Written by: Ryan Cunningham
That’s a wrap on the regular season. Saint Louis needed to win both games this week to get the four seed and the double-bye. They ended up losing both of them by a few points. VCU and George Mason, who were also fighting for the four seed, split this week so they both finished 9-9. St. Joseph’s went on the road to Rhode Island and won by 30. Yes, you read that right. Then, they beat La Salle to finish at 10-8, good enough to secure the double-bye and the four seed. Phil Martelli somehow found a way, as he usually does. Check back on Tuesday for the conference tournament preview. But first, check out how everything turned out last week.
St. Joseph’s 78, #17 Rhode Island 48: Ryan Center, Kingston, Rhode Island
St. Joseph’s (15-15, 10-8 A-10) went on the road and stunned Rhode Island (23-6, 15-3 A-10) in beautiful fashion. James Demery led the Hawks with 21 points and 7 rebounds. Taylor Funk added 17 points and 6 rebounds. Jared Terrell led Rhody with 19 points and 7 rebounds. E.C. Matthews added 13 points. There was a lid on the basket for Rhode Island. They shot 18/64 (28%) from the field and 3/29 (10%) from the three. They also shot 9/18 (50%) from the free throw line. That’s just not going to get it done no matter who you’re playing. Maybe a little too much celebrating after securing the regular season title last week got to the Rams this game. On the other hand, St. Joe’s shot the lights out. They shot 52% from the field and 61% from three. URI’s home crowd had nothing on the Hawks. Look out for them in D.C. Click HERE for highlights.
St. Bonaventure 117, Davidson 113 (3OT): Reilly Center, Olean, New York
If anyone is a college basketball fan, this was one of the greatest games you’ll ever see. If you’re a fan of one of these teams, you never want to go through this again. St. Bonaventure (24-6, 14-4 A-10) outlasted Davidson (18-11, 13-5 A-10) in triple-overtime in a thriller. Jaylen Adams, Matt Mobley and Courtney Stockard all had 34, 33 and 31 points respectively for the Bonnies. Davidson was led by Peyton Aldridge with a career-high 45 points and Kellan Grady with a career-high 39 points. This was Bonaventure’s 11th-straight win. Grady made two free throws with 3.2 seconds left in the first OT to force second overtime. Grady made two free throws with 19 seconds left in the second overtime to force third overtime. One minute into the third overtime, Aldridge was posting up and was called for his fifth foul which delivered a blow to the Wildcats. Speaking objectively, this was a horrible call and one of the worst I’ve ever seen in that type of situation. You don’t take the best player off the court in the third overtime unless the foul is blatant. And this call wasn’t even remotely close to a foul. I would argue that if this call wasn’t made, which it shouldn’t have, Davidson would’ve won the game because Adams and Stockard had already fouled out for the Bonnies. Mobley free throws with 30 seconds left extended Bonaventure’s lead to seven, handing them the win. Click HERE for highlights and the abysmal officiating.
La Salle 71, Dayton 53: Tom Gola Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
La Salle (13-18, 7-11 A-10) has won three out of four after their win over Dayton (14-16, 8-10 A-10). B.J. Johnson led the Explorers with 27 points and 6 rebounds. Tony Washington added 14 points and 5 rebounds. Trey Landers led Dayton with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Josh Cunningham added 10 points 4 rebounds and 3 assists. La Salle shot 55% from the field, including 38% from three. They also did a good job of holding Dayton to only 22% from three. La Salle led by 10 at half, and then went on a 13-5 run to start out the second half leading to the win. Click HERE for highlights.
Duquesne 76, Saint Louis 69: Palumbo Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Duquesne (16-15, 7-11 A-10) shot 56% in a home win over Saint Louis (16-15, 9-9 A-10). Tydus Verhoeven, who averages 3.4 PPG, put up 21 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists to lead the Dukes. Eric Williams Jr. added 20 points and 11 rebounds. Javon Bess led Saint Louis with 20 points and 7 rebounds. Jalen Johnson added 18 points and 3 rebounds. The key to this game was the turnovers. Duquesne forced Saint Louis to commit 20 turnovers. The second half was a half of runs. Duquesne had the run that mattered most, which occurred in the last three minutes. A 14-4 run put Duquesne by by six with 30 seconds left, putting the game away for them. Saint Louis entered this game in sole possession of fourth place, so they’re going to have to win at home on Saturday to give themselves a chance to get the double-bye. Click HERE for highlights.
George Washington 72, Fordham 56: Charles E. Smith Arena, Washington D.C.
