VCU squeaks by Northeastern to win 9th straight

It wasn’t pretty but the Virginia Commonwealth University Rams squeaked out a 59-56 homecoming victory over the Northeastern Huskies on Saturday night.

It wasn’t pretty but the Virginia Commonwealth University Rams squeaked out a 59-56 homecoming victory over the Northeastern Huskies on Saturday night.


Tweets from last night

Relive the game through the magic of Twitter! Follow the tweets and pictures from during VCU’s win over Northeastern.

In what seems to be a common theme, the Rams found themselves with an early deficit. Poor defense and several turnovers by VCU allowed the Huskies to pull out to an early 14-7 lead. During the first half, both teams struggled to pick up momentum as the officials called fouls incessantly. Bradford Burgess even picked up an early technical foul for reaching across the baseline on an inbounds after receiving a warning. With Juvonte Reddic and Bradford Burgess spending a lot of time on the bench in foul trouble, the Rams responded by strongly finishing the half. The Rams responded with a 14-0 run before the Huskies hit their only bucket of the final 5:30 of the first half.

The Rams started strong in the second half building their lead to as many as 14 points. The Rams offense began to lag and with 1:29 remaining the Huskies made their move. Down 11 points the Huskies started fouling. Only in the single bonus, Rob Brandenberg, Darius Theus, and Bradford Burgess all missed their first free-throws. Meanwhile Jonathan Lee caught fire hitting four consecutive shots to score ten points. Juvonte Reddic fortunately put the nails in the coffin by hitting both of his free-throws. Always looking for ways to improve Coach Shaka Smart commented, “we’ll be shooting a lot of free-throws over the next few days.”

Clearly disappointed, Darius Theus added, “sometimes you keep that first miss in your head, and it affects the second shot.”

Only a week ago the Rams blew a lead in the final minute to Georgia State and barely squeaked by with a one point victory. If the Rams don’t improve, they might lose a game in the final minutes in the near future.

Conference Kryptonite

Until Saturday night the only team that VCU did not own a winning record against in the CAA was Northeastern. VCU was 6-6 and Coach Shaka Smart was 1-3 against the Huskies who seemed to have a knack for dictating the style and pace of the game. In the end the Huskies turned the ball over far too many times, but they certainly gave the Rams uncharacteristic fits. After the game when NU coach Bill Coen was asked about his previous team’s ability to beat the Rams, he simply responded, “I’m really not quite sure” with a smile.

Player of the Game

Troy Daniels has been the Rams only consistent threat from outside. Over the past three games, Daniels has scored 46 points and shot an impressive 46.6% from three point range. His five three-pointers on ten attempts were the difference on Saturday night as he put up points and kept the Siegel Center alive.

5 stats

  • Briante Weber’s two steals moved him into 7th for single season steals for VCU at 60 in only 20MPG. He passed Eric Maynor (’09) and Gerald Henderson (’78). Rolando Lamb holds the record with 88.
  • VCU leads the nation in steals with 246.
  • Saturday night was the sixth time this season that junior Troy Daniels has made five 3-pointers.
  • The Rams were outscored 10-2 in the final 1:29.
  • After only posting one double-double in the first twenty games of the season, Juvonte Reddic has been in double figures for both points and rebounding in three of his past five games.

Looking forward

The Rams look to make it ten consecutive Ws as they host the Towson Tigers on Wednesday.

  • Wednesday February 8th. 7:30pm. Towson (1-24, 1-12). Stuart C. Siegel Center.

Around the Conference

Entering today’s action Drexel, George Mason, Old Dominion, and VCU were all tied atop the Colonial Athletic Association at 10-2. George Mason beat ODU in an ugly matchup and Drexel won to leave three teams in a dead heat for the #1 seed in the CAA tournament.

With a three game lead over 5th place, VCU, Drexel and George Mason almost have a guaranteed first round bye in the CAA tournament.

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To stay up to date on all things VCU Basketball related, follow @rvaRAMnews on twitter

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Aaron Williams

Aaron Williams loves music, basketball (follow @rvaramnews!), family, learning, and barbecue sauce.

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