FINAL: ODU 60, TRIBE 53
Old Dominion proved too talented and resilient for William and Mary in the CAA Championship game, defeating the Tribe 60-53 in the Richmond Coliseum Monday night. The loss prevents the Tribe from reaching the NCAA tournament for the first time in its history, while the Monarchs will make their 10th trip to the Big Dance.
Senior wingman Danny Sumner led the College on the night with 19 points, including 5-11 from beyond the arc. Both teams shot an identical 39.6 percent from the floor while the Monarchs held a 35-33 edge in rebounding. ODU grew a 7-point halftime margin to as many as 15 early in the second half. A run late in the second half cut the lead to as little as five, but the College was unable to pull any closer.
The Tribe now awaits a possible NIT bid, which would be its first since 1983.
Check back soon for a full game story and more coverage from the CAA Championship.
The Flat Hat is live, courtside at the Richmond Coliseum as the third-seeded College takes on the top-seeded Monarchs with its first NCAA tournament bid on the line. Follow all the action here, including play-by-play, analysis, commentary and more.
What to expect:
The Monarchs swept a pair of matchups with the Tribe this year, prevailing 58-55 in Williamsburg and 61-42 in Norfolk. Expect this game to be much more similar to the former.
In both matchups, the College did an excellent job of defending inside against a very large Old Dominion squad. Forwards Gerald Lee, Frank Hassell and Ken Bazemore ignited the Monarchs’ comeback win over Virginia Commonwealth in the semifinals yesterday afternoon, and they will be the primary focus of the Tribe defense. Marcus Kitts, Steven Hess and Danny Sumner will have their hands full all evening, and expect Quinn McDowell to draw time guarding Lee as well.
Perhaps the biggest disparity in the teams’ two games this season was rebounding. The College will not outrebound the Monarchs, but in their home contest, they managed a 40-32 rebounding deficit. In the latter blowout in Norfolk, that margin was 48-25. The Tribe must keep Old Dominion off the offensive glass in particular, and deny them second-chance opportunities to have a shot.
An X-factor for the College on the offensive end will be guard Sean McCurdy. If the senior can find space to penetrate inside off the dribble, it will open up the wings to shots from beyond the arc as the Monarchs’ defense collapses. The Tribe will need that space to run its Princeton offense.
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