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Men’s Basketball Notebook – Jan. 6

Jan 6, 2014, 5:09 PM EDT

William & Mary's Marcus Thornton William & Mary's Marcus Thornton

PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Willis Hall • College of Charleston
Sr., F, 6-6, 235 – Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Christian
Hall averaged 22.0 points and 19.0 rebounds in the College of Charleston’s 2-0 week. He became the first player in CofC’s Division I history to post a 20/20 game with career-highs of 26 points and 21 rebounds in a 76-64 victory at defending SoCon champion Davidson, and followed with 18 points and a game-high 17 rebounds in a 60-50 triumph over Howard. Hall, who has recorded three straight double-doubles, shot 61.5% from the floor over the two games.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Marcus Thornton • William & Mary
Jr., G, 6-4, 185 – Upper Marlboro, Md./Bishop McNamara
Thornton averaged 25.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.0 steals in William & Mary’s 2-0 week. The junior guard scored 22 of his team-high 26 points in the second half as the Tribe defeated rival Old Dominion 74-68 and then tallied a team-high 25 points, a career-high six rebounds and a career-best six assists in a 78-67 road victory at Western Illinois. For the week, Thornton made 8-of-17 from 3-point range and was 15-of-20 at the free throw line.

ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Omar Prewitt • William & Mary
Fr., F, 6-6, 180 – Mount Sterling, Ky./Montgomery County
Prewitt averaged 14.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists in William & Mary’s 2-0 week. The freshman forward scored 18 points, grabbed a career-high eight rebounds and dished out three assists in a 78-67 road win at Western Illinois and netted 11 points in a 74-68 triumph over Old Dominion. For the week, Prewitt shot 46.7% from the floor, including 5-of-11 from 3-point range, and made 15-of-20 at the free throw line.

CONFERENCE NOTES:

JMU TOPS UNCW IN CAA OPENER: Defending CAA champion James Madison opened conference play with a 60-55 victory at UNCW last Saturday. The Dukes will stay on the road and face the College of Charleston on Tuesday night in the Cougars’ inaugural CAA contest. There are three more league games on Wednesday as UNCW visits Northeastern, William & Mary entertains Drexel and Hofstra is at Delaware. Preseason favorite Towson is the final team to open CAA play on Saturday. Each team will play a 16-game conference schedule  with home and away games against all eight league foes.

NOTABLE PERFORMANCES: Along with the efforts put forth by weekly honorees Willis Hall and Marcus Thornton, several other CAA players had noteworthy performances last week. Towson senior Jerrelle Benimon averaged 22.0 points, 13.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.5 blocks in the Tigers’ 2-0 week. Benimon has posted six consecutive double-doubles. JMU sophomore Charles Cooke averaged 22.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.0 steals and 2.5 assists in JMU’s 2-0 week. Delaware junior Jarvis Threatt averaged 16.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists in the Blue Hens’ 2-1 week. Hofstra grad student Zeke Upshaw averaged 22.7 points in the Pride’s three contests, including a 31-point effort at Tulane.

CAA RANKED 16TH IN LATEST RPI RATINGS: The CAA was ranked 16th among the nation’s 32 Division I conferences according to the latest RPI ratings released by Collegiate Basketball News (rpiratings.com) on Jan. 6. Drexel was the highest ranked CAA team at #71 followed by Delaware at #110. Northeastern has faced the 20th-toughest non-conference schedule in the nation. A complete listing can be found on Page 5 of the release.

COFC’S HALL TURNS IN 20/20 GAME: CAA Player of the Week Willis Hall recorded the first 20/20 game in the College of Charleston’s Division I history with a career-high 26 points and 21 rebounds in the Cougars’ 76-64 victory at Davidson on New Year’s Day. The 21 rebounds matched the 10th-highest single-game total by a CAA player and it was the 7th-most in CofC history. It was the first 20/20 performance by a CAA player since Towson’s Jerrelle Benimon had 20 points and 21 boards in a victory at Oregon State on Dec. 29, 2012.

TOWSON TOUGH AT HOME: Towson is a perfect 8-0 at home this season and its 12-game home court winning streak is tied for the 18th-longest in the nation currently. The Tigers’ home court streak is their longest since winning 22 in a row from 1992-95.

