Written by: Ryan Cunningham
The Atlantic 10 had yet another crazy couple days of basketball. We had everything from blowouts to overtime to come from behind wins. Let’s take a look at each game from this weekend in more detail.
Dayton 106, VCU 79: UD Arena, Dayton, Ohio
This game was a blowout right from the start. Dayton (9-8, 3-2 A-10) hit 10 threes in the first 12 minutes of the game immediately putting VCU (11-7, 3-2 A-10) against the ropes. The Flyers’ first 12 baskets were all assisted by another player. 14 minutes into the game, Dayton had put up their highest scoring half of the season with 50 points. They ended up with 66 at the half, which is a program record. Darrell Davis led the way for the Flyers putting up 28 points, 9 assists and 5 rebounds in only 31 minutes of play. Jordan Davis added 21 points. The Flyers had 5 players in double digits. For VCU, Justin Tillman led the way with 26 points and 12 rebounds. The Rams did a poor job of defending the 3-point line, giving up 17 threes to Dayton. Most of them were uncontested. With the way some guards can shoot in this league, VCU has to clean that up, and I believe Mike Rhoades is a good enough coach to get his players to do so. Dayton shot 62.9% from the field and 53.1% from three, which is unbeatable. If there’s one thing that can be taken from this game, it’s that UD Arena still isn’t an easy place for visitors to play in, even in a “down” year. Click HERE for highlights.
Rhode Island 87, St. Bonaventure 73: Ryan Center, Kingston, Rhode Island
With a strong second half, Rhode Island (13-3, 5-0 A-10) put away St. Bonaventure (12-5, 2-3 A-10) to remain at the top of the standings. E.C. Matthews led the Rams with 20 points and 9 rebounds. Jeff Dowtin, who averages 8.9 PPG, almost put up a double-double with 18 points and 9 assists. For the Bonnies, Jaylen Adams and Matt Mobley each had 19 points. Rhody started the second half on an 11-3 run putting the Bonnies on their heels. From what I saw, Bona goes 1 on 1 a lot. That clearly shows in the statistics. They had only 7 assists on 23 made baskets. More ball and body movement will lead to more success. Anytime Rhode Island can score over 80 points in a game, their chances of winning sky rocket, due to the fact that they give up 66 points a game. When the Rams’ offense is working, they are unbeatable in this league.
Duquesne 101, La Salle 94 (3OT): Palumbo Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
This game was INSANE. It took 55 minutes to determine the victor in this thriller. La Salle (7-11, 1-4 A-10) was without the leading scorer in the conference, B.J. Johnson. Even without their best player, the Explorers put up a heck of a fight against Duquesne (13-5, 4-1 A-10). Mike Lewis II led the way for the Dukes with 25 points. Tarin Smith added 21 points. For the Explorers, Pookie Powell led the way with 26 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds. Duquesne coach Keith Dambrot expressed his gratitude on Twitter after the game saying, “Big win for us over a good La Salle team today. Thank you to our fans for making it out and making it loud, especially the @duq_thecrew #packpalumbo #godukes.” Dambrot, who is in his first year in Pittsburgh, came from Akron and is having continued success at Duquesne. Click HERE for highlights.
George Mason 86, Saint Louis 81: EagleBank Arena, Fairfax, Virginia
George Mason (9-9, 3-2 A-10) continued the momentum after winning on a buzzer beater in their previous game, by beating Saint Louis (8-10, 1-4 A-10) in a back and forth game. For the Patriots, Otis Livingston II put up 26 points, 7 assists and 4 rebounds. Jaire Grayer had a career-high of 25 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists. Head coach Dave Paulsen has done a great job of getting his team on track, winning 2 in a row, after a blowout loss to Davidson at home. Davell Roby led the Billikens with 27 points. With 5:24 left in the game, Livingston hit a 3 to put Mason up by 9. Saint Louis then went on a 9-0 run to tie the game. At that point, Livingston took over to give the Patriots their 3rd win in league play. Click HERE for highlights.
Richmond 78, George Washington 68: Robins Center, Richmond, Virginia
Richmond (4-13, 2-3 A-10) picked up their 2nd win of the conference season against George Washington (8-10, 1-4 A-10) at home on Saturday. Grant Golden put up 24 points to lead the Spiders to victory. All 5 of Richmond’s starters were in double figures at the conclusion of the game, but didn’t get any scoring contributions from the bench. I guess if you’re Richmond at this point, you’re happy with any win you get. Pat Steeves led the way for George Washington with 23 points, 4 assists and 6 rebounds. The Colonials had 2 bench points. GW was up early, but Richmond went on a run towards the end of the first half to take a 2 point lead at the break. The Spiders didn’t trail once in the second half leading to a victory. Click HERE for highlights.
