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Men’s Basketball Notebook – Dec. 2

Dec 2, 2013, 4:31 PM EDT

Drexel's Chris Fouch Drexel's Chris Fouch

PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Chris Fouch • Drexel
Gr., G, 6-2, 185 – Bronx, N.Y./Rice
Fouch averaged 24.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists as Drexel placed third in the NIT Season Tip-Off Tournament. The sixth-year guard poured in a season-high 29 points and grabbed five rebounds as Drexel dropped a narrow 66-62 decision to 4th-ranked Arizona in the semifinals and then scored a team-high 19 points with five rebounds and three assists in an 85-83 triple-overtime victory against Alabama. It was the Dragons’ first victory ever over an SEC opponent and its first win ever in Madison Square Garden.

ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Omar Prewitt • William & Mary
Fr., G/F, 6-6, 180 – Mount Sterling, Ky./Montgomery County
Prewitt averaged 23.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists in William & Mary’s 2-0 week. He went 5-of-7 from 3-point range and scored a career-high 22 points in a 97-67 victory over VMI and then topped it with 24 points, including 10 in overtime, in an 84-79 win at Howard. Prewitt became the first Tribe freshman since 2005 to produce back-to-back 20-point games. For the week, he shot 50% from the floor, 58.3% from 3-point range and 88.2% from the FT line.

CONFERENCE NOTES:

DREXEL PLACES 3RD IN NIT SEASON TIP-OFF: Drexel outlasted Alabama 85-83 in triple overtime to finish third in the NIT Season Tip-Off Tournament at Madison Square Garden. It was the Dragons’ first victory ever over an SEC opponent and their first win at MSG. Senior guard Chris Fouch scored a career-high 29 points in a 66-62 setback to #4 Arizona in the semifinals and followed with a team-high 19 points against the Crimson Tide. Junior Kazembe Abif came off the bench to post a double-double (15 pts/11 reb) vs. Alabama and guard Frantz Massenat earned all-tournament honors after scoring 17 points in both games. It’s the fourth time since 2005 that a CAA team has reached the NIT semifinals.

TOWSON OFF TO BEST START EVER: Towson is off to its best start ever at the Division I level after going 3-0 last week to improve to 6-2 overall. The last time the Tigers opened so strong was 1977-78 when they went 21-2 as a Division II squad. Towson is a perfect 6-0 at home this season and its 10-game home court winning streak is the 23rd-longest in the nation currently. The Tigers’ home court streak is their longest since winning 22 in a row from 1992-95.

NOTABLE PERFORMANCES: Along with the efforts turned in by weekly honorees Chris Fouch and Omar Prewitt, several other CAA players had impressive performances. Delaware senior guard Davon Usher averaged 22.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 4.0 apg and 2.5 spg in a pair of victories last week. Usher has surpassed the 20-point mark in three straight games. W&M senior forward Tim Rusthoven averaged 20.5 ppg, 11.0 rpg and 3.5 apg in the Tribe’s 2-0 week. He tallied career-highs of 26 points and 16 rebounds in a win over VMI, with the 16 boards being the most by a W&M player since 1996. Towson senior forward Marcus Damas averaged 17.3 ppg and 5.7 rpg to lead the Tigers to a 3-0 week.

CHALLENGING SCHEDULES: Of the 36 non-conference losses suffered by CAA teams this season, 15 have come against teams either ranked or receiving votes in this week’s Associated Press Top 25 poll. Drexel’s only two losses were to #2 Arizona and #18 UCLA, while Towson’s only two losses came against #6 Kansas and #14 Villanova. College of Charleston  and UNCW have each suffered two setbacks to current Top 25 squads, while Delaware, Hofstra and William & Mary have lost one. Three of Northeastern’s five losses have come against teams receiving votes in the poll.

LIGHTING UP THE SCOREBOARD: Delaware has scored 80 or more points in six consecutive games for the first time since 1999 and just the third time in school history. The Blue Hens are averaging a league-best 83.9 ppg for the season. William & Mary scored its most points in a regulation game since 2004 as it rolled past VMI 97-67 last Wednesday. The Tribe averaged 90.5 ppg last week and are scoring 76.7 ppg for the season.

TRANSFERS MAKE AN IMPACT: Several transfers continue to make a big impact in the CAA. Hofstra’s Zeke Upshaw (Illinois State) leads the CAA in scoring with 20.1 ppg, while the Pride’s Dion Nesmith (Monmouth) is 15th (13.5 ppg). Delaware’s Davon Usher (Mississippi Valley State) ranks second in the CAA in scoring (19.6 ppg) and seventh in rebounding (7.1 rpg). Northeastern’s Scott Eatherton (St. Francis Pa.) is among the league’s top 10 in scoring (16.3 ppg/7th), rebounding (10.6 rpg/1st) and FG percentage (61.6%/1st). UNCW’s Ben Eblen (Alabama) is third in the CAA in assists (4.2 apg) and first in assist/TO ratio.

