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News and Notes from Around the League

Dec 3, 2012, 4:44 PM EDT

UNCW's Craig Ponder

William & Mary will sit atop the CAA standings for the next month after the Tribe defeated Old Dominion 71-62 last Saturday night in Williamsburg. Sophomore guard Marcus Thornton, who earned CAA Player of the Week honors, made 5-of-9 from 3-point range and led W&M with 23 points, while junior Brandon Britt and Tim Rusthoven each chipped in 15 points. The trio of Thornton, Britt and Rusthoven is accounting for better than 70% of the Tribe’s offense this season. It was the fifth straight setback for a young Monarchs’ squad, which got a team-high 17 points, six rebounds and five assists from freshman guard Keenan Palmore. No other conference games  will be played until January 2.

Georgia State rallied for a 67-66 win at Liberty on Sunday afternoon. It was the third victory this season by two points or less for the Panthers and one guy has been the hero in two of them. Junior Rashaad Richardson nailed a game-winning three-pointer with less than three seconds to play against the Flames after making a game-winning halfcourt shot at the buzzer in a triumph over Tennessee State on Nov. 20. Junior guard Devonta White scored 17 points at Liberty and has scored double figures in seven of his eight games this season.

George Mason gave Maryland all it could handle in the BB&T Classic on Sunday before dropping a 69-62 decision that ended the Patriots’ three-game winning streak. Junior Sherrod Wright poured in 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds and Mason got a career-high 17 points off the bench from freshman guard Patrick Holloway.

The NCAA released its national stats on Monday and Delaware was well-represented. Senior center Jamelle Hagins, who grabbed 23 rebounds last Wednesday at Lafayette, is ranked third in the nation in rebounding (12.5 rpg) and 27th in field goal percentage (59.7%). Junior guard Devon Saddler, who poured in 23 points in a loss at #2 Duke last Saturday, ranks 14th in the nation in scoring with 21.6 ppg.

UNCW gave Marshall a battle on the road last Saturday before falling 61-58. Freshman guard Craig Ponder, who was named the CAA Rookie of the Week, put on a show in front of friends and family from his nearby hometown of Bluefield, West Virginia. Ponder, who had scored just 23 points all season, broke loose for 26 points on 11-of-16 FG shooting, including 3-of-4 from three-point range.

James Madison picked up a 71-61 victory at home over Winthrop last Saturday. Senior Rayshawn Goins, who scored 20 or more points in JMU’s first three games, tallied a team-high 19 points in the Winthrop victory. The Dukes are currently leading the CAA and ranking 43rd in the nation with 9.1 steals per game.

Drexel fell 75-66 to Rider last Saturday despite a strong effort from sophomore guard Damion Lee. The 2012 CAA Rookie of the Year scored a career-high 28 points and pulled down eight rebounds. Lee has scored 16 or more points in his past four games.

Towson dropped road games at Baltimore rivals Loyola (65-53) and UMBC (66-62) last week. Freshman guard Jerome Hairston had a team-high 13 points and six rebounds at Loyola and followed with 14 points and five assists at UMBC. The Tigers also got a double-double (13 pts/16 reb) from  junior Jerrelle Benimon.

Hofstra suffered its first home loss of the year on Saturday, falling 73-47 to SMU. Senior guard Stevie Mejia scored a team-high 11 points and backcourt mate Taran Buie added 10 points and a career-high seven rebounds. Buie has scored double digits in five of his first six games with the Pride.

Northeastern was the only CAA team that didn’t play over the weekend, but the Huskies are back in action on Tuesday with a big home against UMass. Senior guard Joel Smith is averaging 21.3 ppg over his past three games, while sophomore Reggie Spencer is coming his first double-double of the season (16 points/10 rebounds) in a setback to Maine last Wednesday.

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