RICHMOND, Va. – The University of Dayton men’s basketball team couldn’t climb all the way out of the 19-point hole VCU put them in, as the Flyers fell in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Championship, 73-68.
UD fell behind by double-digits just minutes into the contest, and found itself down 36-55 with 9:11 left in the game. That’s when Dayton battled back, making it a six-point margin in less than six minutes. But the closest the Flyers got was the final five-point margin.
Jalen Crutcher led UD with 21 points. Jordy Tshimanga had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, and Ibi Watson also added 10 points. Ram guard Bones Hyland led all scorers with 30 points.
Dayton falls to 14-9 on the season, while VCU improves to 18-6. The Rams will play the winner of Davidson and George Mason in Saturday night’s semifinals.
The A-10 Championship Game will be played at the University of Dayton Arena on Sunday, March 14. Tip-off is 1 p.m. ET.
First Half: VCU 37, Dayton 26
· VCU jumped on Flyers, pushing out to an 11-1 lead in the game’s first four minutes.
· Dayton cut it to five (13-8), but an 8-0 run by the Rams took the advantage back to double digits.
· The Flyers were able to make it a seven-point game twice inside the last two minutes of the half, but VCU scored the last five points of the half.
· UD shot 40% from the floor, while VCU shot 57%, but the most telling stat was in the turnover column. Dayton committed 11 turnovers that led to 12 VCU points-off-turnovers.
· Jalen Crutcher led the Flyers will eight points. Jordy Tshimanga added six, with six rebounds.
Second Half: VCU 73, Dayton 68
· A Rodney Chatman three-pointer on Dayton’s second possession cut the gap to eight, 37-28.
· VCU responded and the margin would not fall under 10 for just over 10 minutes.
· The Rams led 55-36 with 11:19 to go, but Dayton dug down and began its comeback.
· The Flyers forced a VCU timeout with 4:26 left when they chopped the difference to (62-52).
· An Ibi Watson three and Jalen Crutcher free throw made it a six-point game (62-56) at the 3:49 mark.
· Dayton would make it a two-possession game three more times, but every time the Rams would score on the next possession.
BY THE NUMBERS
· Jalen Crutcher’s 21-point game was the 22nd of his career. He now has 1,587 points, 16th all-time at Dayton.
· Jordy Tshimanga’s 10 points and 10 rebounds in just 22 minutes were his second career doubl-double. His first was also against VCU.
· Ibi Watson had 10 points, six rebounds and three steals.
· Crutcher, Watson and Mustapha Amzil each had two assists.
· Amzil only scored three points, but his two assists and six rebounds contributed to his team-leading +10 mark in the +/- efficiency rating.
· Dayton shot 41% from the field, while VCU shot 53%.
The Flyers committed 21 turnovers, which led to 22 points off turnovers for the Rams.