CAA Tournament Live Blog: Day One
The Road Starts Here! Welcome to the 2012 Virginia 529 CAA Men’s Basketball Championship. For the next four days, 12 teams will play 11 games, and only one can be crowned CAA champion.
Patrick McHugh and Andy Towne will be in Richmond all weekend, bringing you live coverage of each game. Be sure to check out the Dog Pound Sport Sound today at 3 p.m. to hear the team break down Northeastern’s game against William & Mary at 6 p.m. You can hear that game right here on WRBB Sports starting at 5:45.
There are four games on the docket today. Here is the schedule:
12 p.m. – #8 James Madison vs. #9 UNCW
2:30 p.m. – #5 Delaware vs. #12 Towson
6 p.m. – #7 Northeastern vs. #10 William & Mary
8:30 p.m. – #6 Georgia State vs. #11 Hofstra
JMU and UNCW are set to tip off in a matter of minutes. Keep it locked here all day for coverage of CAA Basketball.
Game 1: JMU vs. UNCW
15:38 1st half, 13-4 JMU – The Dukes are off to a fast start in this one. Andrey Semenov buried a three on JMU’s second possession, and that was followed by big dunks from Gene Swindle and A.J. Davis. The Dukes are killing the Seahawks using the backdoor cut. UNCW looks timid in the early going.
11:30 1st half, 17-13 JMU – A frenetic pace to this one as the Seahawks have used a 9-4 run to close the gap. Major factor early in this game is the foul situation. JMU already has seven team fouls, meaning UNCW will go the free throw line for the remainder of the half on all non-offensive fouls. Semenov and Alioune Diouf have two fouls each. Let’s see if they Wilmington can exploit that.
7:45 1st half, 21-20 UNCW – First-team All-CAA selection Keith Rendleman has made a big impact for his team. The UNCW big man has 10 points on 4 of 9 shooting, pushing the Seahawks ahead. JMU now up to nine team fouls, one away from the double-bonus.
3:58 1st half, 29-22 UNCW – Momentum — and the officials’ whistles — are on UNCW’s side. The Dukes have 12 team fouls and Semenov is on the bench with three personal fouls, while Diouf, Enoch Hood and third-team All-CAA choice Humpty Hitchens have two apiece. JMU, a team with little depth, cannot afford to get in foul trouble. UNCW is looking to keep attacking.
Halftime, 34-25 UNCW – Rendleman and frontcourt mate Cedrick Williams have taken over this game for the Seahawks. The duo have combined for 23 points on 9 of 21 shooting and have snagged nine rebounds. You can see JMU backing off the Seahawks as they go to the basket, trying not to pick up any more fouls. Wilmington also has an 18-12 edge on the backboards, another byproduct of the foul situation. UNCW also has 14 second-chance points. Right now this game is in control of the Seahawks, given both the score and the foul situation.
15:32 2nd half, 42-29 UNCW – Semenov, who averaged 10.3 points-per-game this season for the Dukes, picked up his fourth personal foul early in the second stanza and is back on the bench. With the Dukes now trailing by 13, you have to wonder where the scoring will come without one of their most effective big men on the floor. Hitchens has eight and Davis has six. Meanwhile, All-Rookie selection Adam Smith has gotten in on the act for UNCW with nine points. Key stat: UNCW has as many offensive rebounds (12) as JMU does defensive rebounds. Seahawks cleaning up the glass at a 24-15 clip.
10:41 2nd half, 50-30 UNCW – The Seahawks have ran — or should I say flown? — away with this one. Williams has set a new career-high with 16 points (previous career-high was 10), and there’s still over 10 minutes to play. Rendleman has 14, and Wilmington is shooting 42-percent from the floor. Semenov is back on the floor for JMU, but with four personal fouls he’s close to disqualification. UNCW looks destined to meet #1 seed Drexel tomorrow in the quarterfinals.
7:56 2nd half, 53-32 UNCW – JMU has only seven points through 12 minutes of play in the second half. Not good. Semenov has more fouls (4) than points (3). Not good. The Dukes, who led by as many as nine in the first half, have trailed by as much as 23 in the second half. Overall, just not a good day for JMU.
