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Courtesy: CAA
Northeastern's Joel Smith

CAA Men's Basketball Weekly Report - Jan. 28

Courtesy: CAA
          Release: 01/28/2013
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PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Joel Smith • Northeastern
Sr., G, 6-4, 180 - Leander, Texas/Leander

Smith averaged 22.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists as Northeastern improved to 8-0 in the CAA with a pair of wins. The senior guard tied a career high with 29 points, including 16 in the overtime periods, as the Huskies edged William & Mary 95-91 in 2ot, and followed with a game-high 15 points and a career-high tying six assists in a 71-51 triumph over George Mason. For the week, Smith shot 64% (16-25) from the floor, including 5-of-10 from three, and was 7-for-7 at the FT line.

ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
R.J. Hunter • Georgia State
Fr., G, 6-5, 175 - Indianapolis, Ind./Pike

Hunter averaged 18.0 points and 4.0 rebounds in Georgia State's 2-1 week. The freshman guard scored a career-high 27 points, including a game-winning 3-pointer, as the Panthers won 71-69 at Towson and followed with 19 points and a career-high six assists in an 81-63 victory over UNCW.

ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Andre Nation • James Madison
Fr., G, 6-5, 200 - Plant City, Fla./Faith Baptist Christian

Nation averaged 13.0 points and 6.5 rebounds in JMU's 2-0 week. The freshman guard contributed 12 points and five rebounds in a 64-50 win over Delaware and had a game-high 14 points and a career-best eight rebounds as the Dukes topped ODU 56-46. He also had two assists and two blocks last week.

CONFERENCE NOTES:

Northeastern Off To Best CAA Start Ever: Northeastern is off to its best start ever in CAA play at 8-0 after edging William & Mary 95-91 in double overtime and defeating George Mason 71-51 last week. The Huskies have made a habit of winning close games as five of their eight conference victories have been by five points or less. Northeastern is 4-0 on the road with wins over the top three teams in the CAA preseason poll (Drexel, Delaware and George Mason) as well at Towson. The Huskies' eight-game overall winning streak is their longest since the 2009-10 season when they won 11 in a row.

Northeastern's CAA Start Among Best In League History: The 8-0 start by Northeastern in CAA play is tied for the fifth-best in conference history. The 2006-07 VCU team and the 1985-86 Richmond team both started 11-0, while James Madison started 9-0 in 1990-91 and 1991-92. Old Dominion in 2004-05 and Richmond in 1988-89 also opened 8-0.

Tight Battle For Second: While Northeastern owns a three-game lead atop the CAA standings, the next five teams in the league race are separated by just a half-game. George Mason and James Madison are tied for second at 5-3, followed by Drexel at 4-3 and Georgia State and Towson at 5-4.

Three CAA Players Among Nation's Top 14 In Rebounding: Delaware senior Jamelle Hagins ranked third in the nation in rebounding (11.3 rpg), Towson junior Jerrelle Benimon ranked fourth (11.2 rpg) and UNCW senior Keith Rendleman was 14th (10.3 rpg) through games of Jan. 27. In other categories, Delaware's Devon Saddler was 18th (19.5 ppg), Mason's Sherrod Wright was 46th (18.1 ppg) and W&M's Marcus Thornton was 48th (17.9 ppg) in scoring. W&M's Tim Rusthoven was 37th (54.4%) in FG percentage. Thornton was also 33rd in 3-pointers per game (2.7) and 47th in 3-point FG% (39.7%), while NU's Joel Smith was 20th in FT percentage (89.2%) and 40th in 3-point FG% (40.7%). Drexel's Damion Lee was 48th in FT percentage (85.9%). GSU's James Vincent was 26th (2.5 bpg) and Hagins was 27th (2.5 bpg) in blocked shots.

Towson's Benimon Leads Nation In Double-Doubles: Towson junior Jerrelle Benimon is tied with Bucknell's Mike Muscala for the national lead in double-doubles with 14 through games of Jan. 27. Benimon has posted double-doubles in six of his last eight games. Delaware senior Jamelle Hagins has 11 double-doubles and is tied for 9th nationally while UNCW senior Keith Rendleman is tied for 12th with 10. Seven other CAA players have multiple double-doubles: JMU's Rayshawn Goins (5), ODU's DeShawn Painter (5), William & Mary's Tim Rusthoven (4), Towson's Bilal Dixon (2), Northeastern's Quincy Ford (2), Northeastern's Reggie Spencer (2) and UNCW's Cedrick Williams (2).

