There was no shortage of storylines out of the first session from the Atlantic 10 Tournament in Brooklyn this afternoon.
Dayton moves on to Semifinals
Dayton sailed past Richmond in the first game of the day as they took down the Spiders 69-54. Charles Cooke led the way with 14 points and eight rebounds. Dyshawn Pierre also posted a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
The Spiders were hoping to replicate last week's game in Richmond where the Spiders nearly knocked off the Atlantic 10's top squad. T.J. Cline was the only Richmond player to reach double-figures today with 25 points and eight rebounds.
The Flyers now await St. Joe's tomorrow for a 1:30 tip on CBS Sports Network. Dayton lost to the Hawks in the only regular season matchup between these two teams 79-70 in Philadelphia less than a month ago.
Where does Richmond go from here?
Richmond coach Chris Mooney wouldn't comment on whether or not the 16-16 Spiders would pursue a postseason bid this year. The Spiders 7-11 mark in conference was arguably the Atlantic 10's biggest disappointment this season. It's Richmond's worst season since 2012 when they also went 16-16 and 7-9 in conference. Mooney may feel pressure mounting as the Spiders haven't made the NCAA Tournament since their Sweet 16 run in 2011. Richmond will lose meaningful pieces from this year's squad in Terry Allen, Trey Davis, and Deion Taylor.
St. Joe's takes significant step towards at-large bid
We said in our A10 preview that this conference tourney was going to be a brawl with virtual play-in games for the NCAA Tournament. The first instance we saw of that was the 4-5 game against St. Joe's and George Washington today. It looked like Mike Lonergan's squad was on the right path to the "big dance" when the Colonials went into halftime up 49-35, but Phil Martelli must have put together one hell of a halftime speech!
DeAndre Bembry ignited the Hawks as they had a ferocious comeback in the second half which hit a crescendo at the 6:23 mark when James Demery nailed a three to put St. Joe's ahead 70-69. Bembry helped seal the deal with clutch free throws down the stretch and finished with 21 points, six boards, and three assists.
St. Joe's likely locked in a spot in the NCAA Tournament today and will take on Dayton tomorrow in the aforementioned 1:30 PM tip on CBS Sports Network.
George Washington likely heads to NIT
Mike Lonergan knew an at-large bid was on the line for one of the A10's best but most inconsistent teams this season. The Colonials still would have been iffy for an at-large bid with UConn's quadruple overtime thriller tipping the balance a little today and likely would've had to have a strong showing against Dayton tomorrow.
GW still does have that big win over Virginia and there is still a chance they may sneak in Sunday if things get wacky in selection headquarters. More than likely though the boys from Foggy Bottom are heading to the NIT. It's certainly not the fitting ending for the strong senior class of Patricio Garino, Alex Mitola, Kevin Larsen, and Joe McDonald.
Despite the exodus, GW will be back as Jared Sina joins a stable group of characters remaining.