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December 12, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments



Colonial Offseason News Update

by Matt Amis

What’s that? Ouch. You didn’t listen to my ‘heads up’ last week, did you? That’s right folks, the CAA means business this season and is quickly making its mark as one of the toughest mid-majors in the country. Despite playing nearly two-thirds of their games on the road, CAA teams have posted a 25-22 mark in non-conference competition thus far. Among those victories was a shocking pair over Big East Conference foes last week.

And those 22 losses? Eight have come against teams from the ACC (Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Maryland), Big East (Providence, West Virginia) or SEC (Georgia) and three others were against squads that made the NCAA Tournament a year ago (Penn, Saint Joseph’s and East Tennessee State).

All this may come as a surprise since the conference waved goodbye to Brett Blizzard last season – one of the CAA’s best all-time players. But an influx of talented young scorers have been popping up all over the league. Among the league’s top 20 scorers through Dec. 8, only four – Adam Hess, Domonic Jones, Mark Davis, Mike Ames – finished the 2002-03 season in the top 20.

And just to drive home the point: Old Dominion sophomore center Alex Loughton turned in a sick 45 point, 15 rebound and six assist performance last week – harkening back to the days of ‘The Admiral.’ That 45 points matched the second-highest total ever recorded by a CAA player, tying the mark set by Navy’s David Robinson against Kentucky (1/25/87) and James Madison (1/10/87).

Loughton went 17-of-23 from the field, with the 17 field goals tying the fourth-highest total in CAA history. Perhaps most amazingly, he was a perfect 5-for-5 in the contest from three-point range after having hit just 2-of-9 from beyond the arc in his career. Loughton currently leads the CAA in scoring (22.5 ppg), rebounding (9.2 rpg) and three-point FG percentage (75%), and is third in FG percentage (57.1%), third in steals (2.25 spg), seventh in FT percentage (83.3%) and 10th in assists (3.5 apg).

Delaware:

The Blue Hens improved to 5-1 with a 76-71 win over Loyola Wednesday. Four of Delaware’s wins have come on the road, marking the first time since 1998-99 that they have started a season with four straight road triumphs. Coincidentally, that year – the last time UD made the NCAA Tournament – the Hens opened the season by scoring 70 or more points in five straight games.

Against Loyola, the Delaware starting backcourt of Mike Ames, Mike Slattery, and David Lunn combined for 53 points as the Hens held on for the non-league W at the Bob Carpenter Center.

Ames produced his second straight 20-point effort and the 12th of his career with 20 points, Slattery added 17 points, and Lunn added 16 points, five rebounds, and four assists as the Blue Hens (5-1) won their third straight game. Ames, a senior guard, is now just 14 points shy of becoming the 22nd player in school history to reach 1,000 points.

Drexel:

The Dragons (2-3 overall) came up short in a pair of close games last week, dropping a 69-68 decision to Lafayette and falling 57-48 to Temple in the Big Five Classic (which rocks, by the way) at the Palestra.

Drexel led Temple with 3:38 to play in a rematch of last year’s NIT matchup, but the Owls reeled off 11 straight points to take control. Senior forward Tim Whitworth recorded a double-double versus Temple with 11 points and a team-high 10 rebounds, while sophomore Kenell Sanchez also scored 11. The Dragons bounced back though, on Monday, defeating Quinnipiac, 89-72, in a game at the Daskalakis Athletic Center. Phil Goss poured in 25 points, including five 3-pointers, and Sanchez added 21 points, eight rebounds and seven assists to propel Drexel to its second win of the season.

Drexel hosts Quinnipiac tonight and plays #13 Saint Joseph’s at the Palestra on Sunday in a regionally televised contest.

George Mason:

The Patriots (4-2 overall) won two of three last week, defeating previously unbeaten East Carolina (76-65) and Hartford (79-58) before losing 115-81 at No. 2-ranked North Carolina on Sunday.

George Mason made seven first-half three-pointers and led the Heels 49-47 at the break before UNC tallied 68 points (!) in the final 20 minutes.

The Patriots also had a second-half lead at ACC powerhouse Maryland in their only other loss this year.

Senior guard Mark Davis averaged 17.3 points and 6.0 rebounds for the week, including a team-high 21 points at UNC and a team-best 20 points at Hartford.

Junior point guard Terry Reynolds scored 17 points at Hartford and dished out eight assists against ECU and UNC. The Toledo transfer tops the CAA with 7.7 assists per game.

The 115 points to the Tarheels is the most surrendered by Mason since a 118-97 loss to Southern Cal in 1995. The Patriots are off until hosting McNeese State on Dec. 18.

