After a perfect 3-0 performance in the ESPN Tip-Off Marathon, the Atlantic 10 faces a full slate of key home games this weekend. Nine of the A-10’s 13 teams enter the weekend with a perfect 2-0 record and every A-10 teams has at least one win in the early going. Starting Friday, every Atlantic 10 team will test those records with a game this weekend.
ON TAP TONIGHT
NORTH CAROLINA A&T Aggies (1-1)
at RHODE ISLAND Rams (1-1)
7:00 pm | Thomas M. Ryan Center | OSN
LEHIGH Mountain Hawks (1-1)
at FORDHAM Rams (1-1)
7:00 pm | Rose Hill Gymnasium | SNY
>>The Atlantic 10 has started the year at 22-4 (.846). Only three other conferences have four or fewer losses.
>>The A-10 has seven teams in the top 100 of the Sagarin ratings in the early going and seven in an “unofficial” RPI ranking (in which the A-10 is the fourth-best conference).
>>ESPN’s Joe Lunardi and CBSSports.com’s Jerry Palm both put out (very) early NCAA bracket predictions. Lunardi has three teams in, La Salle, Saint Louis and VCU. Palm who had four in his preseason bracket now has three A-10 teams (Massachusetts, Saint Louis, VCU) with La salle among the first four out.
>>Six A-10 teams are averaging 80 or more points per game and eight teams are holding opponents to under 70 points per game.
>>Three Rhode Island players made their first appearances versus Maine after their NCAA-mandated year-in-residence for transferring. Gilvydas Biruta ended a 612-day hiatus from appearing in a Division I game. He had previously last taken the court on March 6, 2012 as Rutgers faced Villanova in the Big East Tournament. Biggie Minnis ended a 611-day break, having last played against Oklahoma State on March 7, 2012 in the Big 12 Tourney. Jarelle Reischel’s last game played was on March 20, 2012 against Oakland. He had been away from the court for approximately 598 days.
DAYTON 70, SAINT FRANCIS (Pa.) 56
DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - Devin Oliver scored 16 points as Dayton pulled away in the final minutes to beat St. Francis University (Pa.) 70-56 on Wednesday night.
Oliver was 5-of-10 from the floor and had 12 rebounds and three steals for the Flyers (2-0). Dyshawn Pierre and Khari Price had 14 points each. Pierre was also 4-of-4 in free throws and had 10 rebounds. Jordan Sibert came in from the bench to score 12 points and hit five of six free throws. Forward Earl Brown and guard Ollie Jackson led the scoring for the Red Flash (1-2) with 13 points each. Brown added 10 rebounds.
The Flyers took an early lead and held it for most of the game and led 33-28 at the end of the first half. They won it on a 16-2 run with four minutes left in the game after St Francis had tied it at 54-54.
SAINT JOSEPH'S 81, MARIST 62
Langston Galloway scored 20 points and Halil Kanacevic and Ronald Roberts, Jr., each posted a double-double as Saint Joseph's defeated Marist, 81-62, in the Hawks' home opener at Hagan Arena.
The Hawks are now 2-0 heading into Saturday's meeting with Creighton.
Kanacevic just missed a triple-double with 12 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists, while Roberts had 16 points and 10 rebounds. Galloway shot 6-for-8 from the field, and 3-for-5 from three-point range, while also grabbing eight rebounds.
Marist (0-3) was led by Chavaughn Lewis, who scored a game-high 26 points, and Jay Bowie, who scored 11.
Saint Joseph's scored the first 12 points of the game in the first four minutes and never trailed. With SJU leading 12-0, Marist went on a 10-3 run to close to 15-10, but the Hawks increased it to 20-10 by the midway point of the half. A layup by Adam Kemp at 9:06 pulled Marist to within 22-17, but Saint Joseph's closed out the half with an 18-8 run to take a 40-25 lead at halftime.
SAINT LOUIS 82, SIU EDWARDSVILLE 58
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) - Jordair Jett scored 16 points for Saint Louis as they rolled to a 24 point victory over SIU-Edwardsville on Wednesday night 82-58.
Mike McCall Jr. and Dwayne Evans each had 14 points for the Billikens (2-0). Grandy Glaze had nine points and 14 rebounds. SIU-Edwardsville (0-2) was led by Donivine Stewart who had 14 points.
The Cougars kept it close for the first few minutes, but the Billikens used an 18 point run to make it 31-13 with 5 minutes left in the first half and the Cougars trailed by double-digits for the rest of the game. Saint Louis led by 34 at one point in the second half. Saint Louis shot 55 percent for the game and held the Cougars to 40 percent.
It was the Billikens first visit to Edwardsville and they're now 8-1 all-time versus the Cougars.
NEW HAMPSHIRE 84, DUQUESNE 81
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Chris Pelcher scored 14 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, leading four other New Hampshire players in double figures in an 84-81 win over Duquesne Wednesday night.
Duquesne trailed by one (82-81) with 6.4 seconds remaining, but sent UNH's Scott Morris to the line. Morris sank both free throws for the final points.
Pelcher was 7 of 13 from the field for the Wildcats (2-0). New Hampshire shot 15 of 27 (55.6 percent) from behind the arc. The Wildcats trailed at the half and the beginning of the second half, but moved into the lead with 11:21 to play with a 3-pointer by Daniel Dion.
Tra'Vaugh White had a game-high 18 points as Duquesne (1-1) managed to take back the lead at 81-80 with 1:26 to play. The Dukes struggled behind the arc, shooting 6 of 22 (27.3 percent).