NON-CONFERENCE SUCCESS: Towson’s nine non-conference victories are its most as a Division I program. Delaware posted its most non-conference wins (8) since the 1999-2000 season, while William & Mary has recorded four non-conference road victories for the first time since 1982-83.

SADDLER, THORNTON IN DOUBLE FIGURES: Delaware senior guard Devon Saddler has scored double figures in 46 of his last 47 games, while William & Mary junior guard Marcus Thornton has reached double digits in 44 of his last 45 contests. Saddler had his 38-game streak snapped in the semifinals of the 2013 CAA Championship, but has scored double figures in all eight of his games this year. Thornton saw his streak of scoring double figures end at 42 games after being held to nine points in a loss at West Virginia on Dec. 29. He started a new streak with 26 points in the Tribe’s win over ODU and 25 points in a victory at Western Illinois last week.

EATHERTON, BENIMON AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS IN DOUBLE-DOUBLES: Northeastern’s Scott Eatherton was tied for the national lead in double-doubles with 10 and Towson’s Jerrelle Benimon was tied for 3rd with nine according to the latest NCAA statistics released on Jan. 6. Eatherton was also 15th in rebounding (10.0 rpg) and 45th in FG percentage (56.1%) while Benimon was 7th in rebounding (10.7 rpg). In other categories, Delaware junior Jarvis Threatt ranked 36th in Division I in assists (5.5 apg) and 35th in steals (2.2 spg), while Blue Hens’ junior Kyle Anderson was 9th in 3-pointers per game (3.53) and 5th in 3-point FG% (49.5%). W&M’s Marcus Thornton was 43rd in scoring (19.5 ppg) and 35th in 3-pointers per game (2.92) In FG percentage, W&M’s Tim Rusthoven was 27th at 57.9%. CofC’s Willis Hall was 22nd in rebounding (9.7 rpg).

COACHES TELECONFERENCES START ON JAN. 7: The CAA will begin its weekly teleconference series with all nine men’s basketball coaches on Tuesday, January 7. The calls will take place each Tuesday morning starting at 10 a.m. through March 4. Fans and media can listen to the calls live on CAASports.com and audio from the calls will also be archived in the Media Center on CAASports.com.

TAKING CARE OF THE BALL: Drexel is averaging only 9.3 turnovers per game this season, which ranks seventh in Division I. The Dragons have committed nine or fewer turnovers in five of their last six games and haven’t turned the ball over more than 14 times in any of their 12 contests. Drexel had only five turnovers in a narrow loss to #1 Arizona on Nov. 27. Delaware has recorded single-digit turnovers in three of its last four games and is averaging just 8.0 tpg over that stretch.

MOVING UP THE WINS LIST: Delaware’s Monte’ Ross has 98 career victories and needs one more to tie current Notre Dame coach Mike Brey for third place on the Hens’ all-time wins list. JMU’s Matt Brady moved into third place on the Dukes’ all-time wins chart with 94, passing Sherman Dillard.

OFFENSE VS. DEFENSE: Delaware and College of Charleston both have 8-7 overall records, but have done it in different ways. The Blue Hens rank 29th nationally in scoring offense with 81.1 ppg and have tallied 80 or more points nine times. The Cougars are 25th in Division I in scoring defense at 62.1 ppg and have held seven foes under 60 points.

College of Charleston

•    Have won three in a row after a 76-64 victory at Davidson and a 60-50 triumph over Howard last week.

•    Willis Hall posted the first 20/20 game in CofC Div. I history with a career-high 26 points and 21 rebounds at DC, followed by 18 points and 17 boards vs. Howard. He’s averaging 18.2 ppg and 13.0 rpg over his past six games with 4 double-doubles.

•    Junior Anthony Stitt dished out a career-high nine assists at Davidson and is averaging 7.0 apg over the past three contests.

•    Junior Adjehi Baru posted his 4th double-double (12 pts/10 reb) vs. Howard.

•    Nori Johnson is averaging 10.7 ppg and has made 9-of-17 from 3-point range over his last three contests.

•    Freshman Canyon Barry (9.4 ppg) is out 2-4 weeks with a finger injury.

•    CofC has an impressive 14-3 record in road games over the past two seasons under coach Doug Wojcik, including 3-1 this year.

