VCU
18-15
67
TF 11
FINAL
End
2nd
NBCS
Fri Mar. 9
12:00pm
BONUS
76
TF 9
ML: +320
RI -8.0, O/U 148.0
ML: -400
VCU
RI

No Text

No. 25 Rhode Island holds off VCU in A-10 quarterfinals

WASHINGTON (AP) No. 25 Rhode Island's Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament opener provided a new test for a team that largely dominated its league: a chance to bounce back from a losing streak.

The top-seeded Rams met the challenge, fending off VCU 76-67 in the quarterfinals Friday as it began its tournament defense.

''We really hadn't had adversity in terms of losing two in a row and having to respond,'' coach Dan Hurley said. ''Then losing two in a row and having to respond against VCU in D.C., with a ton of pressure on you to bounce back and show who you are. I just think it was exactly the type of game we needed.''

Jeff Dowtin scored 18 points and Jared Terrell added 16 as Rhode Island (24-6) advanced to the semifinals, where it will face Saint Joseph's on Saturday.

Justin Tillman had 23 points and 15 rebounds for eighth-seeded VCU (18-15), which lost to Rhode Island in the conference tournament for the second consecutive season.

VCU will miss the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2010.

''The biggest thing this year is we're not tough enough, we're not strong enough,'' first-year coach Mike Rhoades said. ''We have a big offseason ahead of us. . We have a ways to go, but I love that challenge and our guys will love that challenge.''

It wasn't an easy afternoon for Rhode Island, which won its first 13 Atlantic 10 games before dropping three of its last five regular-season contests. After building a 9-point lead in the first 11 minutes, Rhode Island held a 36-33 edge at the break after initially struggling when VCU - a program built on pairing pressure with a man-to-man defense - surprisingly switched to zone.

VCU led 59-58 when Dowtin hit a 3-pointer to put Rhode Island ahead for good with more than five minutes to play. He added another basket and a vital rebound moments later to help keep VCU from reclaiming the lead.

Dowtin had 13 assists and only one turnover during Rhode Island's three-game A10 Tournament run last year, but his scoring responsibilities have increased this season. He shot 7 of 10 against VCU.

''March is when the good players really step up and make their game just grow even more,'' Dowtin said. ''Last year was kind of a coming out party for me. I just love March. The best players come out and do what they have to do to win, and I felt like I did that today.''

Stanford Robinson's 3-pointer with 2:34 remaining pushed Rhode Island's advantage to 66-59. VCU never cut the margin to less than five the rest of the way.

BIG PICTURE

Rhode Island: Hurley's team still has a chance to modestly improve its seeding over the weekend as it chases its second consecutive Atlantic 10 title.

Virginia Commonwealth: The Rams had their shortest conference tournament stay in a decade. VCU had reached its league title game in seven consecutive seasons and had played at least three conference tournament games every year since 2009.

ONE SURVIVES

Rhode Island became only the fourth No. 1 seed to reach the Atlantic 10 semifinals in the last eight years. Only one No. 1 seed in that span - eventual champion Saint Louis in 2013 - reached the title game.

UP NEXT

Rhode Island: The Rams will meet fourth-seeded Saint Joseph's in the semifinals. The Hawks drubbed Rhode Island 78-48 on Feb. 27.

Virginia Commonwealth: The season could be over for the Rams, who are unlikely to land an NIT berth. Rhoades said he had not discussed participating in other tournaments with athletic director Ed McLaughlin.

