Checking in on the… Atlantic 10Posted by rtmsf on January 28th, 2009
College Chalktalk is the RTC correspondent for the Atlantic 10 Conference.
This Week in the A-10
By CCT Staff | January 26, 2009
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Ahmad Nivins (Sr.), Saint Joseph’s
Nivins once again put the Hawks on his back and carried them to two victories on the week. In the two contests, Nivins averaged a spectacular 27 points and 16.5 rebounds per outing. Against Duquesne, he set a career-high scoring mark, netting 34 points and pulling down 16 rebounds. The senior forward also had a standout performance against Big 5 rival Penn, scoring 20 points and snagging 17 rebounds. The two strong efforts by Nivins were his tenth and eleventh double-doubles on the season.
HONORABLE MENTION: Rodney Green (Sr.), La Salle; Justin Harper (So.), Richmond
(Note: College Chalktalk’s week runs from the previous Monday through Sunday, given the release of ‘This Week in the A-10′ each Monday morning.)
GAME OF THE WEEK: Jan. 21, 2009. Saint Joseph’s 99, Duquesne 98 (OT)
In a game that featured double-digit leads for both teams, the outcome was decided by just one point and on the final play of the game. By the way, that final play occurred in overtime.
Duquesne broke out of the gates early and opened up a 16-5 lead. The Hawks came roaring back and built a 53-37 margin going into the half. The Dukes rallied once again with a 24-4 run to retake the lead, before Ahmad Nivins scored six straight points in the final 45 seconds to tie the game and send it into an extra frame.
In the overtime, Jason Duty hit a three-pointer with eight seconds to play to give the Dukes a one-point lead. The Hawks had one last chance. Tasheed Carr, playing well of late, had his shot blocked and it fell into teammate Garrett Williamson’s hands. Williamson’s game winning attempt misfired, but Idris Hilliard tipped in the rebound as time expired giving the Hawks a huge early conference win.
GAME OF THE UPCOMING WEEK: Saint Joseph’s @ Dayton
A sweep of sorts for the Hawks, as Martelli’s squad boasts the Player of the Week, played in last week’s Game of the Week and will be a participant in the most highly anticipated match-up this week. The second and third place teams in the conference will square off in what should be a great matinee contest on Super Bowl Sunday. The game will be played at UD Arena, where the Flyers are undefeated at 12-0. Saint Joe’s has played well thus far on the road; 5-3 away from the Palestra. One thing Dayton hasn’t encountered so far is a player like Ahmad Nivins. This should be the Flyers biggest challenge to date at home, and Chris Wright – along with the Dayton perimeter corps – must step up for the home team to continue their winning ways.
RPI BOOST OF THE WEEK: La Salle; RPI No. 104 (up 30 spots from 134 last week): Last week, the Explorers’ RPI was aided by losing to then RPI No. 5 Xavier. This week, La Salle took care of business itself, rising as a result of two wins over UMass and Penn. The Explorers have jumped 50 spots in just two weeks time.
RPI FALL OF THE WEEK: UMass; RPI No. 167 (down 28 spots from 139 last week): The Minutemen continue to search for an identity. Losses to La Salle and Charlotte (RPI No. 199) last week send the Minutemen (7-11) down the board.
Power Rankings (through games of Jan. 25th, 2009)
Xavier (1): Prior to Saturday’s game @ LSU, freshman Brad Redford had been shooting the lights out off the bench in his previous 5 games (10 points per game).
Dayton (2): Rolling after UMass loss, Dayton (11-0 at home) gets a visit from Saint Joseph’s next Sunday in what appears to be a potential conference semifinal matchup.
Saint Joseph’s (3): Who says they can’t win games in the eighties? The Hawks have averaged 82.7 points per contest in league play en route to their 4-0 start.
Temple (6): Grinch hits Philly? After averaging 28 points per game in his first two league games, Dionte Christmas has averaged 10 points in his last two outings
Duquesne (4): Freshman Bolding is averaging 14 points a game in league play, a reason why the Dukes are the surprise team of the league thus far.
La Salle (10): Stepping Up: Rodney Green is averaging 17 points during league contests and shooting over 50% from the floor. 2-0 week for the Explorers.
