RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Last month, VCU experienced a second half meltdown in a loss at St. Bonaventure. On Friday, the Rams made sure history wouldn’t repeat itself.
Bones Hyland scored 22 points as the black and gold held off a late threat from the Bonnies, going on for the 67-64 win at the Siegel Center. The victory gives VCU sole possession of first place in the Atlantic 10 as we hit the final weeks of the regular season.
The first half was close for most of the way, but the Rams caught fire late in the frame, ending on a 9-2 run to take a 33-26 lead into the break. Mike Rhoades’s team would lead by 11 with 15:46 to go in the contest, but St. Bonaventure wouldn’t go away quietly, pulling to within two on Osun Osunniyi’s jumper with 9:18 remaining. VCU would again open the lead up to ten points, but the Bonnies had another surge in them, pulling to within two with less than a minute to go. Vince Williams hit one of two free throws to give the Rams a three point lead, and Dominick Welch’s last second three-point attempt was off the mark, allowing VCU to survive.
The Rams were strong on the glass, out-rebounding St. Bonaventure, 43-34, and pulling down 19 offensive boards. Williams grabbed nine rebounds, including five on the offensive end, while Hyland pulled down eight boards. Corey Douglas added seven.
Williams joined Hyland in scoring in double figures, chipping in 11 points. St. Bonaventure’s Jalen Adaway scored a game high 23 points.
Neither team shot particularly well from beyond the arc. VCU knocked down just four of its 20 attempts, while the Bonnies were 3-of-15 from deep. The Rams won despite shooting just 36 percent from the floor.
The victory avenges a January 20 loss to the Bonnies in Olean, in which the Rams were outscored, 45-14, in the second half on their way to a 70-54 defeat. Rhoades and company have responded, winning five straight since then.
VCU improves to 15-4, 8-2 in the Atlantic 10. The Rams will host Richmond at the Siegel Center on Wednesday night. Tip-off is set for 7:00.
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