February 25, 2021 

Atlantic 10 conference: moves conference tournament and moves closer to the end of the regular season

Dayton suffers first conference loss while George Mason remains winless

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Brooke Flowers scans the floor against Dayton. Photo Credit Saint Louis Athletics.

On Feb. 18 the Atlantic 10 conference announced the women’s basketball conference tournament will be moved to the week of March 10. The conference stated the move is due to the later start of the women’s basketball postseason schedule. 

According to two coaches, the conference may add one additional game during the week of March 1 but as of Feb. 22, no formal announcement has been made.

Davidson

Davidson finished the weekend at 5-8 in A-10 play and 8-11 overall after a loss to George Washington and a win against George Mason. 

Three-point shooting percentage has been critical for the team throughout the season. The Wildcats have won eight of the 10 games in which they shot at least 31.0 percent from behind the arc. The team has lost every game it has shot less than 31.0 percent from behind the arc.

Against GW, Davidson shot just 23.1 percent from three. The team fared much better against Mason, making 10 of its 28 attempts. 

As conference play begins to wrap up, it will be important for Davidson to make threes in order to end the regular season on a high note. 

The Wildcats are scheduled to travel to host Saint Louis and Dayton on Feb. 26 and Feb. 28 respectively. 

Dayton 

Dayton fell to 12-2 and 11-1 in conference play with a loss to Saint Louis, the team’s first home conference loss since Dec. 4, 2016. 

“At the end of the day you can’t shoot 29 percent and beat a good team like Saint Louis … They were the better team tonight, they made plays when they had to, they hit some big-time shots. We got the ball where we wanted and we just couldn’t finish,” head coach Shauna Green said. 

The Flyers’ 29.6 percent shooting from the field was the team’s lowest all season. The team took 21 more shots than the Billikens who made 48 percent of their shots. 

“Today we lost to a really good team, a really hard-fought game where we missed a lot of shots, hopefully, we’ll make next time and I think we’ll see them again, at some point in the A-10 tournament,” Green said. 

Dayton will need to shoot more efficiently to finish conference play on a high note. 

The Flyers are scheduled to travel to Davidson on Feb. 28. 

Duquesne

Duquesne finished the weekend to 3-6 in conference play and 4-9 overall after a win over Rhode Island and a loss to St. Bonaventure. 

In their first game at UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse, the Dukes defeated Rhode Island, led by a career-high 20 points from Precious Johnson. Diamond Bragg and Ny Langley also scored in double figures. 

Duquesne allowed 46 points in the first half against St. Bonaventure while struggling on the offensive end. Only Ny Langley and Amaya Hamilton scored in double figures, something that will need to improve if the team is to get back in the win column and head into the conference tournament with momentum. 

The Dukes are scheduled to travel to La Salle and Saint Joseph’s on Feb. 26 and Feb. 28 respectively. 

Fordham

Fordham remains on pause due to a university-wide spike in COVID-19 cases and its Feb. 26 and Feb. 28 games against Dayton and Saint Louis have been postponed. 

Junior Kaitlyn Downey and senior Edona Thaqi organized a Change.org petition requesting to be allowed to play the rest of the season, as of Feb. 20 the petition has been signed 3,697 times. 

The conference tournament was listed at its original dates on the petition as canceled and it is not clear how the changes to the conference tournament schedule will impact the school’s plans. 

George Mason 

Mason fell to 0-13 in A-10 play and 3-17 overall after a 68-42 loss to Davidson.

“I really don’t have a whole lot to say. We can’t score the ball. [If] you can’t score, the game’s really hard. So, same story, different day. Make layups. Don’t throw the ball to the other team. Put your hands up on shooters. So different day, same results, unfortunately,” head coach Nyla Milleson said. 

The team continued to struggle to score and commit careless turnovers. In conference play, the Patriots have scored the fewest points per game (46.1) and turn the ball over the most (16.9 turnovers per game). The team scored just 42 points against the Wildcats and committed 18 turnovers. 

Mason will have to find a way to score more and turn the ball over less if they will get a conference win this season. 

The Patriots are scheduled to travel to GW on Feb. 28. 

George Washington 

GW improved to 4-9 in conference play and 7-12 overall after a win over Davidson, extending its win streak to three games. 

The Colonials scored the first ten points of the game, setting the tone offensively for the rest of the contest. 

Reigning A-10 Rookie of the Week Ali Brigham led the team with 14 points. Jasmine Whitney, Neila Luma, and Gabby Nikitinaite also scored in double figures. 

 “We’ve scored the ball better, but we’ve also defended really, really well. And so it seems to be that things are clicking on both ends for us,” head coach Jennifer Rizzotti said.

Maintaining success on the offensive and the defensive end will lead to continued success for GW as the regular season comes to a close. 

The Colonials are scheduled to host Mason on Feb. 28. 

La Salle 

La Salle fell to 6-9 in conference play and 10-12 overall after losses to VCU and Richmond. 

