Thursday, March 9, 2023

A-10 Tournament Day 3: VCU, Saint Louis, Dayton, Fordham Roll To The Semis


VCU being introduced on Thursday morning before they took on Davidson. Photo by Jason Schott.

It was the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 men's basketball tournament on Thursday at Barclays Center, and the top seed, VCU, rolled to a 71-53 win over Davidson, while Saint Louis cruised to an 82-54 win over George Mason in the afternoon session.

In nighttime action, Dayton beat Saint Joseph's, 60-54, while Fordham knocked off La Salle, 69-61.

This means the top four seeds in the tournament on Saturday afternoon, with VCU taking on Saint Louis at 1:00 P.M., followed by Dayton and Fordham around 3:30.

VCU's defense took over in the second half, as shown here, when a Davidson player was forced to take a difficult three-point attempt. Photo by Jason Schott.

VCU 71, Davidson 53: No. 1 VCU led throughout this, but No. 8 Davidson kept it close into the second half. It was an eight-point game, 47-39 VCU, at the 14:13 mark when VCU's defense took over.

The Rams scored the next seven points to make it 54-39, and didn't allow a point until Davidson got a free throw from Sam Mennenga at the 8:16 mark, ending a five-minute, 57-second scoreless stretch.

VCU eventually put it away when Jamir Watkins hit a three-pointer with 4:23 left to make it 63-46, and give them an elongated 16-7 run.

VCU shot a superb 57.4 percent from the field (27-47) in this one, while holding Davidson to just 37.0 percent, or 20-54. 

Watkins was one of three to lead VCU with 11 points, as he shot 4-5 from the field, including 3-4 from behind the arc, with six rebounds, off the bench. Adrian Baldwin, Jr. also had 11 points (4-7 FG, 1-3 on threes), with six assists and a rebound, and David Shriver rounded out the trio with 11 points, as he shot 4-7 overall and 3-6 from behind the arc, with two rebounds and an assist. 

Davidson was led by Grant Huffman, who had 10 points on 3-5 shooting, including 1-2 on three-pointers, with five assists and three rebounds. David Skogman also had 10 points (4-8 FG, 1-2 threes), with three rebounds and an assist.

Saint Louis 82, George Mason 54: In what would appear to be a tight one going in since Saint Louis entered this tournament as the fourth season, while George Mason was the fifth seed, it certainly didn't turn out that way.

Saint Louis took this game over completely when they closed the first half on a 19-5 run after the game was tied at 25 at the 6:50 mark. 

The Billikens kept it going into the second half when they opened up a 25-point edge, at 63-38, on a Gibson Jimerson jumper with 11:10 left.

Saint Louis dominated on the defensive end, as they took over in the second half. Photo by Jason Schott.

Jimerson led Saint Louis with 21 points on 8-13 from the field, including 2-5 from behind the arc, with four assists and three rebounds. Javon Pickett had 13 points (5-6 FG, 1-1 on threes), with two assists and a rebound.

Saint Louis shot 55.9 percent from the field (33-59), while holding George Mason to just 36.5%, or 19-52, shooting.

Dayton 60, Saint Joseph's 54: Second-seeded Dayton led No. 10 Saint Joseph's throughout the game by anywhere between seven and 12 points until it got dicey in the final minutes.

Rasheer Fleming made a layup that brought St. Joe's within four, at 53-49, with 2:08 left. Dayton responded with a DaRon Holmes II dunk, followed by a jumper from Koby Brea with 1:10 left. 

Erik Reynolds II responded with a three-pointer and a layup with 39 seconds left that made it a one-possession game, 57-54. 

St. Joe's had a chance when Lynn Greer III got a steal with 19 seconds left, but Rasheer Fleming turned it back over, which sent Dayton to the free throw line. Mustapha Amzil made a pair to seal it with 11 seconds left.

Dayton was led by Daron Holmes II, who had 17 points on 5-10 from the field, with nine rebounds, two assists, two steals, and four blocks. Toumani Camara also had 17 points (5-11 FG, 3-4 on three pointers) and 18 rebounds, including seven on the offensive end, with three assists and four steals.

Saint Joseph's was led by Reynolds II, who had 19 points on 7-19 from the field and 5-15 on three-pointers, with three assists and a rebound. He was their only player to put up double-digit points, as Lynn Greer III and Christian Winborne had nine points apiece.

Fordham 69, La Salle 61: Fordham, the third seed in the tournament, opened up an early lead on 11th-seeded La Salle, 27-18, at the 6:27 mark in the first half. They closed the frame on a dunk from Khalid Moore that gave them a 34-23 lead at the break.

Stunningly, La Salle opened the second half with an 11-2 run capped by a Khalil Brantley three-pointer at the 16:49 mark that made it 36-34 Fordham. 

The Rams responded with a 9-0 run and they held La Salle scoreless for six minutes and 45 seconds until Daeshon Shepherd made a pair of free throws at the 10:04 mark.

LaSalle pulled within four points a couple of times down the stretch, and Darius Quisenberry sealed it when he made a three-pointer with 45 seconds left that made it 64-57 Fordham.

Quisenberry led Fordham with 22 points on 10-19 from the field, including 1-7 on three-pointers; six rebounds, and three assists. Khalid Moore had 20 points (6-14 FG, 2-5 three-pointers) and 11 rebounds to give him a double-double. Will Richardson chipped in 10 points on 4-7 shooting and 2-4 from behind the arc.

La Salle was led by Brantley, who had 18 points on 6-15 shooting, including 2-3 on three-pointers, with seven assists and five rebounds.


No. 1 VCU vs. No.  4 Saint Louis at 1:00 P.M.

No. 2 Dayton vs. No. 3 Fordham around 3:30 P.M.

NOTE: There are no games on Friday

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