Delaware

•    Went 2-1 last week, beating Liberty (77-64) and Cal Poly (82-72) at home after a loss at St. Bonaventure (80-73).

•    Jarvis Threatt averaged 16.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg and 4.3 apg for the week, including a team-high 25 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists vs. Cal Poly. He’s scored double-digits in 12 of his last 13 games. Threatt leads the CAA in assists and steals, and is 3rd in scoring.

•    Devon Saddler hit 5-of-7 threes and scored 22 points vs. Cal Poly, and averaged 17.7 ppg for the week. Saddler, who is the leading active scorer in the CAA (1,833 pts), has scored double digits in all 8 games this year.

•    Davon Usher posted his second double-double of the season at SBU with 17 points and a team-high 10 rebounds. He averaged 14.0 ppg over the three games last week.

•    Junior Kyle Anderson hit 7-of-12 treys and scored a team-high 23 points at SBU and averaged 17.3 ppg for the week. He’s shooting a CAA-best 49.5% from beyond the arc for the year and leads the league with 53 three-pointers.

Drexel

•    Lost 66-49 at Southern Miss last Friday. Trailed by just three (31-28) at the half.

•    Chris Fouch scored 13 points at USM, which was his 12th double-digit effort in 13 games. He ranks 5th in career treys (231) and 13th in career points (1,412) at DU.

•    Sophomore Tavon Allen poured in a team-high 15 points at Southern Miss and is averaging 16.3 ppg over his last 3 games.

•    Frantz Massenat had eight points and four assists at USM. He ranks 4th in career assists (465) and 16th in career points (1,312) at Drexel.

•    Dartaye Ruffin ranks 4th in the CAA in rebounding (8.1 rpg) this season and is 12th in career rebounds (718) at Drexel.

•    The Dragons made 8-of-22 threes at USM after going 3-for-23 from beyond the arc in the previous two games.

•    Drexel committed 12 turnovers at USM, ending a streak of five games with 9 or fewer turnovers.

Hofstra

•    Went 1-2 last week, winning 75-64 over NJIT before suffering road losses at Tulane (61-58) and Fairleigh Dickinson (86-67).

•    Zeke Upshaw averaged 22.7 ppg for the week. He scored a team-high 31 points at Tulane, which was his second 30-point effort of the season, and had 22 at FDU. Upshaw has scored double digits in 11 of his last 12 games and has topped the 20-point mark seven times this season.

•    Guard Dion Nesmith averaged 11.3 ppg and 4.3 apg over the three games, including a team-high 20 points and 5 assists vs. NJIT. He ranks 3rd in the CAA in assists (4.0 apg).

•    Jamall Robinson had 11 points and a season-high 8 rebounds vs. NJIT and also scored 11 at FDU. He’s averaging 11.4 ppg over his last seven games and is 2nd among all CAA freshmen in scoring (9.8 ppg).

•    Stephen Nwaukoni played in his 100th career game at FDU and chipped in 4 points and 4 rebounds.

•    Hofstra has led at halftime in 10 of its 14 games this season.

James Madison

•    On a season-best 3-game win streak after beating Ball State 73-68 and topping UNCW 60-55 in their CAA opener last week.

•    Charles Cooke scored 20 points with a career-high six steals vs. BSU and had team-highs of 24 points and 9 rebounds at UNCW.  He’s scored 20 or more points in five of his last eight contests.

•    Sophomore Ron Curry added 17 points and six assists against BSU and has scored double digits in 4 of his last 5 games.

•    Forward Andrey Semenov hit 3-of-5 threes and scored 16 points vs. BSU and netted 13 points at UNCW. He has 7 double-digit efforts in 12 games this season.

•    Jackson Kent had 9 points and 6 rebounds off the bench at UNCW. He ranks 4th among all CAA freshmen in scoring with 8.5 ppg.

•    JMU shot 50% from the floor, including 7-of-16 from 3, vs. BSU and 45.1% at UNCW.

•    JMU will get preseason All-CAA pick Andre Nation back against CofC on Tuesday.

UNCW

•    Lost 84-51 at #19 North Carolina and 60-55 to JMU in their CAA opener last week. Have dropped five in a row.

•    Junior Cedrick Williams tallied team-highs of 18 points and 9 rebounds at UNC and had 9 points and 11 boards vs. JMU. He leads UNCW and is among the CAA’s top 15 in scoring (14.1 ppg), rebounding (7.6 rpg) and blocked shots (2.0 bpg). Williams has scored double digits in 6 of his last 7 games.

