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Courtesy: CAA
Delaware's Devon Saddler

CAA Men's Basketball Weekly Report - Feb. 25

Courtesy: CAA
          Release: 02/25/2013
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PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Devon Saddler • Delaware
Jr., G, 6-2, 205 - Aberdeen, Md./Aberdeen

Saddler averaged 27.5 points while shooting 55.9% from the floor and 45.5% from three in Delaware's 2-0 week. The junior guard poured in 31 points as the Blue Hens edged rival Drexel 73-71 in double overtime and scored a team-high 24 points in a 79-78 victory at UNCW. Saddler has scored double figures in 35 straight games and has topped the 20-point mark in seven of his last eight contests.

ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Jerome Hairston • Towson
Fr., G, 6-3, 190 - Cheyenne, Wyo./Christ School

Hairston scored a career-high 20 points and made three steals in Towson's 71-70 win over Drexel last Saturday. The freshman guard made a steal with under 10 seconds to play, was fouled and hit a free throw for the game-winning point. Hairston was 7-of-13 from the floor, including 3-of-5 from 3-point range.

ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Patrick Holloway • George Mason
Fr., G, 6-1, 155 - Fairfax, Va./Paul VI

Holloway made 8-of-12 from three-point range and averaged 12.0 points off the bench in George Mason's 2-0 week. The freshman guard was a career-best 5-of-7 from beyond the arc and scored a team-high 15 points as Mason rallied for a 60-58 victory over William & Mary. He also hit 3-of-5 treys and scored nine points with a career-best four assists in a 79-60 win at Hofstra. Holloway entered the week averaging just 4.8 ppg.

CONFERENCE NOTES:

Northeastern Clinches Share Of Regular-Season Title: Northeastern clinched at least a share of its first CAA regular-season title after edging James Madison 66-64 last Wednesday. Freshman David Walker hit the game-winning bucket with 2.4 seconds left. Thirteen of the Huskies' 16 CAA games have been decided by seven points or less and they are 10-3 in those contests. Northeastern is 7-1 in CAA road games with wins over the top three teams in the league's preseason poll (Drexel, Delaware and George Mason) as well at Towson. The Huskies can earn the outright title with a win or losses by Towson and Delaware.

NU Earns #1 Seed For CAA Men's Basketball Championship: By virtue of winning all potential tiebreakers regardless of future results, Northeastern has earned the #1 seed for the 2013 CAA Men's Basketball Championship which will be held March 9-11 at the Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, Va. Only seven teams (Delaware, Drexel, George Mason, Hofstra, James Madison, Northeastern and William & Mary) are eligible for this year's tournament, but all 11 teams will figure into the seeding/tiebreaking process. Following the conclusion of regular-season play, each team's place will be determined, with the spots of the ineligible teams then vacated and the tournament seeds established.

Close Games In CAA Play: The four CAA games last Saturday were decided by a total of eight points. Over the last five days (since Feb. 20), five of the nine conference contests have been determined by two points or less.

Tight Battle For Second: While Northeastern owns a two-game lead atop the CAA standings, the next five teams in the league race are separated by only 1.5 games. Towson, which has won six of its last seven, and Delaware, which has won eight of its last 10, are tied for second at 11-5. George Mason, which has won five of its last seven, is right behind in fourth at 10-6, followed by Georgia State and James Madison at 10-7.

Road Warriors: Home teams are just 48-41 (53.9%) in CAA play this season. Five of the top seven teams in the league standings (Northeastern, Delaware, Towson, George Mason and Drelxe) have better conference marks on the road than at home.

Parity Around The CAA: All 11 CAA teams have recorded at least one win and one loss since Feb. 12. No CAA teams have a winning streak longer than two games and no teams have a losing streak longer than two games.

Towson's Benimon Named Henson Award Finalist: Towson junior Jerrelle Benimon is one of 25 finalists for the Lou Henson Award, which is given to the top mid-major player in college basketball by CollegeInsider.com. Benimon is averaging 16.7 points and 11.2 reobunds per game for the Tigers and has 19 double-doubles in 29 games.

