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VCU shoots past Dayton in 76-67 victory
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VCU shoots past Dayton in 76-67 victory

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Vince Williams

Dayton Mens Basketball vs VCU UD Arena 02/09/2021

Dayton could be considered to be among the most talented offensive teams in the nation. The Flyers operate with great efficiency, converting on 47.7% of shots entering their matchup with visiting VCU on Tuesday evening — 35th in the nation.

But the Rams brought some firepower of their own to UD Arena.

Led by Bones Hyland and Vince Williams, VCU shot 50% overall — including a season-high 52.2% from 3-point range — in a 76-67 victory.

“It was great for our young guys to figure this out,” coach Mike Rhoades said. “And definitely, at this time of the year, when you go on the road and win a big game, hopefully it adds to your confidence.”

Hyland and Williams led VCU with 19 points apiece. It was a career high for Williams.

Williams made a career-high five 3-pointers for the Rams (5 of 8) to help them go 12 of 23 overall beyond the arc. The 12 set a season high.

It was a third victory in a row for VCU (14-4, 7-2 Atlantic 10), to take sole possession of second place in the A-10 standings.

Dayton (11-6, 7-5) had won three of four entering Tuesday’s game.

Perhaps Hyland’s two biggest baskets came down the second-half stretch. The Flyers cut it to 1 on a Jalen Crutcher layup. Hyland then missed a 3, but VCU got the ball back on a turnover. He didn’t miss the second try, bumping the Rams’ advantage to 4.

Then, off a Levi Stockard III steal, Hyland converted on a layup to push it to 73-67 with 3:16 to play. The shots proved daggers, as VCU beat Dayton for a second time in 2½ weeks. The Rams won the teams’ first matchup 66-43 at the Siegel Center on Jan. 23, holding the Flyers to their fewest points since 2010.

Paired with the offensive execution, defense was another major key for VCU.

Hyland — VCU’s leading scorer with 19.2 points per game coming in — shined with his defense on Crutcher, Dayton’s leading scorer at 19.4 points per game to start the day.

Crutcher was held to 8 points on 3-of-11 shooting from the floor.

“I just thought [Crutcher] never got in a great groove because of Bones’ on-the-ball pressure,” Rhoades said. “And then his teammates helped him.”

Dayton was efficient again, finishing at 48.9%. But VCU responded each time it mattered to maintain the lead for almost all of the second half.

The Flyers went the final 4:41 without a point.

But it was a fast and furious first half, a contrast to the teams’ first matchup for Dayton. In that game, Dayton was held to just 13 points in the first half, its fewest since 2010.

The Flyers made 6 of their first 8 shots and hovered at better than 60% shooting until the late stages of the half.

The Rams trailed by 7 with just under 5 minutes to play in the half, in which they trailed for all but about 2½ minutes. But they shot ahead with big thanks to Williams. Williams hit a pair of 3s as part of a 10-0 run that gave VCU its first lead. The team led 41-39 at the break.

“He’s in a really good place,” Rhoades said of Williams. “I love his approach.”

VCU played without Corey Douglas on Tuesday because of an ankle twist suffered in Monday’s practice. But the Rams got KeShawn Curry back from an ankle injury suffered Jan. 30 against La Salle.

A major matchup awaits VCU on Friday at the Siegel Center against first-place St. Bonaventure (10-2, 8-2), which beat La Salle on Tuesday. That game will tip off at 7 p.m. and be broadcast on ESPN2.

“Our guys have supreme confidence in each other and themselves,” Rhoades said. “And I think we keep getting better.”

FG FT Reb

VCU M M-A M-A O-T A PF PT

Stockard 22 5-6 0-0 1-1 0 2 10

Ward 26 1-4 0-0 1-4 4 2 2

Williams 36 7-14 0-0 1-4 3 2 19

Baldwin 26 4-9 0-0 1-2 3 3 10

Hyland 40 6-11 4-5 0-5 3 1 19

Watkins 21 1-5 6-6 0-0 0 2 8

Curry 14 1-2 0-0 0-3 1 1 2

Banks 8 1-2 0-0 0-0 1 1 3

Brwn-Jnes 4 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 3

Mdly-Bacon 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 200 27-54 10-11 4-19 15 15 76

Percentages: FG .500, FT .909. 3-Point Goals: 12-23, .522 (Williams 5-8, Hyland 3-5, Baldwin 2-4, Brown-Jones 1-1, Banks 1-2, Curry 0-1, Ward 0-1, Watkins 0-1). Team Rebounds: 2. Blocks: 3 (Ward 2, Hyland). Turnovers: 8 (Baldwin 3, Ward 2, Curry, Watkins, Williams). Steals: 9 (Baldwin 2, Stockard 2, Watkins 2, Williams 2, Hyland).

FG FT Reb

DAYTON M M-A M-A O-T A PF PT

Amzil 27 1-3 2-2 1-5 1 2 5

Tshimanga 33 4-7 6-8 5-12 1 2 14

Crutcher 40 3-11 1-3 0-5 8 4 8

Watson 30 7-10 1-1 1-4 1 2 20

Weaver 39 4-8 0-0 0-0 3 0 10

Blakney 12 2-5 3-4 1-1 0 3 7

Nwokeji 12 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 1 0

Brea 7 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 3

Totals 200 22-45 13-18 8-27 15 14 67

Percentages: FG .489, FT .722. 3-Point Goals: 10-19, .526 (Watson 5-7, Weaver 2-3, Brea 1-1, Amzil 1-2, Crutcher 1-5, Blakney 0-1). Team Rebounds: 2. Blocks: 1 (Amzil). Turnovers: 16 (Tshimanga 6, Crutcher 3, Amzil 2, Watson 2, Blakney, Nwokeji, Weaver). Steals: 1 (Blakney).

VCU 41 35 — 76

Dayton 39 28 — 67

wepps@timesdispatch.com

(804) 649-6442

Twitter: @wayneeppsjr

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