Monday, January 4, 2010

College of Charleston Upsets North Carolina and the Topsy Turvy CAA

It took them overtime to do it, but the College of Charleston pulled off another RLU upset on their home court, Kresse Arena and knocked off #9 North Carolina 82-79. It was the perfect team for Charleston to upset. Charleston loves to run and gun, as does Carolina, and Carolina doesn't play very good defense. Andrew Goudelock led all five Cougar Starters in double figure scoring with 24 points. The difference in the game- Charleston was 13 of 32 from three. North Carolina 1 for 6. Hopefully this is a win for Charleston to build on.

On Saturday, CAA home teams won five of the six games. Tonight, four of the six road teams won. The only constants from Saturday and tonight - George Mason won both of their home games and Hofstra lost both games (one home, one road).

There were two major upsets. John Fields tipped in a Chad Tomko missed shot with 3.4 seconds left as UNCW upset William and Mary 62-61 ending the Mary's 10 game winning streak. The big difference was on the glass as the Seahawks outrebounded the Tribe 39-30 including 16-5 on offensive rebounds, the last of which was Fields' tip in shot.

The Mary had jumped out to a 37-29 halftime lead and looked to be on their way to winning their eleventh game in a row. But you live by the three, you die by the three. The Tribe shot 7 of 13 from beyond the arc in the first half. In the second half, 1 of 12. UNCW held David Schneider, Quinn McDowell and Danny Sumner to a combined 12 of 38 from the floor. Ahmad Grant did his own sharp shooting for the Seahawks, leading the way with 17 points on 4 of 7 shooting from beyond the arc. UNCW rebounded from a 91-57 thrashing by VCU on Saturday to score their biggest win of the season.

Meanwhile, in Richmond, Northeastern made it two years in a row winning at Siegel Center as the Huskies rallied to defeat VCU 62-57. Manny Adako scored 23 points on 11 of 14 shooting and Chaisson Allen added 17 for the Huskies. Larry Sanders had 12 points, 9 rebounds and 4 blocks, while Joey Rodriguez had 12 points and 7 assists for the Rams.

The Huskies shot 52 percent in the second half, including 4 of 5 from three. Adako and Allen combined for 23 of Northeastern's 37 second half points. Sanders had all 12 of his points in the second half for VCU. Problem was the rest of the Rams scored 17 points combined in the second half.

Old Dominion roared out to a 25-12 first half lead on Towson. The Tigers would slowly chip away at the Monarchs' lead and would be only down two, 47-45 with 14:41 left. Then ODU went on a 20-7 run over the next six minutes and never looked back in a convincing 87-71 win at the Towson Center. Gerald Lee led the Monarchs with 19 points including 8 of 10 from the free throw line. The ODU frontcourt of Lee, Frank Hassell and Ben Finney scored 51 points on 19 of 31 shooting as the Monarchs shot 54 percent overall. Robert Nwankwo had 18 points and 8 rebounds for Towson.

Drexel stunned the CAA's second best scoring defensive team in Georgia State by scoring 44 first half points on their way to a dominating 72-57 beatdown at the GSU Sports arena. The same team that only scored 49 points in their entire game vs Northeastern to start the CAA season scored their 44 first half points by shooting 68 percent from the field (17 of 25) in the first half.

Leading the charge was Jamie Harris who had a career high 32 points on 12 of 19 shooting from the field and 7 of 8 from the charity stripe. Gerald Colds added 16 for the Dragons. Trae Goldston, Joe Dukes and Dante Curry combined for 38 points for the Panthers. Here's the wacky stat of the night. Georgia State was 7 of 9 from beyond the arc, but shot 13 of 43 from the rest of the field.

James Madison coasted to a 71-65 win over Delaware. The Dukes led by many as fourteen, 58-44 with 7:42 left before taking the foot off the pedal. Delaware's last lead was 5-3 about four minutes into the game and it was JMU the rest of the way.

It was a two man show for the Dukes as Julius Wells (24 points) and Denzel Bowles (26 points) combined for 50 of the 71 JMU points on 22 of 41 shooting from the field. The rest of Madison scored 21 points on 7 of 18 shooting. As usual, Jawan Carter led Delaware with 18 points.

Finally, Hofstra lost another close game, this time at the hands of George Mason at the Patriot Center. The Patriots came back late for a 67-63 win. Ryan Pearson had 16 of his 17 points in the second half to lead four Patriots scorers in double figures. Andre Cornelius added 13 points on three of four three point shooting, Cam Long had 12 and Luke Hancock had 11 for Mason. Chaz Williams scored a career high 20 points on 8 of 9 shooting while Halil Kanacevic also had career highs of 16 points and 12 rebounds.

Charles Jenkins added 11 points, 6 assists and 6 rebounds for Hofstra, but again struggled from the field, shooting 5 of 15. The Pride had a 41-30 rebound edge, but the big edge was Mason shooting 17 of 23 from the charity stripe, two of which came from Cam Long to put Mason up to stay 57-55 with 2:40 left. Hofstra was only 9 of 14 from the line.

Mason is now the only undefeated team left in the CAA at 3-0. Think about it. Three games into the CAA conference season and only one team is unscathed right now. Welcome to the CAA, where the only thing predictable is...unpredictability.

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