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Men’s Basketball Notebook – March 3

Mar 3, 2014, 3:19 PM EDT

William & Mary's Omar Prewitt

PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Jerrelle Benimon • Towson
Sr., F, 6-8, 245 – Warrenton, Va./Fauquier
Benimon repeats as CAA Player of the Week after averaging 24.5 points and 16.0 rebounds in Towson’s 2-0 week. The senior forward now has an NCAA-best 20 double-doubles after tallying 28 points and 16 rebounds in a 69-66 win at JMU and following with 21 points and 16 boards in a 70-68 triumph over William & Mary. For the week, he shot 54.8% from the floor, including 40% from 3-point range, and 81.3% from the free throw line.

ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Omar Prewitt • William & Mary
Fr., G/F, 6-6, 180 – Mount Sterling, Ky./Montgomery County
Prewitt averaged 16.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists as William & Mary split a pair of games last week. The freshman scored all 16 of his points in the second half and had six rebounds in a 79-74 victory over Hofstra and contributed 17 points and a career-high tying nine boards in a narrow 70-68 loss at Towson. For the week, he shot 47.4% from the floor, including 6-of-11 from 3-point range, and hit 81.8% from the free throw line.

ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Jamall Robinson • Hofstra
Fr., G/F, 6-5, 210 – Cheltenham, Md./Paul VI
Robinson averaged 18.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in Hofstra’s 1-1 week. The freshman guard tallied 15 points in a 79-74 loss at William & Mary before pouring in a career-high 22 points and grabbing six rebounds in an 82-71 win over JMU. For the week, he shot 50% percent from the floor, including 4-of-8 from three-point range.

CONFERENCE NOTES:

PAIRINGS SET FOR CAA MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP: The pairings are set for the 2014 CAA Men’s Basketball Championship, which will be held March 7-10 at the Baltimore Arena in Baltimore, Md. Delaware clinched the top seed for the first time ever and will face the winner of Friday’s opening round game between Hofstra and UNCW at Noon on Saturday. Other quarterfinal matchups on Saturday include #4 Drexel against #5 Northeastern at 2:30 p.m., #2 Towson facing #7 James Madison at 6 p.m. and #3 William & Mary meeting #6 College of Charleston at 8:30 p.m. The winners will advance to Sunday’s semifinals at 2:30 and 5 p.m. The CAA championship game is set for 7 p.m. on Monday.

DELAWARE, TOWSON SURPASS 20-WIN MARK: Delaware eclipsed the 20-win mark for the first time since 2000-01 and its 22 victories are tied for the fourth-most in school history. The Blue Hens, who captured their first-ever CAA regular-season title, have won 16 of their last 18 games. Towson set a new Division I record for victories with 22, topping the previous mark of 21 set in 1993-94. The Tigers are on a six-game winning streak, which is their longest since 1993-94, and they have won 10 of their last 11 contests. Towson’s #2 seed is its best ever in the CAA Men’s Basketball Championship. William & Mary has won 18 games in a season for just the seventh time in school history.

HOME COURT ADVANTAGE: Home teams went 26-11 in CAA play over the final five weeks after a run of success by visiting squads. Home teams went 44-28 for the year but four teams achieved .500 or better records on the road in league play.

CLOSE GAMES IN CONFERENCE PLAY: More than half (37-of-72) of all CAA games played this season were decided by seven points or less or in overtime. Seven of Drexel’s last 11 games were decided by four points or less. James Madison had 10 contests decided by six points or less. UNCW had eight games with margins of seven points or less and a ninth go to overtime. Northeastern had two games go to overtime and five others with margins of four points or less.

NOTABLE PERFORMANCES: Along with the big weeks put together by Benimon, Prewitt and Robinson, several other players had impressive weeks. Delaware’s Jarvis Threatt averaged 18.5 points, 9.5 assists and 4.5 steals in the Blue Hens’ two wins. CofC’s Canyon Barry hit 5-of-7 threes and poured in a career-high 27 points against Delaware, Drexel’s Chris Fouch also made five treys and scored 26 points at Northeastern. Hofstra’s Zeke Upshaw averaged 23.0 ppg in two games last week, while JMU’s Andrey Semenov averaged 19.5 ppg.

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 March 3. Delaware was the highest ranked CAA team at #75 followed by Towson at #94, Drexel at #111 and William & Mary at #134. A complete listing can be found on Page 2 of the release.