Rhode Island (5): Loss against Richmond was tough; loss at GW would have been even tougher; Lamonte Ulmer’s season high 18 points gave Rhody their own bailout relief in D.C.
Richmond (12): Conference season and here come the Spiders again. At 3-1, will try to keep their winning streak going against tough competition in Saint Joseph’s and Temple.
Saint Louis (7): Senior guard Kevin Lisch’s 12.9 points per game are the lowest such total since his freshman year (11.1)…34% from the field is on pace to be his worst mark in career.
UMass (8): The dribble-drive doesn’t work if you can’t make shots. 0-7 on the road and going to Xavier Saturday…At least they have the week to prepare for a major test in Ohio.
Saint Bonaventure (9): Losses to Xavier, Dayton, Saint Joseph’s behind them, Bonnies now turn to a more “favorable” part of the schedule; starts Wednesday at home against Fordham.
Charlotte (11): Charlotte showed some fight in home win over UMass, but losers of 6 of their last 7, ‘Niners are shooting just 36% in league play and just 27% from three, good for worst in the conference in each category.
George Washington (13): Took a nail-biter Wednesday and double overtime Sunday to keep GW winless in the league. With efforts like that, the Colonials shouldn’t be winless too much longer.
Fordham (14): Haven’t won a game in a month and three days. Will look to avenge their previous loss to St. Bonaventure Wednesday night in Olean in a winnable game for this young team.
Last Week’s Results: WINS: Jan. 21st vs. Massachusetts 69-64 (OT) LOSSES: Jan. 24th @ Temple 80-53
This Week’s Schedule: Jan. 28th @ Xavier, Jan. 31st vs. Winthrop
SUMMARY: Charlotte trailed by six points with 2:06 to play, but rallied to force overtime and defeat the Minutemen in the extra frame. Lamont Mack led the Niners attack by pouring in a season-high 23 points (for a third straight game) and snaring 12 boards for his second double-double of the year. Interestingly, the Niners extended their streak of hitting at least one three-pointer to 600 consecutive games. The streak began in 1989. Against the Owls, things weren’t as fun for the Niners, as they shot under 30% for the game for the second time on the season. Phil Jones led the Niners with 14 points and six rebounds in the loss.
Last Week’s Results: WINS: Jan. 22nd @ George Washington 63-61, Jan. 25th vs. St. Bonaventure 80-68 LOSSES: None
This Week’s Schedule: Jan. 29th vs. Saint Louis, Feb. 1st vs. Saint Joseph’s
SUMMARY: The Flyers proved once again that they thrive in down to the wire affairs. Dayton improved to 7-0 in games decided by five points or less in a 63-61 win over GW. Marcus Johnson was the offensive star for the Flyers, scoring 17 points, six of which came in the crucial final two minutes. Rob Lowery had a strong all-around performance for Dayton, scoring eight points, grabbing eight boards and dishing out six assists off the bench. Against the Bonnies, Chris Wright led four Flyers in double figures with 19 points. Wright also led the Flyers in rebounds, pulling down nine.
Last Week’s Results: WINS: Jan. 25th @ Fordham 89-68 LOSSES: Jan. 21st @ Saint Joseph’s 99-98 (OT)
This Week’s Schedule: Jan. 31st vs. St. Bonaventure
SUMMARY: Six different Dukes scored in double figures – headlined by the 20 point efforts of Damian Saunders and Jason Duty – but Duquesne was done in by a last second tip in by Idris Hilliard in their loss to Saint Joe’s. The Dukes rallied back from a 16 point halftime deficit only to have their hearts broken in overtime. Duquesne’s leading scorer, Aaron Jackson, was held to just 10 points on 3-of-13 shooting. The Dukes bounced back strong against Fordham, led by Bill Clark’s 22 points. Melquan Bolding netted 19 for the Dukes and three others also scored in double figures for the winners.
Last Week’s Results: WINS: None LOSSES: Jan. 25 vs. Duquesne 89-68
This Week’s Schedule: Jan. 28th @ St. Bonaventure, Jan. 31st vs. Saint Louis
SUMMARY: The Rams had only one game on the docket this week, and it ended up being their eighth straight defeat. Fordham got a solid effort from Mike Moore, who led the way with 18 points, but it wasn’t enough to trip up a strong Duquesne team. Freshman Jio Fontan scored 16 points but fellow Ram freshman Alberto Estwick struggled, generating just two points on 1-of-10 shooting. Chris Bethel had the best all-around game for the Rams, tallying 16 and grabbing 11 boards.
