Saint Louis scored early and often as they cruised past VCU, 76-62, Tuesday night.
Saint Louis University scored early and often as they cruised past Virginia Commonwealth University, 76-62, Tuesday night.
Tuesday’s battle was billed as a clash of styles. The Rams wanted to get out, run, and outscore the Billikens. Saint Louis wanted to slow things down and grind out a win with stout defense. Tuesday, Saint Louis did both as their offense ran all over the Rams, and their suffocating defense showed no mercy.
62 seconds into the game, Troy Daniels drained a 3-pointer and tied the game at 4-4. Just one minute later, he picked up two quick fouls, and Saint Louis never looked back. After Rob Brandenberg failed to complete an and-1 opportunity, Jake Barnett drained a 3-pointer which kicked off a 10+ minute, 21-1 run. VCU scored one point on a Juvonte Reddic free-throw over the span.
The demoralized Rams exited the locker room trailing by 17 points. Their offense started flowing in the second half, and the Rams looked primed for a signature comeback after cutting the lead to 13 points on a Treveon Graham 3-pointer, but VCU had no defensive answers for SLU.
Against teams built like Saint Louis, HAVOC! is a delicate system. The Rams need to score in order to set up their pressure defense, and they need their defense in order to score in transition. What made things worse on Tuesday was the ineffectiveness of VCU’s half court defense and offense. The Billikens rarely struggled to make shots, and when they did, VCU bailed them out with fouls. Darius Theus and Brandenberg both picked up four fouls, while four others had three fouls including a Troy Daniels technical.
It’s time to dig deep and move on. Like the end of the 2011 season, the Rams’ remaining schedule has no easy games to re-discover the team’s identity. After playing three games in seven days, the Rams will have to get on the plane and visit another quality team on Saturday.
This is what they signed up for in the Atlantic 10.
Top performer: Jordair Jett
16 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 6-9 shooting
Jordair Jett played with incredible poise on Tuesday night. He handled the ball on many possessions and only suffered one turnover while making HAVOC! look totally ineffective. When VCU started putting together a run in the second half, he scored 12 straight Billiken points including a dagger 3-pointer. If VCU hopes to beat SLU in the A-10 tournament, the Rams need to figure out how to match up physically with the Billikens at every position, starting with Jett.
- It took VCU 15:52 to hit double digits. They average 78.1ppg.
- This is the worst VCU loss since 2/15/11 when VCU lost by 20 at home to George Mason.
- Eight is the fewest forced turnovers by VCU since losing to Duke on 11/23/12.
- VCU tied a season-high for fouls at 24. The Rams have fouled 20+ times in each of their past five games.
- Juvonte Reddic picked up his sixth double-double in the last eight games.
|Kwamain Mitchell*||30||6||2-2||0-3||2-4||0||1||2||2||4||0||0||Dwayne Evans*||30||14||5-6||0-0||4-6||4||4||3||0||1||0||1||Mike McCall Jr.*||27||15||2-4||1-3||8-8||1||3||3||2||1||0||3||Rob Loe*||17||5||1-2||1-2||0-0||1||1||3||3||0||0||0||Grandy Glaze*||13||2||1-1||0-0||0-0||0||0||2||1||0||0||0||Cody Ellis||31||10||2-2||2-8||0-1||0||4||1||1||0||0||1||Jordair Jett||25||16||5-7||1-2||3-4||0||3||2||2||1||0||1||Jake Barnett||16||8||1-1||2-3||0-0||0||3||0||1||0||0||0||Cory Remekun||11||0||0-1||0-0||0-0||1||1||3||0||1||1||0|
VCU travels to another hostile environment on Saturday to face Xavier. Because of their youth, the Musketeers struggled early, but lately, they are playing great basketball behind freshman point guard Semaj Christon.
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