Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Richmond hangs on at LaSalle, keeps pace in A-10 race

Wednesday's games

Richmond 69, LaSalle 65: Now that was close. Didn't look like it was going to be, as the Spiders shot 58 percent in the opening 20 minutes, made 8 of their first 13 3-pointers and rolled up a 16-point lead early in the second half. From there, however, Richmond lost its shooting touch in a big way, making just three field goals over the final 16:50 and none in the final 7:09. The Explorers couldn't quite make it all the way back, though, and missed their last chance to tie when Ebonee Jones, a 68-percent free throw shooter, missed both from the line with LaSalle down 67-65 with 14 seconds to go. Abby Oliver led Richmond with 20 points, Brittani Shells added 15 and Crystal Goring double-doubled (11 and 11) as the Spiders (17-10, 8-5) exceeded last year's A-10 record (7-7). If Richmond can win its season finale at home Saturday against Saint Louis, there's a chance the Spiders could wind up tied for the third-best record in the conference. We're not yet sure how it will all shake out in terms of seeding for the A-10 tournament. But the stage is set for a wild final weekend, culminating in a nationally televised de facto regular-season championship game between conference unbeatens Xavier and Temple on Sunday at 4 p.m.

Atlantic 10 standings (with one game remaining)
Xavier                        24-2    13-0
Temple                       22-6    13-0
Charlotte                    21-7     9-4
Duquesne                   21-7     8-5
St. Bonaventure          18-10   8-5
Dayton                       17-10   8-5
Richmond                  17-10   8-5
St. Joseph's                17-10   7-6
LaSalle                        9-19    5-8
Fordham                    12-17   4-9
George Washington     8-19   3-10
UMass                       7-21    3-10
Rhode Island              7-20    1-12
Saint Louis                 7-21    1-12

Remaining A-10 schedule
Saint Louis at Richmond, 2 p.m.
Charlotte at St. Bonaventure, 2 p.m. (CBS College Sports)
Fordham at Dayton, 2 p.m.
LaSalle at UMass, 2 p.m.
Rhode Island at Duquesne, 2 p.m.
Saint Joseph's at George Washington, noon (CBS College Sports)
Xavier at Temple, 4 p.m. (ESPNU)

In Wednesday's other game:

Gardner-Webb 68, Longwood 50: The Running' Bulldogs feasted on Lancer mistakes, scoring 31 points off 25 Longwood turnovers to complete a two-game, home-and-home sweep of Longwood. Brittanni Billups led Longwood (6-20) with 19 points and Bria White added 13, but it wasn't enough to prevent the Lancers from falling to 1-13 in road games this season. The good news: Longwood's next game, Sunday against Savannah State, is at home.

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