During the 2010 summer lull, Monsieur Litos wrote how Jim Corrigan is more or less synonymous with the CAA.
If you’re looking to know more about the man leading the Old Dominion Monarchs, this article will more than suffice. If you watched Old Dominion last night, you saw a team playing with a confidence we haven’t seen in the first three months of the season. The only thing that matters now is that the Monarchs are 1-0 under the Interim Head Coach Corrigan, and have seven games left to play the humorous role of spoiler in their last few weeks in the CAA.
The Monarchs former 2-20 record?
Take it out with yesterday’s trash. Here’s what you have to love about the Monarchs 78-66 road win at Drexel: they looked like they were having fun.
The first half was
gross shall we say, Monarch-esque. The Monarchs attempted 12 shots more than the Dragons, but only made one more field goal. The Dragons shot 50% from the field, but turned the ball over 12 times in the first half alone (leading to 10 Monarch points). Those were a few of the statistical outliers, with the icing on the cake coming with an aggregate 5-of-16 mark from the free-throw line.
About that fun factor: the Monarchs looked loose, and it appeared to pay dividends. Despite coming in with the lowest three-point shooting percentage in the association, the Monarchs hit 6-of-13 treys in the first half. DeShawn Painter hit two of his three attempts, and Dmitri Batten went 3-of-4 from behind the line.
I love that Richard Ross and Nick Wright each took a shot from deep (even though they were unsuccessful). It’s good to see the players not taking their (so far) disappointing season too seriously. It’s just a game, after all.
In the second half, you may have started to get that familiar sinking feeling when Dartaye Ruffin’s free throws put the Dragons up 39-38 out of the first media timeout. But where the Monarchs have caved this season, they responded with a huge run of their own. The senior co-captain Wright took the lead back when he tipped in Keenan Palmore’s miss, and hit the free throw.
After a pair of turnovers and a 1-of-7 stretch from the field, the Monarchs completed a 17-2 run when Batten drove fearlessly to the hoop, and laid it in to make the score 55-41. The Monarchs continued to lead by double digits throughout the second half, and pushed their lead as high as 18, when Aaron Bacote’s layup put the score at 74-56 with 3:48 to play.
The Monarchs shot a scorching 65.2% from the field, and 16-of-19 from the foul line in the second half. Painter and Batten scored a team-high 15 points. We saw a more-complete Batten in the second half: he drove and got his six second-half points from a layup and four foul shots.
Ross continued his excellent play, and finished with 14 points and six boards. He’s averaging 13.8 points, 7.3 boards and 2.5 blocks over his last four games. Donte Hill hit a backbreaking three with the shot clock winding down with just under five minutes to play. Hill, Wright and Palmore each finished with nine points, respectively.
Usually offense is the problem for Drexel, so it’s weird to see the Dragons have four guys score in double figures and lose by double digits. The defense looked better in recent weeks, but definitely took a few steps back tonight.
After scoring 15 points in the first half, Frantz Massenat did not make a second-half field goal. Derrick Thomas shot 7-of-10 en route to a game-high 18 points.
The Dragons were doomed by the 12 first-half turnovers and the fact that Damion Lee was held scoreless. That was a big hindrance in their 5-of-17 mark from three. After scoring 20 points in the second half against George Mason, Lee has tallied just seven points in his last four halves of basketball.
On Saturday at 4:00, the Monarchs will play their third consecutive televised game. Suddenly, this matchup with first-place Northeastern looks pretty juicy. And if your team is lucky enough to be done with the Monarchs this season, you should be happier than Dikembe Mutombo blocking a shot.
UNCW moved to 8-2 at home, and held off Georgia State down the stretch to claim a 76-72 win. The game was hard fought throughout, though it was not always neck-and-neck on the scoreboard.
The Dubmen led by 5+ points for a majority of the game, though they were unable to pull away. The Panthers chipped away slowly, and pulled within two multiple times in the closing minutes. The Seahawks made their free throws down the stretch, and held off the Georgia State rally long enough.
