Cody Norman, Staff Writer

The Old Dominion Monarchs clinched their first regular season title since the 2004-05 season with a win over the VCU Rams on Saturday afternoon. After Northeastern Huskies’ close victory over the George Mason Patriots, the Huskies have secured the number two seed heading into this weekend’s Colonial Athletic Association Tournament. The Patriots and William & Mary Tribe claim the final two first round byes.

The tournament will be held in Richmond from Mar. 5-8.

The Top Four:
The Monarchs concluded their 2009-10 regular season campaign with a tough win over the VCU Rams. Much of their success this season has come due to an impressive +7.8 rebounds margin per night as well as a league-best 15.6 assists per game. They are led by senior forward Gerald Lee, who is posting more than 14 points and five rebounds per night. Lee recorded 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting on Saturday evening to lead all scorers and give his team a momentum-shifting win heading into the conference tournament. Junior forward Frank Hassell averages 8.7 points and a team-high 6.5 rebounds for the Monarchs. Old Dominion has won five of their last six matchups heading into the postseason.

The Huskies completed the regular season on Saturday afternoon with a controversial win over Mason. They enter tournament play with the CAA’s top scoring defense as they are allowing an average of only 55 points a night. Northeastern is led by senior Matt Janning, who is averaging better than 15 points per game. Janning ranks fourth all-time in scoring with 1,781 points and is only one of two men to rank in the top five in both points and assists. Junior Chaisson Allen is the CAA’s second leading 3-point shooter as he is tossing in more than 42 percent of his long-range attempts. Allen is averaging a career-high 14.3 points a night while posting a career-best 110 assists on the season.

Senior David Schneider and sophomore Quinn McDowell led the way for the William & Mary Tribe. From the guard position, Schneider is averaging just under 16 points and 6 rebounds a game while adding a steady 2.7 assists per night. McDowell chips in 14.2 points and 4.4 rebounds a night for Coach Tony Shaver. The Tribe has lost two of their last three contests heading into tournament play.

Mason fields the youngest team under Head Coach Jim Larranaga since the 2004-05 season when the Patriots had no seniors on their roster. Louis Birdsong is the team’s only senior and, after starting nearly every game for the last two seasons, he has struggled to find consistent minutes in his final campaign. Instead, Larranaga has turned to an abundance of young talent to produce an impressive 12-6 CAA record. The team is led by junior guard Cam Long, who is averaging nearly 13 points and three assists a night. Sophomore forwards Mike Morrison and Ryan Pearson man the paint for Larranaga’s squad while freshmen Luke Hancock and Sherrod Wright have turned in positive minutes off the bench. The Patriots, however, have lost four of their last five contests heading into the conference tournament.

The Rest of the CAA:
The VCU Rams are led by juniors Joey Rodriguez and Larry Sanders. Sanders is averaging better than 15 points and nine rebounds for the CAA’s top ranked scoring offense while making his presence felt on the defensive end. Rodriguez is atop the CAA with six assists and two steals per night. The Rams ended their regular season on Saturday evening with a tough loss to the top-ranked Old Dominion Monarchs, but they have won three of their last four games.

The Drexel Dragons squeaked by the James Madison Dukes in their final regular-season CAA matchup on Saturday night. They have earned the sixth seed in the conference tournament. The team is led by junior guard Jamie Harris, who is averaging better than 14 points and three assists per game. Freshman guard Chris Fouch contributes 11.1 points a night for Head Coach James Flint. Saturday night’s win is the Dragons’ first in the last four games.

The Hofstra Pride took down the Georgia State Panthers by a final score of 87-74 in the final regular season game of their 2009-10 campaign. They are led by junior guard Charles Jenkins, who is averaging better than 20 points and four rebounds a night; freshman Chaz Williams averages nearly 10 points a night. The team will next put their six-game winning streak to the test in the CAA Tournament.

The Towson Tigers ended their regular season run with an 81-66 win over the last place Delaware Blue Hens. The team gets very solid contributions from seniors Calvin Lee and Josh Thornton as well as junior forward Robert Nwankwo. Lee and Thornton average an even 10.8 points a night; Nwankwo puts up a near double-double with 10.1 points and 9.2 rebounds a night for the Tigers. Towson has taken two consecutive games heading into the conference tournament.

The UNC-Wilmington Seahawks dropped to 5-13 in the CAA after their 60-51 loss to the William & Mary Tribe on Saturday night. UNC-Wilmington is led by junior point guard Chad Tomko, who is averaging 13.3 points and 4.4 assists a night. Junior forward Josh Fields, the beneficiary of many of Tomko’s assists, is pouring in better than 10 points a night while snagging a team-high 8.7 rebounds. They have lost four of their last five contests heading into tournament play.

The Georgia State Panthers closed out their season with an 87-74 loss to the Hofstra Pride on Saturday afternoon. They will carry a 5-13 conference record into the tournament this weekend and are led by senior guard Joe Dukes. Dukes is averaging 13.2 points and 5.2 rebounds a night while senior Trae Goldston adds nearly 10.5 points per game. The Panthers have dropped two consecutive matchups to conference opponents heading into the tournament.

Junior forward Denzel Bowles leads the way for the James Madison Dukes with 21.3 points and nine rebounds a game while his front court counterpart, Julius Wells, chips in 16.5 points per night. James Madison was taken down at home at the hands of the Drexel Dragons in their final CAA matchup on Saturday night. They will carry a two-game losing streak into the postseason tournament in Richmond.
The Delaware Blue Hens finished their 2009-10 campaign with a poor performance against the Towson Tigers, losing 81-66. The team is led by junior guard Jawan Carter who is averaging 18.3 points and five assists a night. Junior Alphonso Dawson puts up about 12 points a night while snagging more than six rebounds. The team finished 12 games back with a record of 3-15 against CAA opponents this season.

First Round Games:
Delaware Blue Hens (3-15) vs. VCU Rams (11-7)
James Madison Dukes (4-14) vs. Drexel Dragons (11-7)
Georgia State Panthers (5-13) vs.Hofstra Pride (10-8)
UNC-Wilmington Seahawks (5-12) vs. Towson Tigers (6-12)