The VCU Men’s Basketball team finished the week 1-2 as they defeated Radford at the Stu 92-74 Monday before traveling to Madison Square Garden for the 2K Classic to play the reigning national champions, the #5 Duke Blue Devils on Friday and national finalist, Wisconsin Badgers on Sunday. The Rams took losses in both games as they fell to the Blue Devils 79-71 and the Badgers 74-73.
The Rams and Highlanders came out battling as the game was even at 30 with 5:09 left in the first half. From there, the Rams went on a 13-2 run to end the first half. The Rams went by as much as 27 in the second half before Radford went on a 17-3 run late in the half, but the Rams were able to thwart the late push by scoring eight unanswered points to win. Senior, Melvin Johnson finished with a game-high 24 points.
The Rams proved that they could hang with the very best as they fought Duke down to the wire under the bright lights of New York City. The Rams led at halftime 39-38. Both teams played a back-and-forth ballgame before Duke went on a 17-4 game-clinching run that gave the Blue Devils as 70-58 lead with 5:41 left in the game. The VCU trimmed the lead down to 6, but free throws sealed the game for Duke. Duke’s, Grayson Allen came off the bench for Duke and scored 30 points. Melvin Johnson finished with 24 points and knocked down six three pointers.
Wisconsin’s Bronson Koenig converted a layup with 6.2 seconds left to give the Badgers the one point victory. Both teams competed in hard-fought game where both teams led multiple times throughout. With 2:10 left in the game, both teams were tied at 71. The Badgers took the lead off of a free. Melvin Johnson then converted on a jumper from the free throw line before Koenig made the game-winning layup. Johnson led the Rams in scoring with 21 points.
The Rams are 2-2 on the young season. This week, the Rams will face American at 7:00 pm on Wednesday. They will host in-state rival, Old Dominion on Saturday at 4:00. Both games are at the Siegel Center.
The VCU Women’s Basketball team finished the week with a 1-1 record as they defeated Iona on the road Tuesday 74-58 before losing to IUPUI on Saturday 70-69.
The Rams forced Iona to commit 22 turnovers as they Rams surged to a 16-point victory in New York. All five starters for the Rams (Alaeze, Calhoun, Clay, Robinson, and Pegram) finished in double figures scoring, led by Adaeze Alaeze and Camille Calhoun as they both scored 16 points.
Following the victory on Tuesday, the Rams traveled to Indianapolis to face IUPUI in what was a hard-fought game. Junior, Isis Thorpe made her return after missing the first two games of the season due to injury. The Rams were down as much as 19 points to the Jaguars. The Rams fought their way back into the game and even took the lead late in the game. Mikale Rogers converted on a three-point play for the Jaguars with 6.9 seconds left in the game to give the Jaguars the victory by 1. Thorpe led the Rams with 17 points.
VCU added four signees for next season. G Jailyn Maddox (Hoover, Ala./Hoover), G Nyra Williams (Hampton, Va./Bethel) G Niya Johnson (Brooklyn, N.Y./Nazareth), and F Danielle Hammond (Bryn Mawr, Pa./Baldwin School) signed their letters of intent to commit to RamNation in the fall of 2016. “We are very excited about 2015-16 recruiting class,” Coach Beth O’Boyle said. “Nyra, Danielle, Niya, and Jailyn are all high quality student-athletes who will exceed both in the classroom and on the court. “
The Rams are now 2-1 this season. They return to the Siegel Center for two games this week as they face Campbell on Tuesday at 7:00 and Furman at 1:00 on Sunday.
The VCU Women’s Volleyball were eliminated from the Atlantic 10 Volleyball tournament after falling to host school, George Washington, in three sets (25-16, 25-16, 25-18). Freshman Sahbria McLetchie, finished the match with 12 kills. Senior, Kalah Jones, had eight kills of her own as she finished her VCU career with the sixth-most kills in school history with 1,118 kills. The Rams conclude the season their season with a 14-17 record.