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VCU Dominates UMASS

VCU Fans

March 11th 2016

VCU 85 UMASS 70

It felt like a home game for the VCU Rams as they battled the UMASS Minutemen at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn New York. The lively and energetic crowd was definitely pro VCU and made their presence known throughout the evening. The defending A10 Champions VCU Rams, came into this game with a little bit of revenge on their minds as they lost to UMASS earlier this season at home. VCU came in at 22-9 and were looking to get their first win in their first game of the tournament. They sought to repeat as champions and earn a spot in the NCAA tournament. The Minutemen came in at 14-19 overall and were looking to pick up a major win for their program.

 

Both teams were misfiring early and didn’t seem to settle into their offense comfortably. Midway through the first half the score was only 13-6 and both teams just could not get an offensive rhythm. Freshman center Rashann Halloway was a bright spot for the Minutemen as he had a battle with the VCU big men on the boards, he finished with 16-points and 8 rebounds. Senior Guard Trey Davis led his team in points tonight however they just could not overcome the Rams defensive pressure on the glass. As a team they shot 43.3% from the floor however the difference in rebounds was astonishing. The Rams grabbed 49 rebounds while the Minutemen pulled down 31.

 

The rebounding efficiency was not the only interesting stat in this game for VCU. For most of the second half they led the game by 20 or more points, their largest lead was by 26. They hit only one 3 in this game and dominated in the paint with 50 big ones in the middle. That combined with their rebounding effort led them to a route. The second half started with a quick 4-0 run that led to a UMASS timeout however they could not stop the bleeding after the timeout VCU went on a quick 13-0 run to blow the game wide open.

 

VCU had a balanced scoring attack; with four players in double figures they put this game out of reach early. Sophomore Forward Justin Tillman had 10 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. Senior Guard Melvin Johnson led the way with 19 points and motivated his teammates before and during the game. Korey Billbury hit the only shot from behind the arc for the Rams. As a team they shot 1-15 from behind the arc but as coach Wade put it, this was nothing new for his team. They have had several games like this during the season.

 

Justin Tillman really ignited his teammates yesterday; he was very active early in the game and set the pace for his team. After he threw down a thunderous fast break dunk early in the first half the VCU crowd erupted with chants of VCU! VCU! VCU! They were boisterous for the remainder of the game as they showed up in full force to support their team.

For UMASS Senior Trey Davis this loss was a somber moment. This will be his last game in his collegiate career and in the post game he reflected on this.

“ I will love these guys to death…. It’s more than basketball.. These guys are my brothers and I will always be there for them.”

 

The Rams won the game 85-70 and will face Davison today in the semi final match-ups of the 2016 A10 Championship series.

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Email: shermangmz1@gmail.com

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