VCU COMEBACK A SHADE SHORT AT DAYTON, 79-72

Score: Dayton 79, VCU 72
Location: Dayton, Ohio (UD Arena)
Records: VCU 23-7 (13-4 A-10), Dayton 24-6 (15-2 A-10)

The short story: VCU faced its largest deficit at 65-51 with 12:08 left in the second half before a Justin Tillman basket sparked a 20-8 run to get VCU within 73-71 with 3:09 remaining. After the teams traded a point, the Rams gained possession trailing 74-72 with 19 seconds remaining but JeQuan Lewis' 3-point attempt fell short.

OPENING TIP
  • Mo Alie-Cox scored a career-high 23 points along with four rebounds and three blocks.
  • Justin Tillman had a double-double with 18 points and a team-high 10 rebounds for the Black and Gold.
  • Lewis was the third Ram in double figures with 15 points and a five assists.
  • The Rams split the season series with Dayton, VCU took the first matchup at home in a 73-68 win.
  • Scoochie Smith and Charles Cooke scored 40 points on a combined 14-of-25 shooting from the field.
  • Dayton's 14-point lead in the second half evaporate as the Rams remanded within five points of the Flyers from the 3:51 mark until the final nine seconds.
  • The Flyers went 5-of-6 from the free throw line in the final 16 seconds to hold off VCU.
THE DIFFERENCE
  • Dayton shot 54.2 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3-point range against the Rams.
  • VCU shot 38.2 percent from the field in the second half and 0-of-8 from 3-point range. VCU only shot 2-of-15 from behind the arc for the contest.
  • The Flyers' first half shooting allowed them to take a 45-38 lead at the break while the Rams shot a respectable 48.3 percent.
  • The Rams, who dominated in second chance points 26-8 in the first meeting, again led 18-5 in that category.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
  • Justin Tillman's double-double was his eighth of the season.
  • Alie-Cox's previous career-high was 21 points against Rhode Island on February 16, 2016.
  • The Rams had a 50-34 advantage in points in the paint and a slight 35-33 advantage in rebounds.
  • VCU was 13-of-34 from the field in the second half and 8-of-14 at the free throw line.
  • Dayton led 12-6 in fast break points.
WHAT'S NEXT
VCU return home to face George Mason on Saturday, March 4. It will be Senior Day for the Rams and tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. on MASN.