NU’S EATHERTON AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS IN DOUBLE-DOUBLES: Northeastern junior forward Scott Eatherton is tied for fifth in the nation with five double-doubles according to the latest NCAA statistics released on Dec. 2. Eatherton is also 15th in rebounding (10.6 rpg) and 31st in FG percentage (61.6%). In other categories, Delaware junior Jarvis Threatt ranked 8th in Division I in steals (3.0 spg) and 29th in assists (5.7 apg), while Blue Hens’ junior Kyle Anderson was 23rd in 3-pointers per game (3.29) and 32dd in 3-point FG% (50%). Towson’s Jerrelle Benimon ranked 41st in rebounding (9.6 rpg) and Delaware’s Carl Baptiste is 38th in FG percentage (59.7%).

THORNTON EXTENDS DOUBLE-DIGIT SCORING STREAK: William & Mary junior guard Marcus Thornton has scored double figures in 39 consecutive games, a streak that dates back to his freshman year. He reached double digits in all 30 contests in 2012-13 and he ranks fourth in the CAA in scoring so far this season with 19.0 ppg.

College of Charleston

•    Went 1-2 at The Wooden Legacy, beating Cal State Fullerton (61-48) after losing to San Diego St. (72-52) and Arizona St (80-58).

•    Junior Adjehi Baru posted his 2nd double-double of the season in the CS Fullerton win with 13 points and 10 rebounds. He also blocked a career-high five shots.

•    Junior Anthony Stitt tallied 14 points and a career high-tying 7 rebounds vs. CSF and scored a team-best 12 points vs. ASU. He was 4-of-8 from three in the two games.

•    Redshirt freshman Canyon Barry also had 14 points vs. CSF and is 2nd among all freshmen in the CAA in scoring with 12.6 ppg.

•    Freshman point guard Joe Chealey tallied seven points and three assists vs. SDSU and added 12 points in the CSF victory.

•    Senior Willis Hall grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds in the CSF win, which was his third double-digit rebounding effort of the season. He surpassed the 600-rebound mark (604) for his career.

Delaware

•    Won 80-70 at Delaware State and topped Robert Morris 86-67 last week.

•    Forward Davon Usher tallied a team-high 23 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists at DSU and had 22 points and 5 steals vs. Robert Morris. Usher is averaging 24.0 ppg and shooting 54.3% from the floor in the last 3 games.

•    Junior guard Jarvis Threatt netted a team-high 24 points vs. Robert Morris and added 17 points in the DSU win. Over the last 5 games, he’s averaging 21.0 ppg and 6.4 apg.

•    Junior Kyle Anderson hit four treys and scored 12 points at DSU. He’s 19-for-34 (55.9%) from 3-point range over the past five games and is shooting a league-best 50% from beyond the arc for the year.

•    Senior forward Carl Baptiste posted a double-double (13pts/11reb) vs. RMC and has scored double digits in 6 straight games.

•    Delaware has reached 80 points in 6 straight games for the first time since 1999 and is averaging a league-best 83.9 ppg.

Drexel

•    Outlasted Alabama 85-83 in 3ot to finish 3rd in the NIT Season Tip-Off. It was Drexel’s first win ever over an SEC team. Fell 66-62 to #4 Arizona in the semifinals.

•    Guard Chris Fouch scored a team-high 29 points vs. Arizona and a team-best 19 points vs. Alabama. He’s averaging 21.2 ppg over his last five games. Fouch ranks 6th in career threes (216) and 15th in career points (1,311) at Drexel.

•    Senior Frantz Massenat earned NIT All-Tournament honors after scoring 17 points against Arizona and Alabama.

•    Junior guard Damion Lee had his streak of 10 straight games scoring in double digits snapped vs. Arizona (6 pts) after suffering a second-half knee injury. He’s just 40 points shy of 1,000 for his career.

•    Freshman Rodney Williams grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds in his first career start vs. Arizona and had 7 pts vs. Alabama.

•    Kazembe Abif posted his 2nd double-double of the season vs. Alabama with a career-high 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Hofstra

•    Lost 66-59 to local rival Manhattan on Saturday. Game was tied 58-58 with 2:46 to go.

•    Guard/forward Zeke Upshaw scored a team-high 21 points against Manhattan, which was his fourth 20-point effort of the season. Upshaw leads the CAA in scoring with 20.1 ppg.

•    Guard Dion Nesmith, who is the Pride’s second-leading scorer (13.5 ppg), missed the Manhattan game due to an injury.

•    Stephen Nwaukoni scored nine points and grabbed a game-high seven rebounds against Manhattan.