---

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Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
Min. Per Game
Pts. Per Game
Ast. Per Game
Reb. Per Game
Field Goal %
Three Point %
Free Throw %
  Defensive rebound by E.C. Matthews 10.0
  De'Riante Jenkins missed 3-pt. jump shot 12.0
+ 1 E.C. Matthews made 2nd of 2 free throws 22.0
+ 1 E.C. Matthews made 1st of 2 free throws 22.0
  Personal foul on Issac Vann 22.0
+ 3 De'Riante Jenkins made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Jonathan Williams 23.0
+ 1 Stanford Robinson made 2nd of 2 free throws 28.0
+ 1 Stanford Robinson made 1st of 2 free throws 28.0
  Personal foul on Issac Vann 28.0
  Defensive rebound by Stanford Robinson 29.0
  Justin Tillman missed 3-pt. jump shot 31.0
Team Stats
Points 67 76
Field Goals 24-61 (39.3%) 27-62 (43.5%)
3-Pointers 7-21 (33.3%) 11-22 (50.0%)
Free Throws 12-19 (63.2%) 11-19 (57.9%)
Total Rebounds 41 41
Offensive 8 7
Defensive 31 30
Team 2 4
Assists 13 16
Steals 7 7
Blocks 4 2
Turnovers 13 11
Fouls 20 17
Technicals 0 0
23 PTS, 15 REB, 1 AST
18 PTS, 4 REB, 4 AST
12T
away team logo VCU 18-15 333467
home team logo 25 Rhode Island 24-6 364076
Team Stats
away team logo VCU 18-15 69.4 PPG 40.3 RPG 12.9 APG
home team logo 25 Rhode Island 24-6 71.1 PPG 42.7 RPG 11.8 APG
Key Players
00
J. Tillman F PPG RPG APG FG%
11
J. Dowtin G 16.7 PPG 3.6 RPG 4.0 APG 48.6 FG%
Top Scorers
J. Tillman F 23 PTS 15 REB 1 AST
J. Dowtin G 18 PTS 4 REB 4 AST
39.3 FG% 43.5
33.3 3PT FG% 50.0
63.2 FT% 57.9
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Tillman 23 15 1 8/14 1/5 6/12 4 31 0 1 3 5 10
D. Jenkins 16 2 1 6/10 3/6 1/2 0 32 3 0 2 0 2
I. Vann 10 8 1 4/8 2/3 0/0 5 29 0 0 1 0 8
J. Williams 6 1 7 2/11 0/1 2/2 2 32 2 0 2 0 1
S. Mobley 0 1 0 0/4 0/1 0/0 3 18 0 2 1 0 1
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Tillman 23 15 1 8/14 1/5 6/12 4 31 0 1 3 5 10
D. Jenkins 16 2 1 6/10 3/6 1/2 0 32 3 0 2 0 2
I. Vann 10 8 1 4/8 2/3 0/0 5 29 0 0 1 0 8
J. Williams 6 1 7 2/11 0/1 2/2 2 32 2 0 2 0 1
S. Mobley 0 1 0 0/4 0/1 0/0 3 18 0 2 1 0 1
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
K. Lane 7 7 2 3/9 0/0 1/1 1 16 1 1 1 3 4
M. Simms 3 2 1 1/3 1/3 0/0 2 22 0 0 1 0 2
M. Crowfield 2 3 0 0/2 0/2 2/2 3 16 1 0 1 0 3
T. Maye 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
M. Santos-Silva 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 2 0 0 1 0 0
L. Djonkam - - - - - - - - - - - - -
X. Jackson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Sheehy-Guiseppi - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 67 39 13 24/61 7/21 12/19 20 200 7 4 13 8 31
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Dowtin 18 4 4 7/10 3/4 1/3 1 38 0 0 3 1 3
J. Terrell 16 3 2 5/16 3/5 3/5 1 40 3 1 1 1 2
E. Matthews 11 6 0 4/13 1/5 2/3 0 30 0 1 2 0 6
A. Berry 9 7 0 4/5 0/0 1/2 4 20 0 0 1 1 6
S. Robinson 7 8 3 2/6 1/2 2/2 3 28 2 0 1 1 7
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Dowtin 18 4 4 7/10 3/4 1/3 1 38 0 0 3 1 3
J. Terrell 16 3 2 5/16 3/5 3/5 1 40 3 1 1 1 2
E. Matthews 11 6 0 4/13 1/5 2/3 0 30 0 1 2 0 6
A. Berry 9 7 0 4/5 0/0 1/2 4 20 0 0 1 1 6
S. Robinson 7 8 3 2/6 1/2 2/2 3 28 2 0 1 1 7
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
D. Russell 11 1 2 3/7 3/6 2/2 2 18 2 0 3 0 1
N. Akele 2 1 0 1/2 0/0 0/0 2 9 0 0 0 1 0
C. Langevine 2 5 0 1/2 0/0 0/2 4 9 0 0 0 2 3
J. Garrett 0 2 5 0/1 0/0 0/0 0 8 0 0 0 0 2
C. Thompson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Layssard - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Tertsea - - - - - - - - - - - - -
E. Dadika - - - - - - - - - - - - -
W. Leviton - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Preston - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 76 37 16 27/62 11/22 11/19 17 200 7 2 11 7 30