Winner: St. Bonaventure
The A10 regular season champions out of [[REDACTED]] came to play in the first game of the day. The Bonnies handled Duquesne, pulling out a 75-59 victory and dominating much of the game. Osun Osunniyi dominated the formidable Dukes front court, with 18 points, 14 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 blocks. Duquesne looked like they might make a run, cutting the lead down to 12, before St. Bonaventure pulled away after a bench-clearing kerfuffle in the second half. Apologies to anyone who had the under this game, as well. If this was The Ringer, you’d be in the loser column, but that’s not how this article works.
The Dukes beat Richmond in a hard-fought game on Thursday, but they were no match for Osunniyi and the Bonnies. Michael Hughes had 15 points and 8 rebounds, but the wheels fell off after the altercation. Duquesne has had a tough year, with three COVID pauses and losing multiple players to transfers, including Sincere Carry. However, if this is the end of Hughes, Marcus Weathers and Tavian Dunn-Martin’s career at Duquesne, congratulations to them for great careers. The trio made major contributions turning Duquesne into a legitimately dangerous team, and Duquesne should keep that forward momentum going into the coming seasons.
Winner: Saint Louis
Jordan Goodwin had 10 points before the U16 media timeout and the Billikens rolled from there, winning 86-72. UMass dared Yuri Collins to score, and he responded with 17 points and a triple nickel. SLU outrebounded UMass 45-22. It was a great performance from the Billikens from whistle to whistle, but SLU now faces a very tough test tomorrow night against St. Bonaventure.
UMass may have lost, but the Minutemen did not play badly. They hung around the entire game, executed well on offense, and Tre Mitchell scored 30 points. However, it was men against boys the whole game. SLU neutered UMass on the boards and exerted its will on UMass the whole time. There’s a lot of talent on this team though, and Mitchell and company are going to be a very dangerous team next week.
Bones Hyland made his triumphant return at his home arena at the A10 Tournament’s neutral site location and immediately got to work, scoring 23 first half points. VCU stayed in the lead basically the whole game, and staved off a late Dayton rally to pull out the 5 point victory and move onto the next round. Hason Ward pitched in 10 points and 3 blocks. VCU got the job done, Hyland showed why he’s one of the best players in the A10 with his 30 point performance, and VCU will take on XX tomorrow.
“Jalen Crutcher never played in a NCAA Tournament game” has to be one of the saddest stories under 10 words in the history of the English language. He’ll go down in history as one of the greatest Flyers of all time, but due to the pandemic he’ll have never gone dancing. Crutcher could have used a bit of help tonight, as Ibi Watson went 2-10 from the field. Jordy Tshimanga contributed a 10 point, 10 rebound double double, but Watson and Tshimanga were the only other Flyers in double digits. It was a frequently confounding season for the Flyers, but at least Dayton fans have one of the best recruiting classes in the country to look forward to next year.
Davidson strolled to victory over an outmatched George Mason squad 99-67. Kellan Grady poured in 32 points and Hyungjung Lee scored 20 points on 8-12 shooting. Lee was particularly impressive in the first half as the Wildcats pulled away. The 6’7 wing is long and can get his shot off against anyone. Luka Brajkovic pitched in 4 three-pointers of his own. Overall it was an easy win for the Wildcats, but they face a much stiffer test tomorrow against Bones Hyland and VCU.
Loser: George Mason
George Mason might not have been the strongest 6 seed in A10 history, but they took care of business in round two, achieving status as the superior George in the A10 before suffering a drubbing at the hands of Davidson tonight. Jordan Miller led the Patriots with 15 points, but George Mason was overwhelmed by the Wildcat offense. Mason has a bright future with Tyler Kolek, however, and it’s exciting that A10 fans get three more years of watching him.