Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tuesday Night CAA Multitasking

After watching the USA Women's hockey team completely crush Russia on CNBC, I retired to the entertainment room. It was time for CAA Tuesday night hoops. I went to the WRHU.org site and put on the live radio feed of the Hofstra-Delaware game. Meanwhile, I went to ESPN360 and watched on mute the William and Mary-George Mason game. Then for kicks, I had another tab open in Firefox keeping track of the scores of all the CAA games.

I have to admit, I don't think I ever remember watching one live game while listening to another game, while trying to follow the rest of the scores in the CAA. And it was quite fun.

In the Hofstra-Delaware game, The Pride pulled out in front 10-8 with 13:10 left in the first half on one of several Cornelius Vines threes on the night. It was a lead they would never relinquish.

Meanwhile in Fairfax, The Tribe would jump out to a 7-2 lead, but an 11-2 run by the Patriots put them up 13-9 with 10:41 left. Strangely, the run was led by Kevin Foster, who had been sporadically used the past ten games by Mason (in fact he didn't play in six of the games). Foster was playing due to Mason starter Mike Morrison not being available due to a suspension for two technical fouls in a previous game.

During lulls in the action in the Mason-Mary game, I checked on all the CAA scores and noticed a potential huge upset in the making in the Northeastern-UNC Wilmington game. The Seahawks got out to a 22-9 lead with 10:20 left in the first half on the strength of four three pointers and five turnovers by the Huskies.

Back in Newark, the Pride extended their lead to 31-18 with 3:57 left in the first half on two Charles Jenkins free throws. At this point Jenkins and Vines had 23 of the Pride's 31 points.

At the Patriot Center, the Patriots threatened to pull away from the Tribe. Foster and Andre Cornelius would score 12 of Mason's next 17 points to put GMU up 30-21 with 2:55 left.

All three games had significant leads at the half. Hofstra was up ten, 37-27. UNC Wilmington was ahead 35-24. And George Mason was up 36-25. The funny thing was only one team would end up maintaining their lead in the second half.

The second half of the Pride-Blue Hens became a wild shooting affair where Delaware shot 50 percent from the field while Hofstra shot 48 percent. The Blue Hens hit several three pointers and cut the lead to 49-42 with 13:14 left. The Pride and the Blue Hens traded baskets back and forth, and an Alphonso Dawson three would again cut the lead to seven, 63-56 with 8:25 left as the Blue Hens already scored more points than they did in the entire first half.

In Fairfax, for the first eight plus minutes of the second half, things still didn't look good for W&M. After another Foster layup, the Patriots were up 48-39 with 11:37 left. But a quick 7-0 run by the Tribe cut the lead to 48-46 with 9:44 remaining and would setup an exciting finish.

At the Trask Center in Wilmington, Keith Rendelman scored on a three point play to start the second half and the Seahawks had their biggest lead 38-24 with only 10 seconds gone by in the second half. The teams would not score again for the next minute a half until Northeastern's Manny Adako scored. But led by Adako and Chaisson Allen, the Huskies chipped away at UNCW's lead. An Allen jumper put the Huskies down only two, 48-46 with 10 minutes left in the game.

Back at the Bob Carpenter Center, behind Charles Jenkins, Hofstra started slowly pulling away from Delaware. A Jenkins three pointer put the Pride up 76-65 with 5:32 left. Another three pointer by Vines put the Pride up 80-67 with 3:35 left. Both teams would only score two points each the rest of the way as Hofstra won 82-69.

However, in the Patriot Center, the Tribe would come all the way back and take a 55-54 lead on a three pointer by Quinn McDowell with 3:23 left. Mason called timeout to try to stem the tide. The Patriots would tie the game at 59 on a Luke Hancock layup with 1:29 left.

In Wilmington, the Huskies would also come all the way back and take the lead 51-50 on an Adako layup with 6:46 left. The Seahawks would not quit and retake the lead 54-53 on Ahmad Grant's jumper with 5:11 left. But Allen's three pointer put Northeastern up to stay 56-54 with 4:44 remaining. Wilmington would only score two points the rest of the way and Northeastern would survive the upset bid 61-56.

Back in Fairfax, the Tribe would take the lead back 61-59 on a pretty finger roll layup by David Schneider with 59 seconds left. The Patriots Cam Long would drive the lane and draw a blocking foul on Quinn McDowell with 29 seconds left. However Long would only hit the first of two free throws.

The Tribe got the rebound off the missed second foul shot and got the ball to Schneider who dribbled the clock down to 10 seconds before being fouled. But Schneider missed the front end of a one and one. Mason had the ball back with 8.9 seconds and called timeout.

Off the timeout, Long drove the lane but W&M's Danny Sumner blocked Long's shot. Schneider got the rebound and was fouled again. This time Schneider nailed the two free throws and Long missed a halfcourt three attempt at the buzzer. The Mary won 63-60 and ended Mason's 18 game home CAA conference winning streak.

In the Hofstra game, Jenkins had 30 points and Vines added 18 as the Pride (15-13, 8-8 CAA) shot nearly 46 percent from the field including 11 of 24 from beyond the arc. Hofstra had an impressive 15 assists to 6 turnovers on the game. And with the win, Hofstra clinched 7th place in the CAA.

With their win, Northeastern (18-9, 13-3 CAA) maintained a first place tie with Old Dominion (who defeated Towson 78-67). Allen had 23 points, 15 of which came in the second half and Adako had 22 for the Huskies. Northeastern clinched a first round bye in the CAA tournament (as did Old Dominion with their win).

As for William and Mary (19-7, 11-5 CAA), the Tribe tied Mason (16-11, 11-5 CAA) for third place in the CAA. The Tribe have the tiebreaker on the Patriots since they only play each other this one time for the season. McDowell had another terrific game for the Mary with 19 points including 4 of 6 from beyond the arc.

In other CAA games, VCU drubbed Drexel at the Siegel Center 73-54. The Rams (18-7, 10-6 CAA) got 29 points, 13 rebounds and 5 blocks from Larry Sanders. The Rams outrebounded the Dragons (15-13, 10-6 CAA) 41-23. With the win, VCU tied Drexel for fifth and have the tiebreaker on Drexel since they split with W&M while Drexel was swept by the Tribe.

As noted, ODU coasted past Towson 78-67 as the Monarchs shot 51 percent from the field and outrebounded the Tigers 36-24 including 19-9 on the offensive end. Frank Hassell led four scorers in double figures for ODU with 15 points. And Georgia State took over sole possession of eighth in the CAA as they held off James Madison 77-72 as Joe Dukes had 25 points for the Panthers. The Dukes lost despite 34 points from Denzel Bowles.

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