A busy weekend in the A10. VCU and Saint Louis were both victorious and now share the conference lead at 6-1. Dayton fell at red hot George Washington and is 5-2. Loyola entered the winner’s circle for the first time in conference play.
VCU 74 Richmond 62
Offensive efficiency: VCU 103, Richmond 86
VCU captured the Capital City Classic with a strong performance on both the offensive and defensive end. Rams had five players in double figures led by Jamir Watkins with 15 points coming off the bench. Defensively, VCU held Richmond ten minutes without a field goal during one second half stretch. Ram defense forced the host Spiders into a 22% turnover rate. Tyler Burton, the A10’s second leading scorer, was held to 14 points. Burton led Richmond in scoring but shot only 5 of 13 from the field.
George Mason 79 Rhode Island 72
Offensive efficiency: GMU 107, URI 97
Josh Oduro proved too much for the Rams to handle. Oduro scored 24 points and pulled down a game high 14 rebounds. Patriots turned it over at a 23% rate but shot 60% inside the arc and 45% from long distance. George Mason led by 15 before the host Rams made a run, cutting the deficit to three with just under eight minutes remaining. George Mason then regrouped to close out the victory. Brayon Freeman paced Rhode Island with a game high 25 points.
Saint Joseph’s 74 UMass 68
Offensive efficiency: Saint Joseph’s 109, Umass 100
In a game with five ties and ten lead changes, Saint Joseph’s earned their third straight win. Cameron Brown (25) and Erik Reynolds II (23) who combined for 48 of the Hawks’ points. Saint Joseph’s also scored a season high 22 second chance points. Rashool Diggins and RJ Luis shared Minutemen scoring honors with 15 apiece. Minus Noah Fernandes, Frank Martin’s group was forced into a 25% turnover rate with Saint Joseph’s scoring 23 points off those turnovers.
Loyola 67 St. Bonaventure 55
Offensive efficiency: Loyola 108, St. Bona 89
Loyola won its first A10 game, snapping a seven game losing streak in the process. Ramblers held Bona to 31% shooting from the floor, including 4 of 22 (18%) from beyond the arc. For most of the game it was a two possession affair. Loyola, leading by four at intermission, never lost that lead the final 20 minutes. Chad Venning led the Bonnies with 16 points. Venning was Bona’s lone double figure scorer. Loyola had four in double digits paced by Tom Welch’s 16 points.
Fordham 65 Duquesne 58
Offensive efficiency: Fordham 96, Duquesne 85
In a grind it out, less than spectacular offensive affair, Fordham earned their third conference win. Rams are 3-3 in A10 play and the first time since 2007 they are. 500 or above at this point in conference play. Fordham trailed by six late then went on a game clinching 15-0 run. Fordham’s Khalid Moore paced all scorers with 19. Duquesne, which has dropped three of their last four, was led by Dae Dae Grant with 10. Duquesne came in as the top three point shooting team in the A10 (38%) but managed just 18% (3 of 16).
George Washington 76 Dayton 69
Offensive efficiency: GW 109, Dayton 99
Host George Washington made it two straight and three of their last four. James Bishop IV posted a game high 27 points. The story of this win for Chris Caputo’s Colonials went beyond offense. George Washington limited Dayton to 22 first half points on 27% shooting from the floor. On the afternoon the Flyers managed just 36%. Toumana Camara led Dayton with 16 points. The Flyers’ key offensive threat, DaRon Holmes, was limited to 14 points on 5 of 15 shooting.
Saint Louis 84 La Salle 71
Offensive efficiency: Saint Louis 117, La Salle 99
Billikens made it five straight with their win over La Salle. Saint Louis led by one at intermission before pulling away the final stanza. Their 6-1 A10 start is Saint Louis’ best in the Travis Ford era. Francis Okuto scored 12 points while adding a career high 20 boards for Saint Louis. Sincere Parker came off the bench to score a game high 20 points while Yuri Collins handed out 11 assists. La Salle was led by Fousseyni Drame with 14 points. Fran Dunphy’s Explorers had a good showing in the turnover department (14% TO rate) but managed only 36% shooting from the floor.