Game of the Night
St. Joseph’s Hawks 84, George Washington Colonials 66
I think it’s safe to say that the Hawks are road warriors. With this most recent dominating win over George Washington, St. Joseph’s (20-4, 9-2 A 10) is now 8-0 on the road this season. St. Joseph’s shot 34-60 (56.7%) and really buried the Colonials before they had a chance to come back. This St. Joseph’s offense was firing on all cylinders; in addition to shooting the ball so well from the field, the Hawks had 8 players score at least 5 points. George Washington (18-6, 7-4 A 10) outrebounded St. Joseph’s 36-29, but it just didn’t have enough offense to get the win. The Hawks seldom missed on Wednesday night, and only 5 turnovers and 13 fouls helped cap off an offensive night that was characterized by one word: efficiency.
Leading the way for St. Joseph’s were the usual suspects: Isaiah Miles and DeAndre’ Bembry. The former scored 21 points on 8-12 shooting and secured 9 rebounds; the latter dropped 14 on 6-12 shooting and pulled down 5 boards of his own. Yet again, the two were incredible for a St. Joseph’s team that always seems to play its best basketball away from home. George Washington didn’t necessarily struggle on the offensive end; the Colonials knocked down 28-64 (43.8%) of their field goal attempts and got double digit scoring performances from all 5 of their starters. Unfortunately for them, it wasn’t enough to compete with the high-flying offense of the Hawks. Leading the way for George Washington was Tyler Cavanaugh with 17 points on 7 of 12 shooting.
Right after George Washington goes and gets one of its biggest wins of the season, a road win over VCU, it turns around and gets man-handled by St. Joseph’s at home. No one can understand this enigma of a league. According to latest Bracketology forecasts, the Colonials were safely in the tournament and the Hawks were right on the bubble, more than likely on the outside looking in. With this win, it’s safe to say that the Hawks are getting closer and closer to the Big Dance. How much did this loss hurt GW’s overall resume? Probably not a lot, but this win will serve as a huge boost to St. Joseph’s. Winning on the road is pivotal in college basketball, and the Hawks are proving that they can do that better than any other team in the country.
Elsewhere in A-10 Action
St. Bonaventure Bonnies 76, Fordham Rams 72
It wasn’t easy, but the Bonnies squeaked out an overtime win over the Rams in Rose Hill Gym on Wednesday night. St. Bonaventure made some free throws at the end of regulation and in the extra session to run away with the win. This was a fairly even contest in terms of field goals made (each team had 27) and three pointers made (each team had 9). Though the Bonnies took a double digit lead in the second half, Forham fought all the way until the final buzzer. A couple of free throws were the difference in who came out on top. St. Bonaventure (16-6, 8-3 A 10) was led by Dion Wright and Marcus Posely with 21 points apiece; Fordham (12-10, 3-8 A 10) was led by Ryan Rhoomes with 23 points and 9 rebounds. The Bonnies really needed this one to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive; they have a very favorable schedule remaining in the regular season.
La Salle Explorers 66, Davidson Wildcats 79
Though the outcome of this game ended up being fairly predictable, Davidson really wasn’t itself tonight. The Wildcats turned the ball over an uncharacteristic 16 times (they rank 1st in the nation in terms of lowest turnover percentage). In addition, Jack Gibbs failed to score in double digits. The superstar junior went just 3-9 from the field for 8 points. Luckily for the Wildcats, Brian Sullivan was there to pick up the slack; he led the team in scoring with 20 points which included 6 made three pointers. La Salle shot the ball pretty decently from the floor (54.3%), but it just couldn’t keep up with Davidson’s three point shooting. The Wildcats made 12 compared to the Explorers’ 9. La Salle was led by Yevgen Sakhniuk in scoring with 20 points on 9-11 shooting.
Richmond Spiders 67, Saint Louis Billikens 53
Richmond was able to go on the road and get a confidence-boosting win over the Billikens on Wednesday night. Both of these teams have been struggling as of late; the Spiders entered this contest having lost 2 of their last 3 while the Billikens have now dropped 4 straight. T.J. Cline led the way for Richmond with 18 points while Saint Louis got a team-high 10 points from Ash Yacoubou. Though Richmond still sits in the bottom half of the Atlantic 10 standings, this could be a step in the right direction. The Spiders will have a chance to prove themselves with some tough games in the near future, including a road game against arch-rival VCU.