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Courtesy: CAA
Towson's Jerome Hairston

CAA Men's Basketball Weekly Report - March 4

Courtesy: CAA
          Release: 03/04/2013
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PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
A.J. Davis • James Madison
Sr., G, 6-6, 210 - Columbus, Ohio/Harmony Community

Davis scored a career-high 36 points as JMU rallied from a 19-point deficit to defeat William & Mary 69-67 last Saturday. The senior guard was 15-of-23 from the floor, including 5-of-10 from three-point range. He also had five rebounds, four steals and a career-high three blocked shots. Davis is averaging 20.4 points over the Dukes' last seven games.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Damion Lee • Drexel
So., G, 6-6, 195 - Baltimore, Md./Calvert Hall

Lee averaged 23.0 points and 7.5 rebounds in Drexel's 2-0 week. The sophomore guard poured in a career-best 34 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in an 81-77 win at ODU last Thursday. He was 11-of-14 from the floor, including 7-of-8 from three-point range. He also contributed 12 points in a 62-46 victory over UNCW. Lee shot 57.7% from the floor for the week.

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

Hairston averaged 13.0 points, 4.5 assists and 3.5 rebounds in Towson's 2-0 week. The freshman guard scored a team-high 17 points and dished out four assists in a 67-64 win over Hofstra and had nine points and five assists in an 85-81 overtime victory at George Mason.

CONFERENCE NOTES:

Pairings Set For CAA Men's Basketball Championship: The pairings are set for the 2013 CAA Men's Basketball Championship, presented by Jani-King, which will be held March 9-11 at the Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, Va. In Saturday's quarterfinals, #4 George Mason meets #5 Drexel at 3:30 p.m., #2 Delaware takes on #7 Hofstra at 6 p.m. and #3 James Madison takes on #6 William & Mary at 8:30 p.m. On Sunday, #1 Northeastern plays the Mason/Drexel winner at 2 p.m., followed by the Delaware/Hofstra winner against the JMU/W&M winner at 4:30 p.m. The championship game is set for 7 p.m. on Monday.

Close Games Continue In CAA Play: Eight of the 10 CAA games played last week were decided by five points or less and two went to overtime. Of the 16 conference contests played since Feb. 21, three went to overtime, four had a one-point margin, two were decided by two points and another by three points.

Northeastern Clinches First Regular-Season Title: Northeastern clinched its first CAA regular-season title after defeating Georgia State 90-84 in overtime last Wednesday. Senior Joel Smith tied a career high with 29 points in the win. Fourteen of the Huskies' 18 CAA games were decided by seven points or less and they were 11-3 in those contests. Northeastern was 8-1 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 tied the school record for most CAA wins in a season (14), set by the 2009-10 team.

Towson Has Nation's Biggest Turnaround: Towson posted the biggest turnaround in NCAA history this season at 17.5 games after improving from 1-31 in 2011-12 to 18-13 this season. The Tigers' 13 conference victories were their most since joining the CAA in 2001-02 and they reached the 18-win mark for the first time since 1993-94. Towson's 12 victories away from home (9-8 away, 3-0 neutral) are its most since 1976-77. The Tigers closed the season with eight wins in their final nine contests.

Road Warriors: Home teams were just 51-48 (51.5%) in CAA play this season after the visitors won seven of 10 games last week. Six of the top seven teams in the league standings (Northeastern, Delaware, Towson, George Mason, Georgia State and Drexel) had equal or better conference marks on the road than they did at home.

Parity Around The CAA: All 11 CAA teams have recorded at least one win and one loss since Feb. 12. Only Delaware (4 games) and Towson (4 games) have winning streaks longer than two games and only UNCW (4 games) has 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 17.1 points and 11.2 reobunds per game for the Tigers and has 20 double-doubles in 31 contests.

Northeastern Excels On The Road: Northeastern owns the fourth-best road winning percentage among all 347 Division I teams. The Huskies' 10-2 mark trails on Gonzaga (10-1), Memphis (8-1) and future CAA member College of Charleston (11-2). Northeastern is one of only 15 schools in the nation with at least 10 road victories.

Delaware Down To The Wire: Six of Delaware's last seven games were decided by 2 points or less and the Blue Hens were 5-1 in those contests. UD hasn't had a game with a final margin of greater than seven points since Feb. 6.

Northeastern Sets CAA Free Throw Mark: Northeastern set a school and CAA record by going 27-for-27 at the free throw line in the Huskies' 90-84 overtime win at Georgia State last Wednesday. NU was 12-for-12 from the charity stripe in the overtime period. The previous CAA record was held by ODU, which went 22-for-22 vs. Richmond in 2005.

