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Men’s Basketball Notebook – Jan. 13

Jan 13, 2014, 3:59 PM EDT

Delaware's Devon Saddler Delaware's Devon Saddler

PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Devon Saddler • Delaware
Sr., G, 6-2, 210 – Aberdeen, Md./Aberdeen
Saddler averaged 24.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in Delaware’s 2-0 week. Scored a game-high 24 points as the Blue Hens rallied past Hofstra 86-79 and followed with a game-high 25 points in a 78-74 road win at James Madison. For the week, Saddler shot 51.7% from the floor, including 6-of-11 from 3-point range, and made 13-of-16 at the free throw line as Delaware extended its winning streak to a season-high four games.

ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Omar Prewitt • William & Mary
Fr., F, 6-6, 180 – Mount Sterling, Ky./Montgomery County
Prewitt collects Rookie of the Week honors once again after tallying 15 points and five rebounds in William & Mary’s 85-73 victory over Drexel last Wednesday. The freshman was 5-of-10 from the floor, including 4-of-8 from 3-point range, in the win. Prewitt has tallied double digits in 11 of 14 games and leads all CAA freshmen in scoring and rebounding.

CONFERENCE NOTES:

HOME TEAMS GO 7-1 IN CAA ACTION LAST WEEK: Home teams won seven of the eight CAA games last week and are 7-2 for the year. Delaware, which sits atop the league standings at 2-0, was the only team to earn a road victory last week when it got past James Madison 68-64 on Saturday. Each team will play a 16-game conference schedule  with home and away games against all eight league foes.

CLOSE GAMES IN CONFERENCE PLAY: Seven of the nine CAA games played this season have been decided by seven or fewer points or in overtime. All four contests last Saturday went down to the wire. Drexel edged Northeastern 93-88 in double overtime, while the Delaware/JMU and Hofstra/CofC games were decided in the final 10 seconds. Northeastern also played an overtime contest last Wednesday, topping UNCW 79-68.

NOTABLE PERFORMANCES: Along with the efforts put forth by weekly honorees Delaware’s Devon Saddler and W&M’s Omar Prewitt, several other CAA players had noteworthy performances last week. Towson’s Jerrelle Benimon recorded his 7th straight double-double with 20 points and 17 rebounds in a win over UNCW. CofC’s Anthony Stitt averaged 20.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists in the Cougars’ 1-1 week. Drexel’s Chris Fouch averaged 24.5 ppg in the Dragons’ two games, while backcourt mate Frantz Massenat contributed 23.0 ppg, 8.5 rpg and 6.0 apg. Northeastern’s Scott Eatherton posted two more double-doubles and averaged 19.0 ppg, 10.0 rpg and 3.0 bpg for the week. Hofstra’s Stephen Nwaukoni averaged 10.5 ppg and 13.0 rpg over two games, while JMU’s Charles Cooke averaged 17.5 ppg for the week.

CAA RANKED 15TH IN LATEST RPI RATINGS: The CAA was ranked 15th among the nation’s 32 Division I conferences according to the latest RPI ratings released by Collegiate Basketball News (rpiratings.com) on Jan. 13. Drexel was the highest ranked CAA team at #78 followed by Delaware at #100. Northeastern has faced the 35th-toughest non-conference schedule in the nation. A complete listing can be found on Page 5 of the release.

COFC’S HALL NAMED NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK: College of Charleston’s Willis Hall was selected as the Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week by the NCBWA on Jan. 7. The senior forward recorded the first 20/20 game in the Cougars’ Division I history with a career-high 26 points and 21 rebounds in a 76-64 victory at Davidson on New Year’s Day and followed with 18 points and 17 boards in a win over Howard. 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 9-0 at home this season and its 13-game home court winning streak is tied for the 12th-longest in the nation currently. The Tigers’ home court streak is their longest since winning 22 in a row from 1992-95.

