Checking in on the weekend that was ...
FORTUNES RISING, TEAM
Credit where it's due for the Cavaliers, who despite some limitations and injuries are 11-1 in Charlottesville this season after Saturday's 56-36 victory over Florida State.
Nope, that's not a typo. Virginia held the Seminoles to 36 points, and have allowed only one opponent to score more than 60 points at John Paul Jones Arena this season (North Texas had 64). The Cavaliers (12-5, 2-2 ACC) find themselves in a bit of a transition year, but their defense and penchant for being especially stingy in Charlottesville is going to make them a complete nuisance to the rest of the ACC.
FORTUNES RISING, INDIVIDUAL
Sherrod Wright, George Mason
The guard's numbers aren't quite as glittery as those of Towson forward Jerrelle Benimon. Still, he's doing his part to remain in the CAA player of the year race with a 21-point effort in Saturday's 57-46 defeat of Hofstra.
While Mason (11-7, 4-2 CAA) figures to remain a factor in the conference title race, it has Wright to thank for propping up its offense. The junior has accounted for 28.1 percent of the Patriots' points in league play, behind William & Mary's Marcus Thornton (28.4 percent) but ahead of both Delaware's Devon Saddler (28 percent) and Benimon (25 percent)
FORTUNES FALLING, TEAM
What to make of the Terrapins' offense, which has failed to muster 55 points in three straight games. The last time that happened? 1982, when Maryland was so limited coach Lefty Driesell actually tried to slow the game down (and could, considering the absence of a shot clock).
The Terps have scored less than 30 points (a fairly reasonable figure in defining remotely decent offensive play in most situations) in five of their last seven halves and were bereft of poise throughout the first half of Saturday's 62-52 loss at North Carolina. A solid defense is fine, but at some point you need to score. Maryland just isn't doing that right now.
NUMBER OF NOTE
Days between victories over Patriot League teams for Navy, which ended an 18-game losing streak to conference foes Sunday with a 59-50 victory at Army. The Midshipmen improved to 7-12, 1-2 in the Patriot.
ELSEWHERE IN THE CORRIDOR
George Washington (8-9, 2-2 Atlantic 10) secured a solid road win, toppling Massachusetts 79-76 behind Joe McDonald's 16 points and 10 assists. ... Georgetown squandered an 11-point lead in the second half to fall 59-58 at South Florida. ...
Towson handled James Madison 73-47 at home. ... Howard managed less than 50 points for the fifth time in six games, dropping a 61-37 decision at North Carolina A&T. ... Further afield, Virginia Commonwealth (16-3, 4-0 Atlantic 10) continued to build a strong case as the DMV's best team with a 90-63 demolition of Duquesne in Pittsburgh. The Rams' only losses are to Duke, Missouri and Wichita State --- teams with a combined record of 46-7.
ON TAP MONDAY
For a day with only 18 Division I games nationally, there are six involving teams in the Baltimore-Washington area. ... The most high-profile is Georgetown's trip to Notre Dame, the second road game in three days for the Hoyas (12-4, 2-3 Big East) ...
The D1scourse game of choice will be Towson (10-9, 5-1 Colonial) playing host to Georgia State (8-11, 3-3). ... Loyola (13-6, 5-2 Metro Atlantic) will go for the season sweep when it visits Fairfield (10-9, 2-5). A victory puts the Greyhounds in a three-way tie for second in the MAAC with Iona and Rider. ...
On the latest MEAC Monday, Morgan State (5-9, 2-1) completes its 757 swing with a game at Norfolk State (10-10, 5-0). ... Coppin State (4-15, 1-3) travels to Hampton, while Howard (4-15, 1-4) faces North Carolina Central.
--- Patrick Stevens