Three CAA Players Among Nation's Top 11 In Rebounding: Towson junior Jerrelle Benimon ranked third in the nation in rebounding (11.2 rpg), Delaware senior Jamelle Hagins ranked 8th (10.5 rpg) and UNCW senior Keith Rendleman was 11th (10.5 rpg) through games of March 3. In other categories, Delaware's Devon Saddler was 15th (20.2 ppg) and W&M's Marcus Thornton was 33rd (18.6 ppg) in scoring. W&M's Tim Rusthoven was 29th (55.8%) and Rendleman was 49th (53.9%) in FG percentage. Thornton was also 10th in 3-pointers per game (3.1) and 20th in 3-point FG% (43.3%). NU's Joel Smith was 27th in FT percentage (87%), 44th in 3-pointers per game (2.7) and 26th in 3-point FG% (42.5%). Hagins was 33rd (2.4 bpg) and GSU's James Vincent was 40th (2.3 bpg) in blocked shots. George Mason's Bryon Allen ranked 36th in assist/turnover ratio (2.37).

Benimon, Rendleman Lead Nation In Double-Doubles: Towson junior Jerrelle Benimon and UNCW senior Keith Rendleman are tied for the national lead in double-doubles with 20. Benimon posted 12 double-doubles in his last 17 games. Rendleman recorded double-doubles in his final nine games. Delaware senior Jamelle Hagins is 14th nationally with 13 double-doubles. Four other CAA players have at least four double-doubles: ODU's DeShawn Painter (11), JMU's Rayshawn Goins (7), W&M's Tim Rusthoven (5) and Towson's Bilal Dixon (4).

Rendleman, Hagins Among Top Six On CAA Rebounding Chart: UNCW senior Keith Rendleman and Delaware senior Jamelle Hagins have entered the top six on the CAA's career rebounding list. Rendleman has 1,055 career rebounds and ranks 5th, while Hagins has 1,051 career boards and ranks 6th. 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 4th on the CAA's career blocks list with 285. 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 (1,641) 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 third on UD's all-time scoring list. He has scored double figures in 37 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 March 4. NU's Joel Smith and UNCW's Keith Rendleman are the only seniors among the top 10. The top 30 also includes 11 juniors, eight sophomores and two freshmen.

Freshmen Among Steals Leaders: ODU guard Keenan Palmore ranks second in the CAA with 1.9 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 13th (1.2 spg).

Three Teams Among Top 32 Nationally In Free Throw Shooting: Northeastern was ranked 6th (76.7%), Delaware was 15th (75.6%) and Drexel was 32nd (74.3%) in the nation in free throw percentage according to the latest NCAA stats through games of March 3. In other team categories, Towson was 50th (39.6%) in FG percentage defense, 21st in rebound margin (+6.6 rpg) and 15th in blocked shots (5.5 bpg). Northeastern was 39th in 3-point FG percentage (37.5%) and William & Mary was 43rd in 3-point FG percentage (37.4%) and 39th in FG percentage (46.7%). Hofstra was 40th (30.6%) in 3-pt. FG% defense. James Madison was 27th (11.2 tpg), Georgia State was 41st (11.5 tpg) and Drexel was 43rd (11.6 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 set the school's freshman scoring record with 527 points, breaking Matt O'Brien's mark (515 points) set 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

• On a 4-game win streak after beating Hofstra (57-56) and Mason (82-77) last week. Six of UD's last 7 games were decided by 2 points or less and they were 5-1 in those.

• Devon Saddler scored 19 points at Hofstra and 22 points vs. Mason. Saddler has scored double digits in 37 straight games and has tallied 20+ points 15 times, including 8 of the last 10 games. He's now 3rd on UD's all-time scoring list (1,641 pts).

• Jarvis Threatt tallied 20 points vs. Mason and has scored double digits in 8 straight games. He's averaging 16.3 ppg and 7.6 rpg over that stretch.

• Jamelle Hagins ranks 14th nationally with 13 double-doubles. Hagins owns the UD career records and is among the top 6 in the CAA in rebounds (1,051) and blocks (285).

• Kyle Anderson scored 17 points vs. Mason and had the game-winning putback with 5 seconds left at Hofstra.

• UD's 13 CAA wins are its most ever and its #2 CAA Tournament seed is its highest.

Drexel

• Posted victories over ODU (81-77) and UNCW (62-46) last week.

