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Dayton got off to a hot start with a 7-0 run to force VCU to call a time out and reset. The Flyers followed it with a long range shot and put the Rams at a double digit deficit. Isis Thorpe ended the 5-minute opening drought with a three point shot from the top of the key and ignited a spark for VCU. The remaining five minutes the Rams displayed their fighting form and by the buzzer the Flyer lead had dissolved from 12 points to 1. VCU had 50% shooting on the quarter while Dayton had 46.7% but a slightly higher volume. Thorpe led VCU with 7 points and 2 of 3 from long range.
Second Quarter Slump
VCU hit a slump in the second quarter with shooting falling to 15.8%. The Rams had half the production of their first quarter efforts adding only 9 points while the Flyers added twice that with 18. The Rams were winning on the boards, but the second chance opportunities alluded them and shots wouldn’t fall. Dayton held a 37-27 advantage at the buzzer.
Here Come the Rams
The Rams came back re-energized in the third quarter. They began with a quick 4-0 run. High energy and a disruptive defense kept the Flyers offense at bay temporarily. The black and gold shot well at 61% during the period. VCU added 20 points, but it wasn’t enough to make up the deficit. They trailed Dayton 62-47 at the end of the stanza.
It’s Not Over till the Buzzer
VCU took 22 shots in the final quarter but only connected on 5 for 23%. Dayton only took 8 and connected on 2 for 25%. VCU battled till the end and the seniors led their team with solid efforts. Goodhope led with 12 points followed by Thorpe with 11. The Rams only trailed by one in production in the final 10 minutes scoring 14 to the Flyers 15, but Dayton was able to claim the 77-61 victory and will advance to the semi-finals.
Team Captain Keira Robinson summarized the game well when asked about second chances, “They didn’t fall but we didn’t give up.” This looks to be the end of the road for the Rams season, barring an unexpected WNIT bid, but as always it was an effort until the final buzzer.