Checking in on the… Atlantic 10Posted by nvr1983 on February 4th, 2009
College Chalktalk is the RTC correspondent for the Atlantic 10 Conference.
By CCT Staff | February 4, 2009
PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
B.J. Raymond (Sr.), Xavier
The versatile guard-forward had a superb week for the A-10 leaders, averaging 22.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in two wins. Raymond posted a double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds in Xavier’s dismantling of Charlotte. In a tight win over UMass, Raymond scored 22 – several of them clutch – and grabbed five boards. For the week, Raymond shot the ball at an incendiary 69.5% clip.
Kahiem Seawright (Sr.), Rhode Island
Seawright anchored the Ram attack, leading Rhode Island to a 2-0 week as they knocked off Temple and La Salle. The forward averaged 21 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.5 steals in the frame. Against Temple, the senior led the way for Rhode Island, netting 17. In the Rams’ overtime win over La Salle, Seawright paced his team once again, scoring 25 points and hauling in eight rebounds. The forward shot 62.5% in the two contests; 15-for-24 from the floor.
HONORABLE MENTION: David Gonzalvez (Jr.), Richmond; Andrew Nicholson (Fr.) St. Bonaventure
(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: January 31, 2009. Xavier 82, Massachusetts 80
The Musketeers survived quite a scare at home as the Minutemen gave Xavier all they could handle. In the end, however, the best team in the A-10 came out on top in a game not decided until the final seconds.
The game was close most of the first half until the Muskies used a 9-0 run, sparked by Derrick Brown, to build a 34-27 lead with just under five minutes to play. Xavier maintained the seven-point spread at the half, 44-37, courtesy of shooting a staggering 68% over the first 20 minutes.
UMass would not go away. By forcing Xavier into 23 turnovers, the Minutemen assumed the lead 65-64 with 8:25 remaining after a David Gibbs deep ball. A see-saw affair from there, UMass had a lead following a Luke Bonner hoop with 2:28 to play. It was B.J. Raymond, though, who put Xavier right back in front with a killer three of his own.
In the waning seconds, the Musketeers hung on to a two point lead as Chris Lowe intentionally missed a free throw for UMass, but Tony Gaffney’s tip-in try rimmed out… and along with it, any hopes of an upset for UMass.
GAME OF THE UPCOMING WEEK: Xavier @ Duquesne. The Dukes are off to their best start in almost 20 years and this week welcome the Top 10-ranked Musketeers to the Palumbo Center. A rowdy crowd should be ready to greet the conference leaders in Pittsburgh and entertained by a fast paced game. The Dukes have come up short in their efforts to snag that “signature” win so far on the season, despite a solid 14-6 mark, while Xavier has not flinched away from home (6-0 in true road games on the year). Most know that Duquesne can score, as the Dukes average 80 points per contest. But will they be able to make stops against a balanced attack like that of Xavier? The answers come Saturday afternoon.
Power Rankings (through games of Feb. 1, 2008) ( ) = Last week’s ranking
Xavier (1): Despite the Saturday scare, Musketeers have won 10 in a row.
Dayton (2): Flyers shot 63.6% (7-11) from beyond the arc in seizing second place from the Hawks on Sunday.
Saint Joseph’s (3): Nivins held to four of 11 shooting from floor in tough loss at Dayton.
Temple (4): After being held down the previous week, Christmas averaged 22 points on the week and snared 13 boards in a win over Richmond.
Duquesne (5): A 2-0 week… and the Dukes forced 31 turnovers in turning back St. Bonaventure on Saturday.
Rhode Island (7): Unlike Richmond, Rhode Island passed the Philly test – posting victories over Temple and La Salle.
La Salle (6): Under-appreciated Yves-Mekongo Mbala scored a career high 26 against GW. Dayton looms.
Saint Louis (9): 88 points in win over Fordham! 28 points higher than SLU’s season average.
UMass (10): Valiant effort with four double-figure scorers falls just shy of upsetting Xavier at Cintas.
Richmond (8): Nearly doubled up on the boards in loss to Temple capped a winless week for the Spiders.
Charlotte (12): Winthrop visit was just what the doctor ordered. Seek second league win this week versus Rhode Island.
St. Bonaventure (11): Losers of four straight. Nicholson continues to shine.
Fordham (14): After earning first league win over SBU, Fordham did the impossible in permitting Saint Louis to light up the scoreboard for 88 points.
George Washington (13): Colonials have lost ten straight and, as only winless team in the league, have sights set on catching Fordham and Charlotte.
Last Week’s Results: WINS: Jan. 31st vs. Winthrop 70-53 LOSSES: Jan. 28th @ Xavier 69-47
This Week’s Schedule: Feb. 5th vs. Rhode Island, Feb. 8th vs. Dayton
SUMMARY: The Niners cold shooting is becoming a little too commonplace, as they shot under 40% for their seventh game in a row against Xavier, including just 17% from three-point range. Charlie Coley led Charlotte with 12 points, and Lamont Mack added 11. For the second time this season, the Niners were outrebounded by 20 or more. Following the Niners 17 point win over a struggling Winthrop team, coach Bobby Lutz may have uttered the college basketball understatement of the year when he said, “When you make shots, it makes everything better.” The Niners did make shots against the Eagles, shooting 49% for the game led by Ian Andersen’s 19 points.
