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March 2, 2013Alan Major told NinerReport back in October that the season would be successful if his team was maxing out by March.
For some context:
NR: Fill in the blank. This season will be a success if____________
With three losses by a combined 59 points it is safe to say that there is quite a bit of improvement for the 49ers (18-9, 6-7) at this point.
They finished February 2-5 and haven't won since defeating Butler on the road on Feb. 13. The 49ers were 18-6 (6-4) at that point.
There were plenty of people talking about the NCAA Tournament at that point but now the 49ers are just hoping to get into their own league tournament.
With expansion, the bottom four finishers do not make the tournament. Entering Saturday the 49ers were in a four way tie for ninth with Saint Joseph's, St. Bonaventure and George Washington. Dayton sits at No. 13, one game behind those four teams. Fordham and Duquesne have been eliminated thus far.
However, the 49ers need to win at least two of their last three in order to qualify most likely.
They could take a major step Saturday evening by defeating St. Bonaventure.
The Bonnies have won two games in a row after dropping two consecutive contests in overtime. They are led by a trio of seniors in forwards Demetrius Conger, Chris Johnson, and guard Eric Mosley.
Mosley in particular has been on a tear over the last five games. He's averaged 24.2 points per game on 50 percent shooting from the field and 45.2 percent shooting from beyond the arc. He put up back to back 30 point games with 30 points at Richmond and 39 at home against Massachusetts.
For the 49ers, nothing has gone right over the last three games. Defensively they have been non-existent. They allowed Saint Louis to shoot 43.1 percent from the field and 40.7 percent from the 3-point line.
Temple shot 48.3 percent from the field and 41.7 percent from the 3-point line while Dayton shot a staggering 61.7 percent from the field and 40 percent from the line.
The "defensive identity" that Major has spoke of hasn't been seen in a few weeks.
If they want to get out of their funk, they're going to have to keep their composure and start the second half with a little more intensity.
They allowed the Flyers to score on 11 of their first 13 second half possessions in route to the blowout.
On the year the 49ers have been outscored in league play 927-846. That is a margin of 81 points, the margin in the second half is 63 points, where the 49ers have been getting outplayed and outhustled.
Projected 49ers starters
1. Pierria Henry
2. Denzel Ingram
3. E. Victor Nickerson
4. Darion Clark
5. Willie Clayton
Games to keep an eye on
1. Rhode Island at Temple, 2p.m.
Why eye? A loss eliminates Rhode Island from getting into the Atlantic 10 Tournament.
2. Saint Louis at George Washington, 4p.m.
Why eye? The Colonials are tied with the 49ers for that ninth spot, they also own the tie-breaker with the head-to-head scenario.
3. Richmond at Dayton, 4p.m.
Why eye? Richmond is a game ahead of Charlotte with a tie-breaker and Dayton is one game back of Charlotte and holds the tie-breaker after Wednesday's beat down. At 5-8, the Flyers currently sit at No. 13 and out of the tournament. However, they still have a home game against the Bonnies and at George Washington to give them a chance to catch up.