Drexel's Massenat Hits 50-Foot Game-Winning Shot: Drexel junior guard Frantz Massenat drained a 50-foot shot at the buzzer to give Drexel a 55-52 victory at Hofstra on Jan. 23. The highlight of the game-winner was shown on numerous networks throughout the nation.

GSU's Hunter Among Nation's Top Freshmen: Georgia State freshman guard R.J. Hunter is one of just six freshmen in the nation to average at least 16.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per game through Jan. 26. Hunter, who leads all CAA freshmen in scoring (16.0 ppg) and rebounding (5.6 rpg), has topped the 20-point mark eight times this season.

Mason's Wright Hits 20-Point Mark Again: George Mason junior guard Sherrod Wright has scored 20 or more points in nine of his last 12 games after tallying a team-high 24 points in the Patriots' 77-67 win at Towson on Jan. 23. Wright, who is averaging 19.1 ppg in CAA play, has a league-best 10 20-point efforts for the season.

Hagins, Rendleman Moving Up CAA Rebounding Chart: Delaware senior Jamelle Hagins and UNCW senior Keith Rendleman have moved into the top 11 on the CAA's career rebounding list. Hagins has 939 career boards and ranks 10th, while Rendleman has 937 career rebounds and ranks 11th. Hagins is the all-time leading rebounder at UD and Rendleman is second on UNCW's career chart. A complete list is included on page 6 of the release.

UD's Saddler, Hagins Moving Up Career Lists: Delaware guard Devon Saddler has the second-most career points (1,385) of any junior in Division I, trailing only Creighton's Doug McDermott. Saddler, who is averaging a league-best 19.5 ppg this season, ranks ninth on UD's all-time scoring list. Blue Hens' forward Jamelle Hagins became UD's all-time leader in rebounds (939) on Jan. 16, passing the mark of 916 set by Spencer Dunkley (1989-92). He also owns the UD record and ranks 6th in CAA history with 259 career blocked shots.

Youth Movement: There are just eight seniors among the top 30 scorers in the CAA through games of Jan. 27. Northeastern's Joel Smith and UNCW's Keith Rendleman are the only seniors among the top 10. The top 30 also includes 13 juniors, six sophomores and three freshmen.

Freshmen Among Steals Leaders: ODU guard Keenan Palmore ranks second in the CAA with 1.8 steals per game and is among four freshmen among the league's top 15 in steals. GSU's R.J. Hunter is tied for 7th (1.5 spg), JMU's Andre Nation is 9th (1.5 spg) and Northeastern's David Walker is 12th (1.3 spg).

Delaware Ranked 6th Nationally In Free Throw Shooting: Delaware was ranked 6th in the nation in free throw percentage at 76.6% according to the latest NCAA stats through games of Jan. 27. In other team categories, Towson was 42nd (39.2%) in FG percentage defense and William & Mary was 8th (28%) in 3-point FG% defense. Drexel ranked 23rd (74.9%) and Northeastern was 33rd (74.3%) in free throw percentage. In blocked shots, Towson was ranked 31st (5.2 bpg) and Delaware was 45th (4.8 bpg). Georgia State was ranked 47th in fewest turnovers per game (11.9 tpg).

Delaware

• Have dropped three in a row after a 64-50 loss at JMU last Wednesday. Ended UD's 6-game CAA road winning streak.

• Devon Saddler scored a team-high 16 points at JMU. Saddler, who leads the CAA with 19.5 ppg, has scored double digits in 25 straight games and has tallied 20+ points seven times.

• Jamelle Hagins, who has 11 double-doubles, was held to 4 points and 4 rebounds at JMU. Hagins holds the UD career records for rebounds (939) and blocks (259).

• Sophomore Jarvis Threatt reached double figure for the 9th straight game with 12 points at JMU. He's averaging 16.2 ppg over his past nine contests.

• Sophomore Kyle Anderson scored a season-best 19 points vs. Northeastern.

• UD went 21-for-27 at the FT line vs. JMU and is shooting 76.6% for the season, which leads the CAA.

Drexel

• On a season-best 3-game winning streak after a 55-52 victory at Hofstra and a 68-57 triumph over Georgia State last week.

• Frantz Massenat tallied 15 points and 8 assists vs. GSU and 14 points at Hofstra, including a game-winning 50-foot shot at the buzzer. He's averaging 17.4 ppg over his last seven games. Massenat is tied for 8th in career assists (358) at Drexel.

