Top of the Ladder Week 4

1. Northeastern University

1st place, W-L: 16-8 (11-1) Last Week: 2-0

Hashtags: #Topdogs #winsawin #OTreally? #showindown #aintnothaaang

The Huskies capped off a sleeper of a week with an overtime 79-74 victory against Old Dominion on Saturday. The Monarchs were fresh off their first CAA win of the season earlier in the week, but Northeastern senior Joel Smith was having none of it scoring a game-high 27 points.

This game came off the heels of another five-point win at Hofstra on Wednesday. Sophomore Quincy Ford shook off a rough week last week, which saw him only score three points in a game, to lead Northeastern with 15 points as they pulled out a 62-57 win.

The Huskies finished up the week with a 68-64 win at William and Mary’s on Monday night. On Wednesday they battle the third team on the ladder this week at home versus Delaware (7-4), before wrapping up the week in Wilmington against UNCW (4-8). With the heavy load this week the Huskies finish off half of their remaining schedule before the CAA tournament, and another undefeated week, the regular season may be all but over by next week.

2. Towson University:

2nd place, W-L: 14-12 (9-4) Last Week: 2-0

Hashtags: #streakin #Rafriel #whatwereyouthinkinggeorgetown #stayingpower

The Tigers continued their winning streak that started with last week’s 2-0 record, now up to four games with overtime win on the road against Georgia State on Saturday and a statement beat-down against Delaware at home. In the Georgia State contest junior Rafriel Guthrie came off the bench to save the day and scored 23 points in the 90-82 win. Towson locked down on R.J. Hunter, who shot 3-16 with 15 points, and the supporting cast of GSU was not up to the task.

In the Delaware game, Sophomore Jerrelle Benimon registered his 17th double-double of season scoring 21 points with 15 boards, not to mention five assists as the Tigers cruised to a 85-65 win.

This week Towson hits the road for a showdown with James Madison on Tuesday night and finish off the week at Hofstra (3-8) on Saturday. The Tigers are not out of the woods yet. In addition to the JMU game this week, Towson still has meetings with George Mason (7-5) and Drexel (6-6) who are both making a late push for seeding going into the tournament.

3. Delaware University:

3rd place, W-L: 12-12 (7-4) Last Week: 1-1

Hashtags: #stuck #blownout #Benimon’d #rebound #aintdoneyet

The Blue Hens have a solid grasp on the third slot after a win against George Mason but made any future ladder climb that much tricky after falling hard to Towson last Wednesday 85-65. The Blue Hens shot a horrible 29% from the floor against the Tigers. Junior guard Devon Sadler was the lone bright spot, scoring 20 points on a rough 4-20 shooting with 10 made free throws.

Delaware came back on Saturday at George Mason and pulled out a 79-72 victory against the Patriots. Saddler lead the Hens with 22 points but sophomore Jarvis Threatt was the key for Delaware scoring 20 points and pulling down 10 boards.

This week is put up or shut up week for the Blue Hens, with three games Delaware could find themselves outside of a top seed in the tournament by next week. The Blue Hens took down Old Dominion (barely) 75-73 on Monday and will before travel to Boston to take on Northeastern (11-1) Wednesday night. Delaware wraps up the week with a contest at home on Saturday against James Madison (8-5) on Saturday.

4. James Madison University:

4th place, W-L: 14-12 (8-5); Last Week: 1-1

Hashtags: #fourthplacefourthplacefourthplace #badloss #lastchance #dieharddukes

The Dukes assault on the top of the ladder was on track to start this week with a 81-71 win at home against William and Mary. However, the train derailed yesterday when JMU traveled into Philadelphia and were treated rudely by Drexel and fell 70-58. The Dukes only shot 38% from the floor and no one for the Dukes could get into rhythm.

James Madison is not dead yet as their next three games are against the teams on top of them. They start the week on Tuesday as Towson (9-4) comes to town, and then the Dukes head up to Delaware (7-4) for a Sunday with the Blue Hens. If all goes well JMU will have something to play for when they travel to Boston to take on Northeastern (11-1) on Feb. 20.

5. George Mason University:

5th place, W-L: 14-10 (7-5); Last Week: 1-1

Hashtags: #Imstillhere #cupcakewin #missedopportunity #stillalive #barely

After beating up on Old Dominion 85-74 last Monday, Mason then missed a chance to move up the ladder with a home loss to Delaware 79-72 on Saturday. Junior Sharrod Wright only scored 12 points on 4-16 shooting, and when he struggles, usually as does Mason.

Going forward the Patriots will need some help in they want a shot at taking the regular season crown. Besides Northeastern collapsing down the stretch; this week GMU needs to harness the power of love, as they have a Valentine’s Day date with Drexel (6-6) and then will travel to Georgia State (7-6) to take on the pesky Panthers on Saturday. Mason finishes the regular season with Towson (9-4) and Delaware (7-4) and will have to win-out if they have any hope of a high seed.