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December 5, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments



Colonial Offseason News Update

by Matt Amis

Heads Up

Did the rest of the nation miss the memo? The CAA has been on top of its collective non-conference schedule. The league’s 10 teams have posting a combined record of 20-15. Eight CAA squads have winning percentages of .500 or better. Of the 13 losses, six came against teams from the ACC (Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Maryland) or Big East (Providence, West Virginia) and three others were against squads that made the NCAA Tournament a year ago (Penn, Saint Joseph’s and East Tennessee State).

Milestones for Hens:

The Blue Hens are off to a 3-1 start after dispatching Long Island Wednesday 89-76, and have point guard Mike Slattery to thank for at least some of their success.

Slattery, one of the premier point guards in the CAA, collected 12 points and nine assists, including the 300th of his career, to pace the victory.

Sophomore Chris Prothro – not one to be left out of the fun – came off the bench to score 16 of his career-high 21 points in a nine-minute span during the first half.

The victory came just days after a crushing 74-72 loss to San Francisco in the Hens’ home opener. It was Delaware’s first home-opening loss since 1997-98 and just the second setback in 12 home-openers played at the Bob Carpenter Center.

Drexel:

The Dragons split their first two games of the season, but then succumbed to a fierce Lafayette rally in their third contest, 69-68.

Drexel took out Colgate 89-84 on the road after falling 79-73 to cross-town rival Penn. The Dragons shot a sizzling 56% from the floor over the first two games, but slipped against Lafayette going 3-20 from beyond the arc.

Drexel managed to lose a 10 point edge in the game and actually had two chances to win the game in the last 24 seconds, but the Leopards held on to win their third-straight game when Jamie Hughes blocked a Jeremiah King shot with four seconds to play.

The loss overshadowed a career performance by Drexel’s Sean Brooks. The junior forward poured in a career-high 23 points and grabbed a personal-best 16 rebounds. The 16 boards were the most in a game by a Drexel player in three years.

The Dragons square off against Temple on Saturday in the first game of the Big Five Classic at The Palestra.

George Mason:

After an expected 79-64 setback at Maryland (let’s be honest here), a 92-83 triumph at Iona and a 76-65 win over East Carolina last week, the Pats are sittin’ pretty at 3-1.

The win over the Gaels marked the 300th career victory for George Mason head coach Jim Larranaga.

Sophomore forward Jai Lewis, making his first start of the season at Iona, recorded his second double-double in three games with 12 points and a team-high 10 rebounds. Lewis also chipped in 17 points and eight boards against those Terps.

Most recently, senior guard Raoul Heinen posted career highs of 23 points and 10 rebounds in leading George Mason to a 76-65 victory over visiting East Carolina Tuesday night at the Patriot Center.

Hofstra:

Continuing with this non-conference theme, the Pride dropped St. John’s 81-64 Tuesday night, after an 87-72 loss at 25th-ranked Maryland on Saturday.

At Alumni Hall in Hempstead, NY, Hofstra’s victory over SJU was only the second all-time for the Pride in the 23 meetings between the schools.

All five starters scored in double figures for Hofstra, led by junior forward Kenny Adeleke and freshman guard Carlos Rivera with 20 points apiece. Adeleke added 13 rebounds for his 25th career double-double (and first this season) and also tallied three blocked shots.

Next up for Hofstra: Columbia on Saturday at 2 p.m.

James Madison:

The Dukes are 2-2 after a disappointing season-opening, three-game homestand. Then back out on the road, James Madison rallied from an early 17-point deficit but couldn’t hold on in the final minutes and dropped a 79-71 non-conference men’s basketball decision at La Salle Wednesday.

The Dukes trailed 14-0 five minutes into the game and 29-12 after 12 minutes. But they cut into the margarine…err, margin, and brought it to 42-33 by halftime and actually went in front 62-61 on a free throw by senior guard Chris Williams with 5:41 remaining.

The Dukes don’t play at home again until hosting VCU on January 10. JMU plays seven games in five states over the next 40 days, starting with a trip to La Salle on Wednesday and Akron on Saturday.