George Washington (14-17, 7-11 A-10) outscored Fordham (9-21, 4-14 A-10) by 19 in the first half en-route to their win. Yuta Watanabe, on his senior night, led GW with a career-high 31 points. Pat Steeves added 12 points. Prokop Slanina led Fordham with 19 points and 7 rebounds. Joseph Chartouny added 11 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds. The Colonials held Fordham to 34% shooting from the field and 19% from three. The Rams have really struggled to score this year, only averaging 62 PPG. That continued today. Click HERE for highlights.
George Mason 81, VCU 80: Siegel Center, Richmond, Virginia
George Mason (15-16, 9-9 A-10) won at the last second in a very tough environment in downtown Richmond against VCU (17-14, 9-9 A-10). Otis Livingston II and Goanar Mar each had 26 points for the Patriots. Mike’l Simms led VCU with 20 points. Issac Vann added 18 points and 6 rebounds. Justin Tillman was held to only 10 points on 3/10 shooting. Both teams combined to hit 24 threes in this high scoring match-up. With 1:24 remaining in the game, George Mason was down by five and it looked over. They scored six unanswered to win the game. A Jaire Grayer layup cut the deficit to three with 1:07 left. With 21 seconds remaining, Livingston knocked down two free throws, cutting the lead to one. With a second remaining, Ian Boyd had a tip back to win the game. This game winner by Boyd was his third buzzer beater in three straight games. You read that right. Boyd has hit buzzer beaters in the last three games. George Mason’s hunt for a double-bye stays alive. Click HERE for Ian Boyd’s postgame ESPN interview.
Richmond 90, Massachusetts 65: Robins Center, Richmond, Virginia
Richmond (11-19, 9-9 A-10) snapped a five-game losing streak with a blowout win over Massachusetts (12-19, 5-13 A-10). Grant Golden led the Spiders with 26 points and 11 rebounds. Nick Sherod added 19 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists. C.J. Anderson led UMass with 22 points and 4 rebounds. Luwane Pipkins added 14 points and 3 rebounds. Pipkins struggled to shoot it in this one, probably due to the fact that he had to sit out the previous game because of a concussion. Richmond shot 57% from the field, including 44% from three and 90% from the free throw line. After outscoring UMass by eight in the first, Richmond extended their lead to as much as 29 in the second half. Click HERE for highlights.
Davidson 63, #17 Rhode Island 61: Belk Arena, Davidson, North Carolina
Davidson (18-11, 13-5 A-10) hit a game winning layup with three seconds remaining to give Rhode Island (23-6, 15-3 A-10) their second loss in a row. Peyton Aldridge led the Wildcats with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Kellan Grady added 16 points. Jon Axel Gudmundsson, who is Davidson’s unsung hero, added 11 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists. Jared Terrell led URI with 22 points. Cyril Langevine added 11 points and 11 rebounds. This was a brutal loss for Rhode Island. With 41 seconds remaining, they had a 61-55 lead with E.C. Matthews going to the line shooting 1-and-1. He missed the front end. With 30 seconds remaining, Grady hit a floater to make it a four-point game. Davidson had to foul, sending Terrell to the line. He missed the front end of the 1-and-1. With 16 seconds remaining, Grady drove to the rim, hit a layup and got fouled. He hit the free throw making it 61-60. Gudmundsson fouled Terrell, sending him to the line. He missed the front end. Rhode Island missed three front ends of the 1-and-1 in the final minute of the game. That’s six points they didn’t convert on. With seven seconds left in the game, Gudmundsson got passed Terrell, hit a layup and got fouled to put Davidson ahead by one. He hit the free throw, making it a two point game. Rhode Island’s half court heave at the buzzer by Fatts Russell was straight on, but just a little long, giving Davidson their first win over a ranked opponent since hosting Dayton in 2015. After losing to St. Joe’s by 30 on Tuesday, this was URI’s second straight loss. Their NCAA tournament bid seems to be secure no matter how they perform in Washington D.C., but their seed certainly dropped after these two losses. I still wouldn’t underestimate the Rams in the A-10 tournament. Davidson just came off a triple overtime loss at St. Bonaventure. They got home from that game early Wednesday morning at 3:45AM, so that game definitely had an effect on this game. They struggled shooting in this one, but their toughness overcame any fatigue. Click HERE for ESPN highlights. Click HERE for Davidson highlights.
