NEW YORK — Troy Daniels made six 3-pointers to score 20 points, and No. 25 VCU advanced to the Atlantic 10 tournament title game in its first season in the conference with a 71-62 win over UMass on Saturday.
The Rams will face top-seeded Saint Louis on Sunday in a matchup of the league's top two teams during the regular season. The Billikens won 76-62 at home in their one meeting Feb. 19.
VCU (26-7) forced 24 turnovers to hold off a pesky Minutemen team that upset Temple in Friday's quarterfinals.
Rob Brandenberg's 3-pointer as the shot clock expired finally gave the Rams some breathing room, putting them up 68-61 with a minute-and-a-half left.
Juvonte Reddic added 18 points and 12 rebounds.
Chaz Williams ended his A-10 tournament run back home in Brooklyn with 62 points in three games for sixth-seeded UMass (21-11). He scored 18 on 7-of-12 shooting Saturday.
The Minutemen were within 58-56 with 4 1/2 minutes left. Then VCU went on a 6-0 run in just 13 seconds.
Briante Weber drove the lane, drew contact and got the foul call as the ball fell through the net. After he completed the three-point play, VCU forced yet another turnover, and Daniels hit a 3-pointer for a 64-56 lead.
UMass was up nine points midway through the first half before VCU turned up the defense. The Rams led 35-34 at the break after forcing nine first-half turnovers.
Melvin Johnson's fast-break layup after a turnover capped a quick spurt of six straight points and put VCU up 54-44 with just over 10 minutes left in the game. As UMass called timeout, noted New York City basketball fan Spike Lee, wearing a VCU T-shirt, stood and applauded.
UMass outrebounded the Rams 50-36 and got to the foul line 26 times.