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Early Jitters, Late Surge: Second Half Surge Vaults VCU to Victory

Richmond, Va. – The VCU Rams gave RamNation one final audition before their regular season debut next week as they cruised to a 96-60 victory over the California (PA) Vulcans. Every VCU player that entered the game with the exception of one scored. Five players had double digit scoring totals with senior Melvin Johnson leading the way scoring 21 points, 17 of those coming in the second half. Senior, Korey Billbury, finished with a double-double as he scored 10 points and racked up 11 rebounds.

The exhibition was relatively close in the first half as the Rams came out as they put it, jittery. They turned the ball over eight times, five of which was within the first 10 minutes of the game. VCU lead the entire first half, however they were unable to gain a double-digit lead until 1:13 was left in the first half thanks to a pair of made free throws made by Jordan Burgess.

“He got after us at half,” Johnson said. “We just had to slow down and stop thinking so much. We were just out there doing our own thing and he got after us. We settled down and pretty much did what he [Coach Wade] told us to do.”

After halftime, the Rams were able to lock in in the second half as they were able to hold the Vulcans to shooting 21% (7-33) from the field. Johnson hit four three pointers during the half. VCU outscored California (PA) 52-29 in the half.

Coach Wade was not thoroughly impressed with his team in the game saying that they still have a lot of work to do.

“I was really disappointed in our free throw shooting.” Wade said. “We didn’t stick to our routine that we practiced. Defensively, we have plenty of work to do. Offensively, we weren’t perfect. We turned the ball over too much and we were jittery early. We’re a work in progress, we’ve got plenty of work to do, and we’ll get back to work Sunday.”

VCU makes their regular season debut against the Prairie View A&M Panthers next Friday at the Siegel Center at 7 in the first round of the 2K Classic.


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