• Damion Lee posted his 3rd double-double of the season with a career-high 34 points and 10 rebounds at ODU. He was a career-best 7-of-8 from 3-point range. Lee is averaging 19.3 ppg over his last six games.

• Junior Frantz Massenat added 22 points and 6 assists at ODU. He's scored double figures in 16 of his last 18 games. Massenat ranks 6th in career assists (402) at Drexel and has gone over 1,000 career points (1,102).

• Massenat has 26 assists and just three turnovers over his last 209 minutes of action.

• Derrick Thomas averaged 12.0 ppg last week. He's scored double figures in 10 straight games and is averaging 13.9 ppg over that stretch.

• Senior Daryl McCoy had 13 points and 17 rebounds in his final home game vs. UNCW. He's 6th all-time in rebounds at DU (852).

George Mason

• Fell 85-81 in OT to Towson and 82-77 at Delaware last week.

• Jonathan Arledge scored a team-high 17 points vs. Towson. He's scored double-digits in 6 of the last 10 games and is averaging 13.5 ppg and 5.8 rpg over that stretch.

• Erik Copes posted his 3rd double-double with 13 points and a career-high 15 rebounds vs. TU. He's scored double figures in 6 of the last 8 games and is averaging 9.5 ppg and 8.2 rpg over that stretch.

• Junior Sherrod Wright scored 20 points at Delaware, which was his 12th 20-point effort of the season. Wright has been Mason's leading scorer 19 times.

• Freshman Marko Gujanicic scored a career-high 21 points at Delaware. He was 8-of-14 from the floor, including 4-of-5 from three.

• Junior Bryon Allen is averaging 11.7 ppg and 3.3 apg over his last three games.

Georgia State

• Ended the season with a 90-84 overtime loss to Northeastern last Wednesday.

• R.J. Hunter scored 13 points vs. NU and set the GSU freshman scoring record (527 pts). He scored double figures 24 times and had 12 20-point outings. Hunter averaged 19.6 ppg over his final nine games and led all CAA freshmen in scoring.

• Manny Atkins tied a career-high with 26 points and had a career-best 12 rebounds vs. NU for his 3rd double-double. He's 3rd in the CAA in 3-pt FG% (41.2%) and scored double digits in 24 of his last 27 games with seven 20+ point efforts.

• Devonta White netted 24 points vs. NU and scored double figures in 25 of his last 26 games. White, who ranks among the CAA's top six in assists and steals, reached the 1,000-point mark for his career

• Senior James Vincent scored eight points in his final game with the Panthers. Vincent is 2nd in the CAA in blocked shots (2.3 bpg) and ranks 2nd on GSU's all-time blocks chart with 132.

Hofstra

• Lost 57-56 to Delaware and 67-64 at Towson last week. Hofstra has played 10 games decided by 5 points or less and is 3-7 in those contests.

• Stevie Mejia tied a career high with 22 points at Towson and had 16 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals vs. UD. He's scored double figures in 9 of his last 10 games and is averaging 14.9 ppg over that stretch. He also ranks 3rd in the CAA in assists (4.1 apg) and 1st in steals (2.0 spg).

• Moussa Kone scored a career-high 18 points against UD and topped it with 20 points on 10-of-13 FG shooting at Towson. He's averaging 14.0 ppg over his past 4 games.

• Stephen Nwaukoni has missed the past 4 games with a shoulder injury. He ranks 6th in the CAA with 7.9 rpg.

• Taran Buie has reached double figures 21 times this season.

• David Imes averaged 10.0 ppg and 6.0 rpg last week. He has 550 career boards.

James Madison

• Rallied from a 19-point deficit to defeat William & Mary 69-67 last Saturday. JMU's #3 tournament seed is its best since 2000.

• A.J. Davis scored a career-high 36 points at W&M on 15-23 FG shooting, including 5-10 from 3. Davis has led JMU in scoring in 5 of the last 7 games and is averaging 20.4 ppg with 28 3-pointers over that stretch.

• Devon Moore has scored double figures in 7 of his last 8 games. He leads the CAA in assists (4.8 apg) and is JMU's all-time leader in assists with 473.

• Freshman Ron Curry contributed 10 points at W&M. It was his first double-digit scoring effort since Jan. 26.

• Rayshawn Goins leads JMU with seven double-doubles and has scored double digits in 16 of the last 21 games.

• Guard Andre Nation made two steals at W&M to break the JMU freshman record with 48 thefts for the season.

UNCW

• Ended the season with a 73-72 loss to W&M and a 62-46 setback at Drexel.

