|Virginia Commonwealth head basketball coach Shaka Smart during the first half of the Colonial Athletic Association Championship NCAA college basketball game at the Coliseum in Richmond, Va., Monday, March 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)|
VCU wins CAA, 59-56 over top-seeded Drexel
RICHMOND, Va.—Darius Theus had a career-high 16 points and five steals and Troy Daniels made four huge free throws in the final 19 seconds, allowing VCU to hang on and beat top-seeded Drexel 59-56 Monday night in the championship of the Colonial Athletic Association tournament.
VCU (28-6) was the biggest story of last year's NCAA tournament, when coach Shaka Smart's team reached the Final Four after being one of the last teams picked for the field. The Rams won't have to wait for an at-large bid this season, but Drexel made it interesting after falling behind by 16 at halftime.
The Dragons (27-6), who had won a school-record 19 in a row and not lost since Jan. 2, got to within a point on Chris Fouch's 3-pointer with 12.7 seconds to play.
Daniels made a pair from the line with 18.9 seconds left and two more with 11.9 seconds to go, and Frantz Massenat's 3-point try just before the buzzer was off the mark, leaving Drexel hoping for an at-large invitation into the field of 68.