November 30, 2020 

Atlantic 10 notes from opening week

The conference struggled against Power 5 opponents but picked up several wins against mid-majors

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GW Women’s Basketball Team Huddle. Photo Courtesy of GW Athletics.

Davidson

Davidson was one of several Atlantic 10 schools that struggled against Power 5 schools in their opening week, falling 94-72 to the University of Maryland and 85-77 to Wake Forest in the #BeachBubble Showcase. 

The Wildcats continued their losing streak on Nov. 29 falling to 0-3 against Florida Gulf Coast University. 

The reigning A-10 Rookie of the year Suzi-Rose Deegan has been notably absent during Davidson’s early struggles. 

Dayton 

On Nov. 24 head coach Shauna Green announced she had tested positive for COVID-19 the day before. While Green was self-isolating, Dayton got their first win of the season 71-57 over Morehead State. 

Redshirt seniors Erin Whalen (25 points) and Araion Bradshaw (15 points) impressed and will likely need to continue to carry the load this season. 

With the team’s Dec. 2 game against Illinois State canceled, the team should be without their head coach for one more game, Dec. 6 against Central Michigan. 

Duquesne

The Dukes opened up their season on Nov. 29 with an 82-47 loss to #20/22 Ohio State University. 

Nine Duquesne players scored, demonstrating their extreme depth this season. Notably absent however was A-10 Preseason All-Conference First Team selection Libby Bazelak. 

Fordham

Fordham opened their nonconference season with a 62-58 win over Stony Brook University. The Seawolves were picked to finish second in the America East preseason poll. 

Anna DeWolfe impressed in the first game of her sophomore season, scoring 25 points and playing all 40 minutes. Before the season started, head coach Stephanie Gaitley noted DeWolfe would have to step up this season, and so far she has. 

George Mason 

Mason started this season with a 72-57 loss to the University of Pittsburgh. However, there is more to the story than the score. After scoring just five points in the first quarter, the Patriots rallied and scored 52 points in the final three quarters. 

The Patriots defeated Navy 72-68 to improve to 1-1 behind a career-high 22 points, eight rebounds and a career-high four blocks for Jazmyn Doster. 

George Washington

GW started its season 2-0 with wins over Lincoln University and Old Dominion University, though the team did not score over 55 points in either game. 

The Colonials’ next test comes on Dec. 1 against Virginia Tech who averaged 83 points per game in their first two games. 

Neila Luma averaged 17 points per game over the first two games. Her teammates will need to step up offensively as the season goes on.  

La Salle 

The Explorers will open their season on Nov. 30 against Towson, a game that was added on Nov. 25. La Salle’s original season opener on Nov. 28 against Coppin State was canceled. 

Massachusetts

UMass started the season 1-1 with a win over Bryant University and an overtime loss to Boston College. The eight-point loss to BC was one of the league’s better performances against Power 5 schools so far. 

Sam Breen and Sydney Taylor have had strong offensive starts to the season averaging 24.5 and 21.5 points per game respectively. 

Rhode Island 

The Rams started the season 0-1 after a 76-50 loss to Providence on Nov. 28, but were still able to make program history. 

Marie-Paule Foppossi, Johanna Muzet and Emmanuelle Tahane all scored in double figures. The team will need to develop a fourth shooter or have the rest of the team contribute in larger ways in order to remain competitive throughout the season. 

Richmond

Richmond started the season 0-1 after an 85-64 loss to Virginia Tech. The team’s Nov. 29 game against Georgetown was canceled, but they added a Dec. 2 matchup against Navy. 

Kate Klimkiewicz, Claire Holt and Allie Budnik all scored at least 12 points in their game against the Hokies, providing the Spiders with a solid core of scorers that will help them as the season goes on. 

St. Bonaventure

St. Bonaventure has yet to play a game after the program announced it paused all team activities on Nov. 24 after there was a positive result within their Tier 1 personnel group of student-athletes, coaches, team managers and support staff. 

The team has yet to announce the adjustments to its non-conference schedule, however, the Bonnies are scheduled to start A-10 play on Dec. 11 at Duquesne. 

Saint Joseph’s

On Nov. 21 Saint Joseph’s announced that the team would pause all team activities for 14 days due to a positive COVID-19 test among the program’s Tier 1 personnel. 

The Hawks do not have a nonconference game on their schedule and as of now will open A-10 play against La Salle on Dec. 19. 

Saint Louis 

Saint Louis’ season opener against Missouri was postponed just hours before tipoff due to “COVID-19 related issues within the Missouri program.” 

The Billikens’ season now is scheduled to begin on Dec. 4 against Memphis. 

VCU

The Rams went 1-2 in their first week of play, defeating Saint Mary’s (California) and losing to Arizona State University and Stephen F. Austin. 

Sarah Te-Biasu, Taya Robinson and Madison Hattix-Covington averaged at least 10 points per games. 

Tera Reed also had 22 points in the lone game she played in and Janika Griffith-Wallace had 19 points her her lone game. 

Offensive consistency will be key for the Rams moving forward — they scored 40 points against ASU and 87 against Saint Mary’s. 

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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