Recap: VCU escapes Dayton with gutsy 69-68 victory
Marcus Evans scored all 12 of his points in the second half as VCU (19-6, 10-2 A10) toughed out a 69-68 road victory to remain tied for first place in the race for A10 regular season champs.
Evans, who went 0-4 in the first half, ended the game going 5-9 from the floor overall, including the go ahead basket with just 6 seconds remaining in the contest.
VCU, who used a 16-0 run in the first half, and then a 10-0 run to start the second half looked to be in good position for a run-away win at a tough Dayton arena.
Key to those runs was junior, De’Riante Jenkins, who led the Rams with 19 points on 5-7 shooting from range, and 7-12 shooting overall.
But, the Flyers used a 26-4 run over a ten minute span in the middle of the second half to reclaim the lead, 60-59 with only 4:50 remaining in the game.
Ryan Mikesell has a game-high 22 points for the Flyers on 9-12 shooting.
While Dayton outshot VCU, 50% to 47% respectively, it was the Rams who held the lead for the majority of the match at 32 minutes overall.
The two teams matched up evenly by the final whistles: both teams had 14 turnovers, both teams had 34 points in the paint, and both teams ended with 13 second-chance points.
The big difference for the Rams was the advantage on the glass with a 35-27 rebounding margin—including 14 offensive rebounds.
The VCU bench also outscored the Dayton bench 20-2.
Isaac Vann was the only other Ram in double digit scoring with 14 points and 5-6 shooting from the free throw line—including two in the final 39 seconds of the game to take the penultimate lead for VCU.
With todays win, VCU reclaims a share of first place with Davidson in the A10.
It also marks a tough regular season sweep of the Dayton Flyers for VCU.
The Rams will return to action Tuesday, February 19 as they return home to take on the Rams of Rhode Island. VCU lost at Rhode Island in their earlier season matchup, 71-65.
That game is set to tip at 8pm EST.