VCU and George Mason kicked for the Atlantic 10 season as the two hottest teams in the conference faced off. In front of one of the most electric crowds George Mason has seen in seasons, VCU came away with a hard-fought 73-64 win against the Patriots.
JeQuan Lewis led the Rams with 26 points but just as important was the board work the Rams did. VCU had a 42-31 rebounding advantage over George Mason including 16 offensive boards. Several times, the Patriots got the initial stop on defense only to have Mo Alie-Cox, Jordan Burgess or Justin Tillman extend the possession.
With 7:23 left, Mason had closed to within 4, that’s when Lewis took over and sparked a 14-9 run closing run by scoring 10 points.
Richmond and Davidson played the most exciting game in the conference. Richmond’s 82-80 road win over Davidson was as impressive as they come. Player of the Week, TJ Cline had 19 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists. It looked like Richmond was going to run away with it but they blew a 17-point lead with 7 minutes left. Davidson pulled within 2 with 4 seconds left but the Spiders held on.
St. Bonaventure went on the road and grabbed a 89-77 victory over UMass. Jaylen Adams led the Bonnies with 29 points but fouled out with a little over 2 minutes left. Matt Mobley and Denzel Gregg made up the difference. Mobley scored 23 points while Gregg pitched in with 11 points and 7 rebounds.
UMass was led by Donte Clark’s 19 and Rashaan Holloway’s 15. Both Josh Ayeni (St. Bonaventure) and Brison Gresham (UMass) were tossed after a scuffle.
Despite Dayton shooting 3 for 22 from the 3-point line and 15 for 31 from the free throw line, they still defeated LaSalle 66-55. Kendall Pollard led the Flyers with 20 points as they had four players score in double digits. LaSalle’s Pookie Powell led the Explorers with 23.
Duquesne fought off a strong second half run by Fordham for a 75-72 road victory. After being down by as much as 12 points, Fordham took a two-point lead, 66-64. But Duquesne regained their composure and took the lead back with 1:15 left. Duquesne had 5 players in double digits with Emile Blackman leading the way with 17. Fordham’s Javontae Hawkins scored 18 points.
St. Joe’s scored a 68-63 win over George Washington. The Hawks were clinging to a 64-63 lead when Lamarr Kimble hit a 3 with 32 seconds left. Kimble and freshman Charlie Brown had 13 points each. The Colonials were led by Jaren Sina’s 15 points.
Rhode Island blew out St. Louis 90-56.
Player of the Week: TJ Cline (Richmond)
Rookie of the Week: Jeff Dotwin (Rhode Island) & Charlie Brown (St. Joe’s)
Marcus “Mook” Washington is the host of Making The Cut. Follow Mook on Twitter: @mtcwithmook and IG: MTCWithMook