WEB UPDATE: Notebook: Rice thrives during tough time

ATLANTIC CITY, March 9 – Junior Maureece Rice scored 16 points in 37 hard-fought minutes. He turned the ball over three times and had three steals against Saint Joseph’s during a 58-48 win.

That was the easiest part of his day.

Rice, a Philadelphia native, attended his grandmother’s funeral Thursday morning and met his team at the hotel here around 5:30 p.m. Rice was with his family last night in Philadelphia and Karl Hobbs, GW’s head coach, said they gave him the support he needed to play tonight.

“He has had a tough two-week period,” Hobbs said. “It was great to see so many people just supporting him through this time.”

This seaside town, flooded with bright lights and loud casinos, is a touch more than one hour from Philadelphia, o the 6-foot-1 guard seemed comfortable with family and friends in the stands.

Friday’s matchups

The semifinals in the A-10 Championship will start tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. with the top-seeded Xavier facing the fourth-seeded Rhode Island. No. 3 GW will take on No. 7 St. Louis at 9 p.m., here at Boardwalk Hall. GW lost 63-53 in its only matchup with the Billikens this season in Missouri Feb. 3.

Martelli: We’re going to be a multiple-bid league

Saint Joseph’s coach Phil Martelli said that the Atlantic 10 will be have multiple bids in the NCAA tournament this season. Aside from the automatic bid that is earned by the winner of the conference tournament, Xavier is the only team that looks like it could garner serious consideration by the tournament selection committee. After GW beat Duquesne March 3, Hobbs said his team should get serious attention if it reaches the championship game. The selection committee announces the field Sunday afternoon.

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