The Dayton Flyers came into Richmond to the Siegel Center and there couldn't be more interesting stories to think of: Dayton was where VCU coach Shaka Smart once called home. It was actually where he worked about ten years ago as a 20-something bright-eyed basketball fanatic.
University of Dayton v. Virginia Commonwealth...January 9, 2013
There's a lot of excitement at the "Stu" or the Stuart Siegel Center: this is the first conference game of the season for the Rams and the first Atlantic 10 conference game ever. The band played at pregame and as the game proceeded they played several different fight songs during the game at media timeouts. It was an exciting night in my first VCU home game which Virginia Commonwealth won 74-62. I got the game stats at the hyper-linked words just above.
VCU led 36-32 at half time: the play was fast in the first half as both teams showed a lot of quickness. Dayton had a lot of made shots by their big guys in the lane which they adjusted in mid-motion to account for VCU defensive maneuvering. Both these teams are very quick and the long distance shots for VCU were often flat though open because of their own frantic defensive pace at the other end of the floor. Dayton never had the lead in this game though they reeled the Rams in on several occasions to get within a basket of taking the lead.
In the second half VCU got a lot of offensive boards even though Dayton dominated the overall rebounding numbers all night and pushed the lead to 15 points while Dayton was simultaneously getting one offensive shot. The depth of VCU was, perhaps, a factor; in the second half the Rams were launching a ton of shots for a long stretch of time.
The Dayton starters played a lot: 156 minutes compared to VCU's starting five who played 137. Briante Weber came off the bench and in 28 minutes had an amazing 9 steals.
The VCU pressure was a terror: it had Dayton searching for shots until the shot clock was to about ten seconds: they were, though, resourceful enough throughout the game to get dribble drives into the lane to get off shots which often resulted in defensive personal fouls or free throw opportunities; Dayton was 11-16 from the line. This Dayton team lost, but on their home floor I have a feeling they could turn tonight's score around.
VCU shot 19-21 from the free throw line with Treveon Graham going 10-10 which highlighted his 24-point night. Both teams committed 20 fouls in the game, but the Rams had an eight-point edge shooting free throws: I thought free throws would be the Rams' achilles heel as I analyzed each team's stats last week. The opposite was true though.
The shooting statistics revealed what they often have for VCU this season: the Rams again out-shot their opponent, tonight it was Dayton, by simply out-launching the Flyers. The Rams shot 25-60 from the field to the Flyers who shot 21-49. The shooting percentages were essentially identical even though Dayton totally out-shot the Rams from three-point distance; Dayton shot 9-21 in their threes to VCU who shot 5-25. The three-point accuracy of Dayton kept the game in reach in the second half.
Double-figure scorers for VCU were Treveon Graham (24 points), Juvonte Reddic (14 points) and Troy Daniels (12 points.) For Dayton Kevin Dillard had 17 points: he was the only double-figure scorer for the Flyers.