WVCW Sports Recap: December 16-20

Men’s Basketball

The VCU Rams returned to action on Tuesday as they traveled down to Atlanta to face the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in their second true road game of the season. Despite Justin Tillman scoring a career-high 18 points, the Rams lost to the Yellow Jackets 77-64. The game remained close throughout, but the Yellow Jackets went on a 12-2 run in the second half to take control of the game. Marcus Georges-Hunt led the Georgia Tech with 20 points.

The Black and Gold returned home on Saturday to face the #23 Cincinnati Bearcats. Both teams played a tight game but the Bearcats held off the Rams to win 69-63. The Bearcats led most of the game and went up by as much as 10 with over five minutes left in the second half. The Rams fired back and scored eight unanswered points while trimming the Bearcats lead down to two but they could not get any closer. The Bearcats held off the late surge from the Rams with timely free throw shooting. Korey Billbury led the way for the Rams with 22 points and 9 rebounds. Troy Caupain and Farad Cobb led the Bearcats in scoring with 15 points.

The Rams are now 5-5 this season. The Rams will host the Buffalo Bulls at 7:00 on Tuesday and the Liberty Flames at 5:00 on Sunday.

Women’s Basketball

The Rams picked up a win on the road defeating the High Point Panthers 69-39. The Rams outscored the Panthers 16-5 in the second half to give themselves a 14-point lead going into halftime. From there, they Rams stayed in firm control of the game leading to the lopsided win for the Black and Gold. Isis Thorpe finished the game with 15 points.

Saturday was much of the same as they defeated the Old Dominion Lady Monarchs 74-54. Curteeona Brelove had her second double-double of the week as she scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. The Rams grabbed firm control of the game early jumping out to a five point lead at the end of the first quarter. The Rams outrebounded the Lady Monarchs 43-25 and forced 19 turnovers that led to 28 points.

The Rams are now 9-2 this season riding a three-game winning streak into their lone game this week on Monday, when they host the William and Mary Tribe.

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WVCW Sports Recap: December 6-15

After our one week hiatus, we are back with another WVCW Sports Recap. This week was light in terms of action as student-athletes took their final exams this week. However, action will resume this week.

Men’s Basketball

  • The Rams enjoyed a week off. They will resume action tonight when they face off against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in Atlanta at 9:00. They return to the Siegel Center on Saturday to face the #23 Cincinnati Bearcats at 4:00.

Women’s Basketball

  • A week after their second place finish in the Arizona State Classic, the Rams returned to the Stu to defend their homecourt against the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks. UMES stormed out to an early 11-4 lead. However, the Rams were able to claw their way back into the game. The Rams outscored the Hawks 24-8 in the second quarter and the Hawks were not able to respond. The Rams pulled away in the second half and defeated the Hawks 63-39. Ashley Pegram led the Rams in scoring with 17 points. Curteeona Brelove recorded here first double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
  • The Rams have a date with High Point on Wednesday at 7:00 before returning to the Siegel Center on Saturday to face the Old Dominion Monarchs at 7:30.

Baseball

  • VCU Baseball recently released their schedule for the upcoming season. Below are some key dates. The Full schedule can be seen at http://www.vcuathletics.com/sports/bsb/2015-16/schedule
    • February 19: at Kennesaw State (First Game)
    • February 24: vs. Maryland (Home Opener)
    • March 9: vs. Old Dominion
    • March 25-27: vs. St. Bonaventure (A-10 Opener)
    • April 5: vs. Virginia
    • April 20: at Virginia
    • April 22-24: vs. Richmond
    • May 5: at North Carolina
    • May 25-29: Atlantic 10 Tournament (at Fordham)
  • WVCW plans to broadcast each home game and a few away games.

 

Too Bright- Perfume Genius

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10/10

Too Bright is beautiful and gay, and I love it. Perfume Genius balances dreamy and ethereal musical composition with poetic lyrics. The album works very well as a cohesive unit and many of the songs are also strong. Mike Hadreas is the artist behind Perfume Genius; he has released several singles and three albums. He released his first album Learning in 2010 and his second in 2012 with Put Your Back N 2 It. Too Bright was released in 2014.

Too Bright is both beautiful and honest. The album complexly explores male queerness, but I don’t think it exclusively applies to male queerness. The album is cohesive in a way few albums are. It doesn’t sound the same, some songs are closer to alternative rock and others are really dreamy but in most songs the tone of Hadreas voice stays consistent. Listening to the album in order is really enjoyable because there are great transitions and builds.