•    Freshman Jamall Robinson dished out a career-high seven assists vs. Manhattan.

•    Sophomore Darren Payen contributed 10 points off the bench vs. Manhattan. It was his third double-digit effort of the season and second in the past three games.

•    Hofstra has led at halftime in six of its seven games this season.

James Madison

•    Have dropped four in a row on the road after losing 69-57 at Winthrop and 68-53 at Richmond last week.

•    Sophomore guard Charles Cooke scored a career-high 20 points at Richmond and had 12 points and a career-high nine rebounds vs. Winthrop. He’s scored double digits in seven straight games.

•    Sophomore Ron Curry tallied 15 points and a career-high seven rebounds against Winthrop and netted 16 points with six rebounds at Richmond.

•    Freshmen Jackson Kent scored a season-high 16 points at Winthrop. He was the sixth different player to lead JMU in scoring.

•    Forward Andrey Semenov has missed the past three games due to injury. He’s 43 points shy of 1,000 for his career.

•    The Dukes went 0-for-16 from 3-point range at UR and 4-for-20 at Winthrop. It was the first time since 2011 that JMU failed to make a trey in a game.

UNCW

•    Went 2-1 last week, splitting home games with Campbellsville (72-55) and SF Austin (55-60) before picking up a 70-68 road victory at rival East Carolina on Sunday.

•    Junior Cedrick Williams tallied team-highs of 17 points and 9 rebounds at ECU. He also blocked 3 shots, including one at the buzzer on a game-tying shot attempt. He ranks among the CAA’s top 15 in scoring and rebounding and is first in blocks.

•    Junior Addison Spruill scored a team-high 23 points against SFA and added 15 points at ECU. He’s reached double figures in 7 of UNCW’s 10 games.

•    Guard Ben Eblen contributed 13 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists vs. CU and had 7 assists with no turnovers at ECU. He’s 3rd in the CAA in assists (3.9 apg) and 1st in assist/TO ratio.

•    Sophomore Luke Hager grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench vs. Campbellsville.

Northeastern

•    Suffered a 79-66 setback at 24th-ranked VCU last Friday.

•    Junior Scott Eatherton contributed 17 points on 6-of-10 FG shooting and eight rebounds at VCU. He leads the CAA in double-doubles (5), rebounding (10.6 rpg) and FG percentage (61.6%).

•    Sophomore David Walker poured in a career-best 19 points and made a pair of steals at VCU. He was 2-of-5 from 3-point range.

•    Freshman guard T.J. Williams tied a career-high with 12 points on 5-of-6 FG shooting at VCU and dished out four assists.

•    The Huskies shot 50% from the floor against VCU but were hurt by 16 turnovers.

•    Sophomore Zach Stahl scored 11 points off the bench at VCU. It was his third double-digit effort of the season.

•    Northeastern was out-rebounded for the first time all season (31-26) at VCU.

Towson

•    Off to its best start ever at the Div. I level after wins over UMBC (75-60), The Citadel (84-59) and Abilene Christian (74-47).

•    Senior Jerrelle Benimon averaged 15.0 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 4.3 apg and 2.7 bpg last week. He ranks among the top six in the CAA in scoring, rebounding, assists and blocks.

•    Senior Marcus Damas averaged 17.3 ppg and 5.7 rpg to earn Battle 4 Atlantis All-Tournament honors. He scored a season-high 22 points with 7 rebounds vs. UMBC.

•    Four McGlynn was named Co-MVP of the Battle 4 Atlantis Mainland after scoring a team-high 19 points in the victory over The Citadel and 14 points vs. Abilene. He was 8-of-13 from three in the two games.

•    Senior Rafriel Guthrie chipped in 14 points off the bench vs. UMBC and scored a team-best 15 points vs. Abilene.

•    The Tigers outrebounded UMBC 45-32, The Citadel 48-33 and Abilene 36-23. Towson has beaten seven of eight foes on the glass.

William & Mary

•    Have won three in a row after beating VMI 97-67 last Wednesday and Howard 84-79 in overtime on Saturday.

•     Senior Tim Rusthoven averaged 20.5 ppg, 11.0 rpg and 3.5 apg last week, including career-highs of 26 points and 16 rebounds against VMI. He shot 68.2% from the floor.

•    Junior Marcus Thornton hit 6-of-12 treys and averaged 12.5 ppg last week. Thornton has scored double figures in 39 consecutive games.

•    Omar Prewitt drained 5-of-7 threes and netted a career-high 22 points against VMI and then topped it with 24 points at Howard. He’s the first W&M freshman since 2005 to post back-to-back 20-point games.

•    Senior Kyle Gaillard scored a season-high 16 points with four assists in the Howard win.

•     W&M shot 45.9% from the floor and hit 12-of-27 threes against VMI and shot 52% and made 11-of-24 threes at Howard.

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