Tag Archives: Atlantic 10

Who Will Make It to the A-10 Quarterfinals

#8 Fordham Rams vs. #9 Richmond Spiders

Previous Meetings
Jan. 10 @ Fordham – Richmond 93 Fordham 82
Feb. 13 @ Richmond – Richmond 71 Fordham 67

I like Richmond in this game. Richmond is one of my sleeper teams coming into this weekend’s tournament. Richmond has a high-powered offense that is more than capable of withstanding the defense of any Atlantic 10 team. While the Spiders have disappointed this season after their fourth place finish in the A-10 last season, the tournament could give them some new life as a win against the Rams could give them confidence going into a Friday afternoon game against the Dayton Flyers.

Richmond 82 Fordham 73

#5 George Washington Colonials vs. #13 Saint Louis Billikens

Previous Meeting
Feb. 6 @ Saint Louis – Saint Louis 65 George Washington 62

The Billikens come into today’s game with a win against the George Mason Patriots last night, 83-78. Even though they upset GW two months ago, I’m taking the Colonials in today’s game. George Washington head coach, Mike Lonergan will have his guys rested and ready to avenge their January loss. Kevin Larsen could have a big day against the Billikens in the post. Do not expect the Billikens to score 80 or more in back-to-back games as they are the second-to-worst team in the conference in scoring offense.

George Washington 78 Saint Louis 62

#7 Rhode Island Rams vs. #10 Massachusetts Minutemen

Previous Meetings
Feb. 2 @ Massachusetts – Massachusetts 61 Rhode Island 56
Mar. 2 @ Rhode Island – Rhode Island 68 Massachusetts 50

This is one of the trickiest games to predict. While Rhode Island is the better team on paper, however how many guys on paper can play for them? You cannot help but to feel bad for them, since this was supposed to be their year at the top of the Atlantic 10. Rhody did defeat UMass last week with only seven guys getting quality minutes. Rhody has enough to beat UMass, but will they have enough in the tank at the end to do it is the question. UMass will look to play fast to try to wear down the Rams and the Rams will likely play at a slower pace. It will likely come down to which team can impose their style. The game could go either way, but I’m taking the Minutemen in a nail-biter.

UMass 74 Rhode Island 72

#6 Davidson Wildcats vs. #14 La Salle Explorers

Previous Meeting
Feb 10 @ Davidson – Davidson 79 La Salle 66

The gameplan for any team going against the Wildcats is simple, stop Jack Gibbs. Easier said than done. However, the Explorers did that in their last matchup limiting Gibbs to eight points, but they still lost. Think about what could happen if Jack Gibbs has a decent day. The same can be said for any team that oppose Davidson.

Davidson 87 La Salle 68

Friday Predictions

#1 Dayton Flyers vs. #9 Richmond Spiders
#4 St. Joseph’s Hawks vs. #5 George Washington Colonials
#2 VCU Rams vs. #10 Massachusetts Minutemen
#3 St. Bonaventure Bonnies vs. #6 Davidson Wildcats

WVCW Sports Recap: January 5-10

Men’s Basketball

  • The Rams traveled to Philadelphia for their first conference road game taking on the Saint Joseph’s Hawks (12-3, 2-1). After the Hawks jumped out to an 8-0 lead early in the first half, The Rams were able to chip away at their deficit to take the lead going into halftime. Much like the first half, the Hawks jumped out to a big run. The Hawks went up by as much as 13 in the half. The Rams fought back as they outscored the Hawks 28-12 in the final 7:11 of the game to get the win 85-82. Mo Alie-Cox scored 10 straight points for the Rams during that stretch which gave the Rams the lead. Melvin Johnson finished the game with 25 points, seven rebounds, and three steals.
  • They returned to action Sunday afternoon in St. Louis defeating the Saint Louis Billikens (6-9, 1-2) 72-56 thanks to a smothering effort on defense. In the first half, the Rams held the Billikens to 15% shooting in the first half and forced the Billikens to commit 12 turnovers. Due to VCU’s core players being in foul trouble for much of the half, the Rams gained little separation from Billikens going into halftime. With their core players able to contribute in the second half, the Rams were able to go up by as much as 24 in the half en route to their sixth consecutive win. Mo Alie-Cox led the Rams in scoring with 16 points, 10 of which came from the charity stripe.
  • Overall Record, Conference Record: (11-5, 3-0) T-1st in the Atlantic 10
  • This Week: VCU will face the Fordham Rams (10-4, 1-2) on Wednesday at 7:00 at the Siegel Center. On Saturday, the Rams will take on crosstown rival, Richmond Spiders (9-6, 1-2), at the Robins Center at 2:00.

