Game of the Night
St. Joseph’s Hawks 75, Pennsylvania Quakers 60
The Hawks brought a solid effort on all fronts to their Philadelphia Big 5 matchup against Penn and rolled to a seamless 15-point victory over the crosstown rival Quakers. DeAndre’ Bembry had 17 points for SJU and was one of four starters that finished in double-digit scoring. Saint Joseph’s now improves to 15-3 (4-1 A10) on the season, keeping their shot at an NCAA tournament bid very much alive.
As a team, the Hawks were tenacious on the defensive front. Collectively, they snagged a season-high nine steals, taking advantage of Penn’s lackluster ball handling. As proven by VCU over the past couple years, steals can be a very important component to success, and Saint Joe’s was able to take advantage of it on numerous fast break opportunities.
These were just a sample of the 14 turnovers SJU forced the entire game. For a team that has been strong offensively all season, to see the defense picking up is definitely a great sign. While Penn may be a lesser opponent, the bottom line is that the Hawks took care of business when they needed to. They now get La Salle this weekend.
Elsewhere in A10 Action
Saint Louis Billikens 96, Davidson Wildcats 87
Surprisingly enough, SLU pulled off another upset last night, upending Davidson behind a career-high 27 points from Ash Yacoubou. The senior went 12-21 (57.1%) from the field and 3-6 from beyond the arc, outscoring A10 leading scorer and Davidson frontman Jack Gibbs by one point. While this is a disappointing loss for the Wildcats, Saint Louis simply played better all night, going 54.1% from the field as a team. The Billikens improve to 7-11 (2-4 A10) while Davidson falls to 11-6 (3-3 A10) on the season.
VCU Rams 93, Duquesne Dukes 71
VCU continued its dominance last night behind solid performances from Mo Alie-Cox (16 pts, 4 blocks) and JeQuan Lewis (11 pts, 8 ast) as they bested Duquesne at home by 22. However, Rams head coach Will Wade wasn’t too happy with how his team played.
“I wasn’t really happy with how we played, to be honest,” he said, referencing the fact that the Dukes won the offensive rebound battle 16-14. “I thought Duquesne competed harder than we did today. That’s a problem so we’ve got to get that fixed.”
The good news is that of this is as bad as it gets for the Rams, they’re in a darn good place. VCU has now won nine-straight games and has sole command of the A10. They take on St. Bonaventure this Saturday.
Fordham Rams 73, George Mason 62
Fordham picked up their first win on four outings with an eleven-point home victory over GMU. Antwoine Anderson dropped a season-high 23 points for the Rams while Ryan Rhoomes added 10 points and 8 rebounds. While Fordham may not be in thick of NCAA tournament contention, this was a solid step in the right direction for a team that has struggled over the past couple weeks. They get a tough matchup this weekend when they play host to Dayton.
Temple Owls 62, La Salle Explorers 49
Here’s something you don’t hear very often: La Salle played a total of six men last night. This meant that four starters played all 40 minutes in a losing effort. In a weak offensive performance, the Explorers shot just 34.0% from the field including 22.2% from three-point range. They drop to 5-11 (1-4 A10) on the season.