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3-Points: VCU 59, USC 46

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The Trojans' road ends in Dayton as we say goodbye and thanks to seniors' Marcus Simmons, Alex Stepheson and Donte Smith.

  • Stats!  VCU took 21 more shots than USC.  The Rams had 12 more offensive rebounds.  They made eight more threes.  The Trojans had 15 turnovers to just four assists.  "We never turn the ball over," head coach Kevin O'Neill said.  "We had a lot of things that were uncharacteristic of us.  We just didn't have it tonight."  While O'Neill did not question his team's effort, Jio Fontan was a bit more harsh.  "They performed like they wanted it more," he said.  "I don't have a good taste in my mouth about this performance."
  • Nikola Vucevic was supposed to be USC's big advantage in the paint, but the Rams kept him from getting enough inside touches to make a difference in the contest.  "They took me out of the game," Vucevic admitted.  "They didn't let me get in my comfort zone.  You have to give them credit for that."  The big man took just five shots all night long.  Now, the program waits to find out if the All-Pac-10 performer will return for his senior year or declare for the NBA draft.
  • While Fontan was tough on himself after the game, his leadership and will kept the Trojans' alive tonight as most of his teammates struggled with nerves and big game anxiety.  "They've never been here before," O'Neill said of his team.  "They are virgin NCAA players.  Experience makes us all better at everything."  With Fontan, Maurice Jones and Garrett Jackson definitely returning, O'Neill expects USC to learn lessons from tonight's disappointment.  "We are hoping to make a big jump as a team next year."
And 1...

  • Quote of the night: "I am really proud of my team.  They have played hard and got us into the NCAA tournament under almost impossible circumstances," O'Neill summed up the season and the adversity this group has overcome.
The full press conference featuring O'Neill, Fontan and Vucevic is available on the NCAA's website.  Here is the head coach in the post-game media scrum...






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Great year SC! One More Year Nik!

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