A-10 Notebook - Feb. 22

By Atlantic 10 Conference

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Courtesy: Atlantic 10 Conference

Feb. 22, 2009

A-10 Notebook

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Kevin Anderson - Richmond
Sophomore, Guard, 5-11, 165 lbs.
Duluth, Ga./Peachtree Ridge HS

Anderson averaged 23.5 points and five rebounds in leading Richmond to wins over La Salle (62-53) and Charlotte (65-58)...poured in a career-high 28 points on 12-of-16 shooting and added four boards and three assists versus the Explorers on Feb. 18...scored a team-high 19 points and grabbed six rebounds versus the 49ers on Feb. 21...added five steals on the week...earns his first career A-10 Player of the Week honor.

Rob Diggs - George Washington
Senior, Forward, 6-8, 202 lbs.
Brandywine, Md./Gwynn Park HS

Diggs scored a season-high 26 points on 11-of-15 shooting and pulled down eight boards on Feb. 19 as George Washington downed St. Bonaventure, 90-62, in its lone contest of the week...marked his 14th career 20-point outing...tabbed the A-10 Player of the Week for the second time in his career.

ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Kwamain Mitchell - Saint Louis
Freshman, Guard, 5-10, 165 lbs.
Milwaukee, Wis./Dominican HS

Mitchell earns his second consecutive Rookie of the Week honor after averaging 12.5 points in a pair of victories...scored a team-high 17 points on 5-of-7 shooting from three-point range in the Billikens' 73-71 win over Saint Joseph's on Feb. 18...added eight points on Feb. 21 as SLU edged No. 25 Dayton,. 57-49...also had four assists and three rebounds...had just four turnovers in 69 minutes.

SHOT CLOCK SNIPPETS...

• Xavier freshman guard Brad Redford leads the A-10 in three-point shooting at 46.6 percent (41-of-88).

• With 100 blocks and 48 steals entering the team's Feb. 22 contest at Saint Joseph's, UMass senior Tony Gaffney is vying to become the first player nationally since Shelden Williams (Duke, 2005-06) to register 100 blocks and 50 steals in a season.

• Senior Tommie Liddell of Saint Louis is the first player in program history to rank in the top 10 in scoring, rebounding and assists.

• In wins over UMass (Feb. 18) and Fordham (Feb. 21), Rhode Island's bench outscored its opponents by a 66-10 margin.

HONOR ROLL: Charlotte senior forward Lamont Mack averaged 17 points and 7.5 rebounds over a pair of contests on the week...sophomore forward Chris Wright scored 11 points and grabbed seven boards in Dayton's 57-49 loss at Saint Louis on Feb. 22...Fordham freshman guard Jio Fontan averaged 16.5 points and 7.5 assists over two games...freshman guard Tony Taylor scored nine points and added six assists on Feb. 19 in George Washington's 90-62 win over St. Bonaventure...Rhode Island senior guard Jimmy Baron averaged 17.5 points and shot 6-for-10 from beyond the arc and 11-of-19 from the field in the Rams' wins over Massachusetts (71-59) and Fordham (77-58). URI freshman guard Stevie Mejia averaged seven points and 3.5 assists in 22 minutes per contest...senior forward Ahmad Nivins scored 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in Saint Joseph's 73-71 loss at Saint Louis on Feb. 18...Saint Louis senior guard Kevin Lisch averaged 15.5 points and four assists in leading the Billikens to a pair of home victories...freshman guard Juan Fernandez averaged 10.5 points and four rebounds in Temple's wins over Duquesne (78-73) and Fordham (72-45).

POINT PRESENCE: Massachusetts senior guard Chris Lowe scored his 1,000th career point on Feb. 4 in the Minutemen's 71-64 win over Richmond. Vying to become the first player in A-10 annals to lead the assists three times, he is just seventh player in league history and first at UMass with 1,000 career points and 600 career assists. Lowe is tied with Carl Smith for first-place in team annals with 633 career assists.

SUCCESSFUL STRETCH: Rhode Island reached the 20-win mark for the second consecutive year after turning aside Fordham on Feb. 21, 77-58. With the victory, URI head coach Jim Baron became the first coach in program history to amass 60 wins over a three-year span. The previous high over a three-year span by the same coach was Jack Kraft's 59 victories between 1977-80.

