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Courtesy: CAA
Georgia State's R.J. Hunter

CAA Men's Basketball Weekly Report - Feb. 4

Courtesy: CAA
          Release: 02/04/2013
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PLAYER AND ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
R.J. Hunter • Georgia State
Fr., G, 6-5, 175 - Indianapolis, Ind./Pike

Hunter averaged 32.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.0 steals in Georgia State's 2-0 week. The freshman guard tied a career high with 27 points as the Panthers handed first-place Northeastern its first league loss, 78-73, last Wednesday. On Saturday, he set a new career high with 38 points in GSU's 83-63 triumph over Old Dominion. The 38 points were the most by any freshman in the nation this season and the most by any GSU player in a game since 2008. He set a new school record and tied the CAA mark for 3-pointers made in a game by hitting 10-of-15 from beyond the arc. For the week, Hunter shot 61.1% from the floor, including 15-of-26 (57.7%) from 3-point range. He is the first to earn CAA Player and Rookie honors in the same week since Drexel's Chris Fouch on Feb. 8, 2010.

CONFERENCE NOTES:

Northeastern Maintains Top Spot In CAA Standings: Northeastern owns a 2.5-game lead atop the CAA standings after rebounding from a 78-73 loss to Georgia State by beating Drexel 59-52 last Saturday. Seven of the Huskies' 10 CAA games have been decided by seven points or less and they are 6-1 in those contests. Northeastern is 4-0 on the road in CAA play with victories over the top three teams in the league's preseason poll (Drexel, Delaware and George Mason) as well at Towson. The Huskies visit Hofstra and ODU this week.

Northeastern's CAA Start Among Best In League History: Northeastern's 9-1 record in CAA play is its best since the 2008-09 squad got off to a 10-1 start. The Huskies opened CAA play with an 8-0 mark, which was tied for the fifth-best start 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 holds a 2.5-game lead atop the CAA standings, the next six teams in the league race are separated by just 1.5 games. Delaware has won three in a row and sits second at 6-3. Georgia State, which has won six of its last seven, and James Madison, which has won four of its last five, are tied for third at 7-4. George Mason and Towson are right behind at 6-4 and Drexel is next at 5-5.

Three CAA Players Among Nation's Top 14 In Rebounding: Towson junior Jerrelle Benimon ranked third in the nation in rebounding (11.5 rpg), Delaware senior Jamelle Hagins ranked 10th (10.7 rpg) and UNCW senior Keith Rendleman was 14th (10.2 rpg) through games of Feb. 3. In other categories, Delaware's Devon Saddler was 21st (19.3 ppg), Drexel's Damion Lee was 46th (18.2 ppg), Mason's Sherrod Wright was 48th (18.1 ppg) and W&M's Marcus Thornton was 49th (18.0 ppg) in scoring. W&M's Tim Rusthoven was 39th (54.4%) in FG percentage. Thornton was also 33rd in 3-pointers per game (2.8) and 34th in 3-point FG% (40.6%). NU's Joel Smith was 27th in FT percentage (87.5%). GSU's James Vincent was 32nd (2.4 bpg), Hagins was 37th (2.3 bpg) and Benimon was 41st (2.2 bpg) in blocked shots.

Towson's Benimon Ranked #2 Nationally In Double-Doubles: Towson junior Jerrelle Benimon ranks second in the nation with 15 double-doubles after a 21-point, 17-rebound effort in a 68-66 win at ODU last Wednesday. Benimon has posted double-doubles in seven of his last nine games and trails only Bucknell's Mike Muscala with 16. Delaware senior Jamelle Hagins ranks 7th nationall with 12 double-doubles and UNCW senior Keith Rendleman is 11th with 11 double-doubles. Seven other CAA players have multiple double-doubles: JMU's Rayshawn Goins (6), ODU's DeShawn Painter (6), William & Mary's Tim Rusthoven (5), Towson's Bilal Dixon (2), Northeastern's Quincy Ford (2), Northeastern's Reggie Spencer (2) and UNCW's Cedrick Williams (2).

