New Year’s eve gave us a busy day in A10 action. Dayton improved to 2-0 in conference play. Loyola Chicago played their first conference game in this their first year as an A10 member. In all, seven games were on tap for a busy Saturday.
VCU 80 LaSalle 67
Five in a row for the host Rams. Fran Dunphy’s Explorers led by nine late in the first half. VCU went on a run to take a two point lead at intermission. The latter part of the final stanza Mike Rhoades’ group broke it open. LaSalle was forced into a 24% TO rate by the VCU defense. Adrian Baldwin led the way for the Rams with 19 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists.
Duquesne 72 Rhode Island 61
Host Dukes evened their A10 record at 1-1 with a victory over the Rams, who have now dropped five of their last seven. Joe Reece led the way for Duquesne with an 18 point, 5 rebound effort. Jalen Carey paced URI with a 15 point effort. Rams struggled from the floor managing just a 41% eFG percentage. Duquesene shot just 35% from two but clicked from beyond the arc with a 45% (9 of 20) showing.
George Mason 62 Richmond 58
Patriots made it seven of their last eight by defeating the defending A10 Tournament champions. In a somewhat pedestrian paced game of 63 possessions. Host Mason held a slight 98-92 edge in offensive efficiency. Both teams took care of the ball with matching numbers of 10 turnovers for a better than average 16% TO rate. Mason’s Ronald Polite led all scorers with 22 points (9 of 10) from the charity stripe.
George Washington 97 Loyola Chicago 87
Game of firsts. New member Loyola’s initial contest in A10 conference play. Also the first A10 game as a head coach by coaches Chris Caputo of GW and Loyola’s Drew Valentine. Caputo’s Colonials got the better of this one in an uptempo 71 possession affair. Host Loyola enjoyed a 40-26 advantage on points in the paint. The Ramblers however couldn’t contain GW’s high powered offense (137 efficiency) paced by James Bishop with 40 points (5 of 8 from three).
Saint Louis 83 Saint Joseph’s 78
Yuri Collins of Saint Louis scored 3 points. The Billiken point guard earned Kenpom.com MVP honors by virtue of his 15 assist, 1 turnover showing for 37 minutes of playing time. Both teams showed above average efficiencies, Saint Louis 109 and Saint Joseph’s 103, in this uptempo 76 possession game. Gibson Jimmerson of Saint Louis paced the scorers with 22 points. Erik Reynolds II led Saint Joseph’s, who had five in double figures scoring, with 18. Game had four ties and two lead changes.
St. Bonaventure 83 UMass 64
Bonnies snapped a four game skid and found their offensive touch. They posted a 122 offensive efficiency with just 11 turnovers (16% TO Rate). Daryl Banks, struggling of late, led the way with a game high 31 points (6 of 12 from downtown). Yann Farell added 22. Noah Frenandes, despite being limited by foul trouble, led UMass with 13 points. Bonnies were 13 of 31 (42%) from three while the Minutemen checked in at 5 of 20 for 25%.
Dayton 69 Davidson 55
Flyers made it five in a row with a road win at Davidson. Wildcats committed only 3 turnovers for an outstanding 5% TO rate. Dayton defense effectively locked down Davidson holding them to a 90 efficiency and 4 of 21 (19%) from long distance. On their offensive end Dayton had just 7 turnovers for an excellent 12% TO rate. Flyer efficiency was an excellent 113 and DaRon Holmes once again led the way with a 32 point, 10 rebound showing.