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Atlantic 10 Notebook

December 24, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments



Atlantic-10 Conference Notebook

by Jonathan Scherner

Respect earned

Dayton and St. Joseph’s seem to be unbeatable in the early part of the season. The Flyers and Hawks are the A-10’s only undefeated teams as well as the only ranked teams in the conference.

The Hawks are 8-0 and cracked the top ten this week after dominating Drexel 92-70 to come in at No. 10 in the poll.

The Flyers held strong at No. 24 in the poll as they remain perfect in the Brian Gregory era thanks to the efforts of Sean Finn. Finn had double-doubles in both of Dayton’s recent victories to help the Flyers improve to 9-0 on the young season.

Explosive Green

St. Bonaventure guard Marques Green exploded for 43 points in an overtime loss to Niagara on Dec. 17. Green went 14-30 from the field and hit five three-pointers. Along with the 43 points, he added four assists and four steals.

Green’s 43 was the first 40+ performance of the year in the Atlantic 10 and the first since David West had 47 against Dayton last season. It was the first 40-point performance for the Bonnies since Greg Sanders did it in 1977.

Despite the tremendous performance, Green was not happy.

“We lost and that’s the bottom line,” Green said. “I was 5-15 from three point range and that’s not good. I have to get working on my shot.”

Player of the Week

Sean Finn: Dayton senior center

In the Flyers’ two victories last week, Finn averaged 23 points and 11 boards a game as he carried the Flyers in the narrow victories. Against IUPUI, Finn had 18 points and 13 boards for his second straight double double. In the victory over Prairie View, Finn had a career-high 27 points on 12-of-13 shooting.

Rookie of the Week

Maurice Maxwell: Massachusetts guard

Maxwell had a career game in the Minutemen’s 83-65 victory over Marshall Dec. 20. Maxwell scored a career-high 19 points and swiped a career-high five steals as he carried Massachusetts.

Dayton Flyers (9-0)

After the Flyers squeaked out a victory over IUPUI, Dayton controlled the boards against Prairie View to climb to 9-0. Ramod Marshall hit a runner in the lane with 42 seconds left and Sean Finn had 18 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Flyers to a 61-59 victory over IUPUI. It was the inside game that made the difference for Dayton in their 78-65 win over Prairie View Saturday, as they out-rebounded the Panthers by 15. Again it was Finn leading the inside game as he had a career-high 27 points and missed just one field goal attempt. The Flyers have their first real challenge of the season when they travel to play No. 16 Cincinnati Tuesday.

Duquesne Dukes (2-5)

The Dukes were unable to capitalize on the momentum from a victory over Loyola, Md., as they lost three straight games. The Dukes lost hard fought-overtime battles to West Virginia and Akron and went down at home to George Mason 80-70 Saturday. Elijah Palmer averaged 17 points in the losses. Duquesne tries to end the losing when they travel to Minnesota Monday.

Fordham Rams (2-5)

It has been an up and down season for new head coach Dereck Whittenburg as the Rams have had a two-game win streak book ended by two and three game losing streaks. Their most recent losing streak is at two games losses to Holy Cross and Western Michigan on the road. Fordham will try to right the ship Tuesday when they travel to Iona.

George Washington Colonials (6-3)

The Colonials split a pair of games after their strong showing in the BB&T Classic. T.J. Thompson led the way for GW as usual as he scored 15 points and had seven assists in their 76-57 win over Towson. Things didn’t go as smoothly when the Colonials traveled to Old Dominion as the Monarchs used 23 points from John Waller to pull out the 72-62 win. Pops Mensah-Bonsu had a team-high 17 points on 8-of-9 shooting.

LaSalle Explorers (3-5)

The Explorers are living up to the preseason expectations…finally. After a 0-4 start, LaSalle has won three of their last four including wins over Florida International and Mt. St. Mary’s. Sophomore sensation Gary Neal had his second 30+ point performance of the season and seventh of his career as he scored 30 points on 10-of-14 shooting in the victory over Mt. St. Mary’s. The Explorers stay at home as they look to climb to within one game of .500 against Virginia Commonwealth.

Massachusetts Minutemen (3-4)

The Minutemen took full advantage of an exam week break as they snapped a two game losing streak with an 83-65 win over Marshall. UMass never trailed in the game and Maurice Maxwell had a career-high 19 points to lead the Minutemen. They stay at home to take on Maine Monday night.

Rhode Island Rams (7-2)

The red hot Rams are getting attention from around the nation as they are starting to receive votes in the polls after their winning streak was stretched to four games with an 82-53 win over New Hampshire. Brian Woodward led the way for the Rams with 23 points. Rhode Island has a quick turnaround as Charlotte will try to cool off the Rams Tuesday, when they travel to Rhode Island.

Richmond Spiders (5-4)

The Spiders ran into one of the hottest players in the country when they took on Manhattan Saturday in the Dreyfus Classic. Luis Flores scored 25 points and ignited a 13-2 run that wrapped up the victory over the Spiders. Tony Dobbins had 15 points to lead Richmond, but it wasn’t enough in the 70-62 loss at Madison Square Garden. The Spiders head back home to take on Providence Tuesday.

St. Bonaventure Bonnies (4-4)

It’s been all Marques Green for the Bonnies this season as he continues to carry the team. Green had 43 points in an overtime loss at Niagara and a double double in a come from behind victory over North Texas. Patrick Lottin had a career-high 25 points in the win over North Texas and Green had 14 points and 11 assists.

St. Joseph’s Hawks (8-0)

Jameer Nelson proved once again why he’s one of the best in the country as he hit a jumper with five seconds left to knock off California 59-57 in the Pete Newell Challenge. Nelson finished with 19 points and six boards to lead the Hawks. Earlier in the week, Nelson and Delonte West combined for 44 points as St. Joe’s crushed Drexel 92-70. The Hawks return home to play Pacific before traveling to Delaware to wrap up their non-conference season.

Temple Owls (3-5)

As usual Temple is hitting its stride as the A-10 season rolls around. After a rough start to their brutal non-conference schedule, the Owls knocked off Penn State and South Carolina at home before dropping a hard-fought game to Miami, 72-66. David Hawkins also found his stroke as he averaged 26 points in the three contests. The Owls had another major loss in the Miami game as starting center Keith Butler went down for the second time this season, this time with a contusion to his eye after a collision. Luckily, Butler has time to recover as Temple is off until Jan. 3 when they travel to Indiana.

Xavier Musketeers (5-3)

The Musketeers’ struggles without David West continued as they went down on the road to Mississippi State and snuck by Louisiana Lafayette at home. Lafayette, who earlier this season almost knocked off Dayton, had a double-digit second half lead, but the Musketeers used two big runs to take control and avoid the upset. Romain Sato led Xavier with 23 points and seven boards. The Musketeers hit the road once again as they travel to Iowa State Tuesday.

     

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