SADDLER, THORNTON IN DOUBLE FIGURES: Delaware senior guard Devon Saddler has scored double figures in 61 of his last 63 games, while William & Mary junior guard Marcus Thornton has reached double digits in 57 of his last 60 contests. Saddler had a 38-game streak snapped in the semifinals of the 2013 CAA Championship and has scored double figures in 23 of his 24 games this season. 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 double digits in 15 of his 17 contests.

BENIMON, EATHERTON LEAD NATION IN DOUBLE-DOUBLES: Towson’s Jerrelle Benimon leads the nation with 20 double-doubles and Northeastern’s Scott Eatherton is second with 18 according to the latest NCAA statistics through games of March 2. Beninon also led the nation in rebounding (11.7 rpg) and was 50th in scoring (18.9 ppg), while Eatherton was 14th in rebounding (10.1 rpg) and 43rd in FG percentage (53.9%). In other categories, W&M’s Marcus Thornton was 25th in 3-pointers per game (2.93) and 37th in 3-pt FG percentage (39.9%). CofC’s Willis Hall was 36th in rebounding (9.0 rpg) and 53rd in double-doubles (9). Drexel’s Frantz Massenat was 36th in assist/turnover ratio. Delaware’s Devon Saddler was 22nd in scoring (20.2 ppg), Hofstra’s Zeke Upshaw was 33rd (19.6 ppg) and UD’s Davon Usher was 39th (19.4 ppg).

HOFSTRA’S UPSHAW HAS NATION’S BIGGEST JUMP IN SCORING: Hofstra’s Zeke Upshaw ranks 3rd in the CAA in scoring with 19.6 ppg, which is a significant jump over the 2.5 ppg he averaged last season at Illinois State. The 17.1 ppg difference is the biggest jump of any player in Division I. Fairleigh Dickinson’s Sidney Sanders ranks second with a 14.7 ppg increase and Eastern Washington’s Tyler Harvey is third with a 14.7 ppg increase.

THREE AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS IN FEWEST TURNOVERS: Drexel is averaging only 8.5 turnovers per game this season, which ranks third among all Division I teams. The Dragons have committed nine or fewer turnovers in 16 of their last 22 games and haven’t turned the ball over more than 14 times in any game. Drexel had only five turnovers in a narrow loss to #1 Arizona on Nov. 27. Delaware has recorded single-digit turnovers in 15 of its last 20 games. The Blue Hens rank 10th nationally with 9.7 tpg. William & Mary, which ranks 27th with 10.4 tpg, has turned the ball over 10 or fewer times in 10 of its last 13 games.

BENIMON SETS SEASON REBOUND MARK: Towson senior Jerrelle Benimon has broken his own Division I school record for rebounds in a season with 363. The 363 rebounds are the 4th-highest season total in CAA history and the most by any CAA player other than Hall of Famer David Robinson of Navy, who had 455 rebounds in 1985-86, 378 in 1986-87 and 370 in 1984-85.

SADDLER BECOMES UD’S ALL-TIME LEADING SCORER: Delaware guard Devon Saddler became the Blue Hens’ all-time leading scorer on Feb. 3, breaking the mark held by Mike Pegues (2,030). With 2,154 points, he has moved up to 7th on the CAA’s all-time scoring chart. Saddler, who missed seven games due to a team suspension, is averaging 20.2 ppg and ranks 3rd in career points among all active players in Division I, trailing Creighton’s Doug McDermott and Oakland’s Travis Bader.

DREXEL DUO CLIMBING CAREER LISTS: Drexel guard Chris Fouch ranks 5th on the Dragons’ all-time scoring list with 1,714 points. He has also made 271 career 3-pointers, which ranks 9th on the CAA’s career treys chart. Backcourt mate Frantz Massenat ranks third in career assists at Drexel with 546 and is also 9th on the CAA’s all-time assists chart. He’s seventh on Drexel’s career scoring list with 1,627 points.

College of Charleston

•    Fell 56-45 at Drexel and 89-86 to Delaware last week. Will be the #6 seed for the CAA Tournament.

•    Canyon Barry hit 5-of-7 threes and scored a career-high 27 points vs. Delaware. He has tallied double digits in 5 of his last 7 games and ranks 2nd among all CAA freshmen in scoring (9.6 ppg).

