The A10 quarterfinals saw all the top four seeds all ‘hold serve’. VCU and Saint Louis rolled while Dayton and Fordham pulled out much closer contests.
VCU 71 Davidson 53
Offensive efficiency: VCU 111, Davidson 83
Leading scorers: VCU- Ace Baldwin, David Shriver, Jamir Watkins 11. Davidson- Grant Huffman, David Skogman 10.
Known for its defense, VCU shot a white hot 57% from the floor to win going away. The Rams never trailed and led by nine at the half before opening it up in the final twenty minutes. Davidson committed only 12 turnovers (19% TO rate) against the Ram pressure. On the flip side, the Wildcats shot just 37% overall including just 25% (4-16) shooting from beyond the arc. VCU has now captured seven straight. Mike Rhoades’ Rams have not lost a road or neutral site game since January 4th. Davidson finished 16-16.
Saint Louis 82 George Mason 54
Offensive efficiency: SLU 1265, GMU 83
Leading scorers: SLU- Gibson Jimmerson 21. GMU- Josh Oduro 15.
Saint Louis chose a good time to play arguably their best offensive game of the season. The Billikens had only nine turnovers (14% TO rate) while 26 of their 33 field goals were assisted (79% Assist rate). The 26 assists tied an A10 Men’s Basketball Championship record. Yuri Collins handed out 10 of those scoring passes, committing just one turnover. Billikens also shot 56% while enjoying a 33-27 rebounding advantage. George Mason shot just 37% from the floor while turning the ball over 15 times (23% TO rate). George Mason, now 20-13, reached the 20-win plateau for the first time in six seasons. Kim English’s Patriots also set a school record for A10 victories with 11.
Dayton 60 Saint Joseph’s 54
Offensive efficiency: Dayton 98, Saint Joseph’s 89
Leading scorers: Saint Joseph’s- Erik Reynolds II 19. Dayton- DaRon Holmes, Toumani Camara 17.
Erik Reynolds II scored 16 of his game-high 19 points in the second half. Reynolds II, hit his 1,000th career point, helping rally the 10th seeded Hawks from double-digit second half deficit to a one possession difference. Dayton held on to earn a semifinal berth. Toumani Camara added 18 boards, matching his career best, to complement his 17 points for the Flyers. Dayton had 12 turnovers (20% TO rate) while forcing Saint Joseph’s into 13 miscues (21% rate). Flyers also enjoyed a 42-34 rebounding advantage. Besides his scoring, DaRon Holmes pulled down 9 rebounds (7 offensive) and blocked four shots. Billy Lange’s Hawks finished the season 16-17, winning three of their last four.
Fordham 69 La Salle 61
Offensive efficiency: Fordham 96, La Salle 85
Leading scorers: Fordham- Khalid Moore 20. La Salle- Khalil Brantley 18.
Fordham enjoyed an 11 point lead at intermission, much to the delight of students and fans inundating Barclays. La Salle did not go away, starting the final stanza on an 11-2 run. Fordham answered with a 9-0 run of their own, held off a late La Salle rally, en route to securing a semifinal meeting with Dayton on Saturday. This will be Fordham’s second semifinal appearance in the A10 tournament. In 2006 they reached the semis losing to Xavier. Fordham rejected 10 shots. Rostyslav Novitsky had six, five in the first half. Both teams struggled from long distance with Fordham shooting 29% (6-21) and La Salle at 25% (5-20). Explorers finished the season at 15-19, winning two A10 Tournament games for the first time since 2002.