It was a crazy day in the Atlantic 10 Tournament, featuring some thrilling games and the termination of Derek Kellogg’s position as head coach of Massachusetts. Read all about that right here. At the end of the day, Davidson, St. Bonaventure, George Mason, and George Washington move on to play again on Friday.
Davidson Wildcats 82, La Salle Explorers 73
The Davidson Wildcats caught fire in the first half, hitting 9 three pointers and pulling away from the Explorers early. The Wildcats would build a major double-digit lead in the second half, led by Peyton Aldridge and company, but the Explorers would go on a run and make a push in the final few minutes. The Wildcats made their free throws down the stretch and ended up pulling out the win, but it was a little closer than they had hoped for. Davidson moves on to face Dayton in the next round where they’ll get quite the test against a very difficult team. The Flyers won in Belk Arena in overtime 89-82 just a few weeks ago, so these two are familiar for sure.
Peyton Aldridge’s 33 points rank 7th all time in Atlantic 10 Tournament games. He was incredible for the Wildcats, and right as La Salle began to make things interesting, he made some big plays and secured the win. Jack Gibbs had 18 points of his own, and freshman Jon Axel Gudmundsson had a career high 16 points on 4/5 shooting from long range. La Salle was led by Jordan Price and B.J. Johnson with 19 and 20 points respectively.
St. Bonaventure Bonnies 73, Massachusetts Minutemen 60
Along with having one of the rowdiest fan sections on Thursday afternoon, the Bonnies had one of the most decisive victories. St. Bonaventure controlled this game from the beginning, and even though the Minutemen lost by just 13 points, they trailed the entire game and didn’t stand much of a chance. Matt Mobley and Jaylen Adams led the Bonnies with 19 and 17 points. David Andoh and Josh Ayeni were also big keys as they went for 12 and 10 respectively. Massachusetts was led by Luwane Pipkins who had 14 points in the Minutemen’s final game of the season. St. Bonaventure moves on to face Rhode Island in a huge matchup on Friday.
The biggest news of the night regarding this game was the subsequent release of Derek Kellogg as head coach of the Massachusetts Minutemen. Kellogg was relieved of his duties as head coach after 9 years on the job. The news isn’t particularly surprising, considering Massachusetts’ brutal finish to the regular season and the general disappointment that’s been revolving around the program lately. It will be interesting to see where Massachusetts looks for its next coach, and we’ll have to see if this talented freshman class doesn’t transfer away.
George Mason Patriots 82, Fordham Rams 71
In the craziest game of the night, George Mason came storming back in the final minute to force overtime and take down the upset-minded Rams. Fordham held a 7 point lead in the closing 90 seconds, but three pointers by Marquise Moore and Otis Livingston II kept the Patriots alive. As Fordham missed its free throws in the final seconds, the Patriots got the ball back down 2 with 3 seconds to go. Otis Livingston II got the ball, drove it into the lane, and found a wide open Jalen Jenkins who put it in at the buzzer. The Patriots would have all the momentum in the extra session and dominate in the final 5 minutes to take the win.
Marquise Moore had an unbelievable game, finishing with 25 points, 19 rebounds, and 5 assists. The Patriots would outbound the Rams 52-22. Moore had as many defensive rebounds as the entire Fordham team. Otis Livingston II had 17 points himself, and Jaire Grayer had 15 as well. Fordham was led by Javontae Hawkins with 23 points and Joseph Chartouny with 19 of his own. George Mason moves on to face VCU in the third round game on Friday. The Patriots have played the VCU Rams twice this season and lost both times.
George Washington Colonials 53, Saint Louis Billikens 46
It took the Colonials awhile to get going, but they’d eventually come back and beat the Billikens in the final minutes. George Washington put up just 13 points in the first half of play, and after trailing for a majority of the game, 10 straight points from Jordan Roland helped propel this team back into the game. Three pointers from Jair Bolden gave Saint Louis a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish. A dunk by Yuta Watanabe would be the exclamation point in the final seconds, and George Washington would pick up the scrappy win.
The Colonials got 18 points from Yuta Watanabe and 10 points from Jordan Roland. Tyler Cavanaugh, though he went just 3/12 from the field, he pulled in 16 boards and found another way to be effective. Jalen Johnson led the Billikens with 16 points and Mike Crawford had 15 as well. The Colonials move on to play Richmond in the third round of the A-10 Tournament, a team they lost two twice in the regular season.