Kayla Spruill led the team with 27 points and 10 rebounds in the team’s overtime loss to VCU. In the close game, the Rams won by making the final shot. 

Against Richmond, La Salle shot just 30.4 percent from the floor. The team wasn’t able to come back from its 50-38 deficit, eventually falling 67-61. 

Claire Jacobs led the team with 21 points and went 7-16 from the floor. She also added seven rebounds and two assists. 

Consistency will be key for La Salle down the stretch in the final games of the regular season as the team prepares for the tournament. 

The Explorers are scheduled to host Duquesne and St. Bonaventure on Feb. 26 and Feb. 28.  

Massachusetts

Massachusetts remains on an Athletic Department-wide pause. The Minutewomen are scheduled to take on VCU and Richmond on Feb. 26 and Feb. 28 respectively. 

Rhode Island 

Rhode Island finished the weekend 9-4 in conference play and 9-7 overall after a loss to Duquesne and a win over St. Bonaventure.

The Rams struggled from the free-throw line, making just 7 of its 15 free-throw attempts in the eight-point loss. 

Points off of turnovers was a difference-maker in Rhode Island’s game against St. Bonaventure. The Rams forced 17 turnovers which they converted into 21 points. While the Bonnies forced 13 turnovers they turned them into just four points.  

Rhode Island will need to continue to turn turnovers into points in order to remain in the win column as the regular season comes to a close. 

The Rams are currently scheduled to host Richmond and VCU on Feb. 26 and Feb. 28. 

Richmond

Richmond improved to 12-6 overall and 9-4 in conference play after wins over Saint Joseph’s and La Salle. 

After his team’s win against La Salle head coach Aaron Roussell said, “In this league, you’re going to have to win in a multitude of ways. I thought we gave up way too many offensive rebounds. We overcame some things with rebounding but we got to the free-throw line and got some easy baskets.” 

The Spiders allowed the Hawks to grab 19 offensive rebounds which they turned into 17 second-chance points. Kate Klimkiewicz led the team on the offensive end, accumulating 23 points, 13 rebounds, and three steals. 

Richmond was able to hold off La Salle and its three-point attack by winning the rebounding battle 48-36 and scoring 20 more points in the paint. 

The Spiders are currently scheduled to travel to Rhode Island and Massachusetts on Feb. 26 and Feb. 28 eventually. 

St. Bonaventure

St. Bonaventure finished the weekend 5-10 in conference play and 6-12 overall after a loss to Rhode Island and a win over Duquesne. 

A slow offensive start proved to be too much for the Bonnies to overcome. I’yanna Lops was the only player to score in double figures for the team. 

St. Bonaventure rebounded quickly, shooting 52.6 percent against Duquesne. Asianae Johnson led the team with 18 points on 8-12 shooting with Olivia Brown close behind with 17 points, including making 5 of 7 three-point attempts.  

Strong shooting will be key for the Bonnies to remain in the win column.

The Bonnies are scheduled to travel to Saint Joseph’s and La Salle.

Saint Joseph’s

Saint Joseph’s fell to 3-9 in conference play and 5-9 overall after losses to Richmond and VCU, extending the team’s losing streak to eight. 

The Hawks failed to close out their game against Richmond, going 0-7 from the floor to end the game, while the Spiders hit a three and went 5-6 from the free-throw line to end the game. 

Saint Joseph’s six-point third quarter was enough to slow down the team against VCU. The team will need to score consistently in order to get back in the win column before the end of the regular season. 

The Hawks are scheduled to travel to host St. Bonaventure and Duquesne on Feb. 26 and Feb. 28 respectively. 

Saint Louis 

Saint Louis improved to 10-3 overall and 8-3 in conference play after a win over Dayton. 

The Billikens overcame a slow first quarter to take down a Dayton team that had not lost since Dec. 6. The team shot an efficient 48 percent from the floor and 41.7 percent from behind the arc. 

Brooke Flowers posted 19 points and 16 rebounds for her third consecutive double-double. She also added an assist, four blocks, and two steals.  

Saint Louis has won its last six games and eight of the last nine. If Flowers remains at the top of her game the team will end the regular season with a lot of momentum ahead of the conference tournament. 

The Billikens are scheduled to travel to Davidson on Feb. 26. 

VCU

VCU fell to 11-9 overall and 9-4 in conference play after wins against La Salle and Saint Joseph’s. 

Madison Hattix-Covington, Sarah Te-Biasu, Tera Reed, and Samantha Robinson scored in double figures to lead the Rams past La Salle in overtime. It was Robinson’s first game in double figures in a VCU uniform. 

VCU dominated at the free-throw line, making 26 of its 36 attempts, which Saint Joseph’s went just 5-10. Getting to the free-throw line will be key to VCU’s success as the regular season wraps up. 

The Rams are scheduled to travel to Massachusetts and Rhode Island on Feb. 26 and Feb. 28 respectively. 

Written by Natalie Heavren

Natalie Heavren has been covering women’s basketball since February 2019 and currently covers both the Atlantic 10 and the WNBA.

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