Record-Setting Performance For GSU's Hunter: Georgia State freshman guard R.J. 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 last Saturday. 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 a Panthers' player since Anton Reese scored 38 on Nov. 28, 1998. The 38 points were also the most by any freshman in the nation this season. Hunter was named the "Under The Radar Player of the Week" by SI.com and was chosen as one of the top five national "top players" by ESPN.com and NBCSports.com.

Mason's Wright Hits 20-Point Mark Again: George Mason junior guard Sherrod Wright has scored 20 or more points in 10 of his last 14 games after posting his first career double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds in a win at JMU last Saturday. Wright, who is averaging 19.0 ppg in CAA play, has a league-best 11 20-point efforts for the season.
Rendleman, Hagins Moving Up CAA Rebounding Chart: Delaware senior Jamelle Hagins and UNCW senior Keith Rendleman have moved into the top 10 on the CAA's career rebounding list. Hagins has 960 career boards and ranks 8th, while Rendleman has 955 career rebounds and ranks 9th. 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 (1,438) of any junior in Division I, trailing only Creighton's Doug McDermott. Saddler, who is averaging a league-best 19.3 ppg this season, ranks eighth on UD's all-time scoring list. Blue Hens' forward Jamelle Hagins became UD's all-time leader in rebounds (960) 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 263 career blocked shots.

Youth Movement: There are just eight seniors among the top 30 scorers in the CAA through games of Feb. 3. 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 three freshmen.

Freshmen Among Steals Leaders: ODU guard Keenan Palmore ranks third 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 ranks 7th (1.6 spg), JMU's Andre Nation is 8th (1.5 spg) and Northeastern's David Walker is 12th (1.2 spg).

Delaware Ranked 10th Nationally In Free Throw Shooting: Delaware was ranked 10th in the nation in free throw percentage at 76.0% according to the latest NCAA stats through games of Feb. 3. In other team categories, Towson was 37th (39.2%) in FG percentage defense, 40th in rebound margin (+5.3 rpg) and 22nd in blocked shots (5.3 bpg). William & Mary was 12th (28.6%) and UNCW was 37th (30.2%) in 3-point FG% defense. Drexel ranked 31st (74.2%) in free throw percentage and Northeastern was 19th in FT percentage (75.1%) and 41st in 3-point FG percentage (37.5%).

Delaware

• On a 3-game winning streak after beating Drexel (66-64), William & Mary (66-56) and UNCW (71-56) last week. Didn't trail over the final 33 minutes in all three games.

• Devon Saddler averaged 17.7 ppg and 5.3 rpg while shooting 52.4% last week. Saddler, who leads the CAA with 19.3 ppg, has scored double digits in 28 straight games and has tallied 20+ points eight times.

• Jamelle Hagins averaged 14.3 ppg last week and posted his 12th double-double (20 pts/11 reb) vs. UNCW. Hagins owns the UD career records for rebounds (960) and blocks (263).

• Kyle Anderson scored a team-high 15 points at DU and had 16 points and a career-high 9 rebounds vs. W&M.

• Guard Jarvis Threatt has scored double digits in 10 of his last 12 games.

• UD's 6-3 CAA record ties its best mark ever at the midway point of the league schedule.

Drexel

• Went 1-2 last week. Fell to Delaware (66-64) and Northeastern (59-52) but rallied from a 20-point deficit to defeat Mason (58-54).

• Sophomore Damion Lee scored a career-high 30 points vs. Delaware and followed with 29 points and 9 rebounds at Mason. Lee had his 16-game double-figure scoring streak snapped at NU (7 pts).

• Junior Frantz Massenat added 15 points vs. UD and 10 points at NU. He's scored double figures in 9 of his last 10 games. Massenat leads the CAA in assists (4.3 apg) and ranks 8th in career assists (370) at Drexel.

• Daryl McCoy grabbed 10 boards vs. UD and 11 at NU. He has 7 games with double-digit caroms. McCoy ranks 8th all-time in rebounds at DU (781) and is 4th in the CAA with 8.3 rpg this season.

• Dartaye Ruffin posted his 2nd double-double at NU with 12 points and 11 rebounds.

• Drexel outrebounded Mason (39-28) and Northeastern (35-25).