Craig Ponder played an outstanding game for UNCW. The freshman guard has been inconsistent throughout the year, but his ability to create his own shots and make smart passes was on full display this evening. By the end of the night, he recorded 17 points, four assists and two steals, with just one turnover. That last bit may be the most important. Most often when Ponder struggles, it begins with turnovers, and carries over to other facets of his game.
Keith Rendleman recorded his nightly double-double, and went for 15 points and 10 rebounds. The most impressive statistical piece from Wilmington’s side of the box score was the incredibly even scoring distribution. Five players scored in double figures. We knew it was possible since almost every player has spent a night in the spotlight at some point this season. The fact that they all managed to share it equally on one night was key in beating one of the hottest teams in the conference.
“We just hit shots tonight.” said Cedrick Williams, after the game. UNCW managed 52.9% shooting from the field, and 50% from three. Georgia State was not far behind either, as the Panthers shot 47.3% overall, and 52.9% from three.
The reason the Panthers were even close at halftime is all thanks to RJ Hunter. The freshman has been on a tear recently, and had 20 of the teams 32 points at halftime. After the break, other players stepped up, most notably Devonta White, who finished with 19 points. Those other players had to shoulder most of the offensive load, as Freddie Jackson denied Hunter the ball, and held him to just six second-half points.
Both teams now have work to do. Georgia State cannot afford more defensive performances like this one. The zone was broken down easily, and players seemed to be able to score at will. This was not the kind of defensive performance that helped the Panthers win road games at Northeastern and Towson, and a return to the defense they were playing could still end in a Top 5 finish.
UNCW needs to find a way to be consistent. They have been able to beat good teams at home (Mason, a streaking Georgia State). However, it seems that most nights only a few players are doing most of the offensive work. Coach Buzz Peterson mentioned in the press conference that somehow the Seahawks need to get everyone consistently contributing a decent amount. That (along with reducing turnovers) will lead to much more consistent results, instead of the up and down ones which have characterized much of this season.
Regardless of that, it was quite a turnaround from the 81-63 shellacking the Panthers gave the Seahawks just two weeks ago.
Towson led Delaware from the onset of the game, it never appeared that the Tigers were in jeopardy of giving the lead away. They scored the first 11 points of the game. It took Delaware more than five minutes to score its first basket of the game. The early 11-point deficit turned out to be the difference as Delaware never recovered.
Towson’s offense wasn’t incredibly efficient in the first half, but still did more than enough. The Tigers shot 38.9% in the first half and their defense stifled Delaware as the Blue Hens shot just 27.6%. Delaware was led in the first half by Kyle Anderson, who shot a perfect 3-of-3 from behind-the-arc for nine points.
On the other side, the Tigers were led by the stellar play of their big men. Bilal Dixon finished the first half with 11 rebounds and one lone point that came on a free throw with seconds remaining in the half. Jerrelle Benimon, Towson’s double-double machine, was well on his way to another one as he had 14 points for the Tigers. All this culminated into a 33-23 Towson lead at the break.
After the half it was all Towson, again. Before Delaware had a chance to blink, the Tigers had stormed out of the gates with a 7-0 run that pushed their lead to 40-23. It was the start of both the first and second half that doomed Delaware in the game – you just can’t allow those big runs to start a half and expect to recover easily.
Towson used the quick second-half start and rolled from there. The lead stayed in the upper teens for the majority of the second half, and at one point ballooned to 22. Delaware did cut the lead to 13 with six minutes to go in the second half, but never came closer.
The slow starts and poor shooting resulted in a sound beating at the hands of the Tigers. To Towson’s credit, Skerry’s squad did force a lot of poor shots from the Blue Hens but Delaware could not even get the easy baskets to drop. Delaware was led in scoring by Devon Saddler who had 20 points and added five rebounds. However, Saddler shot 4-of-20 from the field and struggled all night to make shots, and did the majority of his damage by going 10-of-10 from the stripe.