Last Week’s Results: WINS: None LOSSES: Jan. 22nd vs. Dayton 63-61 Jan. 25th vs. Rhode Island 94-89 (2OT)
This Week’s Schedule: Jan. 28th @ La Salle
SUMMARY: The Colonials had a tough week, losing two contests by a combined seven points. Against Dayton, Wynton Witherspoon led GW with 19 points and seven rebounds. The Colonials had the Flyers on the ropes… and a final attempt to tie the game rimmed out as time expired. Against URI, five players reached double figures for the Colonials, but it still wasn’t enough to get GW past the Rams in double-overtime. Rob Diggs and Noel Wilmore each scored 20 points for GW, while Damian Hollis added 18 in the loss.
Last Week’s Results: WINS: Jan. 21st vs. Penn 79-70, Jan. 24th @ Massachusetts 62-54 LOSSES: None
This Week’s Schedule: Jan. 28th vs. George Washington, Jan. 31st @ Rhode Island
SUMMARY: It was the Rodney Green show this week for the Explorers, as La Salle earned two wins in as many contests. Against Big 5 rival Penn, Green scored a career-high 26 points and four other Explorers reached double-figures as La Salle knocked off the Quakers. Half of Green’s points came from the line, as he cashed in on 13-of-14 attempts. In their return to A-10 play, Green once again paced the Explorer offense, scoring 22 points in the win over UMass. Yves Mekongo-Mbala was just a point short of a double-double, delivering nine points and 10 rebounds for the winners.
Last Week’s Results: WINS: None LOSSES: Jan. 21st @ Charlotte 69-64 (OT), Jan. 24th vs. La Salle 62-54
This Week’s Schedule: Jan. 31st vs. Xavier
SUMMARY: The Minutemen couldn’t hold on to a late lead and let a road win slip through their hands in Charlotte. Luke Bonner had a big night for UMass, tying his career-high of 15 points and setting a new career-high by grabbing 11 boards. Ricky Harris led UMass with 19 points. Against La Salle, the Minutemen dropped their first A-10 game at home despite an outstanding effort from Tony Gaffney. Gaffney recorded his seventh double-double of the season by scoring 19 and grabbing 11 boards. Cold shooting did in the Minutemen, however, as they shot just 14% ( 3-21) from deep for the game.
Last Week’s Results: WINS: Jan. 25th @ George Washington 94-89 (2OT) LOSSES: Jan. 21st @ Richmond 78-75
This Week’s Schedule: Jan. 28th vs. Temple, Jan. 31st vs. La Salle
SUMMARY: Rhody was on the good and bad side of close games this week. Against Richmond, URI lost by three despite a team-high 18 points and eight rebounds from Kahiem Seawright. Rhody sharpshooter Jimmy Baron wasn’t so sharp in the former Confederate capital, managing to sink just 3-of-12 from the floor for a total of just nine points. Baron bounced back against GW, tying a team-high by scoring 18 points along with Lamonte Ulmer in URI’s victory over the Colonials. Kahiem Seawright registered a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Last Week’s Results: WINS: Jan. 21st vs. Rhode Island 78-75, Jan. 25th @ Saint Louis 70-62 LOSSES: None
This Week’s Schedule: Jan. 28th vs. Saint Joseph’s, Jan. 31st @ Temple
SUMMARY: An emerging Justin Harper enjoyed a career night, scoring 28 points on 10-of-15 shooting and pulling down nine rebounds as the Spiders knocked off the Rams. Kevin Anderson and David Gonzalves each added 15 for the winners, while freshman Francis-Cedric Martel nailed the game-winner with 15 seconds left. The game was a back-and-forth affair, with 11 ties and 14 lead changes. Next, the Spiders then hit the road and earned a solid win in Missouri against Saint Louis. Harper again was the Spiders offensive catalyst, scoring a team-high 19 points and snaring eight boards. Richmond handed the Billikens just their second loss at their new home floor, Chaifetz Arena.
