#18 Dayton ran into a buzzsaw at the Siegel Center on Friday night, shooting just 36 percent in a 49-47 loss to VCU.
The Rams (16-8, 8-3 A-10) won despite going scoreless for the final six minutes, getting their last points on a Tobi Lawal putback that gave them a 49-42 lead.
VCU held Dayton (19-4, 9-2 A-10) to 1-of-5 shooting and forced three turnovers down the stretch to hold on for the victory.
Dayton had one final look with 10.9 seconds remaining, but DaRon Holmes missed a contested driving layup in the final seconds, and VCU secured the win.
Redshirt sophomore Jason Nelson led VCU with 11 points off the bench.
Senior guard Zeb Jackson scored nine points and added six rebounds and graduate transfer Sean Bairstow added six points and eight rebounds for the Black and Gold.
Nate Santos led all Dayton scorers with 19 points.