Rhode Island used a barrage three pointers, 5 of their first 8 field goals, to start the game. It allowed them to build a lead they would never relinquish in their route of #2 seed VCU, 70-63.
Most Outstanding Player winner, E.C. Matthews proved to be just too much today. The guard from URI was able to put 19 points on the board to go with his 9 rebounds. He also shot 4-5 for 80% from three.
VCU was able to get their deficit as little as 3 points after a layup by Justin Tillman with 37 seconds left on the clock. But 4 straight free throws by Rhode Island would close the game.
Tillman logged his second double-double in two days with 10 points and a game-high 17 rebounds.
JeQuan Lewis was the only other VCU Ram in double figure scoring with 15 points. The senior point guard also has 3 assists and shot a perfect 5-5 from the free throw line.
Lewis was the lone VCU player selected to the 2017 Atlantic 10 Basketball All-Championship team.
Shooting troubles plagued VCU today as they went 21-67 overall for 31.3%.
VCU’s 16 missed layups or tip-ins, 12 in the first half alone, proved too much to overcome. In the end, VCU was able to score just 32 points in the paint.
VCU also struggled from downtown, going 4-14 for 28.6%. URI finished the day going 8-20 for 40%.
The loss by VCU all but ensures that the A10 Conference will receive 3 bids into the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Locations and seedings will be revealed for the NCAA Tournament later today at 5:30PM on CBS.