VCU beat Fordham Saturday night in the Siegel Center to finish the week 2-0 in the Atlantic 10 and 2-0 against other Rams.
After losing two games in a row last week, Virginia Commonwealth University beat Fordham Saturday night 81-65 in the Siegel Center to finish the week 2-0 in the Atlantic 10 and 2-0 against other Rams.
Saturday marked the half way point for the VCU in the Atlantic 10. Despite their losses to Richmond and La Salle, VCU is again in sole possession of first place in the A-10. Currently, they are one half of a game ahead of #9 Butler, Charlotte, and Saint Louis. Still, VCU is not playing their best basketball of the season.
VCU looked great as they jumped out to an early lead, but they allowed Fordham too many scoring opportunities. Melvin Johnson was assertive, and he tallied seven early points before struggling the rest of the evening.
Every time VCU created separation in the first half, Fordham responded with a timely open 3-pointer or key basket. The Black & Gold finished the first half shooting an abysmal 11-39 (.282) from the field.
VCU exited the locker room with a 5-point lead and Fordham remaining competitive. With 15:36 remaining, Troy Daniels went on an 11-3 run including three 3-pointers in 59 seconds. Suddenly, VCU was up by as much as 24 points.
In the final minutes, Coach Smart experimented with some different lineups and some player development time which was highlighted by a David Hinton dunk. The metaphorical “victory formation” was a welcome escape from what has been a grueling and competitive inaugural season in the Atlantic 10 for VCU.
- Loudest moment(s): 105dB. 2nd half-14:45. Troy Daniels drained a 3-pointer to cap off an 11-0 VCU run.
- Coach Smart’s Jacket: 18:42 remaining in the first half.
Junior center DJ Haley was unexpectedly absent from Saturday’s game. Here are coach Smart’s remarks on the matter:
DJ needed to take some time, and he asked me if he could take some time to focus on some things he is dealing with in his personal life. It’s not in any way a suspension or anything like that. He needs some time to himself, and I’m not sure how long that will be. I’d be really surprised if he doesn’t come back with us, but he has some things in his personal life that he’s got to sort out. It’s nothing bad, he hasn’t done anything wrong, he’s not doing poorly in school. It’s just some family stuff, some personal stuff, he’s going to work out.
Top performer: Troy Daniels
29pts, 7rebs, 7-14 3PFG, 3-5 FG
One month ago, Troy Daniels caught national attention for hitting 27 3-points and scoring 85 points over the course of three games. Starting with the game against Lehigh, the quality of opponents improved and defenses further adjusted to the prolific senior sharpshooter. Through the first seven games of the A-10 slate, Daniels averaged 7.6ppg while shooting 14-49 (.286) from range.
He’s back! After scoring eight points in the first half, Daniels started the second half by hitting three rare 2-pointers. After establishing himself inside the arc, he totally caught fire. Daniels finished the second half with 21 points on 8-10, 5-7 from range.
- Saturday was Juvonte Reddic’s 14th career double-double. He is now tied for 10th all-time at VCU with Nick George.
- Troy Daniels has hit 85 3-pointers this season in only 23 games. He is only 9 short of the VCU single season record set by him.
- Darius Theus has 45 assists, 10 turnovers, and 20 steals in A-10 play.
- Troy Daniels hit a career high three 2-pointers.
- Fordham’s Ryan Canty picked up five fouls in only 13 minutes of action.
VCU has the week off before visiting Charlotte (17-5, 5-2) on Saturday, February 9th at 7pm.
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