Golden Victory: VCU Defeats the Ospreys 80-68

Richmond, Va. – The VCU Rams picked up their third consecutive victory against the North Florida Ospreys Wednesday night 80-68. Melvin Johnson led the team in scoring with 23 points. VCU was able to get contributions elsewhere as Mo Alie-Cox scored a career-high 19 points and Korey Billbury finished with 22 points off the bench. Jequan Lewis only scored four points, but had a career-high 10 assists and three steals.

North Florida got off to a quick start in the first half jumping out to a 9-0 lead, but the Rams charged back with nine points to tie the game. Both teams alternated the lead before the Rams took control of the game jumping out to an eight-point lead at halftime. North Florida shot 50% in the first half, but had a hard time holding on to the ball in the halfcourt turning the ball over 10 times.

The Rams were able to carry the momentum they established in the first half into the second half shooting 57% from the field. Melvin Johnson and Korey Billbury hit a trio of shots from behind the arc to further establish pull away from the Ospreys. Mo Alie-Cox asserted himself down low scoring 13 of his 19 points in the half, including a dunk that blew the roof off the Siegel Center. The Rams went up by as much as 18 after a layup from Ahmed Hamdy, 61-43. The Ospreys would not go away as they cut the deficit down to eight with 2:51 to go. This was the closest the Ospreys would get as the Rams would pull away from the Ospreys.

North Florida’s, Dallas Moore, scored a team-high 24 points. North Florida, known for their three-point shooting making 12.9 per game (first in the nation), was held in check as they were 5-18 from downtown.

“Now we got some momentum,” VCU coach Will Wade said emphatically after the game. “We’ve won three in a row. You want to go into the conference season winning. I think we’re as tested or more tested than any team in our conference. Now, we have to continue to play well, continue to get better, understand what’s led to our winning streak, and us playing better.”

With the win, VCU improves to 8-5 as they finished their out-of-conference play. The Rams start conference play with this Saturday at the Siegel Center when they take on the George Mason Patriots. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:00.

Happy New Year!

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Stop, Drop, and Ram: VCU Hose Down the Flames 85-57

Richmond, Va. – The VCU Rams extinguished the Liberty Flames 85-57 behind Melvin Johnson’s 15 points. The Rams jumped out to a hot start hitting their first six shots and jumping out to a 12-2 lead. The Rams shot 55% from the field in the first half while playing stifling defense only allowing the Flames to shoot 33%.

The Rams really punished the Flames on the boards outrebounding them 37-23. Justin Tillman grabbed 11 rebounds on his own and Ahmed Hamdy grabbed nine rebounds. In the first half, Tillman and Hamdy outrebounded the Flames entire team 18-13.

The second half played out much like the first half. The Rams started the second half on a 12-4 that included three-pointers from Melvin Johnson, Michael Gilmore, and Korey Billbury. The Black and Gold went up by as much at 37 in the half. Despite a scrappy fight from the Flames, the Rams were able to keep Liberty at distance and cruised to a 28 point lead.

JeQuan Lewis scored at 14 points for the Rams. Jordan Burgess scored 11 points in his first game back after missing two games with a concussion.

With the win, VCU improves to 7-5 with one game left before Atlantic 10 play begins. VCU takes on the North Florida Ospreys in their final out-of-conference game at the Siegel Center on Wednesday at 7:00.

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Holiday Sendoff: Johnson’s 22 Sends RamNation Home With 90-69 Win

Richmond, Va. – Just win baby. That was the plan tonight for the VCU Rams as they gave the Buffalo Bulls heavy dose of Holiday Havoc as they sent RamNation home with a with 70-69. Melvin Johnson scored 22 points in the victory. Korey Billbury followed up with 15 points. The win ended a three game losing streak for the Rams.

Despite both teams shooting 50% in the first half, turnovers plagued both teams. The Bulls committed 20 turnovers in the first half and the Rams had 12. While the score stayed relatively close for the most of the first half, the Rams started to separate themselves within the final minutes of the half. The score was tied at 25 with 3:12 left in the half. From there, VCU went on a 15-2 run to close the half, with Melvin Johnson catching fire as he scored the final six points for the Rams.

VCU’s hot hand continued into the second half hitting six of their eight shots. After a rough first half from three-point land [2-13], VCU went 7-13 from downtown after intermission. They hit their first six attempted three-pointers before missing their first one midway through the half. With the momentum established at the end of the first half carrying over into the second half, VCU was easily able to put away the Buffalo Bulls.

VCU forced the Bulls into 31 turnovers, the most in a game since December 29, 2012 when Fairleigh Dickinson committed 34. Johnson’s five three-pointers moved him into sole possession of fourth on the VCU all-time made three point list with 216.

“I coached high school ball and we didn’t turn the ball over 30 times,” Buffalo coach, Nate Oates said. “They’re not even pressing like they did with Shaka. They pressured in the halfcourt a lot and they did some fullcourt press, but this is not the same Havoc that I’ve watch on TV for the past six years.”

“We need to win,” VCU coach Will Wade said after the game. “We’ve been close. Our formula works. We got it down with the power basketball. We just got to play better in longer stretches.”

The win gave the Black and Gold their sixth win of the season. Havoc returns to the Siegel Center on Sunday when they face the Liberty Flames at 5:00.

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Tribal Victory: VCU Defeats William & Mary 73-47

Richmond, Va. – The VCU Women’s Basketball team picked up their fourth consecutive win on Monday night defeating the William and Mary Tribe 73-47. Isis Thorpe, Adaeze Alaeze, and Curteeona Brelove all scored 11 points in the win.

The Rams set the tone early on defense forcing the Tribe to commit eight turnovers in the first quarter. The Rams finished the first quarter on a 10-3 run to establish control of the game. After being down as much as 15 in the second quarter, the Tribe rebounded as they went on an 11-2 run to trim their deficit down to six. That would be the closest the Tribe would get to the Rams as the black and gold scored eight of the final 10 points of the first half giving the Rams a twelve point lead going into half time.

The Rams would continue their onslaught in the second half as they caused the Tribe to commit a turnover nine seconds into the third quarter. Keira Robinson knocked down back-to-back treys to kickstart a 10-0 run. The Tribe were unable to score a point for over four minutes which allowed the Rams to pull away in the third quarter. Isis Thorpe hit consecutive triples in the fourth quarter to seal the deal for the Rams.

The Rams improve to 10-2 on the season. The Rams will enjoy an eight day layoff returning to action on Wednesday, December 30 when they take on the North Carolina A&T Aggies in Greensboro, NC.

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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.