Rams trounce Towson

The Virginia Commonwealth University Rams put on one of the most impressive shooting displays in recent memory, obliterating the Towson Tigers 112-53 in a home conference game on Wednesday and setting or equaling numerous records in the process.

The Virginia Commonwealth University Rams put on one of the most impressive shooting displays in recent memory, obliterating the Towson Tigers 112-53 in a home conference game on Wednesday and setting or equaling numerous records in the process.

Facing the last-place team in the Colonial Athletic Association, the Rams hit 20 three-pointers, getting long-distance production from a wealth of players in addition to dominating the boards as they quickly rebounded from a loss in their last game to Northeastern.

“We’re sick of losing,” Larry Sanders said. “This is a team that is used to fighting for a conference title and that’s what we want to do again this year. We still have eight conference games left and we’re going to do all we can to be at the top after that.”

Bradford Burgess hit three-pointers on the Rams’ first two offensive possessions, and the Rams’ 8-0 start served as a preview of their dominance for the game’s duration. Burgess started the second half with a pair of three’s as well and led the Rams with 20 points. Sanders supplied his usual crowd-pleasing dunks en route to 17 points and 15 rebounds, out-rebounding the Tigers by himself in the first half 11-10. Joey Rodriguez, eschewing his shot until the final minutes to be a distributor from the point, had ten assists in the first half alone.

The Rams’ defense helped to key the offensive explosion, as VCU held the Tigers to 8-27 shooting in the second half and only 21 points as they set a Siegel Center record for a half with 57 points in the second session. It was the Rams’ ability to control the boards and ignite fast breaks that helped open up such space for their perimeter shooters, who obviously took advantage.

It was evident from the start that the Tigers were at a size and strength disadvantage to the Rams, and they never mounted any sort of runs to stilt the Rams’ high-octane offense. The Rams emptied the bench early and tried several different combinations of lineups, getting some of their lesser-used players some court time. It didn’t matter who stepped on the floor, however, as the Rams continued to push the tempo until the final stretch as the game got out of hand. Even then, as Coach Smart instructed his team to slow down, the Rams continued to hit three-point shots late in the shot clock to continue to demoralize the Tigers.

Jay Gavin came off the bench to go a perfect 4-4 from three-point range, and Brandon Rozzell hit 4-5 from beyond the arc to total 16 points in the game. T.J. Gwynn chipped in with 11 points from off the bench as well.

The Rams’ 112 points were the most ever scored in the Verizon Wireless Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center, and the most points the school had scored since 1978-79. The 20 three-pointers made was the most in VCU history and tied a CAA record. The 30 overall assists were the fourth-most in CAA history. Even Coach Shaka Smart had a rare candid view of his team’s conference contest. ““That was a fun game, wasn’t it? After our loss to Northeastern last week, we really wanted to refocus on the defensive end, and when our guys do that it feeds into our offensive rhythm. Obviously, we were able to do that tonight.”

(Image courtesy of VCU Ram Nation)

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Lathan Wells

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