By Nathan Strauss | Follow him on Twitter
Four games took place at scenic Chase Fieldhouse in a full day of Atlantic 10 postseason action.
In the early game, #8 Davidson held off #9 Richmond in a battle of two of the A10’s better offensive teams. The Spiders raced out to an early lead, courtesy of six made threes in the first quarter. The Wildcats’ Elle Sutphin kept Davidson close, and as shots stopped falling for Richmond in the second the score was tied at 36 at the half. However, Richmond would only score 26 points the entire second half, after putting up 26 in the first quarter. Sutphin scored 12 second-half points on 6-8 shooting, while the Spiders only connected on three of their last 14 shots from three. Richmond ended the game on a four-minute scoring drought.
Davidson (16-13) advance to face #1 Dayton tomorrow. Sutphin finished with a game-high 22 points, while Issy Morgan and Chloe Welch also registered in double-figures. Addie Budnik had 19 points and five boards for the Spiders, whose season ended at 16-14 with the loss.
In the matinee, #12 George Washington came up against #5 La Salle and delivered a massive upset. Just one day removed from their resurgent comeback against St. Bonaventure, the Colonials (13-17) led wire-to-wire against the Explorers (16-12), using balanced scoring to win their second postseason game. “It was a tough, gritty win,” noted GW head coach Caroline McCoombs, as the two sides had played just five days earlier.
Sheslanie Laureano put up 12 points in the second half for the Colonials, who got points from nine different players. Kyara Frames led the way with 14 points on 3-3 from behind the arc. George Washington as a team shot 72% from three, while La Salle, who were second in the A10 in made three pointers, went just 5-25. The Explorers were led by Molly Masciantonio’s 16 points, while Kayla Spruill put up a near double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds. George Washington advances to face #4 VCU on Friday at 1:30 pm.
In the first true blowout of the tournament, #7 St. Joseph’s dominated #10 Duquesne from start to finish. The Hawks (12-16) were largely able to coast through the game with consistent scoring, while the Dukes (11-18) struggled mightily on offense all evening, shooting 27% from the field. With starter Fatou Pouye limited due to foul trouble and star guard Tess Meyers going just 4-13 from three, Dan Burt’s side were playing an unsuccessful game of catchup from the start. The Hawks opened up the lead to 22 points at the start of the fourth quarter, led by 20 points apiece from Leila Fair and Talya Brugler.
Hawks head coach Cindy Griffin said in her postgame presser that this Hawks team is “more talented” than the team which she steered to the A10 championship game against Xavier nearly 15 years ago. The Hawks advance to face #2 Rhode Island tomorrow, a matchup which the Rams won by ten in February.
In the final game of the evening, #6 Fordham ran away against #14 George Mason, picking up a commanding 66-50 win over the Patriots. Mason (10-19) were led by 25 points from Amaya Scott, who accounted for half of Mason’s scoring on the day. Fordham (18-9) was led by the tandem of Asiah Dingle (double-double) and Kendell Heremaia (22 points). The Rams jumped out to a 24-6 lead after one quarter, riding that big wave of momentum throughout the entire 40 minutes. Fordham had 17 assists to GMU’s 5, and despite the Patriots picking up on the offensive end as the game wore on, the Rams were comfortable victors. Fordham advance to play #3 UMass in a highly anticipated matchup tomorrow evening at 7:30.