2016 CAA Tournament

2016 CAA Tournament: UNCW CUT IT

UNC-Wilmington Seahawks defeated the #1 seeded Hofstra Pride 80-73, claiming their first title since 2006. The Seahawks came back from down 12 points to force overtime. Chris Flemings was named Most Outstanding Player for his 19 points 6 boards, 3 blocks, and 2 steals performance. The D-2 transfer completes an already dream season with the MOP award after already missing the 2014-15 season. 

Denzel Ingram and Chris Ponder also had big games, both guards combining for 37 points. Ponder led the Seahawks in scoring while Ingram hit the biggest shot of the game when he knocked down a pull up three to give the Seahawks a 6 point lead with 30 seconds remaining in halftime. 

The Seahawks will have to wait to see where, when, and who they will play in the NCAA Tournament. This will be the school's first trip to the tournament since 2006. The Seahawks uses 4 guards and a full court press defense which can cause issues for some teams in the tournament. Last year's CAA champs, Northeastern, took Jerian Grant and Notre Dame to the wire but fell short.

2016 CAA Tournament: Hofstra advances to CAA Finals

The CAA Semifinals last year featured two great games and 2016 had the same type of atmosphere…it even included the same four teams. 

Hofstra and William & Mary played in one of the best games of the 2015 season, W&M knocking off Hofstra after Daniel Dixon go-ahead three pointer. Hofstra came into this rematch a year later, as the #1 seed and had revenge on their mind. 

Juan’ya Green and Ameen Tanksley combined for 37 points in Hofstra’s 70-67 victory over William & Mary. Both players didn’t play their best game even though they got the win. Green - the 2015-16 CAA Player of the year - struggled in the first half shooting 1-5 from the field with two turnovers. Green was also on the wrong end of a highlight reel when Greg Malinowki made him stumble with a smooth crossover-stepback three pointer, that gave the Tribe crazy momentum to go into halftime with 34-30 lead. 

Green would eliminate that play from everyone’s memory when he made the biggest play of the game, diming Denton Koon for the go-ahead layup. 

“Lets get it out the way now, we thought about this game for 364 days,” Joe Mihalich, head coach of Hofstra, said about the rematch. “We thought about that loss for a year and I’m glad we got a chance to make up for it.” 

“We should have loss that game today but it’s because of these guy I’m sitting next to [Green and Tanksley] and the other guys in white shirts.” 

Hofstra in the first half struggled to stop the William & Mary due to the ball movement. The Tribe shot 48% from the field and 44% from the three point line. Malinowski led the Tribe with 22 points, shooting 5-8 from behind the arc, 3-4 in the first half. 

Hofstra also seen their big man, Rokas Gustys, have a very tough game inside the paint, picking up his fourth foul at the 8-minute media timeout, with only two points. That turned out to be a blessing for The Pride because it forced them to play small ball which helped them defensively. 

Desure Buie only played 15 minutes but his presence on the court helped the Pride on their rotation to nulify the Tribe’s steady ball movement. Buie, standing only 6’2, was able to be that scrappy defender that caused disruption in the Tribe’s fast pace Princeton offense. 

William & Mary’s star player, Omar Prewitt, had his worst shooting performance of the season, going 1-12 from the field finishing with 5 points. For Prewitt this is the third time he has been eliminated from the conference tournament, losing in the championship game in his freshman and sophomore season. With DIxon and Malinowski - who had his best game of his career - returning, the Tribe will once again be one of the top contenders next season. The question is will they be able to get over the hump? 

Hofstra will make their first appearance in the championship game since 2006 and look to claim their first conference title since joining the CAA in 2001.

2016 CAA Tournament: Northeastern advances to Semi-finals

“Last year we played in the #3 vs #6 matchup, the only thing different is we wore white jerseys.”

That's what Bill Coen, head coach of Northeastern, said about his team coming in as the lower seed. The Hukskies are the defending champs but only won 18 this season, which landed them the 6th seed in the conference tournament.

Seeding didn't matter for the Huskies, as they keep their season alive defeating the 3rd seeded Towson Tigers, 71-60.

“Our primary for the last three weeks was to really earn the bye and get out of that friday night game,” Coen said. We've been in tournament mode for the last three weeks. That's really made us stronger.

The Huskies went on a 6-game losing streak in the month of January which really put them in a tight spot but in the final six games of the season they went 5-1, which really prepared them for their quarterfinal matchup against the Tigers.

The first half was a back and forth battle between the two teams. There were seven lead changes in the and four ties. The Tigers controlled the paint early on, snatching 8 offensive rebounds in the first half and outscoring the Huskies 20-10 in the paint.

Timajh Paker-Rivera and William Adala-Moto were the enforcers down bottom for the Tigers. Adala-Moto finished with 18 points and 12 boards, leading the Tigers in both categories.

The Huskies dug themselves in an early hole also when they went 5-12 from the charity strike but still manage to go into halftime only down by 3 points.

The second half was a different story for the Huskies.

The Huskies opened the second half with two three pointers that gave the Huskies an early lead they wouldn't lose for the rest of the half. David Walker and Quincy Ford combined for 30 points in the second half, each contributing 15 points. The Huskies as a team shot 62% in the second half, 12-14 from the free throw line, and 4-7 from behind the arc.

While the offense was clicking for the Huskies so was the defense. The Huskies held the Tigers to under 40% from the field and 25% from behind the arc. Adala-Moto was the Tigers' only offensive threat in the second half, scoring 10 of the teams first 12 points, all in the paint. It wasn't enough for the Tigers.

Mike Morsell tried his best to start a rally for the Tigers, scoring 8 points in one minute span. Morsell finished with 16 points.

The Huskies will take on UNCW in the semi-finals, a rematch from last season.