Final Score VCU 76, Tribe 54.
The big question on campus is when will the curse on VCU end. VCU finally gets TJ Gwynn back, only to lose Brandon Rozzell due to a trivial play at the end of the game. If the injury is substantial that puts VCU back at an 8 man preferred roster (not including Gerard Smith and David Hinton).
Eric Maynor put up a very low 13 points, but 7 assists and 2 steals in a total of 28 minutes of playing time. That was a challenge for the Tribe who likely spent the majority of their break learning how to contain Maynor. The showcase goes to TJ Gwynn who lit up the crowd tonight putting up 6 points and pulling down 6 rebounds in 13 minutes.
The game changer here was offensive turnovers, with VCU forcing 25, the Tribe only 5. William & Mary struggled bringing the ball up court with a limited selection of ball handlers up against the infamous Anthony Grant full court press.
Some notes from the press conference:
Coach Grant: our numbers are thin, good to have him back, his opportunities are huge. We need to continue to work on his conditioning.
Gwynn: hoping to help out my team on defense, we have a lot of great offensive weapons, but he’s hoping to make a difference on the floor defensively.
Coach Grant: Two games ago, Brandon hyper-extended his knee. The same thing happened here tonight. We’re going to see how his knee responds and we’ll go from there.
END OF GAME.
Brandon Rozzell just went down hard on a stumble across Ed Nixon. Looks like it’s his inner knee. Looks like he can bend his knee but can’t put any pressure on it. Not good at all.
The keys are shaking, it’s time for us to close up shop. with 47 seconds left, it’s VCU 75, Tribe 52.
Brad Burgress just went down under the basket pretty hard. Slow walking back to the bench, holding his back. Looks like Brad is staying on the court.
5:38 – VCU 68, Tribe 46. Eric, Larry, and Joey all in double figures for scoring.
7:59 – VCU 64, Tribe 42. TJ Gwynn has 6 points so far tonight, every player has points on the board for the Rams.
11:58 – VCU 57, Tribe 35.
VCU pulls off of the zone defense as the Tribe proves effective working the ball in and countering that defense. The full court pressure still seems to be working well for VCU.
VCU comes into the second half with a 2-3 zone defense. Two back to back 3s by Brad Burgess and Joey Rodriguez.
End of first half – VCU 39, Tribe 24.
1:20 – VCU 36, Tribe 19.
3:33 – VCU 32, Tribe 13. Eric Maynor with an incredible assist to Kirill.Ã‚Â Burgess immediately follows with a steal, Maynor ends up putting up the 3. At timeout, Shaver draws a technical. Not sure what for. Looks to me like he’s trying to get tossed.
We just saw one of the sickest dunks by Larry Sanders… Joey threw up the alley oop from the top of the court, Larry jammed it in and nailed the bonus shot.
9:23 – VCU 17, Tribe 8. TJ Gwynn puts a bucket in, draws the AND ONE and a standing ovation.
11:52 – VCU 13, Tribe 8.Eric Maynor is seeing double, sometimes triple coverage. TJ Gwynn just checked into the game and the crowd is giving a standing ovation. SO great to see him back.
Aside – why are the VCU cheerleaders wearing t-shirts?! I thought we were higher pedigree!
15:30 – VCU 11, Tribe 5. VCU just forced two turnovers on the Tribe in half court trap.
Timeout by the Tribe as VCU has a 7-1 lead. Great interior moves by Larry and Kirill and we’re seeing strong full-court pressure which seems to be throwing off the Tribe’s moment when they finally get the ball to half court.
CU gets the tip from Larry to Eric. Larry puts it in with a hook move, then Bradford and Joey force a travel on the inbound.
It’s a sold out game, the student sections have been completely packed since about 6:30 PM.
Some updates on national rankings:
- Eric Maynor is still holding 10th in the nation in scoring at 23.1 ppg.
- Larry Sanders is 17th in the nation in blocked shots with 2.6 blocks per game.
- VCU is 24th in the nation with 3-point FG percentage, at 38.5%.
Great news – at a time when we need him more than ever, T.J. Gwynn is suited up for tonight’s game. Will he play? YES! They want to get him in the game about 10 minutes in and work him back into the rhythm.
Looks like CAAZone is down right now, so feel free to leave comments and let’s make this more like an in-game thread!