Delaware Down To The Wire: Delaware's last five games have been decided by a total of eight points and its last four have come down to a last-second shot. The Blue Hens have played a school-record five straight games decided by 2 points or less and are 4-1 in those contests.

Towson's Turnaround: Towson's 11 conference victories are its most since joining the CAA in 2001-02 and the Tigers have reached the 16-win mark for the first time since 1995-96. Towson's 11 victories away from home (8-8 away, 3-0 neutral) are its most since 1976-77. The Tigers are on pace to post one of the biggest turnarounds in NCAA history.

Three CAA Players Among Nation's Top 12 In Rebounding: Towson junior Jerrelle Benimon ranked fourth in the nation in rebounding (11.2 rpg), UNCW senior Keith Rendleman ranked 10th (10.5 rpg) and Delaware senior Jamelle Hagins was 12th (10.3 rpg) through games of Feb. 24. In other categories, Delaware's Devon Saddler was 14th (20.2 ppg) and W&M's Marcus Thornton was 35th (18.6 ppg) in scoring. W&M's Tim Rusthoven was 28th (55.3%) and Benimon was 49th (53.2%) in FG percentage. Thornton was also 10th in 3-pointers per game (3.1) and 17th in 3-point FG% (43.6%). NU's Joel Smith was 39th in FT percentage (85.7%). GSU's James Vincent was 31st (2.3 bpg) and Hagins was 36th (2.2 bpg) in blocked shots. George Mason's Bryon Allen ranked 32nd in assist/turnover ratio (2.4).

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 19 after tallying 19 points and 10 rebounds in a win over Drexel last Saturday. He has posted 11 double-doubles in his last 15 games. UNCW senior Keith Rendleman has recorded double-doubles in seven straight games and ranks 3rd nationally with 18 while Delaware senior Jamelle Hagins is 11th with 13 double-doubles. Four other CAA players have at least four double-doubles: ODU's DeShawn Painter (10), JMU's Rayshawn Goins (7), W&M's Tim Rusthoven (5) and Towson's Bilal Dixon (4).

Rendleman, Hagins Among Top 10 On CAA Rebounding Chart: UNCW senior Keith Rendleman and Delaware senior Jamelle Hagins have entered the top 10 on the CAA's career rebounding list. Rendleman has 1,034 career rebounds and ranks 5th, while Hagins has 1,025 career boards and ranks 7th. Hagins is the all-time leading rebounder at UD and Rendleman passed Brian Rowsom for the top spot on UNCW's career list on Feb. 20. Rendleman and Hagins are also two of only eight players in CAA history to reach 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in a career. Hagins is also 5th on the CAA's career blocks list with 276. A complete list of the CAA's career rebound leaders is included on page 6 of the release.

NU's Lee Among Finalists For Senior CLASS Award: Northeastern guard Jonathan Lee is one of 10 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award, which honors student-athletes who excel on and off the court. Honorees must have noteworthy accomplishments in community, classroom, character and competition. Lee was a third-team All-CAA selection last season after leading the Huskies in scoring (14.5 ppg) and assists (3.5 apg).

UD's Saddler Among Nation's Top Scorers: Delaware guard Devon Saddler has the second-most career points (1,600) of any junior in Division I, trailing only Creighton's Doug McDermott. Saddler, who is averaging a league-best 20.2 ppg this season, has moved up to fourth on UD's all-time scoring list. He has scored double figures in 35 straight games, which is the 2nd-longest active streak in the nation.

Youth Movement: There are only nine seniors among the top 30 scorers in the CAA through games of Feb. 24. Northeastern's Joel Smith and UNCW's Keith Rendleman are the only seniors among the top 10. The top 30 also includes 12 juniors, seven sophomores and two freshmen.

Freshmen Among Steals Leaders: ODU guard Keenan Palmore ranks fourth in the CAA with 1.7 steals per game and is among four freshmen among the league's top 15 in steals. GSU's R.J. Hunter is 5th (1.7 spg), JMU's Andre Nation is 7th (1.6 spg) and Northeastern's David Walker is 11th (1.3 spg).

