For 40 minutes two of the favorites to win the A10 battled back-and-forth before a late push gave the VCU Rams (16-5, 6-2 A10) a win over the Dayton Flyers, 73-68.
Free throws became the name of the game as the second-half came to a conclusion. The Rams would score 8 of their last 10 points at the free throw line. VCU shot 19-26 for 73% on the game, but made 6-6 in the final 22 seconds to secure the win.
The contest started with both teams trading baskets until freshman Samir Doughty (11pts, 5reb, 5ast) took the lead on a pair of made free throws for the Rams, 8-6.
Another pair of free throws by Doughty would once again tie the game at 16, but a 7-0 run by Dayton would provide the buffer they needed to take a 2 point lead into the locker room, 33-31.
Despite foul trouble hampering VCU big men throughout the night, the Rams out-rebounded the Flyers, 41-24.
Those 41 rebounds led to VCU scoring 26 second chance points. Dayton was only able to accumulate 8 points from second chance attempts.
Justin Tillman scored 10 of his 18 points in the second half of the contest. The junior forward also collected 9 rebounds—with 5 of those coming on the offensive side.
Ahmed Hamdy-Mohamed was the only other Ram in double digits with 12 points on 4-4 shooting. He also grabbed 8 rebounds for the Rams and made some critical free throws to start the second half.
The Rams will return to action Wednesday, February 1st at 7:00PM as they host crosstown rival, Richmond. The game will be broadcast on CBSSN.