VCU derails 1-seed Villanova on Mainline, 70-61

VCU traveled to the Mainline in Philadelphia to take on the one-seeded Villanova Wildcats in the opening round of the 2024 NIT Tournament.

Behind three first half triples from Fats Billups, the Rams used an 11-0 run as a response to a 8-0 run from the Wildcats.

Billups shot 50% from deep and ended the night with 9 points and two steals in just 13 minutes of action.

VCU landed 11 of their 30 attempts (37%) from behind the three-point line, and shot 43% overall from the floor.

The Rams assisted on 70% of their 23 made baskets on the evening with Senior Max Shulga dishing out a team-high 6 assists and 10 points.

The depth chart of the Rams was too much for the Wildcats to contend with as VCU's bench outscored Villanova 42-12.

Joe Bamisile led the scoring for VCU with 17 points from six made baskets and a 67% night.

Tobi Lawal grabbed 10 rebounds to go with his 8 points—including a perfect 4-4 from the free throw line.

As a team, the Rams combined to shoot 81% from the free throw line

The Rams also converted 13 Wildcat turnovers into 16 points on the evening.

Across 40 minutes of action there were 10 ties and 17 lead changes.

Down by 6 points, Eric Dixon scored 8 straight points to give the Wildcats a 57-56 lead with just 5:35 to play.

VCU's stingy defense only allowed Villanova to score one more field goal over the final 5 minutes of the game.

The Rams closed the final 5 minutes of the game on a 14-4 run that included 7 free throws, a triple from Shulga, and two dunks to ice the game from Lawal and Bamisile.

VCU will return to action on either Saturday March 23rd or Sunday, March 24th as they take on the Bulls of South Florida.
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Marcus is a VCU School of World Studies graduate. Upon completing his degree in 2007, Marcus joined Michael, Matt, and Mat in creating


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Marcus Shrock
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