A-10 Notebook: Atlantic 10 basketball starts its back half of the regular season

St. Bonaventure holds George Mason under 30 points in the first half in a blowout victory

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(Nina Walat/Daily Collegian)

By Anthony Syrek, Collegian Staff

VCU closes out La Salle with second half free throw shooting

The VCU Rams (12-4, 5-2 Atlantic 10) defeated the La Salle Explorers (7-10, 4-6 A-10) 73-62, closing it down the stretch with some key free throw shooting and shutting the door on the Explorers. The Rams only attempted six free throws in the first half and sunk all of them in, but they managed to continue attacking the paint in the second half shooting 15-of-20, 21-of-26 from the line.

Nah’Shon Hyland was VCU’s leading scorer with 24 points and shot 11-of-12 from the free throw line. With about a minute left, Hyland made sure La Salle did not have any chance of squeaking out a miracle victory by shooting 4-of-4 from the free throw line down the stretch.

La Salle struggled from behind the arc in the second half, shooting 2-of-12 from three-point range and 6-of-22 in the game. VCU took advantage of second chance buckets with 13, converting seven in the first half to the Explorers zero.

The Rams are set to go on the road against Rhode Island and La Salle looks to bounce back at home against St. Louis both tomorrow at 7 p.m.

St. Bonaventure cruise’s past George Mason in blowout victory

St. Bonaventure (9-1, 7-1 A-10) extend its win streak to seven after blowing out George Mason (8-7, 4-5 A-10) 84-67. The Patriots shot 39 percent from the field and 25 percent from three-point range just in the first half, making it an uphill battle the rest of the game even with an offensive turnaround in the second half.

The Bonnies doubled the points in the paint compared to George Mason 48 to 24. After Patriots Javon Greene scored the first points of the game, St. Bonaventure went on an 11-0 run and put its foot on the gas going up 44-26 at the end of the first.

St. Bonaventure guard Dominick Welch finished with 24 points, four assists and two blocks keeping the Bonnies first in the A-10 conference.

St. Bonaventure looks to extend its winning streak to eight when the Bonnies go on the road to play St. Louis Feb. 8 at 2 p.m., while George Mason looks to recover from its blowout loss when the Patriots travel on the road to play Dayton Feb. 5 at 7 p.m.

Rhode Island’s offensive woes in the second half leads to a Dayton victory

The Dayton Flyers (10-5, 6-4 A-10) swoop in and take one from the Rhode Island Rams (9-9, 6-5 A-10) after being down nine points with 7:30 left in the first half and cutting that deficit to only three before half time.

The Flyers really turned it around in the second half scoring 12 straight unanswered points while locking down Rhode Island’s offense during this stretch. Dayton’s defense shut down the Rams the rest of the game, allowing only 24 points from Rhode Island the rest of the game. The Rams only managed to shoot 8-of-26 from the field and 3-of-11 from three in the second half.

Dayton guard Ibi Watson finished with 22 points and teammate guard Jalen Crutcher finished with 15 points and four steals.

After suffering a loss to Duquesne Tuesday night, Dayton travels back home to face George Mason Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. Rhode Island will try to fix its second half offense before its home game against VCU Feb. 3 at 7 p.m.

Anthony Syrek can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @ASyrek.