Davidson 75, Fordham 45: Rose Hill Gym, Bronx, New York
I was in attendance for this game so I have a first hand experience of how this game went. This game was a blowout right from the start. Jon Axel Gudmundsson led Davidson (9-7, 4-1 A-10) with 18 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists. Kellan Grady added 14 points, 3 assists and 3 rebounds. He hit 4 threes. Perris Hicks led Fordham (6-11, 1-4 A-10) with 15 points on 5 threes. Davidson’s 2-3 zone really gave Fordham problems. On the other end, Fordham’s 2-3 zone couldn’t stop Davidson’s 3-point shooting. The Wildcats hit 15 threes on 26 attempts or 56.7%. They shot 52.8% overall. The Rams did a great job of keeping Peyton Aldridge (19.8 PPG) to 11 points. Aldridge, being the unselfish team player he is, sacrificed for his team leading to the win. Oskar Michelsen (5.9 PPG) put up 13 points. I believe Michelsen is the X-factor for this team. If he can get into double digit scoring consistently, this team can be very good. KiShawn Pritchett is an unbelievable passer who had 9 assists in the blowout win. Click HERE for highlights.
Massachusetts 72, Saint Joseph’s 69: Mullins Center, Amherst, Massachusetts
This one was a thriller. Massachusetts (10-8, 3-2 A-10), who was down 12 at the half, outscored Saint Joseph’s (7-9, 2-3 A-10) by 15 in the second half. Luwane Pipkins led the way for UMass with 27 points, 6 assists and 3 rebounds. Carl Pierre added 17 points. Shavar Newkirk and James Demery each had 22 points for St. Joe’s. Pipkins had 20 of his 27 points in the second half. I can’t say enough about this kid. He had 44 points in a 21 point comeback win over La Salle in his previous game. He led the charge again with a 16 point comeback win. Last year as a freshman, Pipkins averaged 10.2 PPG. He has jumped to 20.2 PPG already in his sophomore year. His field goal percentage has jumped 9%. His 3-point percentage has jumped 8%. His free throw percentage has jumped 15%. First year head coach Matt McCall, who came from Chattanooga, has seemed to let Pipkins loose. The Hawks did a good job of keeping Pipkins off the 3-point line, except he did all of his damage inside. He’s a very versatile guard who can hurt you outside and inside. UMass went to a 5 guard lineup for the last 10 minutes of the game when they were down 9. “I thought we had a quickness advantage,” McCall said. “I thought it was a great lineup for us. St. Joe’s doesn’t run a lot of post-up action, so I knew our guards would be okay playing on the perimeter defensively. That’s a lineup we need to work on and work on more.” Don’t bet on Luwane Pipkins giving up when he’s down late in games. Click HERE for highlights.
Conference Standings as of 1/16/18:
- Rhode Island 13-3 (5-0)
- Duquesne 13-5 (4-1)
- Davidson 9-7 (4-1)
- VCU 11-7 (3-2)
- Massachusetts 10-8 (3-2)
- Dayton 9-8 (3-2)
- George Mason 9-9 (3-2)
- St. Bonaventure 12-5 (2-3)
- Saint Joseph’s 7-9 (2-3)
- Richmond 4-13 (2-3)
- Saint Louis 8-10 (1-4)
- George Washington 8-10 (1-4)
- La Salle 7-11 (1-4)
- Fordham 6-11 (1-4)
Games this week:
1/17: Dayton @ Saint Joseph’s 6:30PM on CBSSN
1/17: Fordham @ La Salle 7PM on A-10 Network
1/17: George Mason @ George Washington 7PM on A-10 Network
1/17: Richmond @ VCU 7PM on Facebook Live
1/17: Massachusetts @ Rhode Island 7PM on Cox YurView
1/17: Duquesne @ Saint Louis 8PM on A-10 Network
1/19: St. Bonaventure @ Davidson 7PM on ESPN2
1/20: George Washington @ VCU 12:30PM on NBCSN
1/20: Rhode Island @ Dayton 1PM on CBSSN
1/20: Fordham @ St. Joseph’s 1PM on A-10 Network
1/20: Saint Louis @ Massachusetts 2PM on A-10 Network
1/20: La Salle @ Richmond 2:30PM on NBCSN
1/20: George Mason @ Duquesne 4:30PM on NBCSN