Noah Fleischman, Sports Editor
Junior forward Corey Douglas didn’t log a shot in the first 26 minutes of the contest, but in one minute, he turned the tide for the Rams and scored six straight points. He led a 6-2 run that gave the Rams a nine-point advantage.
After that run, the Rams lead never fell under five points, and men’s basketball beat Davidson 64-52 in the Atlantic 10 tournament semifinals at the Stuart C. Siegel Center.
“The most important thing to me is winning,” Douglas said. “It doesn’t matter if I get a shot attempt in a game or not. … They kept telling me ‘roll hard, I’m seeing you, I’m seeing you’ and when the ball comes, I’m ready to make a play.”
Douglas scored all 10 of his points in the second half, making all five of his attempts. Sophomore guard Bones Hyland led the black and gold with 12 points and four assists.
The Rams started on a quick 5-0 run, then fell cold. VCU started 3-of-10 from the field in the first four minutes.
“In the first half, I thought we had a lot of good takes,” Douglas said. “We just didn’t finish well.”
Coach Mike Rhoades encouraged the team to stay aggressive and keep attacking, Douglas said.
After the first media timeout, scoring droughts plagued both teams throughout the first half. The Rams held Davidson without a point for almost six minutes and scored two points.
The Rams’ defense limited the Wildcats to shooting 17% from the field in the first half and 30% overall on the night.
“We held a very efficient offense,” Rhoades said. “We were playing the right way, we just weren’t finishing on offense. I wasn’t upset at all or worried, it was more ‘we’ve got to stick to this, but now we’ve got to finish.”
Davidson found life late in the second half, going on a 9-0 run to pull within seven. That was the closest the Wildcats were able to get the rest of the way.
VCU closed the door on Davidson at the end of the game, going on a 13-2 run. Sophomore forward Hason Ward logged the first four points to spark the run.
Junior forward Vince Williams logged eight points and five rebounds, and Ward added six points and five boards.
The Rams shot 47% from the field in the contest, including 26% from deep. VCU out-rebounded Davidson 39-34 but lost the battle on the offensive glass 15-11.
The Rams will play St. Bonaventure in the A-10 tournament championship game on March 14 at Dayton at 1 p.m. The game will be televised on CBS.