PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Jerrelle Benimon • Towson
Jr., F, 6-8, 245 – Warrenton, Va./Fauquier
Benimon scored a team-high 20 points and grabbed a career-high 21 rebounds in Towson’s 67-66 overtime victory at Oregon State on Saturday. It was the eighth double-double of the year for Benimon, who became the first Division I player with 20+ points and 20+ rebounds in a game this season. The junior forward was 8-of-16 from the floor and played all 45 minutes.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Jerome Hairston • Towson
Fr., G, 6-3, 190 – Cheyenne, Wyo./Christ School
Hairston contributed nine points, five rebounds and three assists in Towson’s 67-66 overtime win at Oregon State. The freshman point guard played a career-high 36 minutes and committed only one turnover. All nine of Hairston’s points came in the second half as the Tigers rallied from a 19-point deficit.
Towson Upsets Oregon State: Towson overcame a 19-point deficit with 16:06 remaining and defeated Oregon State 67-66 in overtime on Saturday. Junior Marcus Damas nailed a game-winning jumper with 0.8 seconds left in the extra session as the Tigers earned their first win over a team from a BCS conference since beating Louisville on Jan. 30, 1995 in the Towson Center. Junior forward Jerrelle Benimon led Towson with 20 points and a career-high 21 rebounds, becoming the first Division I player to post 20+ points and 20+ rebounds in a game this season.
Conference Play Resumes On Wednesday: Conference play resumes in the CAA this week with nine games on the slate. On Wednesday, Old Dominion hosts James Madison, Drexel travels to Georgia State and UNCW entertains Towson. On Thursday, Northeastern meets George Mason in a game televised nationally on NBC Sports Network. There are five games on Saturday, with Delaware at Old Dominion and George Mason at William & Mary televised regionally on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, Philadelphia and New England as well as CSS. William & Mary topped ODU 71-62 in the only December conference game on Dec. 1. Hofstra will be the final team to start CAA play on Jan. 7.
Drexel Closes In On Consecutive CAA Wins Record: Drexel enters its conference opener at Georgia State on Wednesday having won 16 consecutive CAA games. The streak is the third-longest in league history, trailing only George Mason (18 from Jan. 12, 2011-Jan. 8, 2012) and Richmond (17 from Feb. 1988-Feb. 1989). It was the Dragons who ended George Mason’s streak last season with a 60-53 victory in Philadelphia.
Three CAA Players Among Cousy Award Candidates: Drexel’s Frantz Massenat, James Madison’s Devon Moore and Georgia State’s Devonta White are among 85 candidates for the Bob Cousy Award, which is presented to the nation’s top collegiate point guard. The list of candidates will be trimmed to 20 in early January and the winner will be announced at the Final Four.
Doubling Up: Delaware senior Jamelle Hagins and Towson junior Jerrelle Benimon are among the nation’s leaders with eight double-doubles. Seven other CAA players have multiple double-doubles: UNCW’s Keith Rendleman (5), ODU’s DeShawn Painter (4), Towson’s Bilal Dixon (2), Northeastern’s Quincy Ford (2), JMU’s Rayshawn Goins (2), Northeastern’s Reggie Spencer (2) and UNCW’s Cedrick Williams (2). All 11 teams have had at least one player post a double-double this season.
Down To The Wire: Of the 131 non-conference games involving CAA teams this season, 57 of them (43.5%) have been decided by six points or less and 11 have gone to overtime. Nine of George Mason’s 12 games have had margins of five points or less. Towson has had seven games with margins of six points or less, Delaware has had five and Drexel has had four. Northeastern has had five games decided by three points or less. Georgia State has won three games by two points or less and dropped its last four by a total of 12 points and James Madison has been involved in three one-point decisions and a two-point contest.
UD’s Saddler, Hagins Moving Up Career Lists: Delaware guard Devon Saddler has the second-most career points (1,252) of any junior in Division I, trailing only Creighton’s Doug McDermott. Saddler, who is averaging a league-best 19.8 ppg this season, has also moved up to 15th on UD’s all-time scoring list. Blue Hens’ forward Jamelle Hagins has 871 career rebounds and is just 46 shy of UD’s all-time record. He ranks 7th in CAA history with 240 career blocked shots.
Youth Movement: There are just eight seniors among the top 30 scorers in the CAA through games of Dec. 30 and Northeastern’s Joel Smith and UNCW’s Keith Rendleman are the only seniors among the top 10. The top 30 also includes 12 juniors, six sophomores and four freshmen.
Freshmen Among Steals Leaders: JMU guard Andre Nation ranks second in the CAA with 2.0 steals per game and is among five freshmen among the league’s top 15 in steals. GSU’s R.J. Hunter is 4th (1.9 spg), ODU’s Keenan Palmore is tied for 6th (1.8 spg), Northeastern’s David Walker is 12th (1.5 spg) and Towson’s Jerome Hairston is 14th (1.5 spg).
