Nolan, Bess Named Co-Players of the Week; Toppin Repeats as Rookie Honoree
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The Atlantic 10 Conference has named George Washington sophomore Terry Nolan, Jr. and Saint Louis senior Javon Bess as its Co-Players of the Week. Dayton freshman Obi Toppin was chosen as the league’s Rookie of the Week. The awards were announced Monday and are for games played Dec. 31 – Jan. 6
Nolan led GW to a 70-56 road win at Saint Joseph's with one of the best performances of his career, recording a double-double for the first time with 23 points and 12 rebounds. The 6-foot-2 guard was a force on both ends, grabbing all 12 of his rebounds on the defensive end while connecting on 5-of-11 (.455) field goals, including 3-of-7 (.429) 3-pointers. The Baltimore native also knocked down a career-high 10 free throws on 12 attempts (.833) to lead a strong effort at the charity stripe, as GW hit 19-of-22 freebies. The Colonials overcame a 32-25 halftime deficit to win their road A-10 opener for the first time since the 2014-15 season. A preseason A-10 All-Defensive selection, Nolan had two blocks and a steal to key a defensive effort that limited SJU to .323 shooting.
Bess matched his career scoring high with 24 points in the Billikens' win over Rhode Island. The guard from Columbus, Ohio, led the Billikens in scoring for the sixth-straight game. He shot 8-of-13 (.615) from the field and 4-of-7 (.571) from 3-point range and also had three steals. Bess scored 16 of his 24 points in the decisive second half, and he was also strong defensively, helping to hold URI leading scorer Jeff Dowtin to just two field goals and forced him into five turnovers.
Toppin scored 19 points and added nine rebounds in 29 minutes off the bench in Dayton's win over Richmond. He was 8-of-14 (.571) from the field. The forward from Ossining, N.Y., scored 12 of his points and eight of his rebounds came in the second half. He also blocked three shots and had two assists. It’s the second straight A-10 rookie honor for Toppin, and third overall this season.
Davidson freshman Luka Brajkovic scored 15 points on 6-of-8 (.750) shooting with five rebounds in the Wildcats’ win over Duquesne … Josh Cunningham scored 25 points and had 10 rebounds, shooting 11-of-14 (.786) from the field in Dayton’s victory over Richmond … Duquesne freshman Sincere Carry two strong games for the Dukes, with 14 points, five rebounds, six assists and three steals versus NJIT and 17 points, four rebounds, five assists and two steals at Davidson … Justin Kier led George Mason to a pair of wins with back-to-back double-doubles, tallying18 points and 14 boards at Saint Joseph’s and 15 points and 14 rebounds versus St. Bonaventure … La Salle’s Saul Phiri had 20 points and six rebounds to lead the Explorers to their third straight win, a road victory over Massachusetts … Rhode Island freshman Tyrese Martin had 18 points, including hitting 4-of-6 (.667) from beyond the arc along with six rebounds at Saint Louis … St. Bonaventure freshman Kyle Lofton was 8-for-12 (.667) from the field for 17 points while adding six assists against George Mason … Marcus Evans was perfect in shooting for VCU in a road win at Fordham, hitting 6-of-6 from the field, 1-for-1 from 3-point range and 4-of-4 at the charity stripe for 17 points, while adding three assists and a trio of steals.