Short-handed Rams win at Dayton, sweep Flyers

VCU did not have their usual numbers in tonight's matchup at Dayton, but pulled out a tough road victory just the same, downing the Flyers, 76-67.

On a night when both teams couldn't seem to miss early, once again it became the Bones Hyland show, as the sophomore guard scored a team-high 19 points on a red-hot 6-11 shooting including 3-5 from distance, two makes of which were easily of the NBA variety. Hyland led the Rams on a night the black and gold would connect on 52.2% of their threes to keep pace with the Flyers who were 10-19 from distance themselves (52.6%). VCU hit 50% of their attempts overall.

The Flyers looked to be somewhat in control early in the game, but VCU kept pace, eventually taking a 41-39 lead into the half. Then in the second in a tight contest, the Rams made the big plays late to ice the win including a Vince Williams three with 40 second to play that stretched the Rams' lead to their final margin.

Williams finished with a career-high 19 points to maintain pace with Hyland, one of four Rams to hit double-digits including Hyland's team-high and 10 points each from both Levi Stockard and Ace Baldwin. Stockard was 5-6 from the field.

Hason Ward got another start for the black and gold, his third consecutive. He blocked a game-high two shots and led the Rams with four assists in the win.

Jamir Watkins chipped in eight points for the Rams. He was just 1-5 from the field, but a perfect 6-6 from the free throw stripe.

The win was VCU's fourth consecutive and completed a season sweep of the Flyers a season after getting swept by former Rams' head coach, Anthony Grant, and his alma mater. It also keeps VCU right near the top of the standings, moving to 7-2 where the black and gold trail only St. Bonaventure, who also sits at 7-2 in conference, but currently holds a head-to-head tie-breaker over the Rams via their home win against the black and gold earlier this season.

VCU will have an unexpected chance to catch up with that St. Bonaventure Bonnies squad, getting an unexpected rematch after opening the season with just one game against Bona on the schedule. Due to COVID rescheduling, the black and gold will host St. Bonaventure this Friday at the Siegel Center. That is a 7PM tip that will air on ESPN2.

The Rams move to 14-4 on the season and 7-2 in Atlantic 10 play. The Flyers fall to 11-6 and 7-5 in Atlantic 10 play a season after finishing an undefeated 18-0 in A-10 action.
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Mat Shelton-Eide
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