Monday, January 26, 2015

Looking ahead to Drexel in CAA title game

What: Colonial Athletic Association tournament championship game.

Looking ahead to Drexel in CAA title game

What: Colonial Athletic Association tournament championship game.

Who: No. 1 Drexel (27-5) vs. No. 2 Virginia Commonwealth (27-6)

When: 7 o’clock, Monday

Where: Richmond Coliseum, Richmond, Va.

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Road to the final: Drexel beat UNC-Wilmington, 59-47, in the quarterfinals and Old Dominion, 68-51 in the semifinals; VCU beat Northeastern, 75-65, in the quarterfinals and George Mason, 74-64, in the semifinals.

Coaches: Drexel, Bruiser Flint, 197-139 in 11 seasons at Drexel, 283-211 in 16 season overall. VCU, Shaka Smart, third season, 81-27.

Finals history: The Dragons are looking for their first CAA title. They are in the title game for the first time since 2003, when they lost to UNC-Wilmington (70-62). VCU has now reached the CAA final in four of the past six seasons, with wins in 2007 and 2009, and is making its eighth title game appearance overall.

The streaks: Drexel has won a school-record 19 consecutive games. VCU has won 24 of its last 27. The three loses were decided by a total of nine points, two of them coming away from home.

This season: Drexel won, 64-58, at home on Jan. 8. Frantz Massenant had 24 points, including 4-for-4 from behind the arc, in the victory. The Dragons held VCU to 36.2 from the field and had 35 free throw attempts to VCU’s 20.

About VCU: They have four starters average in double figures, led by Brandon Burgess at 13.5 points per game. He shoots 36.4 percent from three<EN>.<TH>.<TH>.<EN>The Rams are the ninth-youngest team in the country and returned only one starter from last year’s Final Four team<EN>.<TH>.<TH>.<EN>Opponents are averaging 59.6 points per game. In their last 25 games, opponents have been held to 65 points 21 times, and to less than 50 points 13 times.

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Philly is a hoops town and provides complete coverage of the Big 5 and Drexel with news and commentary from the people inside the game and those who cover it. Look for regular contributions from the Daily News team of college hoops reporters and from many of Philly’s coaches.

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