3:47 2nd half, 57-42 UNCW – You have to give credit to UNCW for a terrific effort today. This is a team that entered Richmond with a six-game losing streak and is 3-13 since Jan. 12. Despite falling behind quickly they remained calm and executed their game plan to near perfection. JMU is banged up in the low post and Wilmington went right at them. The Seahawks have been characterized as a team with Rendleman and little else, but today Williams, Smith and Shane Reybold stepped up their scoring game.
Final, 70-59 UNCW – Credit JMU for not throwing in the towel early. They kept playing until the final whistle and managed to score 17 points in the final four minutes to make it a bit closer, but UNCW’s big lead was too much to overcome. The clear advantage for Wilmington came down low, where they outscored JMU 26-7 in second-chance points and earned the rebounding edge 38-31. Foul trouble also plagued the Dukes, who had four players foul out. The Seahawks improve to 10-20 on the season and will meet top seed Drexel at 12 p.m. in the quarterfinals. JMU’s injury-filled season ends a disappointing 12-20.
In about 30 minutes, #5 Delaware will meet #12 Towson for the day’s second game. We’ll have updates through most of the first half of that one, but then we have to get ready for the Northeastern game at 6 p.m. Keep it locked to WRBB all day, and all night, for coverage of the CAA Tournament.
Game 2: Delaware vs. Towson
15:40 1st half, 7-5 Delaware – Both teams struggled to shoot the ball in the opening minutes, combining to go 4 of 17 from the floor. Towson seems very aggressive to begin this game, a change from what we usually see in which the Tigers move slowly to try and keep it low-scoring throughout. We’ll see how long they can hang with the Hens.
11:58 1st half, 15-9 Delaware – Towson has to make shots if they have any shot at pulling the huge upset, but right now they’re 2 for 14 shooting the ball. UD is getting out in transition and pushing off missed shots. Second-team All-CAA pick Devon Saddler has six points early on.
7:59 1st half, 25-10 Delaware – It’s been a 10-1 run for the Hens since our last break, and they’re really in control of this one. We had a scary moment here at the Coliseum, as Jervon Pressley landed hard on Hakim McCullar after both went for a rebound. McCullar remained motionless on the ground for a few minutes, and finally got up very slowly and walked to the locker room surrounded by Delaware medical staff. There was another stoppage about two minutes later when the facilities crew had to come out and replace the net Towson is shooting on for the first half. It looked like it may have been caught by some fingers and damaged. Devon Saddler leads all scorers with 10 points, and his team is already in the bonus after seven fouls from Towson.
3:32 1st half, 32-18 Delaware – Saddler and Josh Brinkley have identical stat lines for the Hens, both are 4 of 7 shooting with 10 points. Very unselfish play from UD as they already have seven assists. Towson has been caught out of position a lot and has been forced to foul rather than surrender easy buckets. Towson has 10 team fouls. A 20-percent shooting percentage isn’t doing the Tigers any favors either.
Halftime, 36-25 Delaware – Surprised to see how much the Hens are settling for jump shots rather than attacking the basket or getting it down low to Hagins. Robert Nwankwo has eight for the Tigers, six of which came from the free throw line. UD’s cold three-point shooting (2 of 12) has kept Towson in the game. With shooters like Saddler, Kyle Anderson and Jarvis Threatt, however, that could change quickly in the second half. This has the feel of a game in which UD is poised to break out and gain control, but they just haven’t done so yet.
We’re going to take a break as we ready for tonight’s Northeastern-William & Mary game, but we will keep you updated with the end of this game when we return.
2:38 2nd half, 64-59 Delaware – Well well well, things certainly got interesting while we were gone. Nwankwo has exploded for 23 points and 15 rebounds to get Towson right back in this one. The Tigers are killing the Hens on the glass, holding a 41-25 advantage in rebounding. Saddler has 22 points and has knocked down some clutch threes in the past few minutes. Brinkley has chipped in with 14 points, but Anderson has had a quiet night with only three points. I still expect UD to pull this one out, but it has been a lot tougher than I think a lot of people anticipated.
