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Atlantic 10 Quarterfinals Preview

March 11, 2004 Conference Notes No Comments





Atlantic 10 Quarterfinals Preview

Recap by Jonathan Scherner and Stephen Dahl

(E1) St. Joseph’s vs. (W4) Xavier
In a highly anticipated showdown, No. 1 St. Joe’s takes on Xavier in the top match-up of the quarterfinals. The Hawks are the first team to go undefeated during the regular season since UNLV did it in 1991. Earlier this season, St. Joe’s beat the Musketeers at Xavier 81-73. All-American candidates Jameer Nelson and Delonte West combined for 61 points to lead the Hawks.

“Jameer Nelson’s poise and confidence makes St. Joe’s a strong team,” Motta said. “We’re playing the best in the college basketball.”

Senior’s Romain Sato and Lionel Chalmers have been the key for Xavier all season and will have to step up their play to try and contain the 1-2 punch of Nelson and West.

(W2) George Washington vs. (E3) Rhode Island

In other quarterfinal matchup in the morning session, second seed George Washington takes on a hot Rhode Island team. The Rams have won five of their last six, with their only loss coming at home by two against St. Joseph’s. Rhode Island has a balanced attack, led by Brian Woodward and Dawan Robinson. The big question mark for the Rams is the status of Robinson, who severely sprained his ankle against LaSalle and is questionable for the game.

GW also uses a balanced attack as they are led by lightning quick point guard TJ Thompson and athletic forward Mike Hall. The Colonials won the two teams only match-up this season 84-71 at home. Pops Mensah-Bonsu had 25 points to lead GW in the win and Robinson also had 25 to lead the Rams.

(W1) Dayton vS. (W5) Duquesne
It was less than a week, literally, since these two teams met in Pittsburgh. The Flyers escaped with a narrow 73-69 victory. Now they have this game on their home-court, with their fans. The key will be Ramod Marshall who went off on the Dukes and had a career-high 33 points last Saturday. Even with the two victories in the regular season, Dayton will have to deal with beating them a third time, always a tough task. The Dukes will counter with Jimmy Tricco who seemingly can hit big outside shots when needed.

(E2) Temple vS. (W3) Richmond
The Spiders played some ugly basketball in their previous tournament game against Fordham. Then again, the uglier the better for Richmond, who tends to play solid defense. They will need some offense out of the seniors, namely Tony Dobbins and Mike Skrocki. For Temple, it all begins with first team all Atlantic-10 member, David Hawkins. Hawkins, who is averaging 24 points a game, will need help. Then again, it’s the Owls who always seem to find away with head coach John Chaney at the helm.

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