The Rams of VCU survived against the Rams of Rhode Island. Meanwhile the Rams of Fordham and La Salle continued their hot streaks.
Loyola 64 UMass 62
Offensive efficiency: Loyola 91, UMass 89
In the end it proved to be (Drew) Valentine’s day. The Loyola mentor saw his Ramblers build an 18-point lead, lose almost all of it, then hold on for Loyola’s first A10 conference road victory. Philip Alston had a career-high four blocked shots with one of them on a potential game tying attempt by the Minutemen in the final seconds. UMass has now dropped five straight. Matt Cross, playing well of late for UMass, left the game with a first half injury and didn’t return. TJ Weeks of UMass led all scorers with 18. Branden Norris had 17 for Loyola.
Fordham 78 St. Bonaventure 63
Offensive efficiency: Fordham 111, St. Bona 90
Bonnies dropped their third straight in front of a full house at Rose Hill aka ‘Rose Thrill’ per Fordham coach Keith Urgo. Darius Quisenberry led a balanced scoring attack for Fordham with 15 points (3 of 7 from three). Fordham jumped out to a fast 9-2 lead before Bona regrouped and went ahead by four. Another run allowed Forrdham to take a seven point lead into the break. From that point Fordham never trailed. Defense was the key as Bona was held to 44% shooting (2 of 9 for 22% from three). Bonnies were also outrebounded 39-24. Chad Venning paced the Bonnies with 15 points.
La Salle 68 Richmond 62
Offensive efficiency: La Salle 105, Richmond 95
Explorers won their fifth straight with a come from behind victory at Tom Gola Arena at TruMark Financial Center. Hassan Drame buried two threes during a 10-4 run that gave La Salle a lead with just under 16 minutes to play. Richmond bounced back going ahead by four with just under five minutes to go. Fran Dunphy’s group regained the lead and sealed it from the charity stripe. Hassan Drame led the Explorers with 16 points. Neal Quinn and Tyler Burton of Richmond scored 16 apiece. Both clubs cared for the ball expertly with Richmond committing only 5 turnovers (8% TO rate) and La Salle 10 (15% TO rate).
VCU 55 Rhode Island 54
Offensive efficiency: VCU 90, URI 89
Zeb Jackson scored all of his nine points in the second half. Two of the VCU sophomore guard’s points were at the buzzer as his fifteen-foot jump shot allowed the Rams to avoid an upset. VCU trailed most of the game and the visitors were looking at a 13-point deficit with just under 12 minutes to play. VCU shot just 1 of 13 (8%) from three but committed only 10 turnovers. On the defensive side, VCU forced Rhode Island into 17 turnovers, a 28% TO rate. Ishmael Leggett of Rhode Island, led all scorers with 21 points. Brandon Johns was VCU’s lone double figure scorer with 17.
George Mason 66 George Washington 53
Offensive efficiency: GMU 108, GW 87
George Mason earned their second consecutive victory while host George Washington dropped their second straight. The Colonials led by one with just under eight minutes remaining. Justyn Fernandez (15 points) hit three of his five from beyond the arc to spark the Patriots deciding run. The Colonials struggled from deep going 1 of 9 (9%). James Bishop IV of GW led all scorers with 23. Josh Oduro led George Mason with 19 points, 12 rebounds. Oduro had five offensive boards, one more than GW’s combined output.
Duquesne 76 Saint Joseph’s 62
Offensive efficiency: Duquesne 107, Saint Joseph’s 87
Duquesne made it four straight behind a balanced scoring effort led by Tevin Brewer’s 16 points. The host Dukes enjoyed a 15-point lead at intermission. The second half, Saint Joseph’s could not get the deficit into single figures. Duquesne held a 34-26 edge in points in the paint. Keith Dambrot’s club also shot 9 of 25 (36%) from three while limiting the Hawks to 4 of 18 (22%). Lynn Greer III paced Saint Joseph’s with 22 points while Erik Reynolds II added 19.
Saint Louis 78 Davidson 65
Offensive efficiency: Saint Louis 111,Davidson 93
Davidson trailed by nine at the half but fought back to get within two with just under seven minutes to play. A late 8-0 run by the host Billikens closed the door on the Wildcat rally. Davidson has now dropped four of their last five. Saint Louis enjoyed a 36-26 advantage in points in the paint. Saint Louis was 9 of 21 (43%) from three. Gibson Jimerson did most of the damage, going 6 of 12 from beyond the arc. Jimerson led all scorers with 24 points. Yuri Collins had another sterling 11 point 11 assist outing. Sam Mennenga paced Davidson with 17 points.