Saturday, March 14, 2015

Atlantic 10 Quarterfinals: Tempo-Free Capsules

Tyler Kalinoski reacts to buzzer-beater that sent Davidson to semifinals of Atlantic 10 tournament. (Photo courtesy of NBC Sports)

Davidson 67, La Salle 66
The top-seeded Wildcats led for just 19 seconds the entire afternoon, but it was Tyler Kalinoski's heroics at the final buzzer which served as the final blow as Davidson erased an 18-point deficit to an upset-minded La Salle team that had advanced to the quarterfinals with a win over UMass on Thursday.

In a rare showing, Davidson, despite winning the game, had a lower offensive efficiency despite more possessions than the Explorers. Here are the final numbers:

Possessions: Davidson 65, La Salle 62
Offensive Efficiency: La Salle 106, Davidson 103

The key factor: Davidson picked up several three-pointers when gradually chipping away at La Salle's double-digit lead. The Wildcats' 14 trifectas, to just seven from the Explorers, were central in helping the regular season champions survive and advance.

Leading Scorers and OE:
Davidson: Jack Gibbs, 22 points (OE .704)
La Salle: Steve Zack, 24 points, 15 rebounds (OE .737)

Final Thought
"I just trusted Coach would put is in the best situation to win the game. When Jack was bringing it up and he didn't call timeout, I knew we just had to attack, and that's what we did." - Davidson guard Tyler Kalinoski

VCU 70, Richmond 67
In a hotly contested civil war of sorts, Richmond led most of the way, including late in the second half, before a three-pointer by Doug Brooks gave VCU the lead with just over a minute remaining in regulation. The Rams were able to hold Richmond off after that, despite the Spiders shooting 57 percent from the field.

Possessions: VCU 64, Richmond 63
Offensive Efficiency: VCU 109, Richmond 106

The key factor: Free throws. Even with ten three-pointers, VCU wasn't able to shake Richmond until the Rams got to the charity stripe, where not only did they hit all but three of their 19 attempts, they also fed off a large and vocal crowd presence that distracted the Spiders enough to where they missed all five of their foul shots.

Leading Scorers and OE
VCU: Melvin Johnson, 23 points (OE .533)
Richmond: Kendall Anthony, 26 points (OE .750)

Final Thoughts
"The stops we were able to get in the latter part of the game, that allowed us to get a slight lead and hold on to it. I'm happy for our guys and our fans, because I know how bad they wanted to win this game." - VCU head coach Shaka Smart

"Statistics can be misleading. I thought they didn't tell the whole story. I wish we would have been able to do a lot more, but congratulations to VCU, they move on. We just didn't have enough." - Richmond head coach Chris Mooney

Dayton 75, St. Bonaventure 71
A one-on-one duel between Dion Wright, (OE 1.000) and Kendall Pollard came down to the final seconds, where St. Bonaventure had a chance to win at the end of regulation, only to see Dayton get a steal and breakaway layup to defeat the pesky Bonnies.

Possessions: Both 63
Offensive Efficiency: Dayton 119, St. Bonaventure 113

The key factor: Dayton's transition game. It was what ultimately got the Flyers to the finish line, and the layup that sealed Dayton's trip to the A-10 semifinals provided the finishing touches on a decisive 21-4 schooling of the Bonnies in fast break points.

Leading Scorers and OE
Dayton: Kendall Pollard, 26 points (OE .824)
St. Bonaventure: Marcus Posley, 26 points (OE .458)

Final Thoughts
"We were very nervous about the game. I think St. Bonaventure is coached by one of the more underrated coaches in all of college basketball. Coach Schmidt does a phenomenal job, he always has." - Dayton head coach Archie Miller

"I always believe that from a coaching standpoint, you want your team to improve from the very beginning to the end, and I think we did." - St. Bonaventure head coach Mark Schmidt

Rhode Island 71, George Washington 58
In a battle of two hard-nosed defenses, Rhode Island took advantage of their first taste of separation, and used it to pull away from George Washington down the stretch, keeping their NCAA Tournament hopes alive as the Rams advanced to face Dayton in the semifinals.

Possessions: George Washington 74, Rhode Island 73
Offensive Efficiency: Rhode Island 97, George Washington 78

The key factor: Physicality. A Dan Hurley trademark, the edge in that department belonged to the Rams, as they used their muscle advantage to get to the free throw line 44 times, compared to just 27 for George Washington, coming out with an aggressive mindset following a first half in which the Colonials led 32-30, and getting inspired efforts with every possession as the clock wound down.

Leading Scorers and OE:
Rhode Island: E.C. Matthews, 21 points (OE .400)
George Washington: Patricio Garino, 17 points (OE .600)

Final Thoughts
"Coach was preaching that we had to get stops, and that it was going to come on the offensive end." - Rhode Island guard E.C. Matthews

"Our game plan was, 'don't foul,' and we put them on the line too much. I think our mental toughness has to increase, but give them credit, they were tougher than us." - George Washington head coach Mike Lonergan

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