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There are quite a few songs that are worth mentioning, I can’t decide if my favorite is “Queen” or “Grid”. “Queen” starts the question “Don’t you know your Queen?” it is a double entendre because it sounds like “Don’t you know you’re Queer?”. In the verse Hedreas pairs beautiful imagery with ugly and revolting imagery. I really like how he connects identity to societies views. It is a rally cry because he is unapologetically being open about his identity. “Queen” is closer to rock than most of the album, it’s a little angry in the electric guitar part and drum beat. It could be one of my all time favorite songs. 

perfume-genius-grid

“Grid” has more disorienting electronic sounds, a rhythmic bass beat gradually gets louder and syncopated as the song progresses and there are some pretty cool vocal compressions. The instrumentals and background vocals are harsher but Hadreas voice is sweet. Like Queen, Grid has multiple meanings, the title is a reference to one of the first acronyms for HIV, Gay-Related Immune Deficiency, but many of the lyrics are from “I Decline” which is about Hadreas struggle with addiction.

Several other songs are really exceptional: the bridge in “Fool” is phenomenal. It is ethereal and echoey, it builds and builds. “Fool” is about straight women use gay men as props so I really like how free the bridge is in contrasts with the exploitive lyrics. “Too Bright” is also ethereal; it sounds like a prayer. “I’m a Mother” is on the weirder dark side of ethereal, everything sounds really heavy and the words are difficult to understand but I’m a fan. “My Body” seems to be about living in a body that is not healthy. It really resonates with me because it does a really good job of describing the balance between taking care of yourself while also knowing that the extra effort probably won’t be worth it. The song has a lot of distortion but it balances it with quiet moments. 

Too Bright is self deprecating but it is also beautiful. It is so great that while a central theme of the album is queerness and homophobia each song is not trying to become the next formulaic gay anthem as written by straight pop singers. I actually really love how blunt and realistic it because, personally, it is more relatable. So listen to Too Bright if you are also sad and queer it’s a good time.

WVCW Sports Review: November 23-29

We hope that you had a Happy Thanksgiving! Hopefully you did not have too many leftovers this weekend so that you can find what has been going on in RamNation this week. Like your turkey, this week was stuffed with great action with sweet rewards for dessert.

Men’s Basketball

  • The Rams went a 2-0 this weekend picking up wins over the American Eagles on Wednesday night 68-39 and in-state rival, the Old Dominion Monarchs on Saturday 76-67. Both games were played in front of sold-out crowds at the Siegel Center.
  • VCU was able to an early lead against the Eagles and never look back as the Rams were able to coast to a decisive victory. Justin Tillman earned his second career double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds. Melvin Johnson led the team in points with 13.
  • The Rams faced tougher competition on Saturday when they faced the ODU Monarchs. VCU was blitzed right at the start of the game as the Monarchs hit four three pointers in the first four minutes and led 16-8. After the early barrage, VCU locked in defensively and took control of the game. VCU led by as much as 11 and won by nine. Jequan Lewis led the Rams with 16 points off the bench.
  • Mo Alie-Cox moved into sixth place on the VCU blocks list as he has 126 now.
  • Melvin Johnson is now in sixth place on the VCU all-time three-point list.
  • The Rams are now 4-2 this season with all wins being at home. The Rams will be on the road for their next two games as the will face Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders in their first true road game of the season Wednesday night. Then they will travel to Atlanta to face the Florida State Seminoles in a neutral site game next Sunday afternoon.

Women’s Basketball

  • Like the men, the women’s went 2-0 this week on their homecourt as they defeated the Campbell Camels on Tuesday. They followed that win with a commanding 22 point win against the Furman Paladins on Sunday 68-44.
  • The Rams played stifling defense against the Camels as they held them to eight points in the first half. The Camels were able to establish some momentum in the second half, but they fell behind early and were not able to catch the Rams. VCU forced 26 the Campbell to commit 26 turnovers.

Adaeze Alaeze finished the game with 12 points and five rebounds for the Rams in 19 minutes of play.

  • The Rams were able to get an early lead against the Paladins as they never trailed in the game. VCU opened the game up in the third quarter going on a 14-4 run and never looked back outscoring Furman 18-9 in the third quarter. Ashley Pegram led the Rams in points with 16 off the bench in only 12 minutes.
  • The Rams will enjoy a couple of days off before facing UNC Wilmington at the Siegel Center on Wednesday at 7:00. VCU will participate in the Arizona State Classic this weekend. They will face the host, Arizona State on Saturday and then they will face Toledo or Columbia on Sunday.

