Conference play in the A-10 and Patriot League were just getting settled today. Did teams with winning records prove themselves in their own conferences? Or did they fall off their pedestals? Friday showed a bit of both.
Good grief! The seemingly solid George Washington Colonials suffered a 68-63 loss to Charlie Brown’s Saint Joseph’s Hawks to open A-10 play. Brown and Lamarr Kimble hit late-game threes to each muster up 13 points to lead Saint Joseph’s. Jaren Sina countered with 15 points and five threes for the Colonials, and Colin Smith and Wake Forest transfer Tyler Cavanaugh combined for 24 rebounds. With four starters in double figures, the Colonials surely have potential, but need to pick up the pace in the second half.
In other George news, George Mason lost its nine-game win streak and dropped a game in the A-10 as well after losing to VCU, 73-64. It wasn’t necessarily a bad loss for the Patriots as JeQuan Lewis’s 26 points helped VCU to 50 percent shooting.
Bonnies and Rhody roll
St. Bonaventure is home to the dynamic duo of Matt Mobley and Jaylen Adams. The two combined for 52 of the Bonnies’ 89 points in their 89-77 win over Massachusetts. Though the game looked tight at times, strong free throw shooting kept the Bonnies going strong.
Rhode Island, on the other hand, stayed steady the entire game and moved to three wins in a row after an upsetting loss to Houston earlier in the month. Kuran Iverson tied his career high in points with 19 and E.C. Matthews had 17. Cyril Langevine pulled in 13 rebounds to destroy the Billkens and remind us how dangerous the Rams can be when they are on their game.
Bucknell comes from behind
The Bison overcame a nine-point deficit at halftime to beat Navy, 59-55, and stay atop the Patriot League. Kimbal MacKenzie was key in adding 22 points off four threes to pave the way for the Bison. Nana Foulland starred as well with a double-double of 12 points and 12 assists. Bucknell’s next real challenge will come with their Jan 11. matchup against Lehigh.
UTEP gets WAC-ed
New Mexico State ran its winning streak up to 11 by beating UTEP, 79-70. Ian Baker led all scorers with 24 points, including six threes to lead the Aggies. The WAC is unusually solid this year, but there is a distinct possibility that New Mexico State can run the table when conference play begins. For the Miners, who have now lost eight straight, it was another close loss. UTEP has now dropped six games by single-digit margins.