A-10 Notebook - Jan. 11
Jan. 11, 2009
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Derrick Brown - Xavier
Junior, Forward, 6-8, 225 lbs.
Dayton, Ohio/Chaminade-Julienne HS
In Xavier's lone contest of the week, Brown was perfect from the field en route to scoring a game-high 20 points in just 19 minutes of action as the Musketeers downed Saint Louis on Jan. 8, 70-44...made all six of his field goal attempts, including 3-of-3 from beyond the arc, and sank all five of his free throws...added three rebounds, an assist and a block...marked his second 20-point outing of the season.
Ahmad Nivins - Saint Joseph's
Senior, Forward, 6-9, 235 lbs.
Jersey City, N.J./St. Anthony's HS
Nivins scored 28 points and grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds on Jan. 10 as Saint Joseph's edged Rhode Island in triple overtime, 92-86, in the Hawks' lone contest of the week...shot 9-of-15 from the field and added three blocks...marked his seventh double-double of the season, tops in the Conference...tabbed the A-10 Player of the Week for a league-leading fourth time this season.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Andrew Nicholson - St. Bonaventure
Freshman, Forward, 6-9, 230 lbs.
Mississauga, Ontario/Father Michael Goetz Secondary HS
Nicholson earns his league-leading and program-record fourth A-10 Rookie of the Week honor after averaging 15.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks while knocking down 11-of-14 shots from the field over two games...scored 13 points and grabbed nine boards on Jan. 7 in the Bonnies' 78-65 win at Fordham...scored a team-high 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting and added eight points as St. Bonaventure dropped a 98-80 decision to Duquesne...his 51 blocks are the most of any freshman in the nation.
HONOR ROLL: Dayton sophomore forward Chris Wright averaged 13.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in a pair of contests...senior guard Aaron Jackson averaged 25 points and seven assists, while freshman swingman Melquan Bolding averaged 11.5 points and five rebounds in a pair of Conference victories for Duquesne...Fordham freshman guard Jio Fontan scored a team-high 22 points in the Rams' 78-65 loss to St. Bonaventure on Jan. 7...junior forward Wynton Witherspoon scored 15 points in George Washington's 60-48 home loss to Richmond on Jan. 10...UMass junior guard Ricky Harris scored 23 points, including 17 in the opening half, as the Minutemen turned aside Dayton on Jan. 10, 75-62. Teammate Tony Gaffney chipped in 17 points and seven blocks...senior guard Jimmy Baron of Rhode Island averaged 17.5 points and six rebounds in a pair of road contests...Richmond sophomore forward Justin Harper scored a game-high 19 points and added four blocks in the Spiders' 60-48 road win over George Washington on Jan. 10...senior guard Dionte Christmas of Temple averaged 21.5 points and 4.5 rebounds, while freshman guard Juan Fernandez scored eight points in each of the Owls' two non-conference victories on the week.
EXTRA...EXTRA...EXTRA: Saint Joseph's snapped its eight-game losing streak in overtime games with a 92-86 win over Rhode Island on Jan. 10 in the Conference opener for both teams. It marked the Hawks' longest game since a 127-120 win over Utah in the 1961 NCAA Tournament in a four-overtime contest. Just last year, Richmond and La Salle opened A-10 play with a triple-overtime thriller won by the Spiders, 75-74, on Jan. 9, 2008.
PUTTING UP THEIR DUKES: Duquesne improved to 2-0 in Conference play for the first time since 2000 with a 98-80 win at St. Bonaventure on Jan. 10, the second-largest margin of victory for the Dukes in an A-10 road contest in program history. Duquesne has won three consecutive road contest for the first time since 1985 and seeks its first-ever 3-0 start in league play when it hosts George Washington on Jan. 14. The catalyst for the Dukes is senior guard Aaron Jackson, who recorded his league-leading second 30-point performance of the season on Jan. 7 in the Dukes' 76-71 win over Charlotte. Twice named the A-10 Player of the Week this season, the senior guard became the 32nd player in program history to join the 1,000-point club versus the 49ers. Jackson's 6.20 apg. average this season - tops in the Conference - is on pace to break the school's single-season mark of 6.0, set by Norm Nixon in 1973-74 and matched by Nixon in 1975-76.ackson has topped the 100-assist mark twice in his three previous seasons at Duquesne.
BOARD WORK: Saint Joseph's senior forward Ahmad Nivins grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds versus Rhode Island on Jan. 10. The last A-10 player to pull down 20 or more rebounds in a game was former Charlotte standout Curtis Withers, who amassed 21 against Dayton on Feb. 4, 2006.
EXPLORING NEW TERRITORY: Rodney Green scored 21 points in La Salle's 81-66 win over Manhattan on Jan. 3. It marked the junior guard's third 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 15.4 ppg., up from 13.4 ppg. a year ago.
WINNING WITH A CUSHION: Eight of Richmond's nine victories this season have come by double-digits, including its 60-48 victory at George Washington on Jan. 10 in the A-10 opener for both teams. A year ago, just three of the Spiders' 16 victories came by 10 or more points.
STREAKIN: St. Bonaventure earned a 78-65 win at Fordham on Jan. 7 and climbed to 6-0 on the road for the first time in program history. With a record of 10-5 overall, the Bonnies have already surpassed their win total from all of last season. Moreover, the SBU bench has won the scoring battle in each of the team's 15 games this season.
TRIPLE FIGURES: Temple's 67-45 win at Eastern Michigan on Jan. 7 raised the league's total to 110 non-conference wins this season, the second-highest total in league annals. The A-10 also surpassed the 100-win total in non-conference play in 2007 (104) and 2008 (130). A-10 teams have amassed 15 wins over BCS conference teams thus far, which good for fourth nationally.
SWEET STROKE: Jimmy Baron of Rhode Island enters the Rams' Jan. 15 contest versus Xavier with 293 career three-pointers, including 14 career performances with at least five field goals from beyond the arc. The senior guard nailed eight three's at Duke on Nov. 16, the most by an opposing player in the history of Cameron Indoor Stadium.
PASSING THE ROCK: Senior guard Chris Lowe of Massachusetts led the A-10 and ranked 13th nationally in assists (6.2 apg.) a year ago. The Mount Vernon, N.Y., native registered at least ten assists on six different occasions. By comparison, no other player in the Conference dished out 10 or more assists more than once in 2007-08. Lowe, who also paced the A-10 in assists in 2006 (4.9 apg.), seeks to become the first player in league history to lead the Conference in assists three times. Carl Smith (UM - 1984, 86), Shandue McNeill (SBU - 1995, 97) and Jameer Nelson (SJU - 2001, 02) are the only other players to twice lead the A-10. Lowe recorded his league-leading fifth double-digit assist performance of the season on Dec. 27 in the Minutemen's 64-57 win over IUPUI. He ranks second in the A-10 with an average of 6.07 apg.