For the third time this season, VCU (26-7 overall) and UR took to the court to decide would retain bragging rights in the city–this time it was in Pittsburgh for the semi-final round of the A10 Tournament.
For the second day in a row, VCU would complete a 3-0 season sweep against an in-state rival.
The Rams went to work early and got solid production from their bench. As is often the case in tournament play, depth can make the difference.
VCU’s bench would out-score the UR bench 35-2.
Ahmed Hamdy-Mohamed played just 5 minutes in the first half, but scored 3 points during a critical stretch when the Rams were trying to build a lead. He also grabbed 2 offensive rebounds that allowed VCU to stay aggressive in their offensive.
Hamdy then scored 6 straight points in the second half to get the game tied at 51 points. He would end the night with 9 points and 5 rebounds in 9 minutes of play.
Kwan Fore and Nick Sherod would both hit a pair of free throws to push the UR lead to 57-51 with 7:57 left to play in regulation.
Samir Doughty would then score 6 straight points for the Rams to tie the game 57. The freshman guard ended the night with 17 points while shooting 60% from the floor, and a perfect 3-3 from the FT line.
UR Freshman, De’Monte Buckingham led the Spiders with 26 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists.
Perhaps no shot was more important than the JeQuan Lewis three to tie the game 71 with 25 seconds left in regulation.
UR guard ShawnDre’ Jones (11pts/2ast) had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation, but his shot came up just short and bounced off the rim.
Overtime was all Rams though as they outscored the Spider, 16-6.
Justin Tillman had an exclamation point dunk to put the Rams lead at 9pts with 46 seconds left. Tillman recorded the double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds. He also blocked two shots.
VCU used 15 points from Mo Alie-Cox to score 56 total points in the paint. He added 9 rebounds and 2 assists to his final stat line.
T.J. Cline, hampered by foul trouble much of the game, scored 10 points for the Spiders in his final game against the Rams.
This win will secure the Rams a spot in their 5th straight A10 Conference Tournament Finals matchup.
VCU will face Rhode Island for a automatic ticket to the NCAA Tournament tomorrow, March 12th. That match is set to tip-off at 12:30PM.