HOME SUPREMACY: Xavier will enter its Feb. 22 contest versus George Washington at Cintas Center riding a 22-game home-winning streak in A-10 play. Temple holds the record with 34 consecutive home wins in Conference play (Dec. 10, 1987 - Feb. 19, 1991), while UMass won 24 straight home league contests from Jan. 15, 1992, to Feb. 14, 1995.

AND ONE: Duquesne senior guard Aaron Jackson has converted all 15 of his conventional three-point play opportunities this season and owns a streak of 23 straight entering the Dukes' Feb. 22 contest at La Salle. He also ranks third in program history in assists with 443.

DAYTON BY NUMBERS: Dayton is 9-0 this season in games decided by five points or less, good for tops in the nation. UD is 36-7 with sophomore forward Chris Wright in the lineup, 7-1 this season versus teams in the top 100 of the RPI thru games of Feb. 21 and 19-1 when outrebounding its opponent. Finally, the Flyers are 16-0 when holding the lead with five minutes remaining in the game, while its 18-game home-winning streak is tops in the A-10.

PASSING FANCY: Charlotte junior guard DiJuan Harris registered a career-best 15 assists on Feb. 14 in the 49ers' 69-51 win over GW. The last A-10 player to record 15 or more assists in a game was La Salle's Julian Blanks versus Rhode Island on Feb. 6, 2001. Harris has dished out 10 or more assists a league-best and school-record nine times this year.

NOT SO FOUL ANYMORE: Seven of Dayton's eight returning players from last year are shooting a better percentage from the free throw line in 2008-09. Leading the way are junior London Warren (.548 to .619), guard Marcus Johnson (.593 to .684) and senior Charles Little (.462 to .636). As a team, UD is shooting 66.9 percent from the line, up from 64.1 a year ago.

CLIMBING THE CHARTS: Rhode Island senior Jimmy Baron ranks first in program history and second in A-10 annals with 333 career three-pointers. He boasts 18 career performances with at least five field goals from beyond the arc and nailed eight three's at Duke on Nov. 16, the most by an opposing player in the history of Cameron Indoor Stadium. Below is a look at the Conference's all-time leaders:

1. Darnell Harris, La Salle (2005-08) - 342
.2. Jimmy Baron, URI (2006-09) - 333
3. Monty Mack, Massachusetts (1998-01) - 331

STRAIGHT SHOOTER: Saint Joseph's senior forward Ahmad Nivins seeks to join former George Washington standout Alexander Koul (1995-97) as the only players in A-10 history to lead the league in field goal percentage three consecutive years. Nivins shot .647 (165-of-255) from the field a year ago. The Jersey City, N.J., native has made 165-of-258 shots through the Hawks' first 25 contests and leads the league with 17 double-doubles. Nivins has scored in double figures in 82 of his 118 career games and has reached double figures in rebounds 30 times, including 17 times this season, which is tops in the league. He also boasts 27 career double-doubles, while his five A-10 Player of the Week honors this season are tied with former TU standout Mardy Collins for the fourth-highest single-season total in league annals.

SELECT COMPANY: Temple senior guard Dionte Christmas averaged a league-best 19.7 points last season to become just the third player in Conference history to lead the Atlantic 10 in scoring in successive years. The two other players to hold that distinction are John Battle of Rutgers (1984-85) and St. Bonaventure's Earl Belcher (1980-81). With 10 career A-10 Player of the Week honors, Christmas trails only Xavier's David West (14) and Jameer Nelson of Saint Joseph's (13) for the most honors in league history.

EXPLORING NEW HEIGHTS: Rodney Green scored 20 points in La Salle's 75-68 win over Saint Joseph's on Feb. 14. It marked the junior guard's 10th 20-point performance of the season. By comparison, the Philadelphia, Pa., native scored 20 or more points just three times all of last season. Green is averaging 16.8 ppg., up from 13.4 ppg. a year ago.

DANDY ANDY: St. Bonaventure freshman forward Andrew Nicholson leads all freshmen nationally in blocked shots (78) and field goal percentage (.620) entering the Bonnies' Feb. 22 contest at Saint Joseph's. Named the A-10 Rookie of the Week a program-record six times, Nicholson's nine blocks at Bucknell on Dec. 30 mark the highest single-game total in Division I this season. UMass forward Tony Gaffney also registered nine blocks on Dec. 6 versus Boston College.

THREE-POINT BELTWAY: George Washington shot a blistering 10-of-12 from three-point range in its 90-62 win over St. Bonaventure on Feb. 19. Four different Colonials nailed at least two field goals from beyond the arc in the victory.

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