Wednesday, March 8, 2023

A-10 Tournament Day 2: Davidson, George Mason, St. Joe's, & La Salle Move On


The scene during the Davidson-St. Bonaventure game that opened play on Wednesday afternoon. Photo by Jason Schott.

On Wednesday afternoon, the second day of the Atlantic 10 men's basketball tournament, at Barclays Center, Davidson had a solid win over St. Bonaventure, 65-54, while George Mason came back late to beat Richmond, 62-57. The night session saw a pair of upsets, as Saint Joseph's beat George Washington, 87-76, and La Salle beat Duquesne, 81-70.

Davidson 65, St. Bonaventure 54: Davidson, the No. 8 seed, was led by Desmond Watson, who had 17 point son a superb 6-8 from the field, with one three-pointer, six rebounds, and an assist; and Foster Loyer, who had 14 points (5-14 FG, 2-7 on threes), eight rebounds, and six assists.

Davidson led 31-26 at halftime, and then opened up a 12-point lead, 47-35, at the 13:41 mark of the second half on a three-pointer from Sam Mennenga. 

The Bonnies would not go away, as they pulled within five, at 51-46 when Yann Ferell hit a three at the 8:54 mark. 

The Wildcats responded with a 12-4 run capped by a basket from Grant Huffman with 2:04 left that basically sealed the game.  

Davidson Head Coach Matt McKillop said in his postgame press conference, "Really hard-fought battle against a team similar to ours, in that many of these guys are playing at the Barclays Center for the first time, playing in this type of environment. And I don't think anyone on the court was shaken or rattled by this experience. So I think the whole team is very ready to play. Really proud of the fight for our players. We played really well at home against St. Bonaventure earlier in the year, three weeks ago. And we had an understanding that they were going to be ready to fight, and it was going to be 40 minutes. We stuck with it, and every four-minute time-out, we tried to remind our guys we had to win those next four minutes by one point."

Watson said, "I would say we were locked in from the jump. Everything, everybody stepped up in the places they had to step up in, and that's what happened."

St. Bonaventure was led by Chad Venning, who had 16 points on 8-12 from the field, with six rebounds; and Kyrell Luc and Moses Flowers, who each had 10 points. Luc shot 4-9 from the field, and he also had six rebounds and five assists. Flowers shot 4-10, including 2-6 from behind the arc, along with four rebounds.

St. Bonaventure Head Coach Mark Schmidt said in his postgame press conference, "Give all the credit to Davidson. They played well defensively. They hit enough shots. I thought defensively at times, we played okay. But we didn't get to the foul line. We fouled them too many times. Any time we needed to make a big shot or get a big rebound, we couldn't do that. We fought, but they were just the better team today."

George Mason guard Ronald Polite III brings the ball into Richmond's end. Photo by Jason Schott.

George Mason 62, Richmond 57: 12th-seeded Richmond, who opened the tournament with a dominant 71-38 win over UMass on Tuesday, kept their strong play going into this one, as they led throughout, and appeared to be on the verge of upsetting No. 5 George Mason.

The Spiders led 55-51 with 2:08 left when Matt Grace hit a jumper, and George Mason responded with stifling defense to finish the game off with an 11-2 run.

Ronald Polite III had seven of their 11 points in that game-clinching stretch, part of a 16-point effort. The guard shot 5-15 from the field and was 2-5 on three-pointers, with three rebounds and three assists. 

Josh Oduro also had 16 points on 5-7 from the field, with 10 rebounds (including four offensive) and two assists.

Richmond was led by Tyler Burton, who had 23 points, as he shot 6-16 from the field, 0-3 from behind the arc, and a perfect 11-11 from the free-throw line; six rebounds, and an assist. Neal Quinn had 17 points on a superb 8-10 from the field, with two rebounds and two assists.

George Mason moves on to play No. 4 Saint Louis on Thursday at 2:00 P.M.

Saint Joseph's 87, George Washington 76: The 10th seed in the tournament, Saint Joseph's, led this one, 42-41, at halftime, and then, after No. 7 GW had taken the lead in the second half, went on a 10-2 run late to open up a 75-69 lead on a Cameron Brown three-pointer with 1:55 left.

That was part of an elongated 22-9 run to seal the win, and Saint Joseph's was led by Erik Reynolds II, who had 34 points (10-22 from the field, 2-7 on three-pointers), six rebounds, and four assists. Cameron Brown had 18 points on 7-11 from the field, including 2-4 from behind the arc, with seven rebounds and one assist.

George Washington was led by James Bishop IV, who had 25 points (8-20 FG, 2-10 on threes), with eight assists and five rebounds. Ricky Lindo, Jr., had a double-double with 20 points (6-11 FG, 1-6 on threes), and 10 rebounds.

La Salle 81, Duquesne 70: La Salle,the 11th seed in the tournament, won this one backed by big efforts from Jhamir Brickus, who had 23 points, and Khalil Brantley, who had 22.

Brickus went 6-11 from the field, with four assists and three rebounds. Brantley shot 7-14 overall, including 2-5 on threes, with six rebounds and six assists.

Hassan Drame nearly had a double-double, as he had eight points (2-5 FG, 1-1 on threes) and nine rebounds. His twin brother, Fousseyni Drame, also had eight points, on 4-7 from the field, and a rebound.  

Duquesne was led by Jimmy Clark III, who had 27 points on 9-14 shooting, including 5-8 on three-pointers, with six rebounds and two assists.


No. 1 VCU vs. No. 8 Davidson at 11:30 A.M.

No. 4 Saint Louis vs. No. 5 George Mason at 2:00 PM

No. 2 Dayton vs. No. 10 Saint Joseph's - 5:00 P.M.

No. 3 Fordham vs. No. 11 La Salle - 7:30 P.M.

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