Rhode Island Upsets No. 1 VCU 75-70 to Advance to the #A10MBB Championship Semifinals
NEW YORK -- Jeff Dowtin scored 22 points to help eighth-seeded Rhode Island upset top-seed VCU 75-70 in the Atlantic 10 Tournament quarterfinals Friday.
Tyrese Martin added 13 for Rhode Island (18-14). Dana Tate finished with 12, and Christion Thompson had 11, including two free throws in the final seconds to seal the win.
Rhode Island has eliminated VCU from the A-10 Tournament three years in a row.
The Rams meet the winner of fifth-seed George Mason and fourth-seed St. Bonaventure in the semifinals on Saturday.
Despite a 26-point, 22-rebound performance from Marcus Santos-Silva, VCU (25-7) became the second-straight regular-season champion to lose in the tournament. Last year, Davidson topped top-seeded Rhode Island, which helped the A-10 to get two teams in the NCAA Tournament, which is likely to happen this year.
The third matchup of the season between the programs was taut, as the largest lead either team had was eight points.
Down 73-70 in the final seconds, VCU had a chance to tie the game but Mike'L Simms missed a contested right side 3. On the ensuing possession, Thompson was fouled on the inbound and made both free throws.