Hofstra:

The Pride are at 3-4 after shocking St. John’s 81-64 on Tuesday and dropping to Monmouth the following Wednesday.

Hofstra’s win over St. John’s was only its second in 23 meetings with the Red Storm and was SJU’s second-worst loss ever at Alumni Hall.

All five Pride starters were in double figures, led by junior forward Kenny Adeleke with 20 points and 13 rebounds and freshman guard Carlos Rivera with 20 points on 7-of-8 FG shooting.

But things kinda came crashing down the following week against Monmouth, which spoiled a career-high 26 points from Hofstra’s Wendell Gibson.

James Madison:

Full steam ahead! The Dukes (2-3 overall) opened their brutal seven-game, 40-day road swing with eight-point losses to La Salle (79-71) and Akron (78-70).

Senior forward Dwayne Broyles was James Madison’s leading scorer and rebounder in both contests, getting 20 points, eight rebounds and four assists at La Salle and 24 points and eight boards at Akron.

Playing near his hometown of Canton, Ohio, Broyles overcame early foul trouble and scored all 24 points versus the Zips in the second half, hitting 8-of-11 from the field and 5-of-7 from three-point range. Broyles, who is now sixth on JMU’s career treys with 126, shots 55.2% from the field and 56.3% (9-of-16) from three for the week.

Freshman guard Ray Barbosa, who ranks 7th in the CAA in scoring at 15.0 ppg, has made at least one three-pointer in each game. Senior guard Chris Williams is now 8th on JMU’s career assist list with 284. The Dukes are off until a Dec. 16 contest at Virginia.

Old Dominion:

The Monarchs (1-3 overall) have now had three straight games decided on the final possession after pulling out a 94-92 overtime victory at Virginia Tech and suffering a 105-102 double-overtime setback to Charlotte last week.

The loss to Charlotte put a damper on the ridiculous night (as mentioned above) from ODU sophomore center Alex Loughton, who scored 45 points on 17-of-23 FG shooting, grabbed a career-high tying 15 rebounds and dished out a career-high six assists.

The 45 points were the most scored by a Monarchs’ player at the Division I level, topping the mark of 44 set by All-American Ronnie Valentine in 1976-77. Loughton set his previous career highs of 24 points, 15 rebounds and five assists in a 75-72 loss to #13 Saint Joseph’s just one week earlier.

ODU hosts Morgan State on Saturday night.

Towson:

The Tigers dropped their third straight Wednesday 76-57 at George Washington. Oh, and they were beaten twice on the road last week, losing 81-51 at Georgia and 54-50 at Norfolk State. Yep, there’s the Towson team we know and love.

George Washington raced to a comfortable halftime lead but then had to fend off a late rally as the Colonials handed Towson the loss in the Smith Center.

It was the most lopsided score in the seven-game series that GW now leads, 6-1.

Freshman Jonathan Pease led the way for Towson with a career high 13 points on 4-for-5 shooting and fellow freshman, point guard Mike Green, playing all 40 minutes in the game, contributed a career high 12 points and 7 assists.

Virginia Commonwealth:

The Rams (4-1 overall, 1-0 CAA) bounced back from a highly disappointing 70-52 loss at cross-town rival Richmond to defeat William & Mary 71-60 in their CAA opener on Saturday.

Virginia Commonwealth improved to 3-0 at home, which matches the team’s best homecookin’ start since 1999-2000.

Senior center Troy Godwin averaged 17.0 points and 8.5 rebounds for the week and shot 56% (14-25) from the floor and recorded his first double-double of the year with a team-high 20 points and 11 boards against W&M.

Senior guard Domonic Jones has tallied double figures in all five games after getting 18 points against W&M and 13 against UR. The effort bumped Jones up to 17th on VCU’s career scoring list with 1,207 points.

The Rams are off until hosting North Carolina A&T on Dec. 15.

William & Mary:

The Tribe (3-3 overall, 1-1 CAA) have everyone feeling a bit jealous, having already played two CAA contests. But, ah, they split those two, knocking off defending league champion UNC Wilmington 67-66 in overtime before losing 71-60 at Virginia Commonwealth.

A pair of freshmen came up big for W&M in the triumph as walk-on guard Adam Trumbower sent the game into overtime by hitting a three-pointer with 2.8 seconds to go and forward Corey Cofield scored the last of his career-high 17 points on a game-winning layup with five seconds left in overtime.

Senior forward Adam Hess poured in 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds against UNCW, but was limited to an uncharacteristic 13 points on 5-of-20 FG shooting at VCU. It was the first time all season that Hess didn’t lead the squad in scoring. He is still ranked second in the CAA in scoring at 20.5 ppg.

The Tribe is off until a Dec. 19 clash with nearby Hampton.

     

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