You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Atlantic 10 crowded at top


A couple of games this week should bring some clarity to the muddled Atlantic 10 race, but the battle for the coveted top four seeds in the conference tournament could be jumbled until the end of the season.

Saint Louis, which is 8-2 in the league, hosts first-place VCU (9-2) today and then visits Butler (8-3) on Friday in an ESPNU game.

Most teams have five league games left, and eight are within three games of first. The top 12 teams advance to the A-10 tourney in Brooklyn on March 14-17. And while there are no first-round games at campus sites this year, the top-four finishers earn byes into the quarterfinals and won’t have to play on the opening Thursday at the Barclays Center.

“Some people call it parity, I call it competitive,” Xavier coach Chris Mack said of the A-10 on the coaches teleconference Monday. “There are enough good players spread around this league, on any given night, one or two of them get hot and you’re in for a long night.

“It’s going to be very, very interesting over the last week and a half or two weeks to see who gets crowned champion and who settles for getting a bye in the conference tournament.”

Over the line: The Dayton fans who taunted Xavier coach Chris Mack’s wife during the Flyers’ 70-59 win Saturday weren’t students and aren’t subject to school disciplinary measures, a UD spokesman said. But after they were located by security, they were escorted out of the building.

The former Christi Hester, once a star guard for the Flyers, was sitting behind the Musketeers bench but got up and left in tears after hearing chants of, “Christi Hester is a b——!” UD Athletic Director Tim Wabler reached out to her by phone Monday to clear things up.

Chris Mack said: “You hear things everywhere you go — you’re human. On the sidelines, you’re trying to focus on the game, but I heard it. There’s really nothing you’re going to do during the course of the game. You’re going to try to coach your team and deal with whatever happens after the game.

“It was unfortunate. But my wife and I — and for that matter, our whole program — understands it’s just one or two knuckleheads. It doesn’t reflect the entire (UD) program or its fans. Other than that, we were treated very kindly — except on the court on Saturday.”

Toss-ups: UMass has been in five one-point games this year, which is an unusually high number. But Temple has had five STRAIGHT one-point games. That’s the longest streak in Division I since STATS, LLC began collecting data in 1996-97.

They’ve won three of the five. After suffering a damaging 84-83 home loss to Duquesne, the Owls knocked off UMass, 83-82, on the road Saturday.

“One thing you tell your team all the time is, it wasn’t the last possession that decided the game. There was a possession in the first half where you had a poor shot and had no chance of making it, and the other team ran down and got a 3. That was a five- or six-point turnaround. That’s what cost you the game, rather than the last possession,” Owls coach Fran Dunphy said.

Offensive woes: Preseason favorite St. Joe’s, which has slumped to 14-10 overall and 5-6 in the league, is off until Saturday, but coach Phil Martelli bristled at the suggestion the break is coming at a good time.

“You can say it will soothe us or it will reinvigorate our spirit. But that’s not been the concern. It’s our basketball play,” he said. “I’ve been saying it over and over and over again: We have not played good offensive basketball. We’re a Division I team that averages about 64 points a game, and in our last six games, we’ve averaged 62 points a game. It’s hard to win that way.”

The Hawks have plenty of talent but don’t really have a true point guard, which may be the most important piece.

“I think for academic recovery time (the break is) really important, but not for soothing anyone’s frayed emotions or psyche or anything like that,” Martelli said.

RPI update: Butler hasn’t the highest RPI in the A-10 with a rating of 18, and the league has 10 top-100 teams.

La Salle has a ranking of 35, VCU 36, UMass 45, Charlotte 53, Saint Louis 56, Temple 59, Richmond 84, Saint Joseph’s 85 and Xavier 89. Dayton is 13th at 123.

The Big East has 12 top-100 teams, the Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC eight each. No other league has more than seven.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Thames cracks two home runs as Brewers beat Reds
Thames cracks two home runs as Brewers beat Reds

Eric Thames homered twice to raise his major league-leading total to 10, Hernan Perez added a three-run shot, Matt Garza pitched for the first time this season and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Cincinnati Reds 11-7 on Monday night. The left-handed batting Thames got just enough muscle on an 0-2 pitch from Amir Garrett (2-2) to slice an opposite-field...
H.S. Results for 4/24: Fairborn baseball bests ‘Creek at Fifth-Third

H.S. Results for 4/24: Fairborn baseball bests Beavercreek at Fifth-Third Fairborn took on their backyard rival at Fifth-Third field, defeating Beavercreek 5-3. Ryan Proffitt was not only the winning pitcher for Fairborn, but also scored three runs on the night. Will Coleman had a two out, two run double in the top of the fifth inning to put Fairborn...
Springfield senior Davis wins county’s top basketball honor
Springfield senior Davis wins county’s top basketball honor

Danny Davis was a star for Springfield’s basketball team from his first game as a freshman in 2013 to his final game last month. Though Davis is Springfield’s all-time leading scorer with 1,774 points, it was made clear at the 40th annual Clark County coaches’ basketball banquet on Monday night at Wittenberg University that what most...
Serena Williams responds to Ilie Nastase's comments on her unborn child
Serena Williams responds to Ilie Nastase's comments on her unborn child

Serena Williams has responded to comments about her unborn child that were made by retired tennis pro Ilie Nastase on Saturday at a news conference ahead of  the Romania Fed Cup playoff against Great Britain, according to ESPN. Nastase, who is the captain of the Romania team, reportedly made a comment in Romanian that was clearly audible to other...
Last year’s Bengals first-round pick itching to get back on field
Last year’s Bengals first-round pick itching to get back on field

No one in the Cincinnati Bengals locker room is more eager to get back to work this season than cornerback William Jackson, the team’s 2016 first-round pick who missed all of his rookie year with a pectoral injury. “I’m itching, I’m itching, I’m ready to get out there now,” Jackson said Monday as the Bengals began...
More Stories