Yesterday was an action-packed day for the Atlantic 10 Conference, as we saw four battles in preparation for March Madness. This year’s conference tournament is crucial, as no team is a lock for the big dance. Let’s look into what happened yesterday as the A10 looks to crown a conference tournament champion.

Game 1: No. 8 Richmond (13-8) vs. No. 9 Duquesne (9-8)

The Richmond Spiders didn’t have to travel far as they took a short bus ride over to VCU’s campus to take on the Dukes. 

Chad Baker scored 16 points, and Michael Hughes added nine of his 11 points in the second half as Duquesne held Richmond without a field goal over the last 9:28 in rallying from a 14-point first-half deficit to win. 

Hughes and Marcus Weathers both had a double-double, and Tavian Dunn-Martin scored 11 for Duquesne, which posted its fourth A-10 Championship opening round win in 26 years.

Richmond tied it at 60-60 before Baker hit a jumper, and Dunn-Martin hit a driving layup to make it 64-60 with 41 seconds remaining. Richmond’s Isaiah Wilson was fouled on a three-point attempt but missed all three with 15 seconds left. Duquesne came out on top 67-62. 

With the win, the Dukes move on to face top-seeded St. Bonaventure (13-4) on Friday at 11:00 a.m. (NBCSN) at the Siegel Center.

Game 2: No. 5 UMass (8-6) vs. No. 13 St. Joseph’s (5-15)

Ronnie DeGray III had 19 points as UMass crushed Saint Joseph’s 100-66. It was a well-rounded game for the victors as they had six players finish in double digits. 

Javohn Garcia added 17 points for the Minutemen, while Tre Mitchell chipped in 15. Garcia also had seven assists, while Mitchell posted 11 rebounds. Noah Fernandes, Carl Pierre, and T.J. Weeks each had 14 points for UMass.

It was the first time this season UMass scored at least 100 points. UMass scored 59 points in the first half, a season-high for the team. 

Ryan Daly, the Hawks’ leading scorer entering the contest at 20 points per game, was held to 7 points (2 of 10).

The Minutemen move on to play fourth-seeded Saint Louis (13-5) in the quarterfinals on Friday at 1:00 PM (NBCSN). 

Game 3: No. 7 Dayton (14-8) vs. No. 13 Rhode Island (10-15)

Stop me if you’ve heard this before; Rhody couldn’t keep up with their opponent’s three-point shooting. Ibi Watson was the primary culprit as he had a season-high 25 points as Dayton got past Rhode Island 84-72. He shot 6-11 from deep, including a dagger at the end of the first half.

Mustapha Amzil and Jalen Crutcher each had 14 points for Dayton, and Koby Brea had six rebounds.

The Rams were within one point after an Allen Betrand 3-pointer with 11:15 remaining. However, Dayton the Flyers responded with an 8-0 run to pull back ahead, 64-55 with 8:19 to go.

Malik Martin had 17 points for the Rams, while Antwan Walker added 13 points, and Ishmael Leggett had 10 points.

Dayton plays second-seeded VCU (17-6) on Friday at 3:30 PM (NBCSN) in the Ram’s home gym, the Siegel Center.

Game 4: No. 6 George Mason (13-8), No. 11 George Washington (5-12)

George Mason dropped a 50 in the second half of yesterday’s game to push past the Colonials 73-59 and advance to quarterfinal action.

Jordan Miller recorded 19 points and ten rebounds to lead the charge, while Ronald Polite had 17 points, and Javon Greene added eight rebounds.

GW enjoyed a 25-22 halftime lead but couldn’t hold on. James Bishop, the conference’s second-leading scorer, finished with a career-high 29 points to pace his club, but once the club fell behind, there wasn’t enough left in the tank to rally.  Jamison Battle added 11 points, and Ricky Lindo Jr. had 14 rebounds.

George Mason plays third-seeded Davidson (12-7) on Friday at 5:30 PM (NBCSN) at the Robins Center.