Nov 19, 2012, 4:35 PM EST
News and notes from a busy weekend of CAA men’s basketball action.
Hofstra showed an amazing amount of resilience in winning three games in three days as part of the 2K Sports Classic subregional over the weekend.
The Pride dealt with adversity during the preseason as the Presidential debate on campus forced them to use an alternative practice site, followed by the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy in the Long Island area. The regular season opened with back-to-back 29-point road losses at Monmouth and Purdue, leaving plenty of questions for a team that was trying to find an identity with nine new players.
However, things turned around last weekend. It began on Friday as Hofstra edged defending Summit League champ South Dakota State 66-63 when sophomore Shaquille Stokes drained a game-winning three-pointer with three seconds left. On Saturday, a balanced offensive effort with six players scoring in double figures resulted in a 74-59 triumph over UDC. On Sunday, the Pride outlasted a Marshall squad that is expected to contend for the C-USA title, 103-100 in double overtime. Stokes scored 10 of his career-high 26 points in the second extra session and freshman Jimmy Hall posted his second double-double of the season with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Senior point guard Stevie Mejia was named the MVP of the subregional and was joined on the all-tournament squad by sophomore Moussa Kone, who had a career-best 14 points and 10 rebounds in the Marshall win.
William & Mary improved to 3-0 for the first time since 1992-93 following road victories at Liberty (71-59) and High Point (83-61). The two road wins matches the Tribe’s total from all of last season when injuries played a big part in a disappointing 6-26 campaign. At Liberty, W&M overcame a 15-point deficit and posted its biggest comeback since 2008.
The Tribe has been led by the trio of junior forward Tim Rusthoven, junior guard Brandon Britt and sophomore guard Marcus Thornton, who have scored double figures in each of the Tribe’s three games and are accounting for 73% of the offense. Rusthoven, who averaged 19.0 ppg and 6.5 rpg last week while shooting 70.6% from the floor, tallied a career-high 23 points at HPU. Britt contributed 17.0 ppg and led the rally at Liberty with 16 of his 21 points coming in the second half. Thornton scored 21 points at High Point and dished out a career-best five assists. The Tribe also got 14 points off the bench at Liberty from freshman Terry Tarpey.
Next up for the Tribe is a Wednesday home game versus Miami (Ohio) which will be televised nationally on the NBC Sports Network at 7 p.m. followed by a trip to ACC foe Wake Forest on Friday.
Towson is 3-2 to start the season for the first time since 2008-09 following a 3-1 record in the Comfort Suites Invitational last weekend. Junior forward Jerrelle Benimon scored a team-high 19 points in a win over Radford and then posted back-to-back double-doubles against Eastern Kentucky (12 pts/16 reb) and Kennesaw State (18 pts/13 reb). The Tigers also got a season-high 15 points from freshman guard Jerome Hairston versus KSU. Five of Towson’s top six scorers early in the season are newcomers.
Redshirt freshman guard Tavon Allen made his Drexel debut on Saturday and scored 15 second-half points as the Dragons beat rival Penn 61-59. The victory was the 200th in the career of head coach Bruiser Flint.
George Mason lost a heartbreaker, 70-69, to unbeaten New Mexico in the semifinals of the Paradise Jam on Sunday. The Patriots made 11 three-pointers in the contest, which was their highest total since 2010. Junior guard Sherrod Wright was sensational, draining 5-of-7 treys and scoring a team-high 22 points.
Delaware senior center Jamelle Hagins is now seventh on the Blue Hens’ all-time rebounds list with 762. Hagins is leading the CAA with 12.3 rpg this season after ranking fifth in the nation in caroms (11.1 rpg) in 2011-12.
Northeastern senior guard Joel Smith poured in 25 points as the Huskies suffered their first loss of the year to Vermont on Saturday. Smith was 5-of-9 from 3-point range and has hit at least one trey in 52 of his last 55 games.
UNCW senior forward Keith Rendleman recorded his 23rd career double-double with team-highs of 14 points and 12 rebounds in a loss at Richmond last Tuesday. In that same game, the Seahawks set a school record by hitting 19-of-19 from the free throw line.
Quite a start for Old Dominion freshman guard Keenan Palmore, who is leading the team in scoring (9.8 ppg), rebounding (6.5 rpg), assists (13) and steals (8).
Georgia State got a strong performance from Virginia Tech transfer Manny Atkins in the Panthers’ loss at BYU last Tuesday. The junior forward scored a team-high 21 points and also grabbed eight rebounds.
Today’s trivia question that is sure to stump your CAA basketball friends: Name the current CAA leader in 3-point FG percentage?
Answer: James Madison senior post player Rayshawn Goins, who went 2-for-2 from beyond the arc as part of a 24-point performance in the Dukes’ 100-70 setback at #13 UCLA last Thursday. Goins was previously 2-for-10 from on threes in his career at JMU. He also grabbed seven rebounds in the contest.
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