Three Teams Among Top 37 Nationally In Free Throw Shooting: Northeastern was ranked 10th (76%), Delaware was 17th (75.4%) and Drexel was 37th (74%) in the nation in free throw percentage according to the latest NCAA stats through games of Feb. 24. In other team categories, Towson was 43rd (39.4%) in FG percentage defense, 18th in rebound margin (+6.6 rpg) and 15th in blocked shots (5.4 bpg). Northeastern was 38th (37.5%) and William & Mary was 48th (37%) in 3-point FG percentage. Hofstra was 34th (30.3%) and W&M was 40th (30.5%) in 3-pt. FG% defense. James Madison was 28th (11.3 tpg), Georgia State was 39th (11.6 tpg) and Drexel was 47th (11.8 tpg) in fewest turnovers per game.

Record-Setting Season For GSU's Hunter: Georgia State's R.J. Hunter is one of four freshmen in the nation averaging at least 17 points and five rebounds per game. The Panthers' guard is just one point shy of breaking the school's freshman scoring record of 515 points set by Matt O'Brien in 1989-90. Hunter made 10-of-15 from 3-point range and scored a career-high 38 points in the Panthers' 83-63 victory over Old Dominion on Feb. 2. The 10 threes set a new GSU record and tied the CAA mark set by George Mason's Dre Smith on Jan. 19, 2008. The 38 points were a career high for Hunter and the most by any freshman in the nation this season.

Delaware

• Edged Drexel 73-71 in 2ot and won 79-78 at UNCW last week. UD has had 5 straight games decided by 2 points or less for the 1st time ever and is 4-1 in those games.

• Devon Saddler scored a game-high 31 points vs. DU and had 24 points at UNCW. Saddler has scored double digits in 35 straight games and has tallied 20+ points 14 times, including 7 of the last 8 games. He's now 4th on UD's all-time scoring list (1,600 pts).

• Jarvis Threatt averaged 18.0 ppg and 10.5 rpg last week, including his 3rd double-double (23 points/12 rebounds) in the past 6 games at UNCW.

• Jamelle Hagins posted his 13th double-double vs. DU with 14 points and 18 rebounds. Hagins owns the UD career records for rebounds (1,025) and blocks (276).

• Kyle Anderson was 4-for-8 from 3 at UNCW and leads the Hens with 54 treys.

• Delaware has won 10 of its last 12 CAA road games dating back to last season.

Drexel

• Topped Hofstra 63-54 but fell 73-71 in 2ot at Delaware and 72-71 at Towson last week.

• Junior Frantz Massenat averaged 19.0 ppg last week, including a team-high 24 points at Towson. He's scored double figures in 15 of his last 16 games. Massenat ranks 6th in career assists (393) at Drexel and has gone over 1,000 career points (1,071).

• Massenat has 17 assists and just two turnovers over his last 151 minutes of action.

• Derrick Thomas poured in a season-high 19 points at UD and 13 at TU. He's scored double figures in eight straight games and is averaging 14.4 ppg over that stretch.

• Damion Lee scored a team-high 17 points vs. HU and posted a double-double (25 pts/career-high 11 reb) at DU. He's averaging 17.5 ppg over his last four games.

• Daryl McCoy ranks 5th in the CAA in rebounding (8.3 rpg) and has 8 games with double-digit caroms this season. McCoy ranks 6th all-time in rebounds at DU (830).

George Mason

• Won 79-50 at Hofstra for their 4th straight road victory and edged W&M 60-58 to snap a three-game home losing streak.

• Jonathan Arledge scored a team-high 20 points in 19 minutes at HU and had 8 points and 9 boards vs. W&M. He's scored double-digits in 5 of the last 8 games and is averaging 14.0 ppg and 6.4 rpg over that stretch.

• Sherrod Wright has scored 20 or more points 11 times this season and has been Mason's leading scorer 19 times.

