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Atlantic 10 Tournament: Saint Joseph’s And Dayton To Meet In Semis On Saturday

Day 3 of the Atlantic 10 Tournament is the day where the top four seeds of the tournament all made their first appearances of the weekend. Those four teams (Dayton, VCU, St. Joseph’s and St. Bonaventure) are all most likely making the NCAA Tournament but a good showing in the A-10 Tournament could improve their individual seeding for Selection Sunday. Friday’s afternoon session featured two of the best teams in the conference possibly setting up a major matchup on Saturday.


(Photo by Jeff Auger - Double G Media)

(Photo by Jeff Auger – Double G Media)


Dayton Flyers vs. Richmond Spiders

Dayton, the Atlantic 10 regular season co-champion and tournament’s top seed, started out blistering forcing five Richmond turnovers and holding the Spiders to 1-of-10 shooting in the first ten minutes of the game. Leading 6-4 at the first TV timeout, the Flyers went on a 14-0 run to take a 20-4 lead as Dayton’s defense was unrelenting and Richmond could not get an easy shot on any of their possessions. Dayton on the other hand were running their offense almost to perfection as they were distributing the ball with ease. The Flyers accumulated six assists on their first ten field goals they connected on.

T.J. Cline attempted to keep Richmond in the game in the first half as he scored ten points but no one else on his team could find their shot. The fact that Richmond was down just 33-20 after one half of play was more about Dayton letting up after building a 20 point lead as opposed to Richmond playing better later in the half as they only shot 28 percent. Dyshawn Pierre led the balanced scoring of the Flyers with eight points and six rebounds.

The second half began much like the first half as Dayton sprinted out to a 42-22 lead at the 16:00 mark of the half. The pro-Dayton crowd was enjoying the Flyers defensive intensity and the result of the game was a forgone conclusion with ten minutes remaining in the second half as Dayton went on to the easy 69-54 win. Cline led the Spiders in scoring with 25 points as they ended their season with a 16-16 record.

Dayton was led by Charles Cooke who finished with 14 points and Dyshawn Pierre who picked up his 20th career double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds.


(Photo by Jeff Auger - Double G Media)

(Photo by Jeff Auger – Double G Media)


St. Joseph’s Hawks vs. George Washington Colonials

An up and down affair from the beginning, George Washington jumped out to an early lead midway through the first half as Saint Joseph’s went through a brief cold shooting streak which the Colonials took advantage of. While GW led by double digits at several points of the half, both teams were shooting lights out with percentages well over 50 percent for the Hawks and Colonials.

The story of the first half was the 11 points that GW scored off of seven Saint Joseph’s turnovers. Add in 14 assists on 18 field goals and the Colonials was outplaying the Hawks despite Saint Joseph’s shooting 58 percent from the field in the first half. Both Isaiah Miles and Aaron Brown led the Hawks with eight points while Tyler Cavanaugh scored 10 points for George Washington.

You had to know that a Phil Martelli team would not just roll over and give up and the Hawks came out of the locker room on a different level for the second half. The crowd, that seemed pro-GW turned pro-Saint Joseph’s as the Hawks went on a 10-3 run to begin the half, which was capped by a three-pointer by Atlantic 10 Player of the Year DeAndre Bembry. The Hawks began to dominate the points in the paint in the early stages on the second half as they more than doubled George Washington’s input from inside 42-18. Once Cavanaugh picked up his fourth foul with ten minutes to go for GW, it opened up even more for the Hawks

With the success Saint Joseph’s was having anytime they cut the lead down to one, GW guard Patricio Garino would hit a three and extend the lead back out to four. That ended once James Demery hit a three to give the Hawks a one point lead right at the six minute mark. The lead switched hands before the Hawks scored six consecutive points to take the lead for good on their way to an 86-80 win to move on in the A-10 Tournament. Bembry had 21 points while Demery had 15 points and eight rebounds for the Hawks. George Washington was led by Joe McDonald who scored 13 in a losing effort.

Saint Joseph’s and Dayton are set face-off in one of Saturday’s semi-final games at 1:30 p.m. In their only game against each other this season, Saint Joseph’s beat the Flyers 79-70 in Philadelphia back on February 17th.

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Kahlil Thomas

Kahlil is the College Sports Editor for as well as a columnist, hosting the Bump 'N Run column once per week. He also co-hosts a weekly basketball podcast, The Box Out, every Thursday evening with fellow writer Jason Cordner.
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