RICHMOND- Entering the season finale, the stakes were set.
Win and get the 7th seed. Lose and get the 9th seed while possibly getting Dayton early.
VCU chose to go down the rough path after falling to Davidson 75-65.
The Rams now move to 18-13 (8-10) while the Wildcats move to 16-14 (10-8).
VCU finishes under .500 in conference play for the first time since 1999-2000.
Davidson officially takes the 7th seed and VCU will play as the 9th seed.
“Man, this is unreal” longtime fan Kris Gordon said. “On to Brooklyn”.
On to Brooklyn indeed. Next up for both sides is the Atlantic 10 tournament that will be held in the Barclays center.
VCU looks to be without senior De’Rainte Jenkins for even the A-10 tournament unless he returns from his leave. But the game in the Belk arena left a lot to be desired.
Bones Hyland led VCU in scoring with 17 points and 5-7 from beyond the arc. Marcus Santos-Silva had 12 points and five rebounds.
Hyland even set a record for the most three pointers by a freshman in VCU history with 63 that moved him past B.A. Walker (59).
Kellan Grady and Jon Axel Gudmunsson combined for 35 points (18 and 17) while Luka Brajkovic had 12 for Davidson.
“I don’t know why our guys can’t handle an opposing team’s run” Justin Tall said. “Why do we tighten up”?
Tall makes a valid point. In each of their losses recently, an opponent made a second half run that led to a collapse and defeat for VCU.
In the first half, although the score was close, VCU looked like they were on a mission to silence multiple detractors and took a two point lead into the half at 35-33.
Davidson however, stormed back with shots that fell from everywhere in the court and at one point led by 18 points with 4:20 left in the game.
The referees didn’t help either as VCU only shot 11 attempts compared to 25 for Davidson. Santos-Silva ended up fouling out with 5 fouls.
Percentages for both sides? Both missed three shots so 8-11 for VCU makes 73%. Davidson? 88%.
Doesn’t sound too bad especially when you go 24-51 FG for 47% while the opposition went 23-47 48%. VCU even had more three point shots fall with 9 compared to Davidson’s 7.
So how could you dominate in stats but not the scoreboard. The answer is clear. No adjustments following the Wildcat run and costly fouls.
“Blame officiating all you want but in the end, they didn’t execute” Tall said.
VCU was coming off a loss to Duquesne on the senior night in which a crazy event occurred following the game and left fans with an even more disappointing taste in their mouth.
Now combined with this loss, the once promising start for this season has dwindled into a nightmare that could wrap up early in Brooklyn.
The student section might just have spent more than $80 just for one night and one game, especially if VCU plays like this in Brooklyn.
“This is it, we play good we go on, if not we go home. So there’s that”, Gordon said.
VCU’s first Atlantic 10 game will take place on March 12 against UMass @ 12.
The game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network with the winner getting the top-seeded Dayton Flyers.