Women’s Basketball

  • The VCU Rams rode a six-game winning streak into Thursday game against the Saint Louis Billikens. Both teams went on a series of runs early alternating leads throughout the game. However, the Billikens would go on a 15-2 run in the second half that would give the lead for the remainder of the game. In the midst of that run, Adaeze Alaeze committed a technical foul that would shift the momentum of the game into the hands of the Billikens. The Rams cut the Billikens lead down to run, but with 15 seconds the go, but the Billikens iced the game with their free throw shooting leading to a 77-72 win. Alaeze finished the game with 20 points, seven rebounds, and four assists. Billikens guard, Jackie Kemph, finished the game with 23 points.
  • VCU returned to the court on Sunday looking to rebound after their loss to the Billikens on Thursday. Both teams fought a very close and competitive game down to the wire. The Hawks and the Rams alternated the lead 11 times. Isis Thorpe hit a three to give VCU their first lead in the half 55-54 with 5:31 to go. Ciara Andrews knocked down an open three-pointer to give the Hawks a 65-63 lead with 11 seconds to go. Adashia Franklin hit one of two free throws with a three seconds to go. Keira Robinson had a chance to send the game into overtime with a three, but was able to knock it down. Isis Thorpe led the Rams in scoring with 16 points. Andrews finished the game with a game-high 20 points.
  • Overall Record, Conference Record: (12-4, 1-2) T-7th in the Atlantic 10
  • This Week: The Rams will hit the road for a date this Wednesday in Dayton, Ohio with the Dayton Flyers at 7:00. They will return to the Siegel Center next Sunday to face the Davidson Wildcats at 6:00.

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Twitter: @WVCWSports, @ILikeDNell

 

 

Streak Stoppers: Kemph, Billikens Hold Off Rams 77-72

Richmond, Va. – VCU’s six game winning streak came screeching halt as the Saint Louis Billikens (11-4, 1-1) defeated the VCU Rams (12-3, 1-1) 77-72 to get their first win in the Atlantic 10. Jackie Kemph scored a game-high 23 points for the Billikens. Adaeze Alaeze led the Rams with 20 points, seven rebounds, and four assists.

Saint Louis was rolling early in the first quarter as they were able to establish a quick tempo to the game. The Billikens scored six points early on the break. The Rams were later used to the quick tempo to their advantage forcing the Billikens to commit five turnovers in the first quarter. The Rams were able to score eight points off those turnovers. This would allow the Rams to go up 20-18 at the end of the quarter.

VCU went on a 6-0 early in the second to lead 28-19. Billikens would later go on a 13-2 run that included three three-pointers to that would give the Billikens a 32-30 lead with 2:43 to go in the half. In the midst of that run, the Rams would go cold from the field as they were unable to score for over four minutes. It would be until the 1:57 before the Rams would snap out of their drought with Adaeze Alaeze converting a three-point play to give the Rams the lead once again. This would kickstart a 7-2 run by the Rams which would give them a 37-34 at the intermission. The Rams shot 49% in the half.

Both teams traded baskets to start out the seconds half, even converting on consecutive three point plays. The Billikens would tie the game at 44 with 5:49 to go in the third after going on a 7-0 run. Curteeona Brelove would quickly give VCU the lead back with a layup before SLU’s, Jamesia Price tied it up once again with a layup. Foul was on Adaeze Alaeze and technical foul was called on her right after. Jordan Frantz hit the technical free throws and Price would hit her free throw. This was part of a 15-2 run for the Billikens that would give the Billikens the lead 52-46 with three minutes to go in the third. The Rams were able to trim deficit to down to one, 58-57, at the end of the quarter with Keira Robinson hitting a three as time expired. VCU’s shooting percentage dipped a bit as they shot 6-19 in the quarter.

Both teams played a close game in the fourth quarter. The Billikens would go up by as much as eight with 3:14 to go. VCU clawed by and eventually cut the lead down to one with 15 seconds to go after Brelove scored with a layup. Jackie Kemph would hit two free throws to go up by three. Adaeze Alaeze had a good look at a game-tying three-pointer, but the ball would hit off the back iron. Aaliyah Covington would ice the game with two more free throws to give the Billikens the road victory.

