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CAA Tournament - Semifinal Preview

Semifinal Game 1 - Towson (20-13) vs. Charleston (25-7) 


Nuts & Bolts 

  • Date: March 11, 2024

  • Time: 6:00 p.m. ET 

  • Venue: Entertainment and Sports Arena - Washington, D.C.

  • How to Watch: CBS Sports Network

  • Matchup History: Charleston leads all-time series 17-9

  • Last Meeting: Charleston def. Towson 72-56 on 2/24/24

  • Betting Lines: Via DraftKings

  • Spread: Charleston -4.5

  • Over/Under: 138.5

  • Prediction: Charleston 78, Towson 67

  • Follow Along on Twitter 

  • House of College Hoops: https://twitter.com/CollegeHoopsHE 

  • Zach Penrice - DMV Sports: https://twitter.com/Zach_DMVSports 

 

  • Head Coach: Pat Skerry (13th season, 213-198 record at Towson) 

  • Record: 20-13 (11-7, 5th in CAA)

  • Last Time Out: Won vs. UNCW 66-56 on 3/10/24

  • Player to Watch: Dylan Williamson


As noted in the CAA Tournament preview article, Towson can rebound among some of the best teams in the country, ranking 3rd in the nation in offensive rebounds per game. 


On Sunday against UNC Wilmington, one of the bigger teams in the CAA, Towson won the rebounding battle 36-25 and the game 66-56, playing dominating defense and minimizing second chance points throughout. 


The Tigers were led by Dylan Williamson, who poured in 18 points, including 11-11 from the free throw line, to go along with 4 assists. 


Towson caught UNCW on one of its worst shooting nights of the year as the Seahawks’ 56 points is tied for their season-low. UNCW shot just 37% from the field and 19% from three. 


For Head Coach Pat Skerry, the season lasts at least another day. The reward for the win is a matchup with the league’s top team, Charleston. 


The two teams split the season series this year, with both sides winning on the road, including a 82-78 win for Towson back on January 18. 


It’ll take a monumental effort, but the Tigers are on the cusp of advancing to a CAA Tournament Championship Game as Skerry looks to lead his team back to the Big Dance for the first time since 1991.

 

  • Head Coach: Pat Kelsey (3rd season, 73-26 record at Charleston)

  • Record: 25-7 (15-3, 1st in CAA)

  • Last Time Out: Won vs. Monmouth 83-59 on 3/10/24

  • Player to Watch: Ante Brzovic


Charleston has been the best team in the CAA all season, losing just three conference games all season. 


The Cougars enter Monday’s matchup with Towson fresh off a 24 point win over Monmouth on Sunday. In the win, four different starters scored at least 13 points, led by Ben Burnham with 16 points to go along with 3 rebounds. 


Charleston had 20 assists off 32 made baskets, taking a 15 point halftime lead and pulling away over the final 20 minutes while coasting to the quarterfinal win. 


The Cougars have now won ten games in a row, including a 16 point road win over Towson in that streak.


The team plays fast and uses a heavy rotation when it can. Pat Kelsey’s team ranks 1st in the conference in adjusted tempo, looking to get out and run in transition when it can. 


Over the last three games entering Monday’s semifinal matchup, Charleston is averaging nearly 89 PPG, leaving Towson with a very tall task to slow down the conference’s top offense. 


It should be a great battle, as the CAA’s top offense (81 PPG) goes head-to-head with the league’s best defense (63.7 PPG).

 

Semifinal Game 2 - Stony Brook (19-14) vs. Hofstra (20-12) 


Nuts & Bolts 

  • Date: March 11, 2024

  • Time: 8:30 p.m. ET 

  • Venue: Entertainment and Sports Arena - Washington, D.C.

  • How to Watch: CBS Sports Network

  • Matchup History: Hofstra leads all-time series 22-5

  • Last Meeting: Hofstra def. Stony Brook 72-71 on 2/1/24

  • Betting Lines: Via DraftKings

  • Spread: Hofstra -5.5

  • Over/Under: 140.5

  • Prediction: Hofstra 76, Stony Brook 65

  • Follow Along on Twitter 

  • House of College Hoops: https://twitter.com/CollegeHoopsHE 

  • Zach Penrice - DMV Sports: https://twitter.com/Zach_DMVSports 

 

  • Head Coach: Geno Ford (6th season, 75-77 record at Stony Brook) 

  • Record: 19-14 (10-8, 7th in CAA)

  • Last Time Out: Won vs. Drexel 91-88 in 2OT on 3/10/24

  • Player to Watch: Chris Maidoh


Stony Brook is the lowest seed remaining in the CAA Tournament, finishing 7th in the league in 2023-24. 


The Seawolves are also coming off a win in the tournament’s best game so far, a 91-88 win in double-overtime over Drexel. 


In the game, Stony Brook trailed by as many as 13 before mounting a comeback and sending the game to OT tied at 71. In the first OT, Stony Brook never led and needed a game-tying shot by Aaron Clarke with 9 seconds left to tie the game at 80 and send the game to a second overtime. 


In double-overtime, Stony Brook didn’t take the lead for good until Clarke made another jumper with 18 seconds to go to make it 90-88. The Drexel game-tying three attempt just moments later fell short and Stony Brook held on for an emotional 91-88 win. 


Clarke hit the game’s two biggest shots and led the Seawolves with 27 points on 11-20 shooting to go along with 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Not far behind was Forward Chris Maidoh, who poured in 25 points while hauling in 9 rebounds, dishing out 3 assists, and blocking 3 shots. 


The win sets up a date with the Hofstra Pride in the CAA semifinals. The Seawolves are 0-2 against the Pride this year, but have lost both matchups by a combined 7 points, including a 72-21 loss when the two last played on February 1. 


Of the four teams left in the field, Stony Brook is the most battle-tested. The question is: how are the legs going to feel after the extra basketball and an emotional win while going up against a Hofstra team that won its quarterfinal game comfortably? 

 

  • Head Coach: Speedy Claxton (3rd season, 66-33 record at Hofstra)

  • Record: 20-12 (12-6, 3rd in CAA)

  • Last Time Out: Won vs. Delaware 73-58 on 3/10/24

  • Player to Watch: Darlinstone Dubar


Hofstra ranks 3rd in the CAA in both scoring offense and scoring defense, putting up nearly 75 PPG while allowing 68.6 PPG. This has allowed Speedy Claxton’s team to get to a 3rd place conference finish and secure 20 wins while advancing to the CAA Tournament semifinals. 


The Pride won the CAA regular season last year but were  not able to get back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2001, falling to UNCW in the tournament semifinals in overtime, 79-73. 


Now, here they are again. Back in the semifinals with a chance to right a wrong for last year’s team that many believed was the squad to finally get back to the Big Dance. 


In Sunday’s quarterfinal win over Delaware, a 73-58 victory, the Pride were led by Darlinstone Dubar, who poured in 23 points while hauling in 11 rebounds to go along with 3 steals and 2 blocks. 


The dominant performance sets up a semifinal date with Stony Brook, a team that Hofstra has struggled with this season, winning both matchups but only by six points and one point, respectively. 


As noted in the CAA Tournament preview article, Hofstra is the worst team in the country at scoring from the free throw line, scoring just under 13% of its points from the charity stripe. 


For the team to advance past the semifinal stage, I’d expect them to have to not only get to the foul line, but knock down free throws should we get another close game between two teams that have delivered two classic games already this season.

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