• Erik Copes hit the game-winning shot with 0.5 seconds left vs. W&M and recorded his 2nd double-double at HU with 11 points and 10 rebounds. He's scored double figures in 5 of the last 6 games.

• Mason shot 53.8% from the floor at HU, which was its best since Jan. 10, and posted its largest margin of victory (29 pts).

• Freshman Patrick Holloway hit a career-high 5 three-pointers (5-7) and scored a team-best 15 points vs. W&M.

Georgia State

• Lost 75-63 at W&M but won 66-62 at JMU last week. Have won 3 of their last 4 games.

• R.J. Hunter scored a team-high 15 points at W&M. He's scored double figures 23 times and has 12 20-point outings. Hunter is averaging 20.4 ppg over his past eight games and leads all CAA freshmen in scoring.

• Manny Atkins is 3rd in the CAA in 3-pt FG% (40.8%), has scored double digits in 23 of his last 26 games with six 20+ point efforts.

• Devonta White had 15 points at JMU and has scored double figures in 24 of his last 25 games. White, who ranks among the CAA's top six in assists and steals, is 24 points shy of 1,000 for his career.

• Junior Rashaad Richardson added 10 points at W&M and 11 at JMU. Those were his first games in double figures since Jan. 30.

• GSU was a perfect 17-for-17 at the FT line in the second half at JMU.

• Senior James Vincent scored a season-high 16 points in the victory at JMU.

Hofstra

• Snapped a 4-game losing streak with a 70-59 win over ODU on Sunday. Rebounded from setbacks to Drexel (63-54) and George Mason (79-50) earlier in the week.

• Stevie Mejia tied a career high with 22 points at DU and posted a double-double (10 pts/career-high 10 assists) vs. ODU. He's scored double figures in 7 of his last 8 games and is averaging 13.9 ppg over that stretch. He also ranks 3rd in the CAA in assists (4.1 apg) and 1st in steals (2.0 spg).

• Stephen Nwaukoni, who grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds at Drexel, missed the Mason and ODU games with a shoulder injury. He ranks 6th in the CAA with 7.9 rpg.

• Taran Buie averaged 13.3 ppg last week, including 15 points in the ODU victory. He has reached double figures 21 times.

• David Imes drained four treys and scored a team-high 18 points against ODU.

• Moussa Kone averaged 9.0 ppg and 4.5 rpg vs. Mason and ODU.

James Madison

• Slipped to 5th in the CAA standings after a 66-64 loss at Northeastern and a 66-62 setback to Georgia State last week.

• Devon Moore has scored double figures in 7 straight games after tallying 12 points at NU and 14 vs. GSU. He also had 5 assists vs. GSU and became JMU's all-time leader in assists with 467, passing Pierre Curtis.

• A.J. Davis scored a team-high 21 points at NU and followed with 22 points and a career-high 10 rebounds vs. GSU. He's averaging 17.8 ppg and has hit 23 3-pointers over his last 6 games.

• Freshman Charles Cooke tallied 10 points and a team-high 7 rebounds at NU and had 7 points and 7 boards against GSU.

• Rayshawn Goins leads JMU with seven double-doubles and has scored double digits in 16 of the last 20 games.

• Guard Andre Nation made four steals last week to tie the JMU freshman record with 46 thefts for the season.

UNCW

• Lost 84-61 at ODU and 79-78 to Delaware last week. UNCW is 4-4 at home but just 1-7 on the road in CAA play.

• Keith Rendleman has 7 straight double-doubles after posting them vs. ODU (15 pts/11 reb) and UD (26 pts/12 reb). He has 18 for the season. He also has 19 straight games with double-digit points. He became UNCW's all-time rebounds leader (1,034) at ODU and ranks 5th in CAA history. He's 5th in career points at UNCW (1,468).

• Chris Dixon recorded his first double-double vs. UD with 12 points and a career-high 11 assists. He's scored double-digits in 10 of his last 13 games and has 25 assists in the past three contests.

• Cedrick Williams is averaging 11.7 ppg and 7.3 rpg over his last two games.