•    Willis Hall scored 13 points in his final home game vs. UD. He ranks 7th on CofC’s all-time rebounds list (829) and 27th on the all-time scoring list with 1,137 points.

•    Nori Johnson is averaging 12.5 ppg over his past four contests.

•    CofC’s has held five of its past six opponents to 60 points or less. The Cougars lead the CAA in scoring defense (62.5 ppg).

•    Theo Johnson scored a season-high eight points off the bench at Drexel.

•    CofC is 7-2 when scoring 70+ points this season. The 86 points vs. UD was their 2nd-highest total of the year.

Delaware

•    Earned their first CAA regular-season title with road wins at UNCW (70-57) and CofC (89-86). Have won 16 of their last 18 games. Their 22 victories are tied for the 4th-most in school history and includes 10 road wins.

•    Jarvis Threatt averaged 18.5 ppg, 9.5 apg and 4.5 apg in his first games back from a 1-month suspension. He had 13 points, a career-high 13 assists and 5 steals at CofC and a team-high 24 points in the UNCW win.

•    Davon Usher scored 16 points at CofC and has tallied double figures in 20 straight contests. He’s averaging 24.8 ppg over his last eight games.

•    Devon Saddler, who ranks 7th on the CAA’s all-time scoring list (2,154 pts), scored a team-high 24 points at CofC. He has scored 20+ points in 11 of the last 17 games and averaged 20.1 ppg and 4.3 apg in CAA play.

•    Carl Baptiste had 10 points and 16 rebounds at UNCW and 21 points at CofC. He has 4 double-doubles in the last 6 games and is averaging 12.7 ppg and 11.5 rpg during that stretch. He shot a league-best 58.5% from the floor in CAA play.

Drexel

•    Will be the #4 seed after defeating CofC 56-45, but losing 54-52 at NU last week. Have won five of their past eight games.

•    Frantz Massenat scored a team-high 24 points with 4 assists vs. CofC. He averaged 19.7 ppg and 5.1 apg in CAA play and has scored double figures in 15 of his last 16 games. He ranks 3rd in career assists (546) and 6th in career points (1,627) at Drexel.

•    Chris Fouch scored a team-high 26 points at NU. He’s scored double digits in 18 of his last 19 games and averaged 18.9 ppg in CAA play. Fouch is 4th in career treys (271) and 5th in career points (1,714) at DU.

•    Tavon Allen has reached double figures in five of his last nine games.

•    Dartaye Ruffin grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds vs. CofC and 7 at NU. He’s averaging 9.7 rpg over his last six games. Ruffin ranks 7th on DU’s career rebounds list with 826.

•    Drexel limited CofC to 32.7% shooting and NU to 29.4% shooting. Drexel has held its past eight opponents to under 40% from the floor.

Hofstra

•    Lost 79-74 at W&M but ended a 5-game slide with an 82-71 victory over JMU. Four of their last five losses were by 6 pts or less.

•    Zeke Upshaw tied a school record with seven treys and scored a game-high 28 points at W&M. He added 18 points vs. JMU, extending his double-figure scoring streak to a CAA-best 21 games. Upshaw has topped the 20-point mark 16 times and he averaged 20.9 ppg in CAA play.

•    Jamall Robinson scored 15 points at W&M and a game-high 22 points vs JMU. He ranks second among all CAA freshmen in scoring with 9.6 ppg.

•    Dion Nesmith averaged 13.5 ppg and 5.0 apg last week. He has 13 double-digit scoring efforts in the last 14 games. He averaged 13.5 ppg and 4.5 apg in CAA play.

•    Stephen Nwaukoni grabbed 12 rebounds at W&M and 13 vs. JMU. He averaged 9.0 rpg in CAA play and ranks 12th on the Pride’s all-time rebounding list with 724.

•    Hofstra hit 11 threes at W&M and is averaging 8.8 treys over its past four games.

James Madison

•    Will be the #7 seed after losing to Towson (69-66) and at Hofstra (82-71) last week.

•    Andrey Semenov hit a career-high tying six treys and scored 22 points vs. Towson and added 17 points at Hofstra. He ranks sixth in career threes (168) at JMU.

•    Ron Curry scored 15 points at Hofstra. He’s tallied double figures in 7 of his last 9 games and averaged 11.4 ppg and 3.6 apg in CAA play.

