CAA Top of the Ladder: Week 5

1. Northeastern University:

1st place, W-L: 17-10 (12-3); Last Week: 0-2

Hashtags: #roughweek #itaintover #anomaly #OT #endinsight #restfortheweary

The Huskies are certainly making the last two weeks of CAA play interesting aren’t they? Following last Monday’s win at William and Mary things seemed to be going Northeastern’s way but came home Wednesday and were knocked-off in overtime by Delaware 76-74. It took sophomore Jarvis Threatt’s 3-pointer with 10 seconds left in the extra period to give the Blue Hens the decisive bucket. On the bright side Huskies Jon Lee and Quincy Ford both dropped 20-plus points.

Having not lost two games in row since before Christmas Northeastern traveled down to North Carolina to take on UNC Wilmington where they were rudely received by their hosts and lost 73-67.

A light week may be just what the vet ordered for the Huskies as their only contest comes on Wednesday at home against James Madison (10-5). A win for the Huskies would put them three games up on JMU, who currently sits in second, and all but hands Northeastern the regular season crown with two remaining games against an ineligible Georgia State (9-7) and lowly Old Dominion (1-13) next week.

2. James Madison University:

T-2nd place, W-L: 16-12 (10-5); Last Week: 2-0

Hashtags: #movinonup #lastchancehoney #cardiacarrest #dogfight #Boston

The Dukes had impressive week with wins coming against the two teams nipping at their heals on the ladder. On Tuesday JMU hosted Towson and prevailed 75-70 behind senior Devon Moore’s 13-point and 10-assist performance and senior Rashawn Goings 12 points and eight boards.

In their other tilt JMU went into Delaware and finished off the Blue Hens 72-71. Moore lead the way again with 19-points. But freshman guard Andre Nation was the hero with a dunk with .6 seconds remaining to edge the Hens.

This week JMU has a final chance to make a move for the top of the standings with a Wednesday night matchup against Northeastern (12-3) in Boston. The Dukes would then have to build off any success and come back Saturday and take on R.J. Hunter and Georgia Sate (9-7).

3. Towson University:

T-2nd place, W-L: 15-13 (10-5); Last Week: 1-1

Hashtags: #Dukedon #WinsAWin #needhelp #BeniMAN

Towson is the highest spoiler on this week’s ladder as they are academically ineligible for post-season play. They can still back themselves into a CAA regular season title if they get help and Northeastern loses out. (Unlikely).

The Tigers did not do themselves any favors by dropping Tuesday’s contest to James Madison 75-70. But they were able to come back on Saturday and take down Hofstra 57-50. As junior Jerrelle Benimon scored 17 points.

Towson has a light week as well with only one game on tap for Saturday. The Tigers will host Drexel (7-7), and a loss ends the worst to first dream that was in sight for Towson on some of the previous ladders. There’s always next year.

4. Delaware University:

4th place, W-L: 14-13 (9-5); Last Week: (1-1)

Hashtags: #FourthPlaceFourthPlaceFourthPlace #StatementWin #StatementLoss #closeonlycountsinhorseshoes

The Blue Hens looked like they were making a late surge for a top spot in the conference when they took down top-ranked Northeastern on the road in overtime 76-74 on Wednesday. But they followed this effort up with a tough 72-71 loss to James Madison denying Delaware the chance to pick up more ground.

The top seed is out of the question for Delaware but are in line to hold the three seed in the tournament, and would not have to play Northeastern until a championship game. The Blue Hens could make some noise in the tournament, as they are the second-best rebounding team in the CAA behind Towson.

This week Delaware will host Drexel (7-7) Thursday night and wrap up the week in North Carolina with UNCW (5-9) on Saturday.

5. George Mason:

5th place, W-L: 15-11 (8-6); Last Week 1-1

Hashtags: #roadwarriors #homedoormats #WrightWay #homestretch

The Patriots got lucky on Valentine’s day with a 68-62 win at Drexel as junior Vertrail Vaughns scored a season-high 14 points, as Mason rallied from eight down to get the win. Unfortunately for Mason their luck would run out on Saturday as Georgia State beat up on them and smacked them 78-60 at home.

The Patriots have four remaining games, two at home and two on the road as they try to make a late push up the CAA ladder. And if this is to happen Mason must improve its home record as they are 3-5 at home in CAA play and 5-2 on the road.

First place is out of the picture but with games against Delaware (9-5) and Towson (10-5) during the last week of the regular season. But first things first, this week the Patriots have to beat Hofstra (3-11) on the road on Wednesday and a surging William and Mary (6-9) at home on Saturday.