• Sophomore Damion Lee scored 14 points at Hofstra and a team-high 20 points vs. GSU. Lee has tallied double digits in 14 straight games and is 4th in the CAA with 17.4 ppg.

• Daryl McCoy returned to action last week after missing 2 games with a foot injury. McCoy ranks 8th all-time in rebounds at DU (753) and is averaging 8.1 rpg this season.

• Drexel limited GSU to 27.7% FG shooting, including a stretch of nearly 14 minutes without a field goal.

• Drexel was 30-of-33 at the FT line in the two games last week.

George Mason

• Split a pair of road games last week, defeating Towson 77-67 but falling 71-51 at Northeastern to snap a 3-game win streak.

• Junior Sherrod Wright had 24 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists at Towson and 12 points at NU. Wright has scored 20 or more points a league-high 10 times this season, with nine coming in the past 12 games.

• Wright has been Mason's top scorer in 16 of 20 games. He ranks among the CAA's top six in scoring, FG% and FT%.

• Freshman Marko Gujanicic tallied 12 points and 9 rebounds at Towson and grabbed a team-high 7 rebounds at Northeastern.

• Junior Bryon Allen returned to the starting lineup at Towson and scored a season-high 16 points on 6-of-7 FG shooting. He also had six assists and no turnovers.

• Junior Vertrail Vaughns tied a season-high with 13 points off the bench at NU. He hit 5-of-10 from the floor.

Georgia State

• Beat Towson (71-69) and UNCW (81-63) before having their 4-game win streak come to an end in a 68-57 loss at Drexel.

• Guard R.J. Hunter, who leads all CAA freshmen in scoring and rebounding, netted a career-high 27 points at Towson and added 19 vs. UNCW. He's scored double figures 17 times and has eight 20-point outings.

• Manny Atkins had 19 points vs. UNCW and posted his first double-double (15 pts/10 reb) at Drexel. Atkins, who tops the CAA in 3-pt FG% (42.4%), has scored double digits in 16 of his last 18 games with five 20+ point efforts. He has hit 30 of his last 31 FT's.

• Devonta White averaged 15.0 ppg in 3 games last week. He's reached double digits in 17 straight games. White ranks among the CAA's top five in assists and steals.

• GSU made 49-of-60 at the FT line last week. The Panthers are shooting a league-best 79.9% from the FT line in CAA play.

• GSU has had eight games decided by 3 points or less and is 4-4 in those contests.

Hofstra

• Lost 55-52 to Drexel on a half-court buzzer beater and 57-51 to UNCW last week. Three of Hofstra's five CAA losses have been by six points or less.

• Taran Buie tied a school record with 7 three-pointers and scored a career-high 29 points vs. Drexel and had 13 points vs. UNCW. Buie has tallied double digits in 14 of his last 15 games and has four 20+ point outings.

• Stevie Mejia averaged 9.5 points and 5.0 assists last week. Mejia ranks 3rd in the CAA in assists (4.2 apg) and has scored double digits 12 times.

• Stephen Nwaukoni scored 10 points vs. UNCW. He leads Hofstra in rebounding (7.7 rpg) and has grabbed 10+ boards five times.

• Hofstra got all 55 of its points from starters in the loss to Drexel.

• Jordan Allen grabbed a team-high seven rebounds vs. Drexel. He ranks fifth among all CAA freshmen in rebounding (3.2 rpg).

James Madison

• Have won five straight home games after beating Delaware (64-50) and ODU (56-46). Now 7-2 at home and 1-7 on the road.

• Rayshawn Goins posted his 5th double-double of the season vs. UD with 15 points and a team-high 13 rebounds. Goins has scored double figures in 10 of the last 12 games.

• Devon Moore, who is 2nd in the CAA in assists (4.4 apg), has 416 career assists and needs five more to pass Joe Phaler for 2nd place on the Dukes' career list.

• Senior A.J. Davis scored a team-high 16 points off the bench vs. UD. It was Davis' first double-digit effort since Jan. 9.

• Freshman Andre Nation had team-highs of 14 points and 8 rebounds vs. ODU and scored 12 points vs. UD. He's scored double digits in four of his last six games.

• JMU held UD to 28.9% FG shooting and ODU to 32%. JMU has limited its past four home foes to a combined 31.1% shooting.

UNCW

• Fell 81-63 at Georgia State but won 57-51 at Hofstra to snap a 16-game road losing streak. Have won 3 of their last 4 overall.

