw line down the stretch to seal the victory.
The CAA championship is the fifth for Old Dominion, which is the most of any league member.
Both teams shot 19-of-48 (39.6%) from the floor, but the Monarchs out-scored the Tribe 15-6 from the free throw line. ODU committed only seven turnovers while making nine steals that helped lead to 12 W&M turnovers.
The championship game was played before a crowd of 8,455, which allowed the conference to set a tournament attendance record of 44,372.
Northeastern's Matt Janning and VCU's Joey Rodriguez joined Lee, Bazemore, Schneider and Sumner on the all-tournament team.