VCU can play with the big boys
Despite the Rams’ 71-63 loss at the hands of #20 Baylor, they proved today that they can compete with almost anyone in the country. JeQuan Lewis was beyond impressive, as he scored the first eight points of the game for the Rams, and finished with 21 points and 5 assists. Ahmed Hamdy-Mohamed had a solid performance, with 14 points, going toe-to-toe with the Baylor “bigs,” keeping VCU in the game. The Rams lead by as many as 8 points in the second half, but ultimately, their defense was unable to stop Baylor down the stretch of the game, especially from beyond the arc. VCU will face Saint John’s tonight at 7PM in the losers bracket of the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Duquesne Goes Cold Down the Stretch
The Dukes scored just five points in the final 10:33 of the second half, as UT-Martin came from behind to defeat Duquesne 66-63. In addition, both teams failed to score any points at all in the final 3:13 of the game. It took until the final possession of the game before Jacolby Mobley nailed a game-winning three for the Skyhawks. With the loss, Duquesne falls to 2-4, and the road won’t get any easier the closer we get to A-10 conference play. Emile Blackman lead the Dukes with 19 points, who next face Cleveland State on November 27th.
A-10 teams still searching for the first “key win”
By late November of last year, the Atlantic 10 had already racked up some very impressive wins: George Washington defeated Virginia, Dayton beat Iowa, and so on. But this season, we’ve yet to see any A-10 team get a signature win. Rhode Island only lost to Duke by 10, Saint Bonaventure almost beat Florida, VCU almost beat Baylor, but no wins. The only win over a ranked team came last Saturday when URI defeated Cincinnati, but it is unclear how that win will hold up for the Rams as the season goes on. Dayton will have the chance to get some quality wins in the upcoming Wooden Legacy and Richmond will play Maryland in Brooklyn on Friday. Saint Joseph’s will play at defending national-champion Villanova on December 3rd, which would be a huge boost for the Hawks. There is plenty of time for A-10 teams to still build their résumés, but there’s work to do.