Larry Sanders’s defense makes Rashad Chase’s shot too difficult to make Just past noon on Saturday, Georgia St. got possession at the opening tip. Leonard Mendez missed his jump shot and Eric Maynor grabbed the rebound. Maynor moved deliberately down the court to feed a nice entry pass to Karill Pishchalnikov in the blocks. […]
Larry Sanders’s defense makes Rashad Chase’s shot too difficult to make
Just past noon on Saturday, Georgia St. got possession at the opening tip. Leonard Mendez missed his jump shot and Eric Maynor grabbed the rebound. Maynor moved deliberately down the court to feed a nice entry pass to Karill Pishchalnikov in the blocks. Pishchalnikov turned to hit a short jumper to give VCU a 2-0 lead with 14 seconds of the contest having elapsed.
VCU would never trail in its first assignment of the Colonial Athletic Association Men’s Basketball Championship. It was a game the Rams won despite not having put forth their best effort: VCU 61, Georgia St. 52.
“We played in spurts,” said VCU head coach Anthony Grant in the media room of the Richmond Coliseum. “I told the guys after the game that we didn’t play our best, but what we want to do at the end of the day is win.”
Grant’s Rams shot the basketball so well, a blistering 60 percent from three-point-land, it made up for some sloppy ball-handling.
Senior guard Eric Maynor, CAA Player of the Year for the last two seasons, coasted to 18 points to pace VCU’s offense.
In a losing cause, junior guard Joe Dukes, a Wake Forest transfer, had a big game for the Panthers, with 24 points and six rebounds.
Freshman guard/forward Bradford Burgess had a particularly steady game for VCU. He hit all four of his shots from the field, including three treys, and hauled in five rebounds.
Maynor also dodged a bullet in the second half when he had almost too much to say to a referee. Both he and Grant were lighthearted about it after the game.
Asked how close he was to getting a technical foul in that sequence, Maynor said, “I think I was VERY close to a T.”
The room erupted in laughter, because Maynor’s candor was refreshing and his timing with the line was impeccable. But he was right. And, from here on Rams fans should expect the refs will see to it Maynor won’t get away with the same sort of antics in this tournament again without being cited.
On Sunday at 3 p.m. VCU (22-9) will face its biggest rival, Old Dominion (21-9), in the first semi-final match-up. ODU’s Gerald Lee, a first team all-league performer, scored 30 points in leading the Monarchs to a win over Hofstra, by a 52-51 score.
Gerald Lee scoring two of his 30 points against Hostra
It will be interesting to see how the Rams guard Lee in Sunday’s tilt. Once he catches the ball anywhere close to the basket, he has an array of shots with either hand in his repertoire. Don’t be surprised to see a guard, like Joey Rodriguez, drop down on him in those situations.
Lee put the ball on the floor quite a bit against Hofstra. Grant’s quick guards probably won’t allow him such a luxury.
In the second game, scheduled at 5:30 p.m., George Mason (21-9) will meet the Cinderella of the tournament Towson (13-21). Mason defeated JMU by a 61-53 count. Towson snuffed out Northeastern’s season by defeating the Huskies, 58-54.
To read about the Friday games results:
Click here for Georgia St. advances.
Click here for Hofstra dumps UNCW.
Click here for Dukes bury Tribe
Click here for Towson upsets Drexel.
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