Final, 72-65 Delaware – A valiant effort from the Tigers late, but foul trouble and too many missed shots did them in against a talented Hens squad. Saddler led UD with 28 points and the Hens put the game away with 24 points from the charity stripe. Threatt added a key 15 points off the bench for the Hens as well. A great game from Nwankwo, who led Towson with 27 points and snagged 20 rebounds in the loss. Towson concludes the season 1-31 overall. Delaware (18-12) advances to meet Old Dominion in Saturday’s quarterfinals. That game is at 2:30 p.m.
The next game is at 6 p.m. between Northeastern and William & Mary. We won’t be updating the live blog during that game, but the good news is you can hear the game live right here on WRBB Sports starting at 5:45. We’ll update the blog after the NU-W&M game ends and conclude it with our final game of the night, Georgia State and Hofstra, which is expected to tip-off at around 8:30 p.m.
Game 4: Georgia State vs. Hofstra
We’ve returned from postgame comments for Northeastern vs. William & Mary, so we’ll have updates throughout the final game of the night here on the blog.
11:35 1st half, 15-13 GSU – We haven’t seen much from this one yet, so we’ll start out with a simple score update. Eric Buckner leads all scorers with 7 points, including 3/3 from the free throw line, while Mike Moore has 5 for the Pride.
Halftime, 45-24 GSU – Apologies for the lack of updates as we work on posting postgame thoughts from the Northeastern game, but the few times I’ve looked up, Georgia State has been pulling off turnovers and quickly inserting the ball into the basket. GSU has forced 10 turnovers, with 8 of those being steals. They have 18 points off of turnovers. Hofstra has only forced the Panthers to cough it up 4 times, and haven’t scored on any of the ensuing possessions. They’ve pulled away in this one, and the crowd is certainly behind them. Buckner is up to 14 points and 8 rebounds at the break, without missing a shot (4-4 FG, 6-6 FT). Moore still leads Hofstra with 9 points on just 2-7 shooting (1-4 3PT, 4-4 FT). Unsurprisingly, Georgia State is killing Hofstra on the boards with a 15-8 lead in that category.
10:11 2nd half, 65-39 GSU – Back at it full time now, Georgia State is playing exciting basketball. They’re going after absolutely everything, and not letting up on the gas one bit. Any George Mason fans watching this game have to be worried, especially with the poor performances out of the Patriots they’ve seen lately. The crowd has thinned out in the Coliseum with this one being firmly in Georgia State’s control from early on.
7:41 2nd half, 73-40 GSU – This one is out of hand for Mo Cassara’s Hofstra team. Fans in the stands are calling for Ron Hunter to empty the bench and let everybody play, and that theory would make sense. There’s no use in leaving the starters out there when they have this game firmly in hand and a contest against George Mason tomorrow night at the same time. It seems like he’s obliged, as it looks like James Fields is the only starter left on the court.
3:06 2nd half, 49-46 GSU – There’s really not much to add at this point. Georgia State has set their CAA tournament scoring record, and it certainly looks like they’ll break 80. It’s easily the highest total of the day here at the Coliseum, after Delaware put up 72 on Towson.
Final, 85-50 GSU – Ouch. The Panthers’ reserves had a great time finishing out the game, and usually it’s even fun for the end-of-the-bench guys anytime they get on the court, but unfortunately for Hofstra that’s not the case when you know it’s your last game of the season. Taking a final look at the leaders, Buckner was removed after putting up 21 points and 11 rebounds in 23 minutes of action. Surprisingly, only two other players cracked the 10-point mark in an 85-point team effort. James Fields had 14 and Devonta White had 13. Hofstra’s Mike Moore played 34 minutes and put up 16 points while grabbing 4 boards. Stevie Mejia (14) and Nat Lester (11) each reached double-digit scoring for the Pride.
That will do it for us here tonight, but we’ll be right back at it tomorrow morning before Drexel and UNCW tip off at noon. Following that will be Old Dominion vs. Delaware at 2:30, then VCU vs. Northeastern at 6:00 and George Mason vs. Georgia State at 8:30. Stay with WRBBSports.com all day for coverage of the Virginia 529 College Savings Plan CAA Men’s Basketball Championship.