Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball Notebook - 12/23

This is the Atlantic 10 Conference's Men's Basketball Notebook for the week of December 17 though the 23th. Temple's Dionte Christmas and URI's Will Daniels share player of the week honors while Duquesne's own Damian Saunders gets his second rookie of the week honor this season.


A-10 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

Dionte Christmas - Temple
Junior, Guard, 6-5, 190 lbs.
Philadelphia, Pa./Philadelphia Lutheran Christian Academy

Christmas registered his team-leading third double-double performance of the season on Dec. 22 with 22 points and 11 rebounds as Temple edged Eastern Michigan, 58-55...shot 8-of-13 from the field, including 6-for-10 from beyond the arc...tied his career high for rebounds in a game...added an assist and a steal...marked his fifth 20-point performance this season.

Will Daniels - Rhode Island
Senior, Forward, 6-8, 225 lbs.
Hyde Park, N.Y./Franklin D. Roosevelt HS

Daniels scored 22 points and grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds in Rhode Island's 88-69 win over Hofstra on Dec. 22...matched his career high with five assists...has scored at least 20 points in five games this season...earns his third A-10 Player of the Week honor on the year.

ROOKIE OF THE WEEK

Damian Saunders - Duquesne
Freshman, Forward, 6-7, 205 lbs.
Waterbury, Conn./Crosby HS/Notre Dame Prep (MA) <

Saunders scored 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting and added five rebounds and four steals in Duquesne's 99-80 win over Saint Francis (Pa.) on Dec. 21...recorded three assists and a pair of blocks in just 17 minutes of action...named the A-10 Rookie of the Week for the second time...ranks second on the team in blocks (17) and steals (14).


NEWS FROM AROUND THE ATLANTIC 10

WEEKLY HONOR ROLL

  • Junior forward Charlie Coley scored a career-high 14 points at Tulsa on Dec. 18 and notched his first career double-double with 12 points and 11 boards in Charlotte's 83-51 win versus Gardner-Webb on Dec. 22
  • Dayton senior guard Brian Roberts scored 20 points and made all 12 of his free throw attempts in the Flyers' 91-74 victory over Loyola (Md.) on Dec. 22
  • Junior guard Aaron Jackson scored 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting on Dec. 21 as Duquesne turned aside Saint Francis (Pa.), 99-80
  • La Salle senior guard Darnell Harris scored 21 points on 5-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc in the Explorers' 93-88 loss to DePaul
  • Sophomore guard Ricky Harris scored 15 points in Massachusetts' 79-55 win versus Central Connecticut State on Dec. 22
  • Richmond freshman guard Kevin Anderson had 10 points and four steals on Dec. 19 as the Spiders edged Old Dominion, 55-49
  • Freshman guard Hillary Haley scored a career-high 16 points in St. Bonaventure's 54-45 loss at Wright State on Dec. 18
  • Saint Joseph's junior guard Tasheed Carr scored 18 points, grabbed six rebounds and added six assists in the Hawks' 78-70 victory at Fairfield on Dec. 21
  • Junior forward Barry Eberhardt scored 16 points on Dec. 19 as Saint Louis downed Loyola-Chicago, 60-43.

RAM POWER

Rhode Island is 11-1 for the first time since the 1991-92 campaign, when it opened the season with 12 wins in its first 13 games. URI was the first team in the nation to reach the 10-win mark this season and is vying for its first appearance in the AP top 25 since earning a No. 25 ranking on Nov. 16, 1998.

ONE FOR THE BOOKS

Temple won its 100th game at the Liacouras Center as a result of its 58-55 win over Eastern Michigan on Dec. 22. The Owls are now 100-36 since the building opened on Dec. 9, 1997.

ONE POINT

La Salle's 117-86 win over Puerto Rico-Mayaguez on Dec. 19 in the opening game of the San Juan Shootout marked the most points scored by the Explorers since a 120-88 win over Iona on Jan. 4, 1992.

TWO POINTER

Dayton's 91-74 home win versus Loyola (Md.) on Dec. 22 marked the most number of points scored by the Flyers under fifth-year head coach Brian Gregory, a span of 135 games.