• Have been off since an 83-60 win over Penn on Dec. 21. UD hosts Rider on Monday.
• Senior Jamelle Hagins had 18 points, 13 rebounds and 3 blocks in the Penn win. Hagins, who has a league-high 8 double-doubles this season, leads the CAA in rebounding (12.2 rpg) and ranks 2nd in FG% (57.4%) and blocks (2.3 bpg).
• Junior Devon Saddler, who leads the CAA in scoring with 19.8 ppg, contributed 12 points vs. Penn. Saddler has scored double digits in 18 straight games and has topped the 12-point mark in every game this season.
• Freshman Terrell Rogers scored 12 points vs. Penn while fellow rookie Marvin King-Davis tallied a career-high eight points.
• Sophomore Jarvis Threatt contributed a season-high 18 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists vs. Penn. Threatt is averaging 16.5 ppg over his past two contests.
• Have been off since defeating Davidson 69-58 on Dec. 22 for their first home win of the year. Drexel hosts St. Joseph’s on Monday.
• Sophomore Damion Lee led Drexel in scoring for the 5th straight game with 26 points and 11 rebounds vs. Davidson. Lee has scored 15 or more points in each of his last eight games and ranks second in the CAA in scoring with 18.6 ppg.
• Junior Frantz Massenat contributed 14 points and six assists in the Davidson win. Massenat is 2nd in the CAA in assists (4.5 apg) and has scored double digits in seven of his last eight games.
• Senior Daryl McCoy grabbed 9 rebounds vs. Davidson and went over 700 rebounds (702) for his career. He ranks 12th all-time in rebounds at Drexel.
• Drexel outrebounded the Wildcats 40-14. The Dragons had more offensive rebounds (19) than Davidson had total caroms.
• Fell 61-57 at South Florida on Saturday. All of five of the Patriots’ losses have been by seven points or less.
• Junior Sherrod Wright scored a team-high 22 points at USF. He has scored 20+ points in 4 straight games, becoming the first Mason player to do so since Jason Miskiri in January, 1999.
• Wright has been Mason’s top scorer in 10 of 12 games and ranks among the CAA’s top 5 in scoring, FG% and 3-point FG%.
• Sophomore Corey Edwards is averaging 10.0 ppg and 2.5 spg over his past two games
• Mason is 18-2 at home under coach Paul Hewitt, including 3-1 this season.
• Mason tops the CAA in scoring defense (61.1 ppg) and ranks 3rd in FG% defense (39.8%).
• Sophomore Erik Copes contributed seven points, six rebounds and two blocks at USF.
• Lost 68-64 in overtime at Ga. Southern on Saturday. The Panthers have dropped four straight games by a total of 12 points.
• Guard R.J. Hunter, who leads all CAA freshmen in scoring (15.5 ppg) and rebounding (5.8 rpg), had 14 points and 3 steals at Ga. Southern. He’s scored double figures 10 times and has five 20-point outings.
• Junior guard Devonta White aIso scored 14 points at Ga. Southern. He’s reached double digits in 12 of 13 games. White leads the CAA in steals and ranks 8th in assists.
• Junior Manny Atkins had 11 points and 8 rebounds at Ga. Southern , which was his 9th straight game scoring in double figures. Atkins leads GSU in rebounding (6.6 rpg) and is 2nd in the CAA in 3-pt FG% (42.3%).
• GSU has 109 steals in 13 games after ranking 4th nationally (9.3 spg) last year.
• Senior James Vincent had 11 points, nine rebounds and five blocks at Ga. Southern. He leads the CAA with 2.5 bpg.
• Have been off since falling 83-62 to Tulane in Brooklyn, N.Y. on Dec. 22. Will try to stop a 7-game slide at Florida Atlantic on New Year’s Day.
• Sophomore guard Taran Buie scored a team-high 15 points vs. Tulane. The Penn State transfer has tallied double figures in seven straight games and nine of his last 10 contests. He’s 9th in the CAA in scoring.
• Senior Stevie Mejia contributed nine points, eight rebounds and six assists vs. Tulane. Mejia ranks 3rd in the CAA with 4.2 apg and has also scored double digits six times.
• Freshman Jordan Allen scored a career-high 13 points on 5-of-6 FG shooting vs. Wright State and followed with eight points vs. Tulane.
• Senior Matt Grogan tied his career-high with seven points vs. Tulane and freshman Adam Savion established a new career-high with six points.
• Have been off since defeating San Jose St. 77-68 and San Diego 62-59 in the Vegas Holiday Hoops event on Dec. 22-23. JMU has won five of its last six games after starting with a 1-5 mark.
• JMU shot 78.3% from the floor in the second half vs. SJSU, including a perfect 7-of-7 from 3-point range. The Dukes are among the top three in the CAA in scoring offense, FG percentage and 3-point FG percentage.
