Will Wade made his head coaching debut at the Atlantic 10 tournament Friday night, and his VCU Rams did not disappoint as they beat No. 10 seed Massachusetts 85-70 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Melvin Johnson led four Rams in double figures with 19 points as VCU won despite shooting 1-for-16 from beyond the arc. Overall VCU shot 40.3 percent from the field, but their ability to hit the offensive glass proved to be the difference. VCU managed to rebound 42.6 percent of its missed shots, converting 20 offensive rebounds into 16 second-chance points. Add in 50 points in the paint, and the Rams were able to remove any doubt early in the second half as they led by as much as 20.
JeQuan Lewis added 16 points and three assists, Korey Bilbury 12 points and Justin Tillman ten points and nine rebounds as the Rams moved one step closer to an NCAA tournament berth.
Trey Davis led UMass with 20 points and Jabarie Hinds and Rashaan Holloway added 16 apiece, but the rebounding and live turnovers proved to be too much to overcome. UMass committed just 12 turnovers, but VCU converted those mistakes into 20 points.