Game of the Night
St. Joseph’s Hawks 79, #15 Dayton Flyers 70
It appears that St. Joe’s finally got that signature win they so desperately needed. In one of their strongest overall performances of the year, the Hawks ended Dayton’s nine-game win streak behind 16 points and 13 rebounds from DeAndre’ Bembry. Isaiah Miles added 12 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists.
While Dayton’s Steve McElvene was able to score 12 points, the Hawks’ defense was able to control the interior for the majority of the game. Lamarr Kimble was a big spark off the bench for SJU and finished with 13 points in 21 minutes of play. He was one of five players on his team in double-digit scoring.
In the grand scheme of things, this is great for the A-10. Dayton’s place as a 4/5 seed will be relatively unmoved as the Flyers are already a lock for the NCAA tournament. As for St. Joe’s they will now move to the lock column and a tie with VCU and Dayton for best record in the conference. Assuming they don’t suffer more than one bad loss the rest of the season, there should be some celebrating from Phil Martelli’s team come Selection Sunday.
Elsewhere in A-10 Action
George Washington Colonials 81, Duquesne Dukes 74
It was closer than expected, but GW was able to hang on for a win despite 26 points from Duquesne’s Micah Mason. The Colonials’ Kevin Larsen went for 16 points and 12 rebounds, his eighth double-double of the season. This game was decided at the line, as Duquesne went just 8-14 (57.1%) from the charity stripe while GW went 22-26 (84.6%). Mike Lonergan’s team is still hanging on to a possible NCAA tournament berth.
La Salle Explorers 71, St. Bonaventure Bonnies 64
This is exactly what St. Bonaventure did not need. After surging their way back into NCAA tournament contention the last two weeks, the Bonnies dropped a game to possibly the weakest team in the conference, essentially knocking them out of at-large bid contention. Despite a combined 49 points from Wright, Posley and Adams, it was not enough to overcome La Salle’s 11-22 (50.0%) performance from three-point range. The Explorers also out-rebounded the Bonnies 41-27.
Saint Louis Billikens 79, George Mason Patriots 77 (OT)
SLU prevented George Mason from hitting a second-straight buzzer beater, holding on to beat the Patriots 79-77. Jermaine Bishop had 20 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists while Ash Yacoubou put up 15 points and 7 rebounds of his own. For GMU, Jalen Jenkins had 18 points and 11 rebounds off the bench.
Fordham Rams 76, UMass Minutemen 66
Five Rams scored in double-figures as Fordham used a first-half run to take care of business against UMass. The Rams shot 10-21 (41.7%) from three and won the rebounding battle 36-31. Fordham improves to 13-11 (4-9 A-10) on the year while UMass falls to 11-14 (4-9 A-10) overall.