Score: VCU 73, Dayton 68
Location: Richmond, Va. (E.J. Wade Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center)
Records: VCU 15-5 (6-2 A-10), Dayton 15-5 (6-2)
Attendance: 7,637 (94th consecutive sellout)
The short story: Junior forward Justin Tillman scored 18 points and led a dominant performance on the offensive glass to spark VCU to a pivotal Atlantic 10 victory Friday night at a raucous E.J. Wade Arena. The Rams pulled down 18 offensive rebounds and outscored Dayton 26-8 on second chance points.
- With the win, the Rams move into a first-place tie in the A-10 with Dayton and Richmond at 6-2.
- Senior Ahmed Hamdy backed Tillman's effort with 12 points and eight rebounds in 16 minutes. Hamdy scored seven of his points in the second half as VCU took command.
- Redshirt freshman guard Samir Doughty added 11 points, five assists and five rebounds for the Black & Gold.
- VCU trailed by as many as ten in the first half, but was able to go on a 10-2 run to come within two going in to the break.
- Tillman scored in double figures for the seventh straight game, and is now averaging 14.5 points per game against Atlantic 10 opponents. He also pulled down a team-high nine rebounds, including five on the offensive glass.
- Kendall Pollard paced the Flyers with 19 points and seven rebounds.
- Hamdy and Tillman provided four points during an 8-0 burst early in the second half that provided VCU with a 41-37 advantage with 15:37 left. The Rams finally took control with 10-2 run, led by a pair of Tillman buckets, over a four-minute span that pushed VCU to a 61-51 advantage with 2:49 left. Although Dayton would hit a few shots in the waning moments, the Flyers never pulled closer than three the rest of the way.
- VCU dominated Dayton on the backboards, outrebounding the Flyers 41-24, including 18-8 on the offensive glass.
- The Rams, who average nearly 38 points in the paint per game, earned a 46-38 edge over the Flyers down there Friday.
- VCU is 8-0 this season when they commit 12 or fewer turnovers.
- The Rams avenged a 68-67 loss at Dayton on March 5 last season. VCU is now 7-3 all-time against the Flyers.
- VCU is 10-1 at the E.J. Wade Arena this season, including 4-0 in league play.
Tensions will be high when VCU hosts crosstown rival Richmond on Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.