SADDLER, THORNTON IN DOUBLE FIGURES: Delaware senior guard Devon Saddler has scored double figures in 48 of his last 49 games, while William & Mary junior guard Marcus Thornton has reached double digits in 45 of his last 46 contests. Saddler had his 38-game streak snapped in the semifinals of the 2013 CAA Championship, but has scored double figures in all 10 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. Since that time, he’s scored 18 or more points in three straight contests.

EATHERTON, BENIMON AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS IN DOUBLE-DOUBLES: Northeastern’s Scott Eatherton led the nation in double-doubles with 12 and Towson’s Jerrelle Benimon was tied for 3rd with 10 according to the latest NCAA statistics released on Jan. 13. Eatherton was also 14th in rebounding (10.0 rpg) and 41st in FG percentage (56%) while Benimon was 5th in rebounding (11.1 rpg). In other categories, Delaware junior Jarvis Threatt ranked 49th in Division I in assists (5.2 apg) and 48th in steals (2.1 spg), while Blue Hens’ junior Kyle Anderson was 14th in 3-pointers per game (3.35) and 12th in 3-point FG% (47.1%). W&M’s Marcus Thornton was 41st in scoring (19.4 ppg) and 35th in 3-pointers per game (2.93), while Hofstra’s Zeke Upshaw was 49th in scoring (19.1 ppg). CofC’s Willis Hall was 35th in rebounding (9.3 rpg).

TRANSFERS MAKE AN IMPACT: Several transfers continue to make a big impact in the CAA. Hofstra’s Zeke Upshaw (Illinois State) ranks second in the CAA in scoring with 19.1 ppg, while the Pride’s Dion Nesmith (Monmouth) is 14th (13.2 ppg) in scoring and 4th in assists (3.7 apg). Delaware’s Davon Usher (Mississippi Valley State) ranks sixth in the CAA in scoring (17.4 ppg) and 13th in rebounding (6.1 rpg). Northeastern’s Scott Eatherton (St. Francis Pa.) is among the league’s top 10 in scoring (16.9 ppg/7th), rebounding (10.0 rpg/2nd) and FG percentage (56%/2nd). Towson’s Four McGlynn (Vermont) ranks third in the CAA in 3-point FG percentage (40.4%) and fourth in 3’s per game (2.3). UNCW’s Ben Eblen (Alabama) is fifth in the CAA in assists (3.4 apg) and second in assist/TO ratio.

TAKING CARE OF THE BALL: Drexel is averaging only 9.1 turnovers per game this season, which ranks fourth in Division I. The Dragons have committed nine or fewer turnovers in six of their last eight games and haven’t turned the ball over more than 14 times in any of their 15 contests. Drexel had only five turnovers in a narrow loss to #1 Arizona on Nov. 27 and three at William & Mary on Jan. 8. Delaware has recorded single-digit turnovers in five of its last six games and is averaging just 7.7 tpg over that stretch.

MOVING UP THE WINS LIST: Delaware’s Monte’ Ross won his 100th career game at Delaware last Saturday and moved past current Notre Dame coach Mike Brey for third place on the Hens’ all-time wins list. JMU’s Matt Brady also took over third place on the Dukes’ all-time wins chart with 94, passing Sherman Dillard.

OFFENSE VS. DEFENSE: Delaware and College of Charleston both have winning records, but have done it in different ways. The Blue Hens rank 25th nationally in scoring offense with 81.2 ppg and have tallied 80 or more points 10 times. The Cougars are 27th in Division I in scoring defense at 62.8 ppg and have held seven foes under 60 points.

College of Charleston

•    Defeated JMU 75-61 in their inaugural CAA game before having their 4-game win streak snapped in a 75-71 loss at Hofstra.

•    Anthony Stitt averaged 20.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg and 5.0 apg for the week. He tied a career high with 23 points in the JMU win and recorded his first career double-double at Hofstra with 17 points and 11 rebounds.

•    Nori Johnson scored a season-high 18 points vs. JMU and topped it with a game-high 25 points at Hofstra. He’s averaging 15.0 ppg over his last five contests and has made 21-of-37 (56.8%) from 3-point range.

•    Senior Anthony Thomas recorded his first career double-double vs. JMU with 10 points and a team-high 11 rebounds.

