Late VCU Run Gives Rams 71-62 Win Over Men's Hoops
March 16, 2013
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A 13-to-6 run by No. 25 VCU in the final 4:27 sealed a 71-62 win over the UMass basketball team on Saturday afternoon in the Atlantic 10 Semifinal at the Barclays Center. After trailing by as many as 10 points in the second half, the Minutemen managed to cut the VCU lead to two points, 58-56, but the Rams forced five turnovers and held UMass to just one field goal to close out the final five minutes of play.
After wins over George Washington and Temple in the earlier rounds of the Atlantic 10 Tournament, UMass was considered by many media outlets to be "on the bubble" for the NCAA Tournament entering Saturday's game. The Minutemen will learn their postseason fate on Sunday evening.
The Minutemen (21-11) were led by Chaz Williams who had 18 points and Cady Lalanne who scored 14 points and added 12 rebounds. Sampson Carter and Maxie Esho each had strong games pulling down 12 and 10 rebounds, respectively. Carter also scored eight points, while Esho added six.
The Rams (26-7) were led by Troy Daniels who scored a game-high 20 points. Juvante Reddic added a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Daniels was instrumental in the first half for the Rams as VCU erased a nine-point UMass lead thanks to his 4-of-5 shooting effort from beyond the arc.
UMass struggled at periods of the game against VCU's high-pressure defense committing 24 turnovers while the Rams were forced into just eight miscues. Each team shot under 40 percent from the floor with the Minutemen held to just 3-of-11 from beyond the three-point line.
Midway through the first half, UMass built its largest lead of the weekend going up 20-11 over the Rams following a Williams jumper at the 11:26 mark. The Minutemen continued to maintain the lead after a Williams free throw with 6:39 to go put UMass up 23-15.
It took all of a minute for VCU to erase that lead thanks to three straight three pointers for Daniels whose third trey put the Rams ahead 24-23 with 4:13 left in the first half.
The lead was short-lived, however, as VCU retook the lead 24 seconds later and went into halftime up 35-34.
After Tyler Bergantino's putback at the 12:07 mark kept UMass within two points, 44-42, the Rams turned the defensive pressure back up. VCU used four turnovers to spark a 10-to-2 run taking a 54-44 lead two minutes after Bergantino's lay-up.
The Minutemen continued to chip away at the lead with a three-pointer from Trey Davis followed by a free throw at the 7:38 mark pulled UMass within four, 56-52.
Two minutes later, a defensive rebound by Lalanne led to a breakout lay-up by Williams to cut the VCU lead to 58-56 with 5:23 to go giving hope to the UMass faithful.
That hope was quickly dashed, however, after a missed UMass lay-up turned into a fastbreak lay-up for Briante Weber. Sampson Carter was called for a blocking foul while trying to draw a charge on Weber leading to a three-point swing. A UMass turnover on the next possession proved fateful when Daniels buried a three-pointer at the 4:18 mark putting the Rams up 64-56.
UMass was able to pull back within four on a tip-in by Lalanne with 2:35 to go, but Rob Brandenberg's three-pointer a minute later effectively sealed the game for VCU. UMass managed one free throw in the final 65 seconds as the Rams held on for the win.