Monday , Mar , 06 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Pride and Seahawks clash in CAA Tournament championship game

(Sports Network) – The top-seeded UNC-Wilmington Seahawks and the third-
seeded Hofstra Pride square off in the Colonial Athletic Association
championship game, with the winner earning the right to represent the
league in the NCAA Tournament. The Seahawks come into their ninth CAA
Tournament title tilt with a full head of steam, as they have won seven
straight outings and 12 of 13 overall. Included in that run, is pair of
tourney wins over ninth-seeded Delaware (69-56) in the quarterfinals and
fifth-seeded Northeastern (69-54) in the semifinals on Sunday. With the two
victories, UNCW improved to 29-18 all-time in this event and also tied the
school record for single-season wins with 24. The Seahawks have won three
of the past six CAA Tournament titles, including back-to-back
championships in 2002-03.

As for Hofstra, it has been every bit as good as UNCW this season and enters
tonight’s game having won six consecutive contests and 12 of 13 overall.
The Pride opened the tournament with a 72-66 victory over sixth-seeded
Virginia Commonwealth in the quarterfinals before knocking off second-
seeded George Mason, 58-49, in the semis on Sunday. The wins improved
Hofstra to 6-4 all-time in the CAA Tournament, where it is making its
first-ever title game appearance. Tonight’s game marks the 12th all-time
meeting between these two schools, with UNCW holding a 9-2 edge in the
series. The two split a pair of games during the regular season, with each
winning on its home court.

Offensively, Hofstra ranks as one of the top teams in the CAA with an average
of 73.7 ppg behind 46.5 percent shooting from the floor. At the other end of
the court, the Pride has lacked some consistency and is allowing 66.9 ppg to
its opponents. Antoine Agudio currently leads the team in scoring at 17.1 ppg,
and he is making good on 43.7 percent of his three-point attempts. Loren
Stokes is next in line at 16.9 ppg and also has 45 seals to his credit. Carlos
Rivera adds 12.0 ppg and team-high 3.4 apg for the Pride, while Aurimas Kieza
contributes 11.6 ppg and 7.6 rpg.

In the squad’s semifinal game on Sunday, Rivera notched a double-double
with career-high tying 25 points and 10 rebounds in leading Hofstra to a
nine-point victory over George Mason. Stokes added 20 points for the Pride,
who shot 45.2 percent from the floor and converted 17-of-25 free-throw
attempts. The team, however, won the game with solid defense, as it held
the Patriots to just a 32.7 percent shooting performance, which included
a 5-of-19 effort from long distance.

UNCW is one of the top defensive teams in the CAA, as it is allowing just 58.7
ppg on 38.6 percent shooting from the field. Offensively, the team is netting
67.3 ppg on 42.7 percent shooting, with three players averaging in double
figures. T.J. Carter heads the club with 12.9 ppg and also has 41 steals. John
Goldsberry is the team’s most versatile player, as he is contributing 11.2 ppg
to along with his 4.9 apg and 67 steals. Todd Hendley rounds out the trio with
10.3 ppg and 4.1 rpg.

Carter scored 15 points and grabbed five rebounds in leading the Seahawks to
a 15-point win over Northeastern in the semifinals on Sunday. Hendley added
14 points and nine boards, while Beckham Wyrick notched a double-double with
11 points and a career-best 17 rebounds. UNCW shot 41.2 percent from the
field in the game and dominated the boards, 50-34. The team also clamped
down on defense, holding Northeastern to a meager 30.4 percent shooting