Men’s Basketball Exits A-10 Tournament in Quarterfinals
BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Top-seeded VCU shot 57.4 percent and drilled 9-of-21 3-pointers to defeat Davidson, 71-53, in the quarterfinals of the 2023 Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Tournament Thursday inside the Barclays Center.
The Wildcats conclude the season 16-16 overall, while the Rams advance to Saturday’s semifinals where they’ll meet the winner of Saint Louis/George Mason.
VCU (25-7) grabbed control of a tie game with eight unanswered points midway through the opening period, before going to the half with a 37-28 advantage.
Grant Huffman and David Skogman paced the Wildcats with 10 points each.
Davidson got to within eight on a Huffman layup with 14:23 to play, but the Rams used a 10-1 run to push the margin to 17, 57-40, and all but put the game out of reach.
The Wildcats, who entered postseason play making eight straight A-10 semifinal appearances, shot just 37 percent overall, which included a 3-for-12 effort from long range.
Four Rams scored in double figures, including the Conference Player and Defensive Player of the Year, Ace Baldwin, Jr., who finished with 11 points and 6 assists.
Both teams committed 12 turnovers, while Davidson held a 32-29 edge on the glass.
The loss came just 24-hours after Desmond Watson scored a game-high 17 points to lead eighth-seeded Davidson past St. Bonaventure, 65-54, in the second round of the 2023 Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Tournament Wednesday inside the Barclays Center.
Watson, a sophomore from Columbus, Ohio, finished 6-of-8 from the floor and was perfect at the charity stripe (4-4). He was joined in double figures by Foster Loyer, who added 14 points to go along with 8 rebound and 6 assists, while Sam Mennenga scored 12 and also pulled down 8 boards.
In addition to holding all-conference guard Daryl Banks to 4-of-15 shooting, Grant Huffman turned in 9 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists for the ‘Cats.
Following a back-and-forth start to the first 20 minutes, Davidson (16-15) gained a little separation with a 9-2 spurt late in the period to go up, 26-18. A Loyer pull-up jumper just before the horn gave the Wildcats a 31-26 advantage at the half.
Davidson stormed out of the locker room in the second half with a 7-0 run and pushed the margin to as many as 13 with 14:26 to play. The Bonnies got to within five, 51-46 on a Yann Farell trey at the 8:54 mark, but the Wildcats responded pushing the lead back to 13 in the closing minutes.
Chad Venning paced the Bonnies (14-18) with 16 points on 8-of-12 shooting.
The Wildcats handed out 16 assists on 24 made field goals, held a 37-34 difference on the glass and committed just five turnovers.