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Old Dominion Wins CAA Championship - Earns 10th NCAA Bid

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: March 08, 2010
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March 8, 2010

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RICHMOND, Va. - Old Dominion will be making its 10th trip to the NCAA Tournament after topping William & Mary, 60-53, to capture the 2010 Virginia 529 College Savings Plan CAA Men's Basketball Championship Monday evening.

The Monarchs (26-8), who also captured the CAA regular season title, earn the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship. ODU will be making its sixth straight post-season appearance, including its third trip to the NCAA's in the last six years.

The CAA championship is the fifth for Old Dominion, which is the most of any league member. ODU will be making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since the 2006-07 season, when the Monarchs received an at-large bid.

Old Dominion's 26 wins this season are the second most in school history, trailing only the 28 wins posted by the 2004-05 team that also won the CAA crown.

Senior center Gerald Lee was named the Most Outstanding Player of the championship during the awards ceremony after averaging 17.3 points per game in ODU's three contests.

Junior guard Darius James tallied a team-high 12 points and dished out four assists to pace the Monarchs. Sophomore guard Kent Bazemore chipped in 10 points and joined Lee on the all-tournament team.

Old Dominion used a 10-0 run midway through the first half to take a 27-14 lead, its largest advantage of the opening period. Bazemore had five points during the run and James capped the spurt with his second three of the game.

Back-to-back triples from William & Mary's David Schneider and JohnMark Ludwick sparked a 7-0 Tribe spurt that cut the Monarch lead to six. ODU would lead 31-24 at the break.

Old Dominion scored the first seven points out of the intermission and a Finney trey at the 16:02 mark gave the Monarchs their biggest lead, 41-26. William & Mary's Danny Sumner would bring the Tribe back though, scoring 13 of his teams next 17 points to cut the Monarch lead to seven with 6:07 remaining.

A Sumner three-pointer with just over a minute remaining brought W&M as close as 56-51, but ODU converted four-of-six from the free throw line down the stretch to seal the victory.

The championship game was played before a crowd of 8,455, which allowed the conference to set a tournament attendance record of 44,372.

The Monarchs have won five straight games and eight of their last nine entering the NCAA Tournament.

Northeastern's Matt Janning and VCU's Joey Rodriguez joined Lee, Bazemore, Schneider and Sumner on the all-tournament team.

Old Dominion will await this Sunday's NCAA Selection Show on CBS, when it will be revealed who the Monarchs will play in the first round of the championship that begins on Thursday, Mar. 18.

-ODU-

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