Last Week’s Results: WINS: Jan. 29th vs. Saint Louis 47-46, Jan. 31st vs. Saint Joseph’s 69-58 LOSSES: None
This Week’s Schedule: Feb. 4th @ La Salle, Feb 8th @ Charlotte
SUMMARY: The Flyers recorded their 15th consecutive win at UD Arena in a defensive battle against Saint Louis. Chris Wright led all scorers with 16 points, but it was Marcus Johnson’s alley-oop dunk in the final minute that gave Dayton the win. Charles Little added 14 for the winners. The Flyers pushed that home winning streak to 16 later in the week as they handed Saint Joe’s their first A-10 loss. Wright led the Flyers with 14 points and seven boards. Charles Little and Marcus Johnson each scored 13 to vault Dayton into second place in the conference.
Last Week’s Results: WINS: Jan. 31st vs. St. Bonaventure 64-68 LOSSES: None
This Week’s Schedule: Feb. 4th @ Saint Louis, Feb. 7th vs. Xavier
SUMMARY: “I don’t know how we won the game, but I’m happy we did,” was the quote from coach Ron Everhart following the Dukes triumph over the Bonnies. Everhart had good reason to question how his team came out on top. Duquesne shot just 35% for the game and 20% from deep. The Dukes were also outrebounded 52-27 and down five points with under 4:30 to play. Somehow, the Dukes managed to pull together thanks to Aaron Jackson’s 19 points and are now off to their best start since their 1980-81 campaign.
Last Week’s Results: WINS: Jan. 28th @ St. Bonaventure 67-65 LOSSES: Jan. 31st vs. Saint Louis 88-58
This Week’s Schedule: Feb. 7th @ George Washington
SUMMARY: The Rams stepped up and won their first A-10 game of the year on the road against the Bonnies. Freshman Jio Fontan scored a season-high 25 points and fellow freshman Trey Blue hit a reverse layup with just under a minute to go to break a 65-65 deadlock and lead Fordham to the win. Blue finished with 12 points and Chris Bethel added 15 for the Rams. Unfortunately, the solid play didn’t return to Rose Hill with the Rams as they were rocked by Saint Louis. Jacob Green chipped in with a career-high 16 points for Fordham, but that’s where the good news ended in the lopsided loss. Green and Bethel both left the game due to injury.
Last Week’s Results: WINS: LOSSES: Jan. 28th @ La Salle 76-66
This Week’s Schedule: Feb. 4th @ Saint Joseph’s, Feb. 7th vs. Fordham
SUMMARY: The Colonials were handed their tenth straight defeat at La Salle despite leading late into the second half. Noel Wilmore led GW with 16 points, while Rob Diggs (11) and Travis King (10) also scored in double digits for the Colonials in the loss. GW had a 58-57 lead with 5:57 to play, but couldn’t hold on to earn their first A-10 of the year.
Last Week’s Results: WINS: Jan. 28th vs. George Washington 76-66 LOSSES: Jan. 31st @ Rhode Island 98-88 (OT)
This Week’s Schedule: Feb. 4th vs. Dayton, Feb. 7th @ St. Bonaventure
SUMMARY: The Explorers had two twenty-point scorers in a win over GW, as Yves Mekongo Mbala scored a career-high 26 points and Rodney Green added 20. 22 of Mekongo Mbala’s 26 points came in the first half; the most points scored in a first half by an Explorer since Steve Smith scored 23 in 2004 against Cincinnati. Later in the week, six Explorers reached double figures in a loss at Rhode Island. Led by Green’s 22 points, La Salle rallied from down 11 with 3:03 to play to force overtime, but eventually fell to the Rams in the extra session. The Explorers shot 56% from the field for the game.
Last Week’s Results: WINS: None LOSSES: Jan. 31st @ Xavier 82-80
This Week’s Schedule: Feb. 4th vs. Richmond, Feb. 8th vs. Saint Joseph’s
SUMMARY: UMass entered the game against Xavier as big underdogs but gave the Muskies all they could handle before dropping the heart-breaker by a hoop. Tony Gaffney (9 points, 12 rebounds) had a last second tip-in opportunity rim out in an effort to send the game to overtime. Ricky Harris led the Minutemen with 17 points and four others also scored in double figures. The Minutemen stepped up their defensive effort in this one, forcing Xavier into a season-high 23 turnovers.
Last Week’s Results: WINS: Jan. 28th vs. Temple 67-59, Jan. 31st vs. La Salle 98-88 (OT) LOSSES: None
This Week’s Schedule: Feb. 5th @ Charlotte, Feb. 8th @ Temple
SUMMARY: Kaheim Seawright led the Rams with 17 points and tied the team-high by grabbing five boards, as the Rams stopped the Owls at home. Jimmy Baron was the only other Ram to reach double figures, scoring 13 for the winners. URI received a solid effort from guard Marquis Jones, who added six assists and nine points. The Rams completed their sweep of Philly for the week against La Salle, thanks to another great effort from Seawright, who posted 25 points and eight boards. Two other Rams, Delroy James (22) and Lamonte Ulmer (19) recorded career-high scoring nights while Jimmy Baron scored a season-low six points in the overtime win.
