DAYTON, Ohio — Kendall Pollard and Kyle Davis each grabbed clutch defensive rebounds and were perfect in four tries at the free-throw line in the last 16 seconds as Dayton held off a challenge from VCU for a 79-72 win in the battle for the Atlantic 10 Conference championship and top seed into the conference tournament.
Charles Cooke and Scoochie Smith scored 20 points each for Dayton, which never trailed, led by as many as 14 in the second half and ends the regular season on a nine-game win streak. Davis added 12 points and seven rebounds, Pollard 11 points and five boards for the Flyers (24-5, 15-2).
JaQuan Lewis converted a 3-point play for VCU (23-7, 13-4) that made it a two-point game with three minutes to go. After each team missed from the field, Pollard and Davis made two each at the line and Smith 1 of 2 — all fouled after grabbing defensive rebounds (27 of Dayton’s 33 boards).
Mo Alie-Cox led VCU with 20 points, Justin Tillman added 18 with 10 rebounds and Lewis scored 15.
Dayton seniors Davis, Smith, Pollard, Cooke and Jeremiah Bonsu have won a program-record 101 wins.