Richmond, VA (WWBT)- The top four seeds earned spots in Sunday's CAA semifinals and by the end of the day, the top two teams in the conference played their ways into Monday's title game. Drexel and VCU will meet to decide the CAA championship and the conference's automatic NCAA Tournament berth.
VCU jumped out to a huge first half lead and held off a George Mason comeback attempt to top the Patriots, 74-64. The first half saw the Rams open on a 22-0 run and lead by as many as 28 points, before George Mason chipped away and trimmed the lead to 48-32 by halftime. In the second half, the Patriots cut into the lead even more, closing to within six, before VCU made a final run to put the game away late in the half. Bradford Burgess scored a team-high 20 points for the Rams, while Troy Daniels chipped in 17 points. Rob Brandenberg continued his strong play, scoring 14 points, and Juvonte Reddic rounded out the Rams in double-figures with 12 points. Mike Morrison paced George Mason in the losing effort with 20 points and eleven rebounds.
Drexel earned its spot in the conference championship game with a 68-51 win over Old Dominion. The Dragons opened up on a 9-0 run and never trailed, opening up a ten point lead by halftime and leading by as many as 19 points in the game. Frantz Massenat led all scorers with 20 points and was one of four Drexel players in double figures. Damion Lee had 17 points, Chris Fouch pitched in 16, while Samme Givens posted a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Kent Bazemore and Chris Cooper scored 12 points each for Old Dominion in the loss, while Cooper grabbed ten boards.
The Rams and Dragons will both enter on hot streaks Monday night. Drexel has won 19 straight games, while VCU has won 16 of its last 17 contests. The Dragons topped Shaka Smart's team by six in the regular season meeting at Drexel. This marks the Rams' second straight appearance in the championship game and they'll be looking to win their first CAA title since 2009. Drexel has never won the CAA Tournament and the Dragons' only title game appearance came in 2003.