- Score: VCU 71, UMass 62
- Records: VCU (26-7), UMass (21-11)
- Location: The Barclays Center - Brooklyn, N.Y.
- The Short Story: Senior Troy Daniels knocked down six 3-pointers and VCU's trademark HAVOC defense forced 24 turnovers as the Rams dropped sixth-seeded UMass, 71-62, to advance to Sunday's Atlantic 10 Championship game. Junior Juvonte Reddic notched his 11th double-double of the year with 18 points and 12 rebounds, while Briante Weber (11 pts) and Darius Theus (10 pts) also reached double-figures in scoring.
How It Happened
- The Minutemen came out firing and on the backs of Chaz Williams and Cady Lalanne held a 23-15 lead with 6:39 to play in the first half.
- Enter Daniels and Weber. Three straight treys from Daniels and a steal and monster dunk from Weber sent the roof off the Barclays Center and capped off an 11-0 run to give VCU a 26-23 cushion with 3:39 left in the stanza.
- The teams would trade buckets the final three-plus minutes, but a three-pointer from Theus with 24 seconds remaining sent VCU into the break with a 35-34 advantage.
- Reddic would turn it on in the second half and scored six of VCU's 10 points during a 10-2 run that stretched the Rams' lead to 54-44 with 10:04 left.
- Williams wouldn't let UMass go away quietly and his layup with 5:23 to play capped off a 12-4 run that brought the Minutemen within 58-56.
- However, a three-point play by Weber and a transition 3-pointer by Daniels quickly pushed that lead back to 64-56.
- UMass would not get closer than four the rest of the way and a trey by junior Rob Brandenberg with 1:21 to play proved to be the dagger that sent VCU into the A-10 Championship game.
Beyond the Boxscore
- Six 3-pointers by Daniels gives him 23 more than another other season in VCU history. His 117 rank fifth on the A-10's single-season list, just one away from Jimmy Barron (URI, 2008-09). He has hit a 3-pointer in 43 consecutive games.
- Twelve more steals for VCU increased its season total to 394, just six away from being the first squad in program history to reach 400 in a season.
- Since Coach Smart and his staff arrived in 2009, there has been six programs in the country to win 110 games or more. Those programs are Kansas, Kentucky, Duke, Ohio State, Syracuse and VCU.
- With six more assists for Weber, Theus and Weber would become the first teammates since Rolando Lamb (150) and Calvin Duncan (142) to tally 100 more assists in the same season. Lamb and Duncan accomplished their feat during the 1984-85 season.
Head Coach Shaka Smart
- "It was a hard‑fought game, and I'm proud of our guys that we were able to come out ahead, especially on a day where we did not shoot the ball particularly well. Some of our guys that typically shoot it in at a pretty good rate struggled, especially from outside, and even from around the basket. We found a way to get it done. I thought we got enough stops in the second half, holding them to 28 points. That was good enough to win, and that's what we need to do this time of year.
- "I'm proud of our guys, but we're not satisfied. We've got another game tomorrow in less than 24 hours. Excited about that challenge."
Senior Troy Daniels
- Credit goes to my coaching staff and my teammates. I get in the gym a lot during the off‑season, and they want me to shoot the ball. That's what I do. Shot discipline and stay with it, and the results will follow.
- It's a confidence thing. When guys go out on the court and have VCU across their chest, we feel like we can do anything. That's what it was. It wasn't a matter of thinking it's automatic, every time I shoot, I think it's going in, but it's just a confidence factor that I have.
- VCU takes on top-seeded Saint Louis in the Atlantic 10 Championship on Sunday afternoon at the Barclays Center. Tip time is set for 1 p.m. on CBS.