•    Freshman Joe Chealey scored 12 points vs. JMU, which was his top scoring effort since Dec. 1. He’s averaging 7.6 ppg for the year.

•    CofC has an impressive 14-4 record in road games over the past two seasons under coach Doug Wojcik, including 3-2 this year.

Delaware

•    On a season-best 4-game win streak after opening CAA play with victories over Hofstra (86-79) and JMU (78-74).

•    Devon Saddler averaged 24.5 ppg last week, tallying team-highs of 24 points vs. HU and 25 points at JMU. Saddler, who is the leading active scorer in the CAA (1,882 pts), has scored double digits in all 10 games this season and has six 20+-point efforts.

•    Jarvis Threatt added 20 points, a team-high 7 rebounds and 3 steals vs. HU and went over 1,000 points for his career. He’s scored double-digits in 14 of his last 15 games and leads the CAA in assists and steals.

•    Davon Usher averaged 20.0 ppg last week and has scored double figures in 6 straight games. He hit 5-of-10 threes at JMU.

•    Junior Kyle Anderson is shooting a CAA-best 47.1% from beyond the arc for the year and leads the league with 57 three-pointers.

•    Delaware is averaging just 7.7 turnovers over its past six games.

Drexel

•    Rebounded from an 85-73 setback at W&M by outlasting Northeastern 93-88 in double overtime on Saturday.

•    Chris Fouch averaged 24.5 ppg last week, including a career-high 31 points in the NU win. He shot 61% from the floor, including 8-of-15 from 3. He’s 4th in career treys (239) and 11th in career points (1,461) at DU.

•    Frantz Massenat averaged 23.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg and 6.0 apg for the week, including career-highs of 27 points and 12 rebounds with 8 assists vs. NU. He’s 3rd in career assists (477) and 16th in career pts (1,358) at DU.

•    Sophomore Tavon Allen scored 18 points in both games last week and is averaging 17.0 ppg over his last five contests.

•    The Dragons played without starting forwards Dartaye Ruffin (7.5 rpg) and Kazamebe Abif (7.4 rpg) due to leg injuries.

•    Drexel has had three games with at least 2ot’s this season and is a perfect 3-0.

•    Drexel had just 3 TO’s at W&M and leads the CAA with only 9.1 tpg.

Hofstra

•    Went 1-1 last week, losing 86-79 at Delaware but beating CofC 75-71 on Saturday.

•    Zeke Upshaw scored a team-high 22 points vs. CofC and had 19 points and 8 rebounds at UD. Upshaw has scored double digits in 13 of his last 14 games and is averaging 23.5 ppg over his last four contests.

•    Stephen Nwaukoni averaged 10.5 ppg and 13.0 rpg for the week, including 13 points and a career-best 15 boards vs. CofC. He ranks 4th in the CAA with 8.4 rpg.

•    Sophomore Jordan Allen scored a career-high 18 points on 7-12 FG shooting and grabbed 7 rebounds at Delaware.

•    Hofstra had five players score double figures in the CofC win, which was the first time it’s happened since Feb. 25, 2012.

•    Guard Dion Nesmith averaged 14.0 ppg over the two games last week.

•    Hofstra rallied from a 14-point deficit to beat CofC. It was the Pride’s biggest comeback win since Jan. 25, 2011.

James Madison

•    Fell 75-61 at College of Charleston and 78-74 to Delaware last week.

•    Andre Nation saw his first action of the season last week and contributed a team-high 22 points on 9-of-11 FG shooting vs. UD.

•    Charles Cooke averaged 17.5 ppg and 6.5 rpg last week, including a team-high 21 points at CofC.  He’s scored 20 or more points in six of his last 10 contests is averaging 19.8 ppg over his last 4 games.

•    Forward Andrey Semenov added 19 points at CofC and had 11 vs. UD. He’s scored double digits in four straight games and is averaging 14.8 ppg over that stretch.

•    Taylor Bessick recorded his first career double-double vs. UD with 11 points, 12 rebounds and a career-high four blocks.