UNC Wilmington / William & Mary:

After cruising past Jacksonville 71-53 in their home opener last Monday, the Seahawks nation took a major shock Thursday when it lost the year’s first CAA conference game in OT against surprising William & Mary.

In Williamsburg, W&M freshman forward Corey Cofield capped a career-high 17-point performance by converting a game-winning layup with five seconds left in overtime as the Tribe upset the two-time defending CAA
champions.

UNCW (3-2 overall, 0-1 in CAA) led 24-11 midway through the first half behind eight points from junior center Aaron Coombs, but the Tribe chipped the margin to three by halftime. W&M (3-2 overall, 1-0 in CAA) rode that pony early in the second period behind CAA star senior forward Adam Hess and sprinted to a 49-40 lead with 11:27 left.

The Seahawks battled back, moving in front 57-56 on an Ed Spencer jumper with 37 seconds left and expanding the gap to three on a pair of Spencer free throws with 14 seconds to go. With the clock winding down, W&M freshman center Brian Hutt grabbed a rebound from a missed three-point attempt and kicked it out to walk-on freshman guard Adam Trumbower, who knocked down a trey for his only points of the game with 2.8 seconds to go to force overtime.

The Seahawks moved ahead 66-61 in the extra session on a Halston Lane three-pointer with two minutes remaining, but buckets by Cofield and Hess trimmed the margin to a nail-chomping one.
W&M scored the game-winning basket when Cofield got wide open on an inbounds play for a layup. Spencer had one last chance to give UNCW the victory, but his 13-footer from the baseline hit off the rim at the buzzer.

Hess paced the Tribe with 20 points, eight rebounds and five assists, while Cofield scored 17 on 7-of-11 FG shooting. Coombs finished with 13 points for UNCW and Spencer had 12.

The Seahawks, who are in a stretch of three road games in six days, visit Campbell tonight and CAA foe William & Mary on Thursday.

Old Dominion:

The Monarchs gave No. 11 Saint Joe’s all it could handle early in the week (a 75-72 thriller in their home opener), so naturally the tough competition gave them an edge for the rest of the week…

In Blacksburg, Va., sophomore guard Isaiah Hunter made two free throws with 17 seconds left in overtime to give Old Dominion a 94-92 overtime victory over Virginia Tech. The win was ODU’s first ever at Cassell Coliseum.

The Monarchs (1-2) led nearly the entire game, but two free throws by Zabian Dowdell gave Virginia Tech an 85-82 lead with seven seconds left in regulation. ODU senior guard Troy Nance sent the game into overtime, however, draining a 45-shot as time expired. The Monarchs made just one field goal in the overtime, but sank seven of eight free throws for the win.

Hunter scored 21 points for the Monarchs, John Waller had 18 points, including 4-of-5 from behind the arc, and seven rebounds, while Nance and freshman Valdas Vasylius each scored 13. ODU The Monarchs continues their brutal non-conference run this week, hitting up Charlotte on Saturday at home.

Towson:

After starting the season an unprecedented 2-1 (their best start since 1999-2000), the Tigers got lambasted by Georgia, 81-51 Thursday night.

The Bulldogs’ win spoiled the Homecoming for Towson coach Mike Hunt, a native of Macon, Georgia and a former assistant coach for the Bulldogs.

Sophomore forward Lawrence Hamm led the Tigers with 16 points, making him the only Towson player in double figures. Hamm shot 7-for-13 from the floor and grabbed six rebounds.

Virginia Commonwealth:

After a perfect 3-0 start for the Rams last week (wins over Western Kentucky 72-67, and Hampton 67-51), things finally caught up to them – Richmond slammed them 70-52 in Richmond Wednesday.

The Spiders pushed their lead to 11 at 43-32 with 15:22 left in the game before the Rams scored seven straight to close to within four at 43-39. With the score 45-41, Richmond scored nine straight points to take its biggest lead at 54-41. The margin eventually swelled to 20 before the Spiders claimed the victory to be rightfully theirs.

Star senior guard Domonic Jones scored 13 for the Rams, as did junior forward Michael Doles.

     

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