CINCINNATI -- Virginia Commonwealth's defensive mantra is "Havoc," to create chaos with its aggressive full-court pressure.
On Saturday, Xavier handled the Rams' press well enough to lead by as many as 17 points early in the second half.
But when Dee Davis, the Musketeers' point guard and best ballhandler left with an injury, VCU unleashed its havoc and rallied for an important Atlantic 10 Conference road win.
Troy Daniels scored 19 points including five 3-pointers, and Rob Brandenburg added 18 and Treveon Graham had 17, lifting the Rams to a 75-71 victory before 10,039 fans at Cintas Center.
VCU (22-6, 10-3 A-10) forced 22 turnovers, most of them coming with Xavier attempting to inbound the ball. The Rams had 12 steals and scored 23 points off turnovers.
"With our style of play, you're never out of the game," VCU coach Shaka Smart said. "We fought and scrapped. We talked at halftime about needing to show more energy, and more spirit in the second half. It was a great game. I thought both teams battled."
Xavier (15-11, 8-5 A-10) lost Davis when he collided with Daniels with 13:35 remaining. He received treatment before leaving the bench and never returned. Without Davis, who scored a team-high 15 points with three assists before the injury, the Musketeers were at the mercy of VCU's pressure.
"I'm not going to say we would've won the game if Dee wasn't out," Xavier coach Chris Mack said. "VCU was gaining momentum while he was still in the game. Anytime you have twice as many turnovers as your opponent it's really hard to win."
Semaj Christon, Justin Martin and Isaiah Philmore each scored 11 points for Xavier, which shot 73.7 percent in the first half while building a 13-point halftime lead. Sharpshooter Brad Redford did his best to rescue Xavier, with 15 points and five 3-pointers.
In the first half, Xavier was able to penetrate VCU's defense, resulting in 22 points in the paint.
Martin got the Musketeers started with two strong drives to the basket, both resulting in 3-point plays. They started Saturday's game red hot, going 4-for-4 from the field and 2-for-2 from the free-throw line.
VCU, the nation's highest-scoring road team at 79.8 per game, shot 30.3 percent and just 2-for-17 from 3-point range in the first half Saturday.
A 3-pointer by Davis and dunk by Philmore came during a 7-0 Musketeers run, putting them ahead 22-12. Davis led all scorers with 13 points in the first half.
VCU forced 10 turnovers in the first half, which prevented Xavier from extending its lead.
Christon's dunk put Xavier ahead by 17. But consecutive 3-pointers by Daniels started a 10-0 run for VCU which trimmed its deficit to 43-36.
"That was a huge turning point for us," Daniels said.
Meanwhile, the turnovers continued to mount for the Musketeers. Briante Weber's jumper off a stolen inbounds pass cut Xavier's lead to 48-43.
The injury to Davis occurred moments later, drastically altering Xavier's fortunes.
"It took a ballhandler away from them," Smart said. "They were a guy down. It put a lot on Semaj Christon's shoulders. And there's already a lot on his shoulders."
Graham's 3-pointer tied the score 48-48 with 12:09 left. The Rams took their first lead on Teddy Okereafor's layup moments later.
Redford's fourth 3-pointer of the second half put Xavier ahead briefly. But Daniels answered with a 3-pointer, giving VCU a 69-65 lead with 3:47 left.
"We didn't do a good job handling the pressure in the second half," Redford said. "We started to stress after Dee went out. We needed Dee, especially in a game like this."
NOTES: VCU, in its first season in the Atlantic 10, was facing Xavier for just the fourth time, and first since losing to the Musketeers 70-67 in the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands on Nov. 17, 2006. .. Daniels broke his school record for 3-pointers in a season when he hit No. 96 in the first half Saturday. Prior to last season there were just two VCU players who had made more than 90 in a season. .. Christon has earned Atlantic 10 Conference rookie of the week honors four times this season.