Demetrius Denzel-Dyson scored 17 to lead the way for the victors. Christen Cunningham had 15, while Alex Thompson and Wyatt Walker added 13 apiece. Q.J. Peterson paced the Keydets with a game-high 26.
It was a nine-point game, 38-29, with 19:20 to go on an Adam Rich jumper. It swelled to 22, 63-41, over the next nine minutes with the 25-12 spurt ending on Thompson’s triple with 10:43remaining.
Down 21, the Keydets weren’t done. Peterson spear-headed a 10-0 run to slice the margin to 11, 65-54. His three with 5:26 left was the closest they could get.
The Bulldogs head to the quarterfinals facing Furman at 6 p.m., Saturday on ESPN3 (WatchESPN App).
Samford (18-14) | VMI (6-24)
Samford: Led for 38:09 of the 40 minutes tonight never trailing to the Keydets.
VMI: 25-11 advantage in points off turnovers.
Samford: The Keydets 28.4 shooting performance tonight is a season-low for a Bulldogs opponent. Previous low was at Campbell in November. The Fighting Camel managed a 30.6 percent effort making 19 of 62 attempts.
VMI: Shot a season-low field goal percentage from the field tonight making 21 of 74.
Senior guard Q.J. Peterson finished his career with exactly 2,200 points and fourth place on the VMI scoring list.