• UNCW committed a season-low two turnovers in the close loss to Delaware.

• Freshman Craig Ponder scored a team-high 16 points in the loss at ODU.

Northeastern

• Clinched a share of their first CAA regular-season title after a 66-64 victory over JMU last Wednesday.

• Quincy Ford scored double figures for the 6th straight game with a team-high 14 points vs JMU. He's averaging 16.3 ppg over the six-game stretch. Ford has also made 31 consecutive free throw attempts.

• Joel Smith ranks 2nd in the CAA in threes (2.5 pg), 2nd in 3-pt FG% (42.1%), 1st in FT% (85.7%) and 8th in scoring (16.0 ppg). He's 2nd in career treys (227) at NU.

• Jonathan Lee is averaging 13.3 ppg. 4.6 rpg and 4.0 apg in 19 games since returning from a preseason foot injury.

• Freshman David Walker scored 11 points vs. JMU, including a game-winning 15-foot jumper with 2.4 seconds to play.

• NU is shooting 46.4% from the floor, 41.8% from three and 78.7% from the FT line during CAA play, all of which lead the league.

Old Dominion

• Ended a 13-game home losing streak by beating UNCW 84-61 last Wednesday but fell 70-59 at Hofstra on Sunday.

• DeShawn Painter scored 18 points vs. UNCW and posted his 10th double-double (13 pts/12 reb) at HU. He's scored double figures in 9 straight games and is averaging 16.4 ppg and 9.6 rpg over that stretch.

• Dimitri Batten scored a team-high 19 points at HU and tallied 15 points vs. UNCW. Batten is averaging 16.8 ppg over his last 6 contests, including a 25-point effort vs. Northeastern on Feb. 9.

• Aaron Bacote had 12 points, 6 assists and 4 steals vs. UNCW while fellow rookie guard Keenan Palmore scored 11 points at HU.

• Richard Ross had 12 points and 7 rebounds vs. UNCW and grabbed 9 boards at HU. He's scored double digits in 5 of his last 9 games.

• ODU shot a season-best 58.9% from the floor and set a season-high for points vs. UNCW. The Monarchs had five players reach double figures.

Towson

• Defeated Drexel 72-71 on Saturday. Have won 6 of their last 7 overall and are 6-2 on the road in CAA play.

• Jerrelle Benimon posted his NCAA-leading 19th double-double vs. Drexel with 19 points and 10 rebounds. He ranks among the CAA's top 10 in scoring, rebounding, FG percentage and blocks and set Towson's Division I season rebounds mark with 326.

• Freshman Jerome Hairston scored a career-high 20 points vs. DU and made a critical steal in the game's final seconds.

• The Tigers shot 46% from the floor vs. Drexel and have topped the 50% mark in 4 of the last 6 games.

• Towson, which outrebounded DU 33-29, leads the CAA in rebound margin (+6.6 rpg).

• Towson's 11 CAA wins are its most ever and its 16 overall victories are the most since 1995-96. The Tigers have 11 wins away from home for the first time since 1976-77.

William & Mary

• Beat GSU 75-63 for their 3rd straight win before losing 60-58 at Mason last week.

• Marcus Thornton hit 6-of-12 threes and scored a team-high 22 points at Mason. Thornton has tallied double digits in 29 straight games. He tops the CAA with 3.1 treys per game and is shooting a league-best 43.6% from the arc.

• Brandon Britt hit 6-of-8 threes and scored a team-high 20 points vs. GSU. He's reached double digits in 6 of his last 7 games and is averaging 16.0 ppg over that stretch.

• Tim Rusthoven is among the CAA's top 11 in scoring and rebounding and leads the conference in FG% (55.3%).

• Matt Rum hit 4-of-6 treys and scored a career-high 16 points vs. GSU.

• W&M shot 57.8% from the floor, including 12-of-18 from three against GSU. The Tribe is shooting 51.1% over the last 7 games. W&M is averaging 11.0 threes made over the last six contests and is shooting 48.5% from the arc during that stretch.

 

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