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Sweet Revenge: VCU Defeats ODU 76-67

Richmond, Va. – VCU was able to exact revenge on the Old Dominion Monarchs as won 76-67 at the Siegel Center. Three players scored in double figures as Jequan Lewis led the way with 16 points of the bench. Melvin Johnson finished with 13 points and Jordan Burgess followed up with twelve points. The Rams knocked down 10 three-pointers in the game.

ODU came right out the gates knocking down four three pointers within the first four minutes of the game and lead after the first media timeout 16-8 while VCU committed three turnovers in that span. VCU took the lead 18-16 with 9:25 with a three-pointer from Doug Brooks while the Rams defense shut down the offense of the Monarchs as they were not able to score for over six minutes. The Monarchs answered with a field goal to tie the game at 18. From there, both teams played a back and forth game as both teams took their turns leading the game and even tied at a few points in the first half. Jordan Baker hit a pair of free throws with five seconds left in the first half to tie the game at halftime at 35. Brooks had nine points in the game, all of them came in the first half as he hit a trifecta of threes.

The Rams were able to capitalize on Mo Alie-Cox being double-teamed in the second half which led to six three pointers being hit.

“In the first half, they either double-teamed me or sunk in,” Alie-Cox said. “In the second half, when I caught the ball with one-on-one coverage, I went straight up. If they double-teamed, we got a lot of wide open threes.”

Melvin Johnson knocked down back-to-back three pointers in 41 seconds to give VCU a nine-point lead, 49-40. Soon thereafter, VCU was able to obtain a double-digit lead in the second half with their biggest lead being 11 (54-43). ODU trimmed VCU’s lead down to three before with five minutes left. The Rams followed up with a 12-2 run which included a pair of threes from Korey Billbury and Lewis. The Monarchs kept fighting, but they did not have much left in the tank as the Rams were able to claim victory in the annual affair.

When asked about the defensive performance in the second half, Lewis said “We buckled down in the halfcourt. Getting stops gave us momentum and if they [ODU] can’t score, we’re going to win.”

VCU head coach, Will Wade, called today’s performance was probably the best they have played at home this season.

“After the first four minutes where ODU blitzed us, they only shot 38% which was good for us,” Wade said.

The Rams improve to 4-2 this season as they get will travel to Murfreesboro, Tennessee to face the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders on Wednesday night in their first true road game this season.

 

 

Clipped Wings: VCU Grounds the Eagles 72-44

Richmond, Va. – VCU defeated the American Eagles 68-39 in a Thanksgiving Eve matchup. Seniors, Melvin Johnson and Korey Billbury led the way with 13 points and 12 points respectively. Off the bench, Justin Tillman obtained his second career double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds.

VCU point guard, Jequan Lewis did not get the start, but played significant minutes off the bench. VCU forced American to commit 14 turnovers in the first half as it took the Eagles three minutes and 21 seconds to score their first basket. Within that span, the Eagles committed five turnovers. Offensively, the Rams were not at their best as they utilized a different starting five (Johnson, Billbury, Burgess, Gilmore, Alie-Cox), but they were able sustain enough offense to distance themselves from the Eagles with a double digit lead. The Rams went into halftime with a 16-point lead, 36-20.

VCU was able to open the game up in the second half they opened up a plus-20 point lead on the Eagles. Overall, the Rams forced the Eagles into committing 22 turnovers as the Rams were able to keep the Eagles at bay for the remainder of the game. Mo Alie-Cox had two blocks in the game which moved him into sixth place on the VCU blocks list with 125 passing 2014 graduate, Juvonte Reddic. American’s 44 points was the fewest VCU allowed since holding Akron to 42 points in the second round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament.

“Coach said that we were just ok tonight,” Billbury said. “Our energy was ok, our effort was ok, but we have to be a lot better for Saturday’s game.”

“We have a lot of different ways that we can start,” Coach Wade said. “We’ll evaluate our lineups, we’ll change our starting lineups based on and we will go from there.”

The Rams are now 3-2 on the young season. VCU returns to action this Saturday to face in-state rival, the Old Dominion Monarchs. Last year, the Rams were defeated by the Monarchs in Norfolk 73-67. The game will take place at the Siegel Center at 4:00.