VCU, Dayton and Saint Louis kept pace. Fordham and La Salle saw hot streaks temporarily cooled, while George Washington made it 3-0 in A10 overtime games.
Dayton 65 Loyola 49
Offensive efficiency: Dayton 98, Loyola 74
Dayton made it three straight, and five of their last six, with a defensive minded win in Chicago. Flyers held Loyola to their lowest shooting percentage of the season at 31%. Dayton led by eight at the break and opened that lead up to 22 in the second half. Loyola committed only 10 turnovers for a commendable 15% TO rate but were beaten by a 39-27 count on the boards. DaRon Holmes led all scorers with a 20 point, 10 rebound outing. Philip Alston paced Loyola with 16 points.
Davidson 76 Saint Joseph’s 75
Offensive efficiency: Davidson 115, Saint Joseph’s 114
In a game featuring nine ties and eight lead changes, Davidson pulled it out on Sam Mennenga’s free throw with one second remaining. The Wildcats, down by as much as ten points late in the first half, snapped a two game losing streak. Interestingly, all 75 of the Hawks points came from the starters as Billy Lange’s club had zero points (Davidson had 17) off the bench. Saint Joseph’s did have a1 4-6 edge in second chance points. Mennenga and Foster Loyer scored 17 for the Wildcats. Saint Joseph’s was led by Cameron Brown with 17.
VCU 80 Fordham 61
Offensive efficiency: VCU 108, Fordham 82
This battle of the Rams went to host VCU. Turnovers played a big part in this outcome. VCU forced Fordham into an excessively high 30% TO rate. VCU held a resounding 29-15 in points off turnovers. VCU delighted the homecoming crowd with a 13-4 run to start the game. VCU was also dominant with a 42-20 points in the paint advantage. Nick Kern jr. led VCU with a career-high 17 points while Ace Baldwin jr. had a 13 point, 10 assist double-double. Fordham’s scoring leader was Will Richardson with a game high 21 points.
UMass 69 Rhode Island 45
Offensive efficiency: UMass 103, URI 67
UMass snapped a five game skid in a big way. The Minutemen posted their largest road win since the John Calipari days back in 1996. Defense was the key as the Rams were limited to 25% shooting from the field. Rhode Island shot 1 of 15 to close out the first half. Cold shooting continued through the second half as the Rams dropped their fifth straight. Ishmael Leggett of URI, led all scorers with 18 points. Minutemen were led by Keon Thompson with 15.
George Mason 70 La Salle 66
Offensive efficiency: George Mason 104, La Salle 99
La Salle saw their five game win streak end as George Mason extended their own run to three games. The Explorers struggled from the charity stripe shooting better from the field (27 of 64 for 42%) than the line (5 of 13 for 39%). In a game with ten lead changes, the contest was tied with just over two minutes left before George Mason went on a deciding 5-0 run. Both teams had outstanding turnover rates with George Mason at 13% and La Salle 10. Josh Oduro of George Mason was the leading scorer with 25 points. The Explorers were paced by Khalil Brantley with 20.
Saint Louis 90 Duquesne 85
Offensive efficiency: Saint Louis 120, Duquesne 113
Billikens battled back from a 15 point first half deficit to earn their second straight victory. Visiting Duquesne saw a four game win streak ended. Saint Louis had a whopping 70-20 advantage in points in the paint. Duquesne compensated with a 45-3 advantage in three pointers. Keith Dambrot’s Dukes shot better from three (52%) than two (39%) point range. Saint Louis saw a 14 point lead whittled to three in the final seconds before two Javon Pickett free throws clinched it. Gibson Jimmerson of Saint Louis had a game high 28 points. Francis Oduro added a 14 point, 16 rebound double-double. Dae Dae Grant led the way for Duquesne with 22 points.
George Washington 83 St. Bonaventure 81 (OT)
Offensive efficiency: GW 102, St. Bona 100
James Bishop IV canned three free throws with 2.2 seconds remaining in overtime as George Washington snapped a two game losing streak. The homecoming crowd at Reilly Center saw the Bonnies go down in defeat for the fourth consecutive game. Trailing by 11 with just over two minutes to play in regulation, Bona battled back to force the extra session. Colonials enjoyed a 43-35 advantage in the rebounding department but were forced into a 24% turnover rate. Brendan Adams (28) and Bishop IV (25) accounted for 53 of the Colonial points. Chad Venning paced Bona with 22.