VCU survives Dayton comeback, wins 69-68

vcu men's basketballRedshirt junior guard Marcus Evans scored all 12 of his points in the second half, including a game-winning layup with six seconds remaining, and VCU turned away comeback-minded Dayton, 69-68, Saturday.

VCU has won six straight games to keep pace with Davidson atop the A-10 standings at 10-2. VCU was picked seventh in the league preseason poll.

Junior guard De’Riante Jenkins led VCU with 19 points. His 5-of-7 shooting from 3-point range helped the Rams build a big second-half lead.

Redshirt junior guard Issac Vann added 14 points and four assists for the Black and Gold.

Ryan Mikesell led all players with 22 points for Dayton. Freshman sensation Obi Toppin kicked in 15.

Dayton stormed back from a 22-point deficit to briefly take the lead, but Evans drove left of the lane to the rim and finished over two defenders to provide VCU with a 69-68 lead with six seconds left. Dayton raced down the court, but Jenkins blocked the Flyers’ jumper out of bounds. Dayton inbounded with 0.7 remaining on the clock, but VCU knocked the ball away to preserve the victory.

VCU led 51-29 with 18:04 remaining after it opened the second half on a 10-0 run that included a pair of Jenkins treys. Dayton responded with a 31-8 run the next 13 minutes and took a 60-59 lead on a dunk by Toppin with 4:50 showing. VCU answered with a 6-0 burst, including a pair of Evans buckets, to grab a 65-60 advantage with 2:16 remaining.

Dayton took a 66-65 lead on a deep 3-pointer from the left by Jordan Davis at the 1:03 mark. Vann drove and drew a foul on VCU’s ensuing possession. Facing a raucous Dayton student section, Vann buried both ends of a one-and-one situation with 39 seconds on the clock. Toppin’s jumper moments later set the stage for Evans’ heroics for VCU.

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Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.

The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
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