Last Week’s Results: WINS: None LOSSES: Jan. 28th vs. St. Joseph’s 68-58, Jan. 31st @ Temple 74-65
This Week’s Schedule: Feb. 4th @ Massachusetts, Feb. 8th vs. Saint Louis
SUMMARY: David Gonzalvez led the Spiders with 19 points, but it wasn’t enough to stop the streaking Hawks. Kevin Anderson dumped in 13 for Richmond and Kevin Smith added 10. However, the Spiders managed just 4-of-11 shooting from the stripe, including two misses with 44 seconds left that essentially sealed their fate against the Hawks. Next time out, Gonzalvez exploded for a career-high 36 points versus Temple, but the result remained the same. The Owls attempted 48 shots from the line (making 38) compared to just 19 for the Spiders.
Last Week’s Results: WINS: Jan. 28th @ Richmond 68-58 LOSSES: Jan. 31st @ Dayton 69-58
This Week’s Schedule: Feb. 4th vs. George Washington, Feb. 8th @ Massachusetts
SUMMARY: The Hawks moved to 5-0 in conference play as Tasheed Carr poured in 21 points in the win over Richmond. SJU’s seventh win in a row was supported by yet another double-double by Ahmad Nivins. The big man scored 15 points and grabbed 14 boards. On Sunday, the Hawks suffered their first conference loss of the season despite a 12 point, 13 rebound effort from Nivins. Tasheed Carr led the Hawks in scoring again with 14 points, but a tough Flyer defense held SJU to 34% shooting.
Last Week’s Results: WINS: Jan. 31 @ Fordham 88-58 LOSSES: Jan. 29th @ Dayton 47-46
This Week’s Schedule: Feb. 4th vs. Duquesne, Feb. 8th @ Richmond
SUMMARY: A driving layup attempt by Kwamain Mitchell rimmed out in the final seconds and the Billikens fell just short of upsetting the Flyers. Mitchell led the Billikens with 15 points, while Willie Reed helped on the defensive side of the ball, pulling down nine boards. On the road at Rose Hill, Saint Louis exploded on the offensive end, scoring a season-high 88 points on an incredible 63% shooting for the game. Barry Eberhardt led the SLU offense with a career-high 26 points and Reed added 17 for the Bills.
Last Week’s Results: WINS: None LOSSES: Jan. 28th vs. Fordham 67-65, Jan. 31st @ Duquesne 74-68
This Week’s Schedule: Feb. 7th vs. La Salle
SUMMARY: Despite Jonathan Hall and Andrew Nicholson each pouring in 16 points, the Bonnies still fell to the young Fordham Rams. Maurice Thomas added a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds and Chris Matthews added 12 points and a career-high seven assists. The Bonnies allowed the Rams to shoot a season-high 48% for the game. Against the Dukes, Nicholson had a monster day, scoring 29 points and grabbing 12 rebounds, but a season-high 31 turnovers – including four in their final six possessions -kept the Bonnies winless on the week.
Last Week’s Results: WINS: Jan. 31st vs. Richmond 74-65 LOSSES: Jan. 28th @ Rhode Island 67-59
This Week’s Schedule: Feb. 5th @ Xavier, Feb 8th vs. Rhode Island
SUMMARY: Dionte Christmas scored a game-high 27 points. Unfortunately, Ryan Brooks was the only other Owl to reach double figures (12) as the Owls fell to the Rams. Semaj Inge, coming off a career-high 19 point game against Charlotte, was held scoreless in 17 minutes against Rhode Island. Inge bounced right back against the Spiders, however, recording another 19 point effort as Fran Dunphy’s team returned to it’s winning ways. Christmas tallied 17 points and snagged a career-high 13 boards in the win. Juan Fernandez, who became eligible after the first semester, also had the most productive scoring game of his young career with 15 points.
Last Week’s Results: WINS: Jan. 28th vs. Charlotte 69-47, Jan. 31st vs. Massachusetts 82-80 LOSSES: None
This Week’s Schedule: Feb. 5th vs. Temple, Feb. 7th @ Duquesne
SUMMARY: B.J. Raymond recorded his second career double-double – scoring 23 points and pulling down 10 boards – as Xavier cruised to its ninth straight victory. Raymond finished a sparkling 6-of-8 from deep on his way to his second straight game over 20 points. Freshman Kenny Frease added a career-high 17 points off the bench for the winners. Raymond again reached the 20-point mark in a squeaker over UMass, scoring 22 on 8-of-12 shooting. Derrick Brown did significant damage on his own, pouring in a career-high tying 23 to lead the Musketeers past a stubborn Minutemen team. C.J. Anderson also added 19 points for the Musketeers… undefeated in A-10 play.