George Mason

• Rebounded from a 58-54 loss to Drexel by posting a 74-63 win at JMU last week.

• Sherrod Wright posted his 1st double-double vs. JMU (22 points/career-high 11 rebounds). Wright has scored 20 or more points a league-high 11 times this season, with 10 coming in the past 14 games.

• Wright has been Mason's top scorer in 18 of 22 games. He ranks among the CAA's top six in scoring, FG% and FT%.

• Junior Jonthan Arledge started in place of Johnny Williams (concussion) last week and responded with 14 points and five rebounds vs. DU and a career-high 19 points and six boards at JMU. He shot 50% from the floor.

• Junior Bryon Allen returned to the starting lineup at Towson on Jan. 23 and scored a season-high 16 points. He contributed 8 points and a season-high 7 assists at JMU.

• Mason shot 49% from the floor and 88.5% (23-26) at the FT line in the win at JMU.

Georgia State

• Have won six of their last seven after a 78-73 victory at first-place Northeastern and an 83-63 triumph over ODU last week.

• Freshman R.J. Hunter tied his career high with 27 points at NU then broke it with 38 points vs. ODU. He's scored double figures 19 times and has 10 20-point outings.

• Hunter made 10 3-pointers vs. ODU, setting a GSU record and tying the CAA mark set by Mason's Dre Smith in 2008. His 38 points were the most by a GSU player since 1998.

• Manny Atkins had 16 points and 9 rebounds vs. ODU. Atkins, who tops the CAA in 3-pt FG% (42.2%), has scored double digits in 18 of his last 20 games with five 20+ point efforts. He has made 19 straight free throws.

• Devonta White averaged 11.5 ppg and 6.5 apg last week. He's reached double digits in 19 straight games. White ranks among the CAA's top five in assists and steals.

• GSU has made 71-of-90 at the line in the past 5 games. GSU is shooting a league-best 78.9% from the FT line in CAA play.

Hofstra

• Suffered losses at JMU (62-41) and William & Mary (72-59) last week. Fell to 0-11 on the road this season.

• Senior David Imes tallied team-highs of 10 points and 6 rebounds at JMU and 16 points and 7 boards at W&M. Imes has scored double figures five times and is four rebounds shy of 500 for his career.

• Leading scorer Taran Buie (14.4 ppg) was held to 8 points at JMU and 9 points at W&M. Buie has tallied double digits in 14 of his last 17 games.

• Stevie Mejia had 11 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists at W&M. Mejia ranks 3rd in the CAA in assists (4.1 apg), 2nd in steals (1.9 spg) and has scored double digits 13 times.

• Stephen Nwaukoni had 10 points and 7 rebounds in 13 minutes at W&M. He ranks 8th in the CAA with 7.6 rpg.

• Hofstra committed a season-low six turnovers at W&M.

James Madison

• Defeated UNCW (63-56) and Hofstra (62-41) before a loss to Mason (74-63) ended a 4-game overall winning streak and 6-game home winning streak.

• Rayshawn Goins averaged 13.3 ppg and 9.3 rpg last week, including his 6th double-double (11pts/12reb) at UNCW. He has scored double digits in 13 of the last 15 games.

• Devon Moore scored a career-high 25 points vs. Mason and averaged 15.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg and 3.3 apg for the week. Moore ranks 2nd on JMU's all-time assists list (426).

• Freshman Charles Cooke scored a career-high 13 points on 5-of-5 FG shooting vs. HU.

• Andre Nation added 13 points vs. HU and 11 points at UNCW. He's scored double digits in 4 of his last 5 games.

• JMU leads the CAA in scoring defense (56.7 ppg) and FG% defense (37.6%) in conference play. The Dukes allowed just 48.3 ppg during their 4-game winning streak.

UNCW

• Fell 63-56 to JMU and 71-56 at Delaware last week. Loss to JMU was just their second at home this season (7-2).

• Keith Rendleman posted his 11th double-double (20 points/13 rebounds) vs. JMU. It was his sixth 20+ point game of the season. He ranks 9th on the CAA's all-time rebounds list (955) and is 6th on UNCW's all-time points list (1,333).

