Shaka Smart admits his team isn’t the best at playing a “prevent defense”, but that’s what VCU was almost forced to do after opening up yesterday’s CAA semifinal against George Mason with a 32-4 run over the first 9:15 of play.
Credit to George Mason, they battled back and headed into the lockers with a glimmer of hope after whittling the lead down to 16, gaining an odd momentum in the process.
VCU’s opening lead proved to be too much to overcome however, as Mason was able to get no closer than six points with 3:12 left to play.
The Rams hit eight free throws over the final 1:10, and got a fast break bucket out of Juvonte Reddic that gave VCU the 74-64 win and shot at the CAA’s automatic bid in tonight’s CAA Final.
Bradford Burgess become the NCAA’s all-time consecutive starts leader in the game as well, passing Patrick Ewing for the long-held top spot.