VCU defense too much for Blue Hens

VCU picked up a big conference road win today, downing the Blue Hens of Delaware (7-9, 3-3) 68-55 in a defensive struggle in Newark.

The Rams clamped down on the CAA’s 4th-highest scoring offense right out of the gate, allowing no Delaware baskets for the first nine minutes of the game. VCU would need an impressive defensive effort however, hitting just 28% of their field goals during the first half of play.

After heading into halftime with a seven-point lead, the Rams saw Delaware get as close as four points with 15:50 to play, but steadily pulled away from the Blue Hens, getting a pair of big three-point shots from senior Bradford Burgess, and nine second-half points from the hot-handed Treveon Graham.

Burgess lead all scorers on the night, getting seven of his 18 points from from the free throw stripe, and adding seven rebounds in the win.

Sophomore Juvonte Reddic was the only other Ram to see double-digit scoring, posting 11 points to go with a team high 9 rebounds.

The Rams won the rebound battle 46-44, despite the CAA’s top rebounder, Jamelle Hagins, grabbing 14 boards for the Monte Ross coached squad.

Fellow sophomore Rob Brandenberg had struggled shooting coming into this contest, but posted 8 points on 3-of-5 shooting. He added three rebounds and an assist for the Rams.

Brandenberg and the Ram guards made life miserable for the CAA’s second leading scorer, Devon Saddler, for most of the night. The reigning CAA freshman player of the year came into the contest averaging 19.1 points per game, but was held to just 10 on 3-of-19 shooting for the Blue Hens.

The win was a much needed road W for the Rams against yet another squad who started the day 3-2 in CAA play.

VCU moves to 13-5 overall, 4-2 in conference, and gained a crucial CAA tie-break against a Delaware team they were scheduled to face just once this season.

The Rams return to Richmond this Thursday to take on William & Mary (4-14, 2-4) in a late 8PM tip in what is the start of a three-game home stand for the black-and-gold.

 

About Mat Shelton

VCU School of the Arts (BFA '07) and Center for Sport Leadership (M.Ed. '10) alumnus, Mat has followed VCU basketball since the Sunbelt days when he'd attend games with his father. Worked as a graduate assistant in the VCU Sports Information Department for the '09-'10 season, but has covered VCU basketball for VCURamNation.com since 2007. mshelton@vcuramnation.com @MatShelton