VCU 83, Fordham 58: Rose Hill Gym, Bronx, New York
VCU (17-14, 9-9 A-10) took out Fordham (9-21, 4-14 A-10) in an easy road win. Justin Tillman led the Rams with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Sean Mobley added 16 points. Joseph Chartouny led Fordham with 16 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists. Prokop Slanina added 14 points. VCU shot 57% from the field and 54% from three. They held Fordham to 39% shooting and 19% from three. The Rams had an 11-point lead at halftime and extended that lead late into the second half in their win. Click HERE for Fordham head coach Jeff Neubauer’s postgame interview.
St. Joseph’s 78, La Salle 70: Hagan Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
St. Joseph’s (15-15, 10-8 A-10) secured the #4 seed and the double-bye in their win over cross-town rival La Salle (13-18, 7-11 A-10). James Demery led the Hawks with 18 points and 6 rebounds. Shavar Newkirk added 16 points and 4 assists. Pookie Powell led La Salle with 26 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists. B.J. Johnson put up 14 points and 8 rebounds. St. Joe’s had a six-point lead at halftime. With 5:34 left in the game, Amar Stukes hit a three pointer to bring La Salle within two. St. Joe’s went on a 12-4 run to open up their lead, leading to the win. Click HERE for highlights.
Dayton 88, George Washington 78: UD Arena, Dayton, Ohio
Dayton (14-16, 8-10 A-10) ended their regular reason with a home win over George Washington (14-17, 7-11 A-10). Darrell Davis led the Flyers with 22 points on his senior night. Josh Cunningham added 17 points and 13 rebounds. Yuta Watanabe led GW with 21 points and 5 rebounds. Arnaldo Toro added 13 points and 10 rebounds. Dayton shot a sizzling 55% from the field. They also forced the Colonials to commit 15 turnovers. Dayton had five guys in double figures. This win for Dayton secured the eight spot in the conference tournament and a first round bye. Click HERE for highlights.
Richmond 93, George Mason 79: EagleBank Arena, Fairfax, Virginia
Richmond (11-19, 9-9 A-10) finished out their regular season scoring 93 points in a win over George Mason (15-16, 9-9 A-10). Nick Sherod led the Spiders with 25 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds. Grant Golden added 22 points and 8 rebounds. Otis Livingston II led George Mason with 21 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds. A.J. Wilson added 10 points and 4 rebounds. Mason just couldn’t get stops in this game. Richmond shot 63% from the field and 56% from three. All five starters were in double figures. Richmond has one of the best starting fives in the conference. If all of them work well together, they are very tough to beat. They’ve scored 90+ in their last two games, so they’re entering the tournament hot.
Massachusetts 85, Duquesne 75: Mullins Center, Amherst, Massachusetts
Massachusetts (12-19, 5-13 A-10), playing with a depleted roster, gave everything they had in a tough win over Duquesne (16-15, 7-11 A-10). Malik Hines led UMass with 20 points and 5 rebounds. Luwane Pipkins added 16 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds. Mike Lewis II led Duquesne with 17 points and 3 assists. Tarin Smith also had 17 points. I’ve got to give UMass a ton of credit here. Duquesne came into Amherst hungry for a win. They have won one out of their last eight and they were fighting for a higher seed. Matt McCall had these guys playing hard. C.J. Anderson, the only senior on the team, has been through a lot this year. UMass has had tons of problems on and off the court, and it’s nice to see Anderson win on his senior night. Click HERE for highlights.
St. Bonaventure 64, Saint Louis 56: Chaifetz Arena, St. Louis, Missouri
St. Bonaventure (24-6, 14-4 A-10) won their 12th in a row in a tough road win over Saint Louis (16-15, 9-9 A-10). Courtney Stockard, coming off of a career night against Davidson, had 22 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Bonnies. Jaylen Adams added 12 points. Saint Louis did a good job of keeping Adams and Matt Mobley to 23 combined points. Stockard was the problem. Javon Bess led the Billikens with 15 points and 4 rebounds. D.J. Foreman also had 15 points. Saint Louis shot 34% from the field and 13% from three. This win for Bonaventure secured the #2 seed for them in the conference tournament.
2017-2018 Final Regular Season Conference Standings:
- #25 Rhode Island 23-6 (15-3)
- St. Bonaventure 24-6 (14-4)
- Davidson 18-11 (13-5)
- St. Joseph’s 15-15 (10-8)
- George Mason 15-16 (9-9)
- Saint Louis 16-15 (9-9)
- Richmond 11-19 (9-9)
- VCU 17-14 (9-9)
- Dayton 14-16 (8-10)
- Duquesne 16-15 (7-11)
- George Washington 14-17 (7-11)
- La Salle 13-18 (7-11)
- Massachusetts 12-19 (5-13)
- Fordham 9-21 (4-14)