•    Senior Chris Dixon scored 12 points in 22 minutes off the bench at UNC.

•    Junior guard Freddie Jackson had a team-high 9 points vs. JMU and has scored double digits in 4 of his last 7 games.

•    Freshman forward C.J. Gettys had 8 points and 6 rebounds at UNC and earned his 2nd career start vs. JMU.

•    The Seahawks were without Shane Reybold and Chuck Ogbodo against JMU due to injuries.

Northeastern

•    Fell 70-66 to Richmond and 79-49 at Vanderbilt last week. Six of NU’s 11 losses have been by five points or less.

•    Junior Scott Eatherton posted his NCAA-best 10th double-double vs. UR with team-highs of 22 points and 11 rebounds. He’s 2nd in the CAA in rebounding (10.0 rpg), 2nd in FG% (56.1%), 2nd in blocks (1.9 bpg) and 7th in scoring (16.6 ppg).

•    Junior forward Reggie Spencer scored a team-high 15 points on 7-of-13 FG shooting at Vanderbilt. It was his 7th double-digit effort of the season.

•    Junior Demetrius Pollard hit 3-of-5 treys and scored 19 points vs. UR. He’s made a team-high 22 three-pointers this season.

•    Sophomore David Walker is among the top 10 in the CAA in assists (2.9 apg) and steals (2.0 spg) and is 20th in the league in scoring (11.5 ppg).

•    NU is 36-14 in the month of January over the past six seasons and has won 10 of its last 12 contests in the month.

Towson

•    Beat New Hampshire 73-68 for their 12th straight home win and posted their first road victory at Coppin St. (81-79) last week.

•    Jerrelle Benimon has recorded 6 straight double-doubles after tallying team-highs of 24 points and 14 rebounds vs. UNH and 20 points and 12 boards at CSU. He’s among the top five in the CAA in scoring (17.7 ppg), rebounding (10.7 rpg), assists (4.0 apg).

•    Senior Marcus Damas averaged 14.5 ppg and 5.0 rpg last week, including 18 points at Coppin, which was his 11th game in double figures this season.

•    Senior Mike Burwell dished out a career-high 9 assists vs. UNH and added 11 points and a career-best 9 rebounds at Coppin St.

•    Guard Four McGlynn, who scored 16 points at Coppin State, has made at least two 3-pointers in 8 of his last 9 games. He ranks 3rd in the CAA with 33 treys.

•    Towson made 41-of-51 (80.4%) at the free throw line last week.

William & Mary

•    Have won seven of their last nine games after a 74-68 triumph over ODU and a 78-69 victory at Western Illinois last week.

•    Marcus Thornton scored a team-high 26 points vs. ODU and a team-best 25 points at WIU. Thornton has scored double figures in 44 of his last 45 games and has topped the 20-point mark six times this year.

•    Julian Boatner hit 4-of-6 treys and added 14 points vs. ODU and made 3-of-4 threes and had 10 points at WIU. He ranks 2nd in the CAA in 3-point FG percentage (44.3%).

•    Omar Prewitt had 11 points vs. ODU and 18 points at WIU. He’s tallied double digits in 10 of 13 games and leads all CAA freshmen in scoring (14.1 ppg) and rebounds (5.0 rpg).

•     Senior Tim Rusthoven (13.1 ppg) sat out both games last week due to illness. Sean Sheldon averaged 6.0 ppg and 5.0 rpg in his first career starts as his replacement.

•     W&M shot 46.7%, including 11-of-23 on 3’s, vs. ODU and 49%, including 12-of-24 from 3 at WIU. The Tribe leads the CAA in FG percentage (46.1%) and 3’s per game (8.5).

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Hofstra Sr. Kelsie Wills won VB OPOTW honors for the third time this season. Over the weekend, she set the program record for kills. CofC freshman Krissy Mummey totaled 13 blocks for the Cougars over a 2-0 week. She's the Rookie of the Week. The CAA Football crew is on campus for a "Going Deep" feature in Harrisonburg, but they did snap this photo for us ... #CAASports Morning from #RVA. Great weekend for the league as conference play begins. #CAASports