•    Sophomore Ron Curry ranks among the CAA’s top 10 in assists and steals and has scored double figures in five of his last seven games.

UNCW

•    Lost close road games at Northeastern (79-68/ot) and Towson (60-53) last week. Rallied from an 8-point deficit in the final 37 seconds to force OT at NU.

•    Chris Dixon was UNCW’s top scorer in both games, tallying 15 points at NU and a season-high 17 points at Towson. He’s scored double digits in 3 of his last 4 outings.

•    Cedrick Williams scored 15 points at Towson and 11 points at NU, and has 8 double-figure efforts in the last 9 games. He leads UNCW and is among the CAA’s top 15 in scoring (13.9 ppg), rebounding (7.4 rpg), blocked shots (2.0 bpg) and FG% (54.7%).

•    Freddie Jackson chipped in 13 points at NU, which was his fifth double-digit effort in the last nine contests.

•    Freshman forward Chuck Ogbodo made his first career start at Towson and averaged 4.5 ppg and 6.5 rpg for the week.

•    The Seahawks held Towson to 34% FG shooting and had only 8 turnovers.

Northeastern

•    Edged UNCW 79-68 in overtime before losing 93-88 in 2 OT’s at Drexel last week.

•    Scott Eatherton leads the nation with 12 double-doubles after posting them vs. UNCW (20pts/10reb) and DU (18pts/10reb). He’s 2nd in the CAA in rebounding (10.0 rpg), 2nd in FG% (56%), 1st in blocks (2.0 bpg) and 7th in scoring (16.9 ppg).

•    Junior forward Reggie Spencer had his 2nd double-double of the year vs. UNCW with 10 points and a career-high 15 rebounds.

•    Demetrius Pollard scored 17 points vs. UNCW and had 19 at DU, including a 3-pointer that forced OT. He hit six treys last week and has a team-high 28 for the year.

•    David Walker had 18 points, 3 assists and 2 steals vs. UNCW. He’s among the top 10 in the CAA in assists and steals.

•    Marco Banegas-Flores poured in a career-high 17 points at Drexel.

•    NU is now 37-15 in the month of January over the past six seasons and has won 11 of its last 14 contests in the month.

Towson

•    Improved to 9-0 at home after beating UNCW 60-53 last Saturday. Have won 13 in a row at home dating back to last season.

•    Jerrelle Benimon recorded his 7th straight double-double with team-highs of 20 points and 17 rebounds vs. UNCW. He’s among the top five in the CAA in scoring (17.9 ppg), rebounding (11.1 rpg), assists (3.9 apg).

•    Guard Four McGlynn hit three treys and added 11 points vs. UNCW. He has made at least two 3-pointers in 9 of his last 10 games. He ranks 3rd in the CAA with 36 threes and is shooting 40.4% from the arc.

•    Towson committed a season-low six turnovers in the UNCW victory.

•    The Tigers reached the 10-win mark at their earliest point in the season since 1977-78, and have captured nine of their last 10 CAA contests.

•    Towson has made 58-of-75 (77.3%) at the free throw line over the past three games.

William & Mary

•    Have won eight of their last 10 games after defeating Drexel 85-73 last Wednesday.

•    Marcus Thornton scored a team-high 18 points vs. Drexel. Thornton has scored double figures in 45 of his last 46 games and is averaging 23.0 ppg over his last 3 games.

•    Omar Prewitt hit 4-of-8 threes and scored 15 points vs. DU. He’s tallied double digits in 11 of 14 games and leads all CAA freshmen in scoring (14.1 ppg) and rebounds (5.0 rpg).

•     Tim Rusthoven tallied 8 points in 17 minutes vs. DU after missing two games due to illness. He’s 5 points shy of 1,000 career points.

•    Brandon Britt turned in his best game of the season with 15 points and 4 assists vs. DU.

•    Kyle Gaillard had his 2nd straight double-digit game with 14 points in the DU win.

•     W&M shot 51.1%, including 11-of-23 on 3’s, vs. Drexel. The Tribe has made 10+ treys in seven of their past nine games and is shooting 41.5% from 3 over that stretch.

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