Game of the Night
George Washington Colonials vs. St. Bonaventure Bonnies
The Bonnies have won four straight Atlantic 10 games and show no signs of slowing down. As they begin to play their way back into the NCAA Tournament field, they’ll get a very tough home test against George Washington on Saturday afternoon. The Bonnies narrowly escaped a road loss to Fordahm last Wednesday, though their fans travel so well that it seemed like more of a home game for St. Bonaventure in Rose Hill Gym. Saturday’s matchup will be a real home game for the Bonnies at the Reilly Center, a place where they’ve only lost once in conference play this season. George Washington recently got spanked by St. Joseph’s at home and will need a bounce-back win when it travels to Olean. What a game we have on our hands.
George Washington has been playing through its forwards all season long; Tyler Cavanaugh, Patricio Garino, and Kevin Larsen are all forces to be reckoned with when they have the ball in their hands. St. Bonaventure, on the other hand, is a very guard-oriented team. Marcus Posley and Jaylen Adams have been spectacular for the Bonnies this season. The two guards are combining to average almost 40 points per game. Dion Wright has also bee spectacular, as he’s averaging 16.3 points per contest this year. So who’s going to have the upper hand: the Colonials’ frontcourt or the Bonnies’ backcourt? Whichever side gets more production on both ends of the floor will be the likely victor.
Both of these teams really need this win on Saturday afternoon. St. Bonaventure is beginning to find itself closer to the projected NCAA Tournament field. George Washington, on the other hand, is beginning to slip away from it’s once solid spot in the field of 68. Both of these teams want a shot at playing in the Big Dance this year, and whoever can come out on top in this one will add a good win to its resume. Don’t expect anyone to be giving it less than 100% on Saturday. This is a high-level game with some serious post-season implications.
Elsewhere in A-10 Action
Davidson Wildcats vs. George Mason Patriots
Davidson, coming off two straight victories, will look to keep its momentum going when it travels to take on George Mason. The two of these teams met earlier this season, and despite being badly outrebounded, Davidson was able to pull off the victory. George Mason fans are hoping that their leading scorer Marquise Moore will return to the lineup after missing the last couple of games; they’re going to need him to help slow down Davidson’s offense. The Wildcats know how to get hot from downtown. They hit 12 threes last time these two teams met. Brain Sullivan recently went 6 of 9 from deep to top La Salle. If the Patriots can’t slow the Wildcats down from three point range, it could be a long night in Fairfax.
Saint Louis Billikens vs. VCU Rams
After two straight losses, VCU fans have to be thinking, “can it get much worse?” Yes, it could; the Rams are going to need to forget about their recent struggles and focus on getting a win on Saturday night over Saint Louis. Now a sure-fire bubble team, VCU has to be playing for its life down the stretch. Though the Rams got off to such a hot start in conference play, they’re beginning to realize that they can be beat and there are other teams in the conference that are just as hungry as they are. Saint Louis is riding a 4 game losing streak and shouldn’t stand much of a chance, but VCU has to play like its the National Championship in each and every game.
Fordham Rams vs. Richmond Spiders
The Rams enter this contest having just lost a very frustrating overtime battle with St. Bonaventure. Though they came so close to beating one of the better teams in the league, a loss is a loss, and it’s back to the drawing boards. Fordham has now lost 4 of its last 5; Richmond has now won its last 2. While the Spiders are certainly playing better basketball at the moment, we now know that they’re prone to struggle at home. George Mason came into the Robins Center just last week and shocked Richmond. The Spiders won’t want that to happen again. They should roll in this one, but Ryan Rhoomes may have something to say about that for Fordham.
La Salle Explorers vs. St. Joseph’s Hawks
It’s been an interesting last couple of weeks for St. Joseph’s. After losing at home to St. Bonaventure last week, the Hawks turn around and get an enormous road win over George Washington last Wednesday. Shooting a red-hot 56.7% from the floor, the Hawks could not be stopped and looked like the best team in the league. Now firmly on the NCAA Tournament bubble, St. Joseph’s can’t afford to lose a home game to a team like La Salle. The Explorers have not won a game in ages, and if they stole one on the road over the Hawks, it would all but bury the other team from Philadelphia.