|10:00 AM PT11:00 AM MT12:00 PM CT1:00 PM ET6:00 PM GMT2:00 PM 北京时间11:00 AM MST1:00 PM EST, Mar 10, 2018
Capital One Arena, Washington, District of Columbia Attendance: 8,756
No. 25 URI advances to A-10 semis
WASHINGTON -- Rhode Island fans were outnumbered by VCU supporters by about 4:1 on Friday afternoon in the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship tournament.
But the No. 25 Rams of Rhode Island used veteran leadership on the court to beat the Rams of VCU 76-67 on Friday in the quarterfinals of the tournament.
Local product Jeff Dowtin, a sophomore guard from Upper Marlboro, Md, had a team-high 18 points for Rhode Island. Teammate and senior guard Jared Terrell had 16 and senior guard E.C. Matthews and reserve guard Daron Russell each scored 11.
Rhode Island (24-6) will now play in the conference semifinals on Saturday at 1 p.m. against No. 5 seed Saint Joseph's, which defeated George Mason 68-49 in the second of four games Friday at Capital One Arena in downtown Washington in a session that drew 7,321 fans.
"We can play better. We will play a lot better tomorrow. It is a national (ranked) team. All we want to do is play Sunday" for the title, Hawks coach Phil Martelli said Friday.
Rhode Island had lost three of its previous five games after starting the year 13-0 in conference play.
"This game will definitely help us for tomorrow," said URI guard Stanford Robinson, who had seven points. "It let us settle in and get used to the court. We have some things to prove. Our goal is to win the Atlantic 10."
Rhode Island lost by 30 points on Senior Night against Saint Joseph's on Feb. 27. The Rams played in the NCAA Tournament last season and upset Creighton before losing to Oregon.
"We haven't had that much adversity this year," said Dan Hurley, the Rhode Island coach. "We haven't really had like adversity in terms of like losing two in a row and having to respond, and then losing two in a row and having to respond against VCU in D.C. with a ton of pressure on you to bounce back and show who you are.
"I just think it was exactly the type of game that we needed, and we needed it to be tight and we needed to get back to that free throw line today and some show guts and some nerves and close it out," Hurley added.
Hawks freshman starter Anthony Longpre knows Rhode Island will be a challenge.
"They have five really good players," Longpre said.
Saint Joseph's got 14 points from guard Nick Robinson and 13 from Shavar Newkirk in the win over George Mason.
VCU (18-15) failed to make the tourney title game for the first time in the A-10. The Richmond school was paced by forward Justin Tillman, who had 23 points and 15 rebounds.
"It was good to knock out a monster in the first game," Robinson said. "We gained a lot of confidence from that game."
It was a rare conference tourney loss for VCU, which will not make the NCAA tourney for the first time since 2010.
"You are not really expecting to see VCU in a quarterfinal game," Hurley said. "Both teams are playing for their lives. We got a lead late like we did against Davidson on the road (March 2). We showed who we have been the whole year: came through in the clutch."
Updated March 9, 2018