“Senior forward Devin Oliver, assistant coach Eric Farrell and sophomore forward Dyshawn Pierre watch their team late in the second half during an 80-66 defeat to Virginia Commonwealth University, Wednesday, Jan. 21, at UD Arena.” Photo taken by Ethan Klosterman/Photo Editor.
By: Steven Wright – Sports Editor
Havoc reigned at UD Arena Wednesday, Jan. 21, as Virginia Commonwealth University’s strong defense drove UD fans home early in the second half.
VCU used 28 points off 18 forced turnovers to defeat the University of Dayton men’s basketball team 80-66.
“Credit to VCU. Really tough team, a together team. There’s a reason that they’re so successful,” said head coach Archie Miller.
Leading by five early in the second half, VCU used a 16-6 run, capped by back-to-back threes from freshman guard JeQuan Lewis, to retake a 60-45 lead with 8:19 remaining. Dayton would get no closer than 12 the rest of the game.
“A few pair of free throws probably kept us away from keeping it within a little bit of striking distance in the middle of the half,” Miller said. “We had some breakdown coverage-wise, give them credit, they made some big shots.
“Overall, I thought they overwhelmed us from about the 12-minute mark all the way down to the end. Our players and coaches and everybody knew it. ”
VCU (15-4, 3-1) received 18 points on 7 of 12 shooting from sophomore guard Briante Weber, who came into the game averaging 8.8 points. Senior forward Juvonte Reddic also scored 18, all but two coming in the second half, and junior guard Treveon Graham added 14.
Senior forward Devin Oliver lead UD with 21 points, including a 9-for-9 performance at the free throw line, to accompany five rebounds. Sophomore forward Dyshawn Pierre also scored 12.
Dayton (13-6, 1-3) trailed 36-27 at the break, with VCU getting 16 points off 12 forced turnovers. Pierre led UD with eight points at the half.
The setback was the first back-to-back losses all season for Dayton, who is now off to their second consecutive 1-3 start in Atlantic 10 Conference play.
Dayton next heads to Kingston, R.I., to face the University of Rhode Island Saturday, Jan. 25, at 4 p.m.
“We’ve got to do a better job and we have to figure a couple things out, it’s not the end of the world,” Miller said. “Four games in, one quarter done in the conference season. We’ll see how it goes.”