•    Charles Cooke scored 15 points in both games last week and has scored double figures in eight of his past nine contests.

•    Freshman Jackson Kent scored 10 points at Hofstra, which was his top offensive effort since Jan. 25.

•    JMU has held its past three opponents to combined 8-for-43 shooting from 3-point range.

•    The Dukes made nine threes at Hofstra, which was their most in a game since hitting 10 at High Point on Dec. 14.

UNCW

•    Closed the regular season with a 70-57 loss to Delaware last Wednesday.

•    Shane Reybold had six points and a team-high nine rebounds vs. UD and is averaging 10.5 ppg and 9.5 rpg over his last 2 games. He also blocked four shots against UD.

•    Tanner Milson hit 3-of-4 treys and scored a team-high 11 points vs. UD  in his final home game. Milson’s 44 treys this season are twice as many as any other Seahawk.

•    Dylan Sherwood added nine points off the bench against UD. He’s scored nine or points in four of his past six contests.

•    Cedrick Williams is among the CAA’s top 10 in rebounding (6.7 rpg), blocks (1.4 bpg) and FG% (49.8%) and he leads UNCW in scoring.

•    UNCW has used two separate five-man units for the past six games.

•    Freddie Jackson contributed 9 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists vs. Delaware.

Northeastern

•    Earned the #5 seed after edging Drexel 54-52 last Saturday. Overcame a 5-point deficit in the final 45 seconds.

•    Scott Eatherton recorded his 18th double-double with 10 points and 15 rebounds. He’s among the CAA’s top 8 in scoring, rebounding, FG percentage and blocks.

•    Freshman T.J. Williams tallied 9 points and 3 assists vs. DU. He’s averaging 14.0 ppg and 3.7 apg over his last three games.

•    David Walker had eight points vs. DU, including the deciding three free throws with 6.7 seconds left. He has scored double figures in 8 of the last 10 games.

•    NU has shot 46.8% or better in five of their last 10 contests, but made just 29.4% of their FG attemps in the win over Drexel.

•    Sophomore Zach Stahl recorded his second double-double of the year vs. Drexel with 11 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.

Towson

•    Have won six in a row and 10 of their last 11 after beating JMU (69-66) and W&M (70-68) last week. Set a school record with 22 wins and the #2 seed is the best ever in the CAA.

•    Jerrelle Benimon posted double-doubles vs. JMU (28pts/16reb) and W&M (21pts/16reb) and has an NCAA-best 20 for the season. He has 17 games with 20+ points and 22 games with 10+ rebounds this season.

•    Rafriel Guthrie averaged 14.0 ppg last week. He’s scored double figures in 12 of the last 14 games.

•    Mike Burwell has 7 double-digit efforts in the last 9 games, including a career-high 23 points at W&M on Feb. 15.

•    Timajh Parker-Rivera is averaging 10.0 ppg and 6.9 rpg over his last 7 games.

•    Towson set a record for regular-season home wins (15-1) and also set a new season attendance mark (42,257).

•    Towson was 30-of-31 at the FT line vs. JMU, including 17-for-17 in the second half.

William & Mary

•    Beat Hofstra 79-74 but fell 70-68 at Towson. Have won six of their last nine games and will be the #3 seed in the tournament.

•    Omar Prewitt averaged 16.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg and 2.0 apg last week. He leads all CAA freshmen in scoring (11.8 ppg) and is 2nd in rebounding (4.7 rpg).

•    Tim Rusthoven scored a team-high 20 points and dished out five assists at Towson. It was his 3rd 20-point effort of the season.

•    Marcus Thornton chipped in 13 points in both games last week. He’s scored double figures in 15 of his last 17 contests.

•     Kyle Gaillard added 15 points on 6-of-7 FG shooting, including 3-of-3 from 3-point range. It was his most points since Nov. 30.

•     W&M is shooting 48.1% from the floor and 40.9% from three in CAA play and is averaging a league-best 9.0 treys made per game against CAA foes.

•    W&M has shot 60% or better in a half 10 times this season, including 63.6% in the second half against Hofstra.

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Having a blast with our student-athletes at the SAAC Leadership Summit The countdown continues with our No. 8 play of the 2016-17 #CAAHoops season! @tutigers TBT to last year's SAAC group shot! This year's Summit takes place this weekend in Richmond. What better way to celebrate than a group dip in the pool! 
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