Tag Archives: Saint Louis Billikens

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

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.