• Keith Rendleman closed the year with 9 straight double-doubles after posting them vs. W&M (24 pts/11 reb) and Drexel (24 pts/10 reb). He's tied for the NCAA lead with 20 double-doubles and also has 21 straight games with double-digit points.

• Rendleman is UNCW's all-time rebounds leader (1,055) and ranks 5th in CAA history. He's 4th in career points at UNCW (1,516).

• Chris Dixon chipped in 14 points and 5 assists vs. W&M. He scored double-digits in 11 of his last 15 games and had 33 assists in his final five contests.

• Freddie Jackson scored a career-high 16 points vs. W&M and led UNCW with six assists and no turnovers.

• UNCW shot 62.5% in the first half vs. W&M and finished at 53.8% from the floor.

Northeastern

• Clinched their first CAA regular-season title with a 90-84 in OT at Georgia State, but lost 81-74 to ODU. Went 8-1 in CAA road games and tied a school record for CAA victories.

• Joel Smith tied a career high with 29 points at GSU and had 19 points vs. ODU. He ranks 2nd in the CAA in threes (2.7 pg), 2nd in 3-pt FG% (42.5%), 1st in FT% (87%) and 7th in scoring (16.5 ppg). He's 2nd in career treys (237) at NU.

• Quincy Ford has scored double figures in 7 of the last 8 games. Ford has also made 31 consecutive free throw attempts.

• Jonathan Lee scored a season-high 26 points vs. ODU. He's averaging 13.8 ppg. 4.5 rpg and 4.1 apg in 21 games since returning from a preseason foot injury.

• Freshman David Walker hit 4-of-6 threes and scored 16 points vs. GSU. He's averaging 9.7 ppg over his last three games.

• NU is shooting 46% from the floor, 41% from three and 79.5% from the FT line during CAA play.

Old Dominion

• Lost 81-77 to Drexel before knocking off 1st place Northeastern 81-74 last week.

• DeShawn Painter posted his 11th double-double (15 pts/10 reb) vs. Drexel and had 15 points at NU. He's scored double figures in his final 11 games and averaged 16.2 ppg and 9.4 rpg over that stretch.

• Dimitri Batten tallied double figures in his final 8 games after scoring 13 at NU and 12 vs. Drexel. He averaged 15.7 ppg over his last 8 contests, including a 25-point effort vs. Northeastern on Feb. 9.

• Aaron Bacote scored 15 points vs. DU. He hit double digits in 4 of the last 6 games.

• Donte Hill added 14 points and 4 assists vs. DU and 15 points and 4 assists at NU after netting just 11 points in his three previous games combined.

• The Monarchs had five players score in double figures in three of the last four games. ODU shot 50% or better in four of the final five contests.

Towson

• Beat Mason 85-81 in OT to end a 20-game losing streak to the Patriots and topped Hofstra 67-64 last week. Won 8 of their last 9 games and went 7-2 in CAA road games.

• Jerrelle Benimon, who leads the nation with 20 double-doubles, scored a career-high 31 points at Mason and had 14 points and 13 rebounds vs. Hofstra. He set Towson's Division I season rebounds mark with 346.

• Junior Marcus Damas scored a season-high 23 points at Mason and added 17 points vs. Hofstra. He had 9 double-digit efforts in the final 10 games.

• A season-high crowd of 4,119 saw the Tigers play their final home game in the Towson Center against Hofstra.

• Towson outrebounded both foes last week and tops the CAA in rebound margin (+6.6 rpg).

• Towson's 13 CAA wins are its most ever and its 18 overall victories are the most since 1993-94. The Tigers have 12 wins away from home for the first time since 1976-77.

William & Mary

• Posted a 73-72 victory at UNCW but lost 69-67 to JMU last week. Have won four of their last six games.

• Marcus Thornton scored 17 points at UNCW and 20 vs. JMU. He's tallied double digits in 31 straight games. Thornton tops the CAA with 3.1 treys per game and is shooting a league-best 43.3% from the arc.

• Brandon Britt scored 17 points at UNCW and has reached double digits in 7 of his last 9 games. He's averaging 15.3 ppg in that stretch and is 9 shy of 1,000 for his career.

• Tim Rusthoven averaged 18.5 ppg last week and made the game-winning FT at UNCW with 0.4 seconds left. He leads the conference in FG percentage (55.8%).

• Julian Boatner scored a season-high 11 points at UNCW on 4-of-4 FG shooting, including 3-for-3 from 3-point range.

• W&M shot 59.6% vs. JMU and is shooting 52.1% over the last 9 games. The Tribe is averaging 10.0 threes made over the last eight contests.

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