VCU falls to Rhode Island in Atlantic 10 tournament

Saturday, 10 Mar, 2018

Jeff Dowtin scored 18 points, Jared Terrell added 16 points and No. 25 Rhode Island survived a challenge from VCU 76-67 Friday in the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament quarterfinals.

After trailing just three points at halftime, Rhode Island gradually built a nine-point lead and eventually defeated VCU 76-67 in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 tournament.

All season, VCU Head Coach Mike Rhoades has been saying his team needs to finish games.

The Rams will face the victor for the George Mason vs St. Joseph's game in the A-10 semifinals on Saturday, March 10 at 1 p.m. "They have been the model ... of a mid-major program in college basketball for a long time [with] some of the best fans in college basketball".

In the second round of the A-10 tournament, the Rams finished. "He was living at the free throw line - just living there".

"It definitely had an impact on the game", Hurley said. "Both teams are playing for their lives". Offensively, VCU has been led by Justin Tillman (18.9 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 1.0 bpg), De'Riante Jenkins (12.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.3 spg), Issac Vann (9.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.0 spg), and Jonathan Williams (9.2 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 5.7 apg, 1.3 spg). "We showed who we have been the whole year - came through in the clutch".

VCU was up and down throughout conference play, but did finish with two straight wins to close out the regular season.

Dowtin hit a pair of key shots down the stretch, including a twisting, off-balance shot to give his team a 63-59 lead with four minutes left.

Dowtin said playing in the conference tourney past year as a freshman helped him Friday.

"It's rare that you see a team that presses and plays pretty aggressive man-to-man get into a zone defense", Hurley said. VCU trailed by a 70-65 margin with just 3:16 left in regulation, however, the Rams were outstanding defensively down the stretch and was able to secure the victory after closing game on a 12-2 run.

Local product Jeff Dowtin, a sophomore guard from Upper Marlboro, Md, had a team-high 18 points for Rhode Island.

"We are not tough enough, we are not strong enough". "It let us settle in and get used to the court. That is what we are going to do".

McGlade, a former player at the University of North Carolina, was a women's basketball coach at Georgia Tech. Defensively, VCU is allowing their opponents to average 74.9 ppg on 45.2% shooting from the field. The victor advances to the NCAA tournament, for which the bracket will be announced Monday. The Maryland women will be named an at-large team on Monday.