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Atlantic 10 Wednesday Preview: George Washington, St. Bonaventure seek important wins

Game of the Night

Richmond Spiders vs. George Washington Colonials – 7 ET

Given their current standing as a bubble team, this is a game that GW almost needs to have. Not only is this the Colonials’  second last road game of the regular season, it is their fourth last game overall, and right now each win (and loss for that matter) counts for that much more.

Richmond (14-12, 6-8 A-10) enters as 61% KenPom favorites to win. Perhaps it has much to do with the previous result between these two teams, a 98-90 2OT victory for the Spiders back on Jan. 28. In that matchup, the X-factor was Richmond’s ShawnDre’ Jones who scored 29-points on a monster 40-minutes played. Jones’ quickness and three-point shooting ability make him a difficult matchup for many team, and GW is no exception. It should be interesting to see if Colonials PG Joe McDonald will be able to contain his opponent off the ball..

To win this game, George Washington will have to get strong production out of their frontcourt. The trio of Larsen-Cavanaugh-Wantanabe is one of the best the conference has to offer, and combined for  47-points in the last meeting with Richmond. Mike Lonergan will have the ball in the hands of his big men for much of this game, as their success against a smaller and more athletic team like Richmond will be dictated by their work in the post.

The main thing that GW has on their side is desperation. Unlike Richmond, George Washington is playing for a spot in the NCAA tournament, and this game has major implications in that process. If they can pull this one out, it would be great for the overall reputation of the conference. With such high stakes, there’s no wonder why this is the game of the night.

Elsewhere in A-10 Action

St. Bonaventure Bonnies vs. Duquesne Dukes – 7 ET

Fresh off a huge win over #15 Dayton, St. Bonaventure will try to make it two in-a-row against the Dukes of Duquesne. Jaylen Adams is coming off an outstanding 31-point (5-9 3PM, 10-10 FT) performance against the Flyers and continues to be the driving force behind this Bonnies team. Head to head, KenPom has St. Bona favored with a 83% chance of victory, but this game will be dictated by the guard play of these teams. Duquesne’s Micah Mason is a scoring machine, having recorded at least 21-points in each of his last six games. That being said, the Dukes have lost five of those matchups. I don’t expect Wednesday night to be much different.

La Salle Explorers vs. Fordham Rams – 7 ET

No matter who you are, its pretty rare to lose a game by 40-points in college basketball. Unfortunately, La Salle managed to do so last week against GW, getting blown away by GW 90-50. The Explorers will try not to repeat that mess against a Fordham team that beat them 66-61 earlier this season. The key player for either team is Jordan Price, the Explorers’ everything man. Price, who is averaging 18.9 PPG and 5.4 RPG is receiving the ball on 30% of all La Salle possessions, good for 32nd most touches in the nation. If the Rams can stop Price, they can stop La Salle, and it looks to me like they will be able to do so quite effectively.

George Mason Patriots vs. VCU Rams – 7 ET

VCU is back to their winning ways, having won their last three in-a-row. With reigning A-10 Player of the Week Melvin Johnson at the helm, the Rams are in great position right now to finish the season strong and make it to the NCAA tournament as an underdog favorite. They should take care of business against this GMU team that they destroyed 71-47 earlier this season. If we’re being real, this shouldn’t be much of a contest, even given the fact that its at Mason.

UMass Minutemen vs. St. Joseph’s Hawks – 7 ET

St. Joe’s looks to rebound from a loss to Davidson this past week when they visit the Minutemen in Amherst. SJU’s Isaiah Miles is coming off a 32-point performance so looks for him to be a major contributor in this game. KenPom favors the Hawks with a 75% chance of victory. While this is not technically a “must-win” for St. Joe’s, they really cannot afford to lose two games in a row to lesser opponents. It doesn’t appear that Joe’s is about to let that happen.