VCU, despite an interesting road loss to Fordham this year, has bounced back with 2 big home wins in a row. Taking down Dayton and Richmond, the Rams are back at it and sit at 7-2 in the conference. While Dayton also sits at 7-2, the Rams control the one head-to-head meeting between the two teams and have 1 more win than the Flyers. The two teams will meet again at UD arena on March 1st for a highly-anticipated rematch.
With a win like this, VCU is helping boost its chances at an at-large bid, even if it doesn’t manage to win the Atlantic 10 Tournament. The Spiders were tied for first in the conference before VCU took their place. Though Richmond was in striking distance, and even led, for a majority of the game, the Rams pulled away late and forced some crucial turnovers to get the job done. Justin Tillman led VCU with 18 points and 9 rebounds while freshman Samir Doughty had 16 points and 6 assists. Both were crucial to the Rams’ victory. The Rams had a rough night from long range (3/11 from three), but capitalized on two-point buckets and only committed 7 turnovers.
Richmond moves to 7-3 in the conference, but this team is still very much alive in the race for the Atlantic 10 title. Remaining are home games against George Washington, VCU, Davidson, and Saint Louis. The Spiders still have to play La Salle, George Mason, Fordham, and Massachusetts on the road. If this team gets hot down the stretch and wins away from home, it could sneak up and win the league. Don’t count them out yet. ShawnDre’ Jones had 30 points for the Spiders while T.J. Cline had 15 points, 8 assists, and 7 boards. The two seniors will be very happy that they’ve got another chance at VCU later this month.
All in all, it’s going to be a great race to the finish line. Dayton and VCU look like the frontrunners right now, but watch out for Richmond. The Spiders played really well at the Siegel Center and had a chance at taking down their rivals. The rematch of this game is going to be quite a good game on February 17th.