Scrolling Headlines:

UMass hockey falls flat in 5-0 loss to Northeastern -

January 20, 2018

UMass women’s track and field takes first, men fourth at Joe Donahue Games -

January 20, 2018

Sanzo: UMass’ game vs. St. Louis is a sign of what it is without its grit -

January 20, 2018

UMass men’s basketball gets blown out by Saint Louis, 66-47 -

January 20, 2018

UMass hockey shuts down No. 8 Northeastern with 3-0 win -

January 19, 2018

Matt Murray hands Northeastern its first shutout of the season -

January 19, 2018

Minutewomen stunned by last-second free throw -

January 19, 2018

UMass hockey returns home to battle juggernaut Northeastern squad -

January 18, 2018

Slow start sinks Minutemen against URI -

January 17, 2018

UMass three-game win streak snapped in Rhode Island humbling -

January 17, 2018

Trio of second period goals leads Maine to 3-1 win over UMass hockey -

January 16, 2018

Small-ball lineup sparks UMass men’s basketball comeback over Saint Joseph’s -

January 14, 2018

UMass men’s basketball tops St. Joe’s in wild comeback -

January 14, 2018

UMass women’s track and field have record day at Beantown Challenge -

January 14, 2018

UMass women’s basketball blows halftime lead to Saint Joseph’s, fall to the Hawks 84-79. -

January 14, 2018

UMass hockey beats Vermont 6-3 in courageous win -

January 13, 2018

Makar, Leonard score but UMass can only muster 2-2 tie with Vermont -

January 13, 2018

Pipkins breaks UMass single game scoring record in comeback win over La Salle -

January 10, 2018

Conservative student activism group sues UMass over free speech policy -

January 10, 2018

Report: Makar declines invite from Team Canada Olympic team -

January 10, 2018

Xavier and Dayton lead the Atlantic 10

Although the basketball season is still relatively new and over a month remains before conference games begin, the Atlantic 10 teams are starting to round into mid-season form.

Headlining the conference are Xavier and Dayton, which are both currently ranked in the top 25. The No. 9 Musketeers have backed up the preseason prediction that slated them to win the A-10 conference with a 5-0 record. XU will next play Middle Tennessee in a tilt featuring two teams both coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance.

Looking to lead the Musketeers to their sixth straight win will be April Phillips, who recently earned A-10 Player of the Week honors. The senior forward guided her team to three wins last week, including the Freeport Division Championship at the 2009 Junkanoo Jam in the Bahamas. During that stretch, Phillips averaged 14.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, and shot 53.1 percent from the field.

Dayton is currently enjoying their first top 25 ranking in school history at No. 24. The Flyers are playing well, outscoring their last three opponents by an average of 32 points per game. In the season opener on Nov. 13, Dayton defeated then-No. 10 ranked Michigan State in a 77-74 upset. Since then, the Flyers have gone on to defeat No. 23 Purdue. Dayton will face UW-Milwaukee in its next game today.

Surprising the conference so far has been St. Bonaventure, which has yet to drop a game this season. At 6-0, the Bonnies look to continue their winning ways and disprove their preseason prediction to finish No. 6 in the A-10.  The 6-0 record is the best start to a season in the history of the school. The Bonnies have held their opponents to under 50 points and 45 percent shooting from the field to lead the A-10 in scoring defense and scoring margin. They will next host Marist on Sunday this weekend.

Off to a slow start this season has been George Washington with a 2-4 record. A recent bright spot for the Colonials has been Shi-Heria Shipp. The freshman forward was just named the A-10 Rookie of the Week for her strong play in the Junkanoo Jam, as she led the Colonials in scoring in both games, averaging 13.0 points while shooting over 70 percent from the floor. Although she has yet to start a game this season, Shipp is second on the team in points, steals, and assists. Her 0.588 shooting percentage is good for fifth best in the conference.

Tabbed to finish last in the A-10 was Fordham. The Rams are coming off a 61-59 victory over St. Peter’s, a team they hadn’t defeated since 1993. The win also came in Jersey City at the Yanitelli Center, where the Rams hadn’t defeated the Peahens since the 1977-78 season. Leading the way for Fordham was senior forward Randall Hurst, who also leads the A-10 in scoring with an average of 18.1 per game. Hurst also averages 6.4 rebounds per game, good for 14th in the A-10.

Ample time remains before the start of conference games in the A-10. Conference favorites such as Xavier and Dayton will look to carry their out-of-conference successes into conference play.

Steve Levine can be reached at slevine@student.umass.edu.

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