RICHMOND, Va. Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Junior T.J. Gwynn (Burlington, N.C.) scored a game-high 20 points and was a perfect 8-for-8 from the field to spark Virginia Commonwealth University past The Citadel, 82-59, Sunday in the Cancun Challenge at the Siegel Center.
Despite missing the RamsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ (1-0) two exhibition games with a strained back, Gwynn displayed midseason form on the way to his third career 20-point performance. He added five rebounds, three steals and three assists.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I thought T.J. really came in and gave us a great start,Ã¢â‚¬Â said VCU Head Coach Anthony Grant. Ã¢â‚¬Å“He was the beneficiary of his teammates playing unselfishly, making some very good passes and he did a great job of finishing. I think one of the strengths of our teams is that we have a variety of different guys that in a given night can step up and be effective on both ends of the floor.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Senior guard Eric Maynor (Raeford, N.C.) set up several Gwynn baskets on the way to seven assists and 12 points. Sophomores Ed Nixon (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and Joey Rodriguez (Oviedo, Fla.) added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Austin Dahn led the Bulldogs (1-1) with 13 points and Cameron Wells chipped in with 11.
The Citadel jumped out to a 6-0 lead, but VCU scored the next 14 points and never looked back. Led by its suffocating full-court press, the Rams forced 23 Bulldog turnovers and collected 12 steals.
VCU shot 53 percent (31-for-58) in the game, including 60 percent (15-of-25) in the second half. The Rams scored 31 points off Citadel turnovers.
The Rams return to the floor on Wednesday, Nov. 19 when they host South Dakota State in the Cancun Challenge at 7:30 p.m. at the Alltel Pavilion at the Stuart C. Siegel Center.