As the Semifinals of the 2013 Colonial Athletic Association Tournament featured the top four seeds of the competition battling for a trip to the conference championship, Sunday promised to be an exciting day full of compelling basketball games. Sure enough, both matchups came down to the final possession and two senior point guards ended up proving to be the difference. In order to recap all that happened in the round, here are the Rant Sports CAA Semifinals Superlatives:
Tie: Devon Moore and Jonathan Lee
James Madison and Northeastern clearly benefitted from senior experience on Sunday. The Huskies’ Jonathan Lee drained a driving lefty lay in with three seconds to go to defeat George Mason and the Dukes’ Devon Moore made two free throws with 3.7 seconds left to down the Delaware Blue Hens. Clearly a tossup between two talented young men.
Andre Nation, James Madison
JMU freshman guard Andre Nation arguably set the defensive tone for the Dukes on Sunday, blocking Devon Saddler on Delaware’s first possession of the game. He also chipped in 10 crucial points in the second half. Moore finished the deal for James Madison, but Nation was the man who started it all.
Matt Brady, James Madison
Head coach Matt Brady’s game plan to double Jamelle Hagins on Sunday did not work for the Dukes, as Hagins still managed to score 12 points and grab 12 rebounds. But, Brady’s offensive scheming and rotation was near perfect. From wisely rotating a cast of RayShawn Goins, Taylor Bessick and Alioune Diouf to trusting freshmen Nation and Ron Curry with the ball in their hands in crunch time, the coach delivered. And he also has guided his team to their first appearance in the CAA championship game since 1997.
Jamelle Hagins, Delaware
Hagins was a monster on the defensive end of the floor for Delaware all game long. He gobbled up eight defensive rebounds and swatted four shots as well. Arguably, Hagins made the play of the game when he stripped Moore’s game-winning attempt with 3.7 seconds left, but the officials called it a foul. Nonetheless, Hagins was by far the most dominant defensive presence on the Richmond Coliseum court on Sunday.
Bryon Allen, George Mason
When discussing and writing about the GMU Patriots, media member and coaches really focus on Mason’s standout junior forward Sherrod Wright. It’s well deserved, as Wright is truly talented, but Bryon Allen is also an incredibly talented perimeter player for Mason and he arguably had the best tournament of any player thus far. Allen averaged 17.5 points over Mason’s two games in Richmond and played his way to most likely earning a spot on the All-CAA preseason team next fall.
Even though they lost, George Mason was by far the best team in Richmond on Sunday. They burst out to a 31-7 lead over the top-seeded Huskies and shot 78.9 percent from the field in the second half, but fouling and a scoreless streak in the final 2:54 of the game proved costly for the Patriots. One could say Northeastern is simply a team of destiny, but Mason was by far the better team.