• Keith Rendleman posted his 10th double-double of the season at GSU with 23 points and 10 rebounds. It was his fifth 20+ point game of the season. He ranks 11th on the CAA's all-time rebounds list (937).

• Junior Chris Dixon scored 20 points at GSU and netted a team-high 22 points at Hofstra. Dixon is averaging 21.5 ppg over his last 4 games. He hit 5-of-8 threes at Hofstra.

• Tanner Milson hit 5-of-7 threes and scored 17 points at Hofstra. He had scored just 11 points in his past four games combined.

• UNCW made a season-high 11 treys at Hofstra and shot 47.8% (11-23) from beyond the arc. They had just five 2-point FG's at HU.

• The Seahawks limited Hofstra to 34.7% FG shooting, including 3-of-18 from three.

Northeastern

• Off to their best CAA start ever (8-0) after defeating W&M (95-91 in 2ot) and George Mason (71-51) last week. Five of NU's eight CAA wins have come by 5 points or less.

• Joel Smith tied a career high with 29 points vs. W&M and had a team-best 15 points and 6 assists vs. Mason. Smith ranks 2nd in the CAA in threes (50) and 6th in scoring.

• Quincy Ford also scored 15 points in the Mason win. He's hit double digits in 10 of the last 11 games, including 6 in a row.

• Jonathan Lee scored 19 points and played all 50 minutes vs. W&M. He's averaging 12.8 ppg and 4.4 apg in 11 games since returning from a preseason foot injury.

• Freshman David Walker scored a career-high 17 points on 7-of-9 FG shooting vs. W&M and dished out five assists.

• In eight CAA games, NU has outscored opponents 164-85 in points off turnovers.

• Northeastern has had at least 15 assists in seven of its eight CAA games.

Old Dominion

• Dropped a 56-46 decision at JMU last Saturday. Have lost seven in a row.

• Senior DeShawn Painter just missed his 6th double-double with 9 points and 9 rebounds at JMU. He leads the Monarchs in scoring (11.2 ppg) and rebounding (7.9 rpg).

• Guard Keenan Palmore scored a team-high 13 points off the bench. He ranks 4th among CAA freshmen in scoring (8.4 ppg).

• ODU has been outrebounded in its past 3 games after being beaten on the glass just once in its first 16 games. ODU ranks 2nd in the CAA in rebound margin (+4.3 rpg).

• Freshman guard Aaron Bacote added 10 points and five rebounds at JMU. It was his first double-digit effort since Dec. 22.

• Sophomore Richard Ross had a strong all-around game at JMU with 9 points, 5 rebounds, 4 blocks and 2 steals. Ross has a team-high 26 blocks for the season.

Towson

• Have lost three in a row after falling to GSU (71-69), Mason (77-67) and W&M (63-56) last week. Had their 4-game road winning streak snapped at W&M.

• Jerrelle Benimon posted his NCAA-leading 14th double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds vs. GSU and scored 16 vs. Mason. He's 2nd in the CAA in rebounding and has 6 double-doubles in the last 8 games.

• Junior Marcus Damas had team-highs of 13 points and 7 rebounds at W&M. He's scored double figures in nine of his last 13 games.

• Freshman Jerome Hairston had 16 points vs. GSU and 11 at W&M. He's tallied double figures in 6 of his last 8 games.

• Bilal Dixon grabbed 14 rebounds vs. Mason. He has also made 29-of-42 (69%) from the floor over the last 10 games.

• Rafriel Guthrie scored a career-high 18 points off the bench vs. Mason.

William & Mary

• Lost 95-91 in 2ot at Northeastern before ending an 8-game losing streak with a 63-56 victory over Towson on Saturday.

• Tim Rusthoven posted double-doubles vs. NU (career-high 25 pts, 11 reb, 5 blocks) and Towson (14 pts/10 reb). Rusthoven has 3 double-doubles and is averaging 19.5 ppg and 9.3 rpg over his last four games.

• Marcus Thornton netted all 23 points after halftime at NU and had a team-high 16 points vs. Towson. Thornton, who has tallied double digits in 21 straight games, ranks 3rd in the CAA in scoring (17.9 ppg) and leads the league with 52 three-pointers.

• Junior Brandon Britt scored 12 points in both games last week and is averaging 13.7 ppg over his last seven games.

• Junior Kyle Gaillard averaged 13.5 ppg last week while shooting 65% from the floor.

• W&M shot 73.1% and scored 49 points in the second half at NU to erase a 16-point deficit and force overtime. The Tribe has played 3 double OT games this season.

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