With Georgia State losing on Wednesday night and a matchup with CAA-leading Old Dominion on Saturday, Thursday night’s game was a must win for the Virginia Commonwealth University Rams. Entering the game, William & Mary was undoubtedly the worst team that Rams had played all year. It took overtime, but the VCU Rams escaped 69-68.
With Georgia State losing on Wednesday night and a matchup with CAA-leading Old Dominion on Saturday, Thursday night’s game was a must win for the Virginia Commonwealth University Rams. Entering the game, William & Mary was undoubtedly the worst team that the Rams had played all year. It took overtime, but the VCU Rams escaped 69-68.
Over the course of the season, the Rams have proven to be a slow starting team. Thursday, sophomore Juvonte Reddic had different plans. After a little more than four minutes, Reddic had all 11 of VCU’s points. At halftime, Reddic had 19 points, five rebounds, and six steals and he was the only Ram with more than three points as VCU had built an eight point lead.
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After the break the Tribe played more zone defense, double teamed Reddic and they finally got their offense started. They fought their way back and with 3:45 remaining, Brandon Britt drained a contested three-pointer to give the Tribe their first lead of the game. With 20 seconds remaining, Darius Theus hit 1-2 free throws to tie the game at 60. Rob Brandenberg blocked a lay-up by W&M’s Marcus Thornton and the game went to overtime.
In overtime the Tribe built a three-point lead–their largest of the game. With nine seconds remaining, Darius Theus scored on a spin move as he drove to the hoop. VCU denied the Tribe on a final play and triumphed over a surprisingly competitive team. While the arena was ecstatic, the mood quickly turned to relief instead of excitement.
In a game with two of the CAA’s elite players in senior Bradford Burgess and senior Quinn McDowell, young players stole the show. VCU sophomore Juvonte Reddic led the game with 28 points and six steals while W&M freshman Marcus Thornton scored 22 and carried the Tribe after Quinn McDowell fouled out of the game. Both players have multi-dimensional games and their futures in the conference are bright.
Player of the Game
Setting a career high for both points and steals, Juvonte Reddic was not only the best player in the game, but he had the game of his career. It’s tough to imagine him playing any better than the first five minutes of Thursday night’s game when he scored all 11 of VCU’s points– all while grabbing rebounds, stealing the ball, and taking it coast to coast. He showed the ability to score by posting up, through contact, from the charity stripe, and most impressively, with his mid range jumper. His only mistakes came off of steals when he tried to dunk it with one hand and when he went for the alley-oop.
When Reddic takes over, it should help his teammates score, but tonight every other Ram struggled to make shots. The Rams need to be more effective in getting him to touch the ball during every possession as he demands double teams which should stretch opponents’ defenses.
After the game Coach Shaka Smart was complimentary of Juvonte Reddic’s offense but in typical form he refused to comment on Reddic’s missed dunk, and he also demanded more of Reddic’s rebounding. The good news is, Reddic has so much potential, and no one is going to allow him to slack.
- VCU shot a horrendous 2-22(9%) from 3-point range.
- Juvonte Reddic and Darius Theus combined to shoot 16-28 (57%) while the rest of the team shot 4-36 (11%).
- VCU and W&M combined for 51 fouls.
- Despite playing 37 minutes, Juvonte Reddic was the only player that didn’t pick up a foul the entire game for either team.
- W&M hasn’t won in the Siegel Center since 2000.
Around the Conference
Georgia State’s loss on Wednesday created a four way tie for second place between GSU, VCU, Drexel and Northeastern. George Mason and Old Dominion are tied in first place with a one game lead over the pack. VCU still has two games remaining against ODU and two games against George Mason.
VCU has three more games between now and Wednesday:
- Saturday. 8pm. Old Dominion (11-8, 6-1). Siegel Center.
- Monday. 7pm. Hofstra (6-13, 0-7). Siegel Center.
- Wednesday. 7pm. Towson (0-7, 0-19). Towson Center.
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- What to expect: VCU vs. William & Mary; RVANews
- Instant Recap: VCU vs. William & Mary; RVANews
- Video: VCU defeats W&M in OT; VCU Ram Nation
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