VCU advances to NIT Quarterfinals with win over South Florida, 70-65

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VCU escaped Tampa, FL with a thrilling 70-65 victory over South Florida in a battle to the buzzer on Sunday night. Both teams performed well offensively, combining for 135 points. VCU shot the ball 44% overall, and 38% from deep.

VCU's Jackson and Bairstow Lead the Way

VCU was led by Zeb Jackson's 14 points, shooting 5-9 overall with 4 three pointers, while Sean Bairstow put up 13 points and a team-high 6 rebounds. Bairstow also dished out a team-high 4 assists, showcasing his well-rounded performance in the post-season for VCU.

South Florida's Youngblood Shines

South Florida's Caleb Youngblood was a force offensively, particularly in the 2nd half, putting up a game-high 28 points. However, VCU's defense tightened up in the clutch moments, preventing South Florida from taking the lead down the stretch. South Florida's Kasean Pryor put up 14 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.

Close Throughout

Neither team led by more than 9 points throughout the contest, with 15 lead changes and 6 ties highlighting the competitive nature of the game. VCU held a slight edge in free throw shooting (85.7% to 73.3%) which proved to be a deciding factor.

VCU advances to the quarterfinals of the NIT, where they will face the winner of Iowa / Utah on Wednesday, March 27th at 9:00 PM ET on ESPN2.

Ryan Odom post-game presser:

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MattRock
Matt has been reporting on VCU sports for Ram Nation since 2007 with a focus on news, photos, and feature stories.

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