• Senior Devon Moore contributed 12 points and seven assists vs. SJSU and 13 second-half points vs. San Diego. Moore is averaging 16.5 ppg over the last four games and leads the CAA in assists (4.6 apg).
• Senior Rayshawn Goins had 13 points and a team-high nine rebounds at SJSU and scored a team-high 15 points vs. San Diego.
• Senior A.J. Davis scored a team-high 18 points in 22 minutes off the bench vs. SJSU and followed with 11 points and a season-high four steals in the San Diego win.
• Suffered a 72-60 setback at Campbell on Saturday. UNCW is 5-0 at home, but 0-7 on the road this season.
• Senior Keith Rendleman posted his 5th double-double with team-highs of 18 points and 11 rebounds at Campbell. It was the 9th time he’s led UNCW in scoring. Rendleman ranks among the CAA’s top 6 in scoring, rebounding and FG percentage.
• Freshman Craig Ponder added 12 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists at Campbell. Ponder is averaging 15.5 ppg over his last 2 games.
• Guard Tyree Graham scored eight points in 14 minutes off the bench at Campbell. It was his most points since netting 12 in the season opener vs. UNC Asheville.
• Sophomore Freddie Jackson has made three or more steals four times and ranks 8th in the CAA with 1.7 spg.
• Sophomore Cedrick Williams has grabbed 10+ rebounds three times this season.
• Fell 83-63 at UAB on Saturday. It was the Huskies’ first loss in a true road game this season.
• Sophomore Quincy Ford posted his 2nd double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds at UAB. He’s scored double figures in 9 games and ranks among the top 20 in the CAA in scoring and rebounding.
• Senior Jonathan Lee added 11 points and 3 steals at UAB. Lee has scored double digits in all 3 games and is averaging 15.0 ppg since returning from a preseason foot injury.
• Sophomore Reggie Spencer chipped in 13 points at UAB, which was his 9th game in double figures this season. He leads the CAA in FG percentage (58.5%).
• Senior Joel Smith was held to 4 points at UAB, ending a streak of 9 straight games in double figures. Smith ranks 5th in the CAA in scoring (16.7 ppg) and leads the league with 32 three-pointers.
• Fell 55-54 to Fairfield on Saturday. It was ODU’s seventh loss in eight home games.
• Senior DeShawn Painter had team-highs of 16 points, 11 rebounds and 4 blocks vs. Fairfield. It was his fourth double-double of the season. Painter is averaging 16.2 ppg and 8.8 rpg over his last five games.
• Sophomore Richard Ross scored a season-high 15 points on 6-of-8 FG shooting vs. Fairfield. He also had 5 rebounds, 2 blocks and 2 steals.
• ODU has outrebounded 11 of its 13 opponents and was even on the glass in the other 2 games. The Monarchs lead the CAA in rebound margin (+6.7 rpg).
• Junior Donte Hill has scored double figures eight times this year. Hill is also 5th in the CAA in steals (1.8 spg).
• ODU shot 46.7% from the floor vs. Fairfield, including 52.4% in the first half.
• Rallied from a 19-point second-half deficit to upset Oregon State 67-66 in overtime on Saturday. It was the Tigers’ first win over a team from a BCS conference since 1995.
• Junior Jerrelle Benimon posted his eighth double-double in the past 11 games with 20 points and a career-high 21 rebounds at OSU. It was Benimon’s fifth game with 16+ rebounds and fourth game with 20+ points.
• Junior Marcus Damas added 16 points at OSU, including the game-winning shot with 0.8 seconds left in OT. It was his fifth double-digit effort of the season.
• The Tigers committed only eight turnovers at OSU – its 2nd-lowest total of the year.
• The Tigers are outrebounding opponents by 6.2 rpg and have beaten 11 of their last 12 opponents on the glass.
• Rafriel Guthrie had eight points and a career-high tying six rebounds at OSU.
William & Mary
• Lost 73-66 at Purdue on Saturday, ending a four-game winning streak.
• Sophomore Marcus Thornton had a team-high 21 points and a career-high six assists at Purdue. Thornton has tallied double digits in 13 straight games and ranks 3rd in the CAA in scoring (18.3 ppg) and 2nd in 3-pointers per game (2.5).
• Junior Kyle Gaillard added 12 points at Purdue. He’s averaging 12.2 ppg and shooting 73.7% over the last six games.
• Junior Tim Rusthoven had 16 points and a team-high 7 rebounds at Purdue. He’s scored double figures in 9 of 11 games and has grabbed 7 or more boards eight times.
• W&M shot 49.1% from the floor against Purdue’s 30th-ranked defense, which was the best by any opponent vs. PU this year.
• Junior guard Brandon Britt chipped in 11 points at Purdue, which was his eighth double-digit effort of the season.