No one expected a VCU vs Dayton match at noon on Thursday, but little questioned what kind of game it would be—tough, physical, and fun.
VCU had five players players reach double figures as the Rams knocked Dayton from the A10 Tournament, 77-72.
Despite the Rams leading for more than 33 minutes, the game remained close throughout the contest. VCU used a 10-0 run in the first half to take a five point, 38-33, lead into half time.
The second half saw Dayton put together a 7-0 run and later an 8-0 run as they looked to take a 58-57 lead on a Darrell Davis jumper with 7:56 left to play.
Davis finished with 14 points on the afternoon.
Trey Landers scored 8 of the Flyers final 14 points in the final 6:32 of action, including a jumper at the 3:16 mark to give Dayton their largest lead of the game, 70-65.
Landers finished the day with a game-high 19 points while also grabbing 10 rebounds.
The Rams responded in dramatic fashion including a 10-0 run and 4 straight defensive stands.
Dayton was forced into back-to-back shot clock violations. On the next defensive possession, a switch left Jonathan Williams defending Josh Cunningham (17pts/11reb) under the basket. But, Mike’l Simms read the play perfect and came in to help and stripped the ball for the big mans hands. The next time down the court for the Flyers resulted in a missed shot with a long rebound to Williams who was subsequently fouled.
VCU took the 72-70 lead on a acrobatic shot by Williams as he was falling down away from the basket.
It was all VCU free throws from there as Williams knocked down three and Simms (9pts) was good for the final two of the afternoon.
The Rams ended the day on a 12-2 run over the final 2:51 of the game.
Justin Tillman secured his 17th double-double of the season as he connected for 15 points and hauled down 10 rebounds.
Sean Mobley (11pts/3reb/2ast), Issac Vann (10pts/3reb/2ast) and De’Riante Jenkins (11pts/3reb/5ast) also tallied a double-digit scoring effort.
The Rams shot 49% from the floor, while connecting on 8-37 (30%) from deep.
Vital to the Rams success was turning the ball over only 7 times all afternoon. Dayton coughed the ball up 10 times resulting in 12 points for the Rams.
VCU will return to action tomorrow, Friday, March 9th as the take on the Rams of Rhode Island. That game is set to tip-off at noon.