Three Thoughts From the Atlantic 10 Tournament Evening Session

Posted by CNguon on March 15th, 2013

Joe Dzuback is the RTC correspondent for the Atlantic 10. He’s covering the Atlantic 10 tournament in Brooklyn this week. You can also find his musings online at Villanova by the Numbers or on Twitter @vtbnblog.

Fans at the A-10 Tournament evening session were treated to two hard-fought contests where the winning points were scored with less than five seconds remaining. Saint Joseph’s ended Xavier’s Atlantic 10 run, 58-57, in a game that came down to a full court inbounds pass with 1.4 seconds remaining that ricocheted off of Xavier’s backboard. Isaiah Philmore, trailing the play, found the ball in his hands, but despite a good angle could not convert the shot. He collapsed on the court as time expired. In the other game, Massachusetts ended George Washington’s season with a 77-72 decision that was settled at the free throw line with five seconds left on the clock.

Chris Mack's crew A-10 season ended with a heartbreaking loss Thursday evening.

Chris Mack and his Xavier squad ended its A-10 season ended with a heartbreaking loss Thursday evening.

Three Thoughts on Thursday Evening’s Session:

  1. I Left a Ticket for the Pope: Saint Joseph’s Phil Martelli is always good for a quote or two or three. Xavier could not counter an extremely physical Saint Joseph’s frontcourt as Mack rotated Isaiah Philmore, Jalen Robinson, Brad Redford and Travis Taylor in an attempt to find an answer to Ron Roberts, C.J. Aiken and especially Halil Kanacevic. The 6’9” forward/center had a terrible first half, but finished strong with three buckets, two coming at critical times. A game that saw 10 ties and 14 lead changes, with Xavier’s eight point lead the largest by either, came down to two free throws with under five seconds to play. Langston converted both to give Saint Joseph’s a one-point lead. Xavier’s full court pass to a flashing Taylor sailed high off the backboard right into Philmore’s waiting arms. The forward’s field goal attempt was wide right and fell off the rim, leaving the Joe’s to play another day. Xavier is no doubt bound for a postseason tournament somewhere, just not the NCAA Tournament.

    Halil Kanacevic hit some key buckets down the stretch for UMass.

    Halil Kanacevic (21) hit some key buckets down the stretch for St. Joseph’s.

  2. Really Good Defense or Awful Offense? The closing act of the opening day did not lack for atmosphere. The catcalls directed at the referees from the crowd began at the opening tip and continued on every possession for the next 40 minutes of regulation. “You gotta call ’em at both ends buddy… You won’t get to the Big East that way… Aww ref, get it right… WHAT A JOKE!!” and a few I cannot repeat here. Disparaging the officiating joined the two fan factions in common cause. In the first at least, there was little on court that could warm the hearts of either faction. George Washington and Massachusetts combined to convert 21-of-63 field goal attempts. The Colonials were especially woeful, hitting on 26% of their field goals while losing 28% of their possessions. That they were losing by only three, 34-31, going into the locker room, had to be cause for some optimism.
  3. Forwards Isaiah Armwood and Kevin Larsen, having combined for 4-of-14 in the first half, caught fire: The duo caught fire, igniting the Colonials with a combined 8-of-13 shooting with Larsen adding 4-of-5 from the line to take the lead at the 14-minute mark of the second half and hold it for much of the last six minutes. Massachusetts battled back, spurred by second half scoring contributions from their front court contingent of Terrell Vinson and Cady LaLanne, both of whom fouled out after scoring a combined 12 points. Chaz Williams, ineffective through much of the first half, erupted with a 5-of-10 outburst after the break. With GW threatening to pull away at the 2:48 mark, UMass guard connected on a pair of threes to close the gap to one. The Minutemen survived and will advance, but they will need a faster start and more rebounding from their frontcourt if they expect to send Temple home on Friday.
CNguon (195 Posts)

Share this story

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *