Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A-10 basketball notebook: Tillman shines in VCU victory

VCU holds off Dayton in OT

By Matt McAndrew, Collegian Correspondent

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Virginia Commonwealth (15-10, 7-5 Atlantic 10) faced off against Dayton (11-13, 5-7 A-10) for the second time this season, looking for redemption after a 27-point loss to the Flyers in January.

Both teams came out hot, trading blows throughout the first half on Saturday. VCU forward Issac Vann brought the Siegel Center to its feet, hitting a go-ahead 3-pointer with five seconds to go in the first half as VCU tried to take a one-point lead into halftime.

Dayton’s answer came right away however, as Flyers guard Jalen Crutcher hurled up a buzzer-beater from behind half court to give his team a 40-38 lead going into the half.

Dayton carried the momentum of Crutcher’s miracle shot into the second half and managed to hold on to a small lead until the 12-minute mark, when Justin Tillman and the Rams came roaring back.

Tillman scored 13 straight for VCU giving the Rams a four-point lead and they continued to roll, managing to stretch the lead to 15 with four minutes to play.

The Flyers made a run of their own scoring 14 unanswered points, bookended by a pair of three’s from Crutcher to cut the VCU lead to one with 11 seconds to play.

VCU’s Jonathan Williams hit one of two from the free throw line to make it 79-77, leaving the door open for Dayton. Josh Cunningham came through for the Flyers, hitting a layup as time expired to send the game into overtime.

The excitement continued throughout overtime as neither team could pull away. The game was tied at 84 with 40 seconds remaining, when Tillman worked his magic again, putting VCU up by two. Dayton was unable to answer in the remaining seconds and was forced to send Williams to the line with three seconds on the clock. Williams hit both of his shots, stretching the lead to four and putting it out of reach for the Flyers.

Tillman’s performance featured a career-high 37 points, as the senior forward played a critical role on both sides of the ball for VCU, racking up eight rebounds en route to the victory. 

St. Bonaventure extends the streak to six

Matt Mobley and Jaylen Adams lifted St. Bonaventure (18-6, 8-4 A-10) to its sixth consecutive win on Saturday. Both Mobley and Adams had 24-point performances against Richmond (9-15, 7-5 A-10), overpowering the Spiders in the second half.

St. Bonaventure looked strong going into halftime with a 51-42 lead, but initially let Richmond back into the game, going down 61-59 early in the second. Richmond’s lead was short-lived, however, as Adams came alive for the Bonnies, scoring 10 straight to take a 69-61 lead.

Richmond made a late run, cutting the lead to five at the three-minute mark, when Adams and Mobley struck again, helping St. Bonaventure cruise to the 97-88 victory in the final minutes.

Nick Sherod had a stellar performance for the Spiders with 26 points and nine rebounds in the loss.

With the victory, the Bonnies move to second in the conference standings, matching Davidson’s 8-4 record in conference play.

Matt McAndrew can be reached at [email protected]

1 Comment

One Response to “A-10 basketball notebook: Tillman shines in VCU victory”

  1. Greg Skillin on February 14th, 2018 5:14 am

    Great article Matt, really made me feel as though I was there, keep it up!!

    [Reply]

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