The Rams will return to action on Sunday to face the Saint Joseph’s Hawks at the Siegel Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:00.

Rocky Finish: VCU Fights Back to Win In Philly 85-82

Philadelphia – After being down as much as 13 points in the second half, the VCU Rams (10-5, 2-0) were able to fight back and leave the City of Brotherly Love with an 85-82 win against the Saint Joseph’s Hawks (11-3, 1-1). Melvin Johnson scored 25 points for the Rams and moved into third place on the VCU made three-pointers list.

The Hawks jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the first half. Despite the cold start from the Rams, starting out 2-13 from distance, they were able to chip their way back into the game. VCU’s defense stepped up as they were able to force the Hawks to commit eight turnovers. After starting the game making four of their first six shots, the Hawks shot 8-27 from the field. After JeQuan Lewis and Mo Alie-Cox scored on consecutive plays giving VCU their first lead of the game, 27-26, with 5:37 to go. VCU went into halftime with a 38-35 lead. JeQuan Lewis finished the half with 12 points, four rebounds, and three assists.

The second half started out much like the first as the Hawks went on a 13-0 run to take a 46-38 lead after the Rams committed two early turnovers. The Rams started to chip away at the lead before the Hawks went on a 13-6 run to go up by as much as 13 with 7:11 to go spearheaded by Isaiah Miles who finished the game with 31 points, 21 of which was in the second half. From there, the Rams on a 21-7 run with Alie-Cox scoring the latter eight to take the lead back from the Hawks 78-77 with 1:34 to go. The Rams would now trail for the duration of the game. With six seconds to go, Johnson split two free throws which gave DeAndre’ Bembry had a chance to send the game into overtime, but missed a three at the buzzer.

“I think we are certainly growing,” VCU Coach Will Wade said postgame. “We needed this win against a top three or four team in the Atlantic 10 on the road. We got away from our formula a bit to start the game and to start the second half, but we battled back.”

“In the timeouts, we had faith that we were going to come back,” Alie-Cox said. “We’ve been in positions like this last year plenty of times and this year a couple of times. Everyone was just real excited that we came in here and got a road win because we know that is real hard to do in conference.”

The win for the Rams was their fifth in a row. They will travel to Saint Louis to face the Billikens on Sunday at 4:00.

All In: VCU Wins A-10 Opener 71-47

Richmond, Va. – VCU (9-5, 1-0) defeated George Mason (6-8, 0-1) in their conference opener 71-47. Melvin Johnson led the Rams in scoring with 22 points. The win for the Rams was their fourth consecutive win. Johnson moved to 21st on the all-time VCU scoring list with points.

Havoc reigned supreme in the first few minutes of the first half as the Rams forced the Patriots to commit three early turnovers. George Mason did not get their first field goal until the 13:44 mark in the first half after starting 0-7. Midway through the first half, VCU separated themselves from the Patriots by going on a 13-0 run and outscored the Patriots 20-8 in the final 8:16 of the half. Melvin Johnson was the head of the snake scoring 13 points in the half. VCU’s defense did not allow Mason’s leading scorer, Shevon Thompson, to score and limited him to one shot in the half.

VCU’s offense started the second half off cold as they were not able to score for over three minutes. The Patriots were able to trim VCU’s lead down to six. VCU would begin to assert themselves defensively forcing the Patriots to commit six turnovers in a six minute stretch. The Rams would capitalize on the turnovers by going on a 10-0 run to get a 47-31 lead with 11:08 to go. The Rams would go up by as much as 26 as they were able to cruise to victory. Ahmed Hamdy provided a punch off the bench scoring all 16 of his points in the half. He had eight rebounds to complement his scoring total.

“Guys are all in,” Melvin Johnson said after the game. “There’s no ulterior motive. At this point, guys just genuinely care about winning. There’s more smiles, details are handled better, and it’s just a better chemistry. It’s fun to be playing around these guys when we’re playing like this. Even if we lost today, I’m still in love with the way we embraced each other.”

After going 4-1 on their five game homestand, the Ram will travel to Philadelphia for their next game on Tuesday to take on the St. Joseph Hawks. Opening tip is set for 7:00.