• Chris Dixon scored double digits for the 5th straight game with 16 points vs. JMU but was held to 5 points at UD. Dixon is averaging 17.8 ppg over his last six games and has made 15 3-pointers over that stretch.

• Cedrick Williams added 10 points and six rebounds vs. JMU and grabbed 8 rebounds at UD. It was his top scoring game since Jan. 5 when he netted 12 at Northeastern.

• Freshman guard Craig Ponder scored a team-high 14 points off the bench at UD. It was his most points since netting 23 vs. Towson on Jan. 2.

Northeastern

• Lost 78-73 to Georgia State but beat Drexel 59-52 last week. Off to best CAA start since opening 10-1 in 2008-09.

• Joel Smith averaged 15.0 ppg last week and has scored double figures in 7 straight games. Smith ranks 2nd in the CAA in threes (54) and 3-pt FG% (41.5%), leads the CAA in FT% (87.5%) and is 7th in scoring (16.5 ppg).

• Jonathan Lee tallied 14 points vs. GSU and a team-high 17 vs. DU to go over 1,000 points for his career. He's averaging 13.2 ppg. 4.6 rpg and 4.3 apg in 13 games since returning from a preseason foot injury.

• Reggie Spencer scored a team-high 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds vs. GSU. Spencer was 9-of-12 from the floor last week and is shooting 54.4% for the season.

• NU has scored more points off turnovers (196-110) than its opponent in 9 of 10 CAA games.

• Northeastern made its first 20 free throw attempts vs. Drexel and finished 21-of-23.

Old Dominion

• Lost 68-66 to Towson and 83-63 at Georgia State last week.

• Senior DeShawn Painter tallied a team-high 20 points and 9 rebounds vs. Towson and posted his 6th double-double at GSU (15 pts/14 reb). He leads the Monarchs in scoring (11.8 ppg) and rebounding (8.2 rpg).

• Richard Ross posted his first double-double (13 pts/season-high 10 reb) vs. TU and had 15 points and 9 boards at GSU. Ross also blocked 5 shots vs. Towson and has a team-high 31 rejections for the season.

• Guard Keenan Palmore scored 8 points and dished out a career-high 8 assists vs. Towson. He ranks 4th among CAA freshmen in scoring (8.2 ppg).

• ODU outrebounded GSU 43-31 after being beaten on the glass in the past 4 games.

• Sophomore Dimitri Batten added 15 points vs. Towson and nine points at GSU.

Towson

• Earned a 68-66 victory at ODU last Wednesday, ending an 18-game losing streak vs. the Monarchs. TU is 4-1 in CAA road games.

• Jerrelle Benimon posted his CAA-leading 15th double-double with 21 points and 17 rebounds vs. ODU. It was his 11th straight game scoring double figures and his sixth game with 20 or more points this season.

• Junior Marcus Damas added 15 points at ODU. He's scored double figures in of his last 12 games.

• Towson grabbed a season-high 49 rebounds and outrebounded ODU by 15. The Tigers had 22 offensive boards.

• Bilal Dixon grabbed 10 rebounds at ODU, which was his 6th game with 10+ boards.

• Rafriel Guthrie poured in 15 points off the bench at ODU. It was his fifth double-digit effort in the last eight games.

William & Mary

• Split a pair of games last week, losing 66-56 at Delaware before topping Hofstra 72-59.

• Tim Rusthoven averaged 15.0 ppg and 10.0 rpg last week, including his 4th double-double in the last 6 games vs. HU (17 points/career-high 16 rebounds). He's averaging 18.0 ppg and 9.5 rpg over the past six games.

• Rusthoven's 16 rebounds vs. Hofstra were the most by a W&M player since David Culley had 26 against VMI on Jan. 16, 1996.

• Marcus Thornton averaged 19.0 ppg last week, including a team-high 22 points at UD. Thornton, who has tallied double digits in 23 straight games, was 6-of-12 from 3 last week and leads the league with 58 treys.

• Junior Brandon Britt scored a team-high 17 points on 7-of-9 FG shooting vs. Hofstra. It was Britt's top scoring effort since Jan. 12.

• W&M dished out 18 assists on 25 made field goals vs. Hofstra and shot a season-best 56.8% from the field.

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