Colonial Roundup: The (Slow) Week in Review

Harry How

Without a sufficient number of games to justify new power rankings, I instead take a look at the finals week that was in the Colonial and recap the state of my favorite Athletic Association.

After a week in which the six teams above the Borderline only played a combined five games -- including the top two squads, George Mason and William & Mary, not playing at all -- creating an entirely new power rankings outfit would hardly be worth it. However, I'd be remiss if I didn't sit down once every Sunday and see where the Colonial is. Let's check it out.

Moving Out and Up

The biggest news coming out of the Colonial this past week wasn't actually the result of a game.

On Tuesday came the announcement that the conference and the city of Baltimore have reached a three-year agreement to conduct the CAA Men's Basketball Championship at 1st Mariner Arena beginning in 2014.

Since 1990, the championship has been held at the Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, Va., seeing as the conference was originally founded around teams located in the the Virginia area.

But with the departure of Virginia Commonwealth in the offseason and Old Dominion in the coming summer, the league now has an equal number of teams playing in the north and the south, and those in charge have decided to choose a more central site for the tournament.

This should please the CAA's northern contingent, especially after VCU effectively had home court advantage against Drexel last year in what was supposed to be a neutral site game.

The first CAA Men's Basketball Championship in Baltimore will be held March 7-10, 2014.

Around the League

It's that time of year when teams don't schedule as many games so as to work around finals weeks and give student athletes time to study -- darn you, academia! -- and as a result, only nine games were held this past week involving CAA teams.

The busiest team was Towson, the surprise of the week last Sunday when they catapulted themselves above the Borderline in the Colonial power rankings after nearly toppling nationally-ranked Georgetown.

The Tigers began their week against A-10 opponent Temple. Jerrelle Benimon, their stud of a forward, dropped an outrageous line of 30 points and 18 rebounds and scoring 63.83 percent efficiently from the field. Yet the rest of his team made just 12 shots to his 14, and the Tigers ultimately came up 11 points short.



Old Dominion continued their season of futility Friday, losing to the Central Florida Knights, 75-71. An admittedly good effort from ODU was foiled late in the second half when they couldn't find a way to convert with under three minutes remaining. Their lack of production late in games hasn't helped this season's 1-9 start: the Monarchs have lost six of their nine games by single digits.



Then came Sunday, the most active day on the Colonial's slate. Two of the four games were close contests, two were not. All four were losses.

Georgia State fell to Troy by a single point when senior center James Vincent couldn't convert just one free throw with one second left. After starting slow, the Panthers were down to Troy by 14 points at half, but rallied in the second frame, actually taking a lead on a Devonta White layup with 10:24 left in the game. But they were unable to hold the lead down the stretch, watching it disappear with 33 seconds left.



In the other close game, the Hofstra Pride made a play at a quality Wright State team. After trailing by nine at halftime, it seemed that the sixth straight loss was going to be mailed in. But they kept at it, actually trimming the deficit to just one point on a David Imes 3-pointer. However, shooting just 5 of 22 from beyond the arc eventually did the Pride in as they dropped to 3-8 on the season.



Saturday's two other matchups were blowouts: Towson lost to North Dakota State by 17, and UNC-Wilmington fell to Davidson by 16.

On Sunday, James Madison got the Colonial off to a better start by taking down the UNC-Greensboro Spartans of the Southern Conference, 85-73. The Dukes were once again led by Rayshawn Goins, who put up 23 points and 10 rebounds as JMU hopped out to a 20-point lead by halftime. After their 1-5 start to the season, the Dukes have won three of their last four games, the only loss coming to the 9-2 Richmond Spiders by one point in overtime.



But at 4 p.m., it was more of the same for the CAA. Drexel, continuing to be possibly the most disappointing mid-major of the year, fell to the Fairfield Stags of the MAAC. Only down 3 at half, the Dragons couldn't find their feet as Damion Lee and Frantz Massenat combined to go 6 of 24 from the field.



Meanwhile, Delaware lost the seventh of their last eight games against Villanova. Devon Saddler and Jarvis Threatt continued their woefully inefficient ways, neither shooting 50 percent from the field, as the Blue Hens missed nine free throws and fell to 3-8.



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