The Tigers were led by four players in double-figure scoring, including Benimon, who posted his NCAA-leading 17th double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds. The others in double-digit points were Jerome Hairston (17), Marcus Damas (16) and Mike Burwell (12). Not to be outdone was Bilal Dixon, who grabbed 13 rebounds to help Towson win the battle on the boards 51-27.
For the second time this season, Hofstra played Northeastern down to the wire. Unfortunately for the Pride, it resulted in another five-point loss, this time of the 62-57 variety.
This one hurt a little more though, as the Pride was playing at The Mack and held a 42-32 second-half lead after David Imes’ layup. The Pride recovered from a rough start to hold 24-19 lead at the half. Hofstra’s bigs went to work on a Northeastern frontcourt that played without Dinko Marshavelski. The Pride had eight second-chance points in the first half.
Marco Banegas-Flores hasn’t played much since Jon Lee returned, but gave the Huskies a critical jolt on Wednesday. He had four points, an assist and a steal in seven minutes of playing time. Quincy Ford and Joel Smith were the main contributors to a 19-4 run that gave the Huskies a 51-46 lead, after Smith hit his third trey in the run.
It was the fifth time this season Northeastern came back from double digits to get the victory. Points off turnovers continues to be a staple of their CAA success, as the Huskies turned 15 Hofstra turnovers into 19 points. Smith finished with a game-high 19 points, and Ford, despite playing with a back injury, tallied 15.
Hofstra took advantage of a depleted Huskies frontcourt, as Stephen Nwaukoni pulled in a game-high 13 rebounds, and chipped in 11 points. The Pride pulled down 40 rebounds, which tied for the most Northeastern has allowed an opponent to bring in this season. Stevie Mejia scored more points (11) than Taran Buie (10) despite attempting 13 fewer shots. Buie shot 4-of-18 from the field, including 1-of-9 from three. Taking that into account, and looking at the Pride’s 11-of-22 shooting from the foul line, it’s easy to see how this one got away.
If you’re wondering how William & Mary shot 53.2% for the game, made 14 threes and still lost, I have two statistics for you: 7-of-15 shooting from the foul line, and a 0-25 deficit in points off turnovers. The Tribe also allowed 81 points, so it’s fair to say the defense was not at a premium.
The game was tied 30-30 after an entertaining first half. Marcus Thornton was scorching hot, and scored a game-high 13 points in the first half. Thornton’s scorching performance carried over into the second half, as he finished with 22 points and five threes on the night. Unfortunately, his blistering three-point shooting came on a special night for AJ Davis.
Davis shot 7-of-9 from three in the second half, and scored 23 points after the break. We’ve seen games like this from Davis before, but this was his first big breakout of the year. Davis finished with a game-high 27 points (and got his mundane big dunk in the first half). Davis was the obvious star of the night, and the Dukes needed that boost with Rayshawn Goins out with a foot injury.
Devon Moore tied a career-high with 12 assists, and dropped 17 points. Per usual, Andre Nation got things going on the fast break, as he had 10 points and three steals.
The Tribe should have pushed inside more to #Beasthoven and Kyle Gaillard, but that wasn’t really an option when Davis kept drilling threes. JMU managed to hold a 30-14 lead for points in the paint.
Links for your reading pleasure:
-An Autism Awarness Night has a much bigger meaning to Pat Skerry and the Tigers.
-Another good shout-out to the Tigers, and a rarity considering the source.
-Ed Miller recaps a tumultuous week in Norfolk. The article explains how the Monarchs prepared for Damion Lee.
-Finally, a #caahoops team besides Towson gets some national publicity. SI’s Pete Thamel on Northeastern’s 10-1 start in the CAA.
-This is a week old, but it’s worth a look after Batten’s game last night.
-UNCW’s win over Georgia State was huge. Brian Mull’s Efficiency Ratings explain how it happened. He also gives a great non-partisan look at Northeastern’s success.
-Another week old article: this one’s on Georgia State’s Rashaad Richardson.