50'S STYLE

Saint Louis turned aside Loyola-Chicago, 60-43, on Dec. 19 to improve to 7-0 on the year when holding its opponents to under 60 points. The Billikens lead the A-10 in scoring defense (58.0 ppg.) and are yielding an average of just 28.1 points in the first half through 13 games.

DID YOU KNOW?

Duquesne junior Shawn James has blocked at least one shot in every college game he has played (65 total games), including seven rejections on Dec. 21 in the Dukes' 99-80 win over Saint Francis (Pa.).

RAISING ITS LEVEL

The Atlantic 10 is ranked sixth out of 31 conferences thru games of Dec. 22 by collegerpi.com. The A-10 is the only league to have four teams ranked in the top 20 overall as Xavier comes in at No. 7, followed by Rhode Island (10th), Massachusetts (11th) and Dayton (12th). In addition, the Atlantic 10 boasts a record of 93-57 (.620) in non-conference action this season which, if maintained for the remainder of the season, would be the fourth-highest winning percentage since the formation of the league in 1976-77 and highest since the 1993-94 campaign (69-35 - .663). A-10 teams were 104-85 (.550) in non-conference matchups a year ago.

WINNING WAYS

Duquesne clinched a plus-.500 non-conference record as a result of its 99-80 win over Saint Francis (Pa.) on Dec. 21. The Dukes' 7-3 start, which is the school's best since the 1993-94 NIT team opened the year with the same record, still have three more non-conference games on the schedule.

This is just the fifth time since 1990 that a Duquesne team has posted a winning non-conference record. In addition, its seven pre-January wins are the most since 1979-80 (7-1). The last time a DUQ team had eight wins prior to New Year's Day was 1971-72 (8-0). Five-time world champion boxer Roy Jones, Jr., who has played pick-up ball with senior guard Gary Tucker in Pensacola, Fla., spoke to the team following its Dec. 21 contest about the importance of dedication and playing hard.

RETURN TO SENDER

Freshman forward Papa Lo registered six of Massachusetts' 18 blocked shots on Dec. 22 in the Minutemen's 79-55 win over Central Connecticut State. The 18 blocks marked the second-highest single-game total in program and league history. UMass tallied an A-10 record 20 blocks versus West Virginia on Jan. 3, 1995.

TREMENDOUS TWENTY

Senior Will Daniels became the first Rhode Island player in nearly 30 years to amass a double-double in points and rebounds in the first half of a game as he scored 14 points and grabbed 10 boards versus Hofstra on Dec. 22. The last URI player to accomplish the feat was Sly Williams on Jan. 6, 1979, against Detroit. Daniels finished the contest with 22 points and a career-high 16 rebounds.

FLYING HIGH

Boasting a 3-1 record on the road, Dayton has already surpassed its number of road victories from last season and is the lone team in the nation this season to earn three road wins over teams ranked in the RPI top 50.

THE SECOND FIVE

George Washington's bench has accounted for 36 percent of the team's total points through eight games this season, an average of 23.5 points per outing. The GW bench has outscored its opponent's bench in all but one game this season.


A-10 Players of the Week

Nov. 5-10          Kieron Achara, Duquesne
Nov. 11-17         Will Daniels, Rhode Island
                   Gary Forbes, Massachusetts
Nov. 18-24         Will Daniels, Rhode Island
Nov. 25 - Dec. 1   Michael Lee, St. Bonaventure
                   Joe Mbang, Rhode Island
Dec. 2-8           Leemire Goldwire, Charlotte
                   Drew Lavender, Xavier
Dec. 9-15          Gary Forbes, Massachusetts
Dec. 16-22         Dionte Christmas, Temple 
                   Will Daniels, Rhode Island

A-10 Rookies of the Week

Nov. 5-10          Chris Wright, Dayton
Nov. 11-17         Damian Saunders, Duquesne
Nov. 18-24         Chris Wright, Dayton
Nov. 25 - Dec. 1   An'Juan Wilderness, Charlotte
Dec. 2-8           Chris Wright, Dayton
Dec. 9-15          Chris Wright, Dayton
Dec. 16-22         Damian Saunders, Duquesne 


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