#1 Rhode Island (24-6) vs #8 VCU (18-15)-
In a heavyweight A10 battle that went down to the last minute, Rhode Island led by sophomore point guard Jeff Dowtin and senior guard Jared Terrell, knocked off conference power Virginia Commonwealth 76-67 despite a monster 23 points, 15 rebound double double from Rams senior forward Justin Tillman. Dowtin posted a team high 18 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assist while Terrell added 16 points.
It was a back an forth duel for much of the game that saw the score tied at 58 at the 6:38 mark, and that's when arguably the deepest back court in all of college basketball went to work. Dowtin got things started with a 5-0 solo run to spark Rhode Island, next Stanford Robinson's nailed a clutch three pointer to extend Rhode Islands lead to seven, 66-59 with 2:34 remaining. VCU behind Tillman and sophomore De'Riante Jenkins tried to mount a comeback attempt for the Rams, however clutch free throw shooting from Terrell and freshman guard Fatts Russell helped Rhode Island close the game out on a 18-9 run.
"Hard fought game." said Rhode Island head coach Dan Hurley. " We knew it was going to be a tough game, quarterfinal game. You're not really expecting to see VCU in a quarterfinal game in the A10 tournament, but that was your typical postseason conference game, whether it's an NCAA Tournament or a conference tournament."
Rhode Island had the edge on VCU in points off turnovers (13-8), Fast Break points (16-14) and bench scoring (15-12).
Rams will face the winner of George Mason and St Joseph in the semifinals Saturday at 1 p.m.
#4 Saint Joseph (16-15) vs #5 George Mason (16-17) -
Sometimes in basketball, it comes down to shot making to decide a game and nothing could sum up the quarterfinal game between Saint Joseph and George Mason more. Saint Joseph led by sophomore guard Nick Robinson's 14 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assist and freshman forward Taylor Funk's 12 points and 10 rebounds defeated George Mason 68-49 to advance to the Atlantic 10 semifinals where top seed Rhode Island awaits. George Mason was led by junior guard Jaire Grayers 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Ice cold shooting defined the first half as both teams struggled to find a rhythm offensively. Saint Josephs senior Nick Robinson led the way with 9 points and 4 rebounds on 3-5 shooting, yet, the rest of the Hawks shot 6-24 from the field. The Patriots although better still couldn't get shots to fall either, shooting 9-27 from the field as Saint Joes led 26-25 at the half.
Second half saw the Hawks go on a 12-6 run to start, taking a 38-31 lead at the 15:11 mark and wouldn't be threatened again. St joes defense was stifling, holding George Mason to 26 percent shooting from the field in the second half and 5 percent shooting from deep while the Hawks got hot, shooting 50 percent from the field and 60 percent from deep. Biggest key was the defense on Patriots leading scorer, junior Otis Livingston II who came in averaging 17.6 points a game. The Hawks sent everyone at him and frustrated him to a 3-13 shooting night, finishing with 8 points and 1 assist.
" We were just all over the place ,' said Saint Joseph head coach Phil Martelli. " Six turnovers in the first haldf is not strong basketball. They had nine baskets in the first half. Seven of them were drives. And we were concentrating on trying to keep the ball-the floor as crowded as possible. the zone, again, the coaches deserve credit, Jeff Arnold's scouting report. But those guys stay on me about- I like to establish a man to man presence and then play zone on makes and misses. the second half we went exclusively zone, and they didn't make any shots. We can play better. We'll play a lot better tomorrow."
St Joseph won the rebounding battle 42-38 and bench outscored Mason's 16-7.
#2 St Bonaventure (25-6) vs #7 Richmond (12-20) -
It was a record breaking night as St Bonaventure led by senior guard Matt Mobleys Atlantic 10 Championship Tournament single game record of nine three pointers, defeated Richmond 83-77. Mobley finished with a game high 29 points (10-14 FG/9-13 3FG), 3 rebounds and 3 assist. Richmond was led by an as almost equally impressive Khwan Fore, who finished with 25 points (7-11 FG/ 10-14 FT), 6 rebounds and 4 assist.
Richmond came out playing inspired basketball and it put the second seed St Bonaventure on their heels early. Redshirt freshman center Grant Golden got things started with his inside play, and then freshman point guard Jacob Gilyard went to work with back to back three pointers to give the Spiders a 19-14 lad at the 7:55 mark. The Bonnies responded, thanks to 12 first half points from Courtney Stockard and 8 points from senior guard Matt Mobley to tie the game at 32 at the half. Star point guard and leading scorer Jaylen Adams was held scoreless in the first half, so consider it a win to for the Bonnies to be tied at the half.
Second half, saw Matt Mobley take fire immediately. Mobley made three straight three pointer to start the half, putting the Bonnies up 41-34. The onslaught continued, now with Stockard joining the action, the Bonnies put together a 21-5 run to blow the game wide open with a 53-37 lead at the 14:49 mark. The Spiders would claw its way back into game behind Gilyard and the deadly scoring of Fore to make it a two point game late, however, Jaylen Adams despite his struggles from the field, knocked down clutch free throws to put the Bonnies up for good.
Courtney Stockard posted 19 points, 5 assist and 4 rebounds while forward Ladarien Griffin added 17 points and 11 rebounds to help pace St Bonaventure. Freshman Jacob Gilyard played beyond his experience, posting 18 points on 5-7 shooting while sophomore De'Mont Buckingham added 12 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assist in a losing effort. St Bonaventure scored 22 points off Richmond's 15 turnovers while being efficient shooting from the field. The Bonnies shot 58 percent from the field and 52 percent from deep.
The Bonnies will face the winner of St Louis and Davidson in the semifinals Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
#3 Davidson (19-11) vs #6 Saint Louis (17-16) -
Senior forward Peyton Aldridge scored a game high 35 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assist and freshman guard Kellan Grady added 19 to help Davidson cruise to a 78-60 quarterfinal win . The Wildcats jumpd out to a 21-10 lead led by an unconscious Aldridge and would never be threatened.
The Wildcats shot 54 percent from the field and 47 percent from three point territory. Davidson also dished out 18 assist and only turned the ball over five times in a game. Davidson will next take on St Bonaventure tomorrow at 3:30 p.m.