The State of the (Hot)lantic 10 - Week 6

By Michael Weber

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Timberrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr....It what was maybe Duquesne's biggest game since like 1977, A10 finals aside in 2009, the Dukes came out flat, stayed flat, took a 1 point halftime lead, and then...proceeded to get their doors blown off by the class of the league, the Musketeers of Xavier.  It was up until this point in the season, the biggest conference of the season.  But it hardly lived up to that.  Even though Duquesne held a brief 2nd half lead, you never felt like Xavier was going to lose.  I've been on record as suggesting I have no issue with Duquesne playing an OOC opponent in the CEC every year.  I am totally against moving conference games...like totally.  Make no mistake, this game is probably not any different in the AJ Palumbo Center.  Xavier derserved to win this one.  Duquesne managed(somehow) to shoot 13-27 from the foul line in losing by 8 to the Muskies.  That's close to, if not the main reason, as to why they lost this one.  But don't tell Ron Everhart this one.  He told Ray Goss after the game  that free throws had nothing to do with the loss.  Yeah - Right.  The Dukes have now lost two straight and head into a matchup in Amherst, MA.  Good Luck.  I guess a lot of the same can be said for Brian Gregory's Flyers.  But, apparently expectations were to high for the Flyers...according to BG.  If you don't believe me, ask The Blackburn Review.  It's becoming more clear to me that this is a 3 team race for the top.  Xavier, Temple and Richmond are the class of this league as of right now.  Xavier has a one game lead on the Owls and Spiders and has beaten them both.  I suspect they run away and hide, winning every single one of their remaining games.  Take it to the bank.  I really thought Fordham had a shot to win their first league game in what seems like 25 years, but they blew a huge first half lead.  Oh well...

TEAM OF THE WEEK:  Rhode Island Rams - Winners of 2 games; Sent UD into a spiral and got a somewhayt lucky bounce to defeat Charlotte.  At 7-4, Jim Baron's team is still in the race for a first round bye in the A10 Tournament.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK:  For my money, it was Justin Harper.  Scored 20 and 22 points in his team's wins this week.  Richmond is starting to hit their "stride" and Harper is a big reason as to why. 

GAME OF THE WEEK:  URI's one point overtime win against Charlotte is something that always gets my attention in league play(overtime that is).  A very thrilling ending as a long trey was missed put back in at the buzzer to send the Rams into a "frenzy"

DUD OF THE WEEK:  In front of a sold out crowd of 10,509, the Dukes never really felt comfortable, losing 71-63.  In what was their biggest game in quite some time, Duquesne let Xavier push them around, up and down, and all over the floor.  Don't be fooled by a brief 2nd half lead.  X was in control for much of this one, including the final 10 minutes. 

SURPRISE TEAM OF THE WEEK:  Last week, UMASS lost at St. Joe's.  This week they lost at home home to GW.  Ouch.

WEB's DUQUESNE FLAVOR OF THE WEEK:  You have to beat Umass, at Umass.  If not, season = over, in my humble opinion of course.