Last Week’s Results: WINS: Jan. 21st vs. Duquesne 99-98 (OT), Jan. 24th vs. Penn 80-68 LOSSES: None
This Week’s Schedule: Jan. 28th @ Richmond, Feb. 1st @ Dayton
SUMMARY: The Hawks and Dukes squared off in a thriller – and an Idris Hilliard tip in off a missed shot at the buzzer was the difference as the Hawks earned the one-point overtime win. Ahmad Nivins once again showed why he is an All-Conference player, scoring a career-high 34 points and pulling down 16 rebounds. Hilliard netted 20 points in the game for the Hawks, including the dramatic tip-in. Against Penn, Nivins was once again a beast, dumping in 20 points and ripping down 17 rebounds in the Hawks win, their sixth straight overall. Darrin Govens helped the Hawks by matching Nivins’ 20 point effort with 20 points of his own.
Last Week’s Results: WINS: None LOSSES: Jan. 22nd @ Temple 64-40, Jan. 25th vs. Richmond 70-62
This Week’s Schedule: Jan. 29th @ Dayton, Jan. 31st @ Fordham
SUMMARY: The Billikens fell behind early in Philly and were never able to challenge Temple. Tommie Liddell (12 points) was the only Billiken to reach double figures. Kevin Lisch had a game to forget, going scoreless on 0-of-10 shooting from the floor. Even though Lisch bounced back nicely as the Bills returned home to Chaifetz arena, his 18 points weren’t enough to prevent Saint Louis from suffering its first conference loss at home. Tommie Liddell added 13 points in the losing effort. The Billikens fell to 2-3 in A-10 play.
Last Week’s Results: WINS: None LOSSES: Jan. 21st vs. Xavier 84-64, Jan. 25th vs. Dayton 80-68
This Week’s Schedule: Jan. 28th vs. Fordham, Jan. 31st @ Duquesne
SUMMARY: Andrew Nicholson led the Bonnies with 13 points, but was once again limited because of foul trouble as St. Bonaventure fell to Xavier. Maurice Thomas recorded another strong performance, registering a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. The Bonnies previously perfect road record fell against Dayton. In the loss, Chris Matthews had a monster game for the Bonnies scoring 28 and grabbing eight rebounds. Jonathan Hall was the only other Bona player to score in double-figures with 12 points.
Last Week’s Results: WINS: Jan. 22nd vs. Saint Louis 65-40, Jan. 24th vs. Charlotte 80-53 LOSSES: None
This Week’s Schedule: Jan. 28th @ Rhode Island, Jan. 31st vs. Richmond
SUMMARY: The Owls were simply dominating this week on their home floor, winning their two conference games by a combined 52 points. Against Saint Louis, Lavoy Allen led the balanced Owl attack scoring 16 points by hitting his first eight shots. Big man Craig Williams added 11, including three from beyond the arc. Dionte Christmas left the game in the second half after he received a cut above his left eye which required seven stitches. Christmas returned to action against Charlotte, where he scored 12 points for the Owls in the win. Semaj Inge led the Temple attack by tying his career-high of 19 points. Allen again chipped in with a 16 point night and the Owls moved to 3-1 in the conference. Temple did receive some bad news last week off the court, as redshirt freshman Ramone Moore was declared ineligible from the remainder of the season.
Last Week’s Results: WINS: Jan. 21st vs. St. Bonaventure 84-64, Jan. 24th @ Lousiana State 80-70 LOSSES: None
This Week’s Schedule: Jan. 28th vs. Charlotte, Jan. 31st vs. Massachusetts
SUMMARY: C.J. Anderson led the Musketeers with 15 points and Xavier earned an easy win on the road against the Bonnies. Freshman three-point specialist Brad Redford provided a solid contribution, connecting for 14 points on 4-of-8 shooting from deep, including a couple of early threes which broke the spirit of the Bonnies. The Muskies shot an impressive 54% for the game. Xavier represented the A-10 well down in the Bayou, with Derrick Brown and the Musketeers defeating the Tigers of the SEC. Brown scored 22 and B.J. Raymond added 21 for Xavier, which dominated the Tigers on the glass, 40-27. The loss was the first at home for LSU, previously 14-0 at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
This article is the exclusive property of College Chalktalk and may not be reproduced or re-transmitted without express written permission.