Monday’s CAA tournament title game will match two teams desperately looking to earn a bid to the NCAA tournament. While William & Mary’s drought has been much-publicized, as they’ve never played in the NCAA tournament, Northeastern’s looking to end a drought of more than two decades. Sunday evening Bill Coen’s Huskies beat UNCW 78-71 to advance to the title game, and a win over the Tribe would result in their first NCAA tournament trip since 1991.
Forward Scott Eatherton, a first team all-CAA selection, led the way with 21 points while also grabbing five rebounds and blocking three shots. Just as important for Northeastern was the 33 points they received from reserves, as Devon Begley, Caleb Donnelly and Reggie Spencer scored 11 points apiece. Starting guard David Walker also scored 11 points for Northeastern, and he also contributed eight rebounds and five assists.
UNCW’s Jordan Talley led three Seahawks in double figures with 18 points, with fellow guards Craig Ponder (17 points, five rebounds, three assists) and Addison Spruill (12 points, four rebounds) being the other double-digit scorers. Monday’s title game begins at 7:00 p.m. and can be seen on NBCSN.
After falling in the CAA tournament title game a season ago, William & Mary will make its second consecutive appearance in the game Monday night. Their path to the CAA final wasn’t an easy one either, as they needed a Daniel Dixon three-pointer with eight tenths of a second remaining in double overtime to beat Hofstra 92-91 on Sunday.
CAA Player of the Year Marcus Thornton, who assisted on Dixon’s game-winning three, scored a CAA tournament single-game record 37 points to lead the way for the Tribe with Omar Prewitt adding 33 points. Juan’ya Green, the CAA Newcomer of the Year, led Hofstra with 26 points to go along with seven assists and four steals. Dion Nesmith added 21 points and Brian Bernardi 17 for the Pride, who drop to 20-13 on the season.
William & Mary will play either UNCW or Northeastern in Monday’s title game, which can be seen on NBCSN at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.
After winning six straight games to rebound from a slow start to conference play, Drexel has lost three straight games with the most recent being an 83-73 overtime loss at Northeastern on Saturday. And what makes matters even worse for head coach Bruiser Flint is the fact that he also lost his leading scorer in that game.
Damion Lee, who missed most of last season with a torn ACL, suffered a broken right hand in Saturday’s defeat. The news was announced by the school Sunday afternoon. Lee, who’s averaging 21.4 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game, plays just over 38 minutes per game for the Dragons.
Against Northeastern, Lee played all 45 minutes and tallied 30 points and grabbed five rebounds.
Lee is an incredibly important player for a team that in conference games is ranked ninth (out of ten teams) in scoring offense and dead last in field goal percentage. Without Lee, Drexel’s hopes of getting hot in next month’s conference tournament take a significant hit.