Up until the start of today’s game the annual ESPN Bracket Buster pairings had proven to be mostly bust for CAA teams, going 0-5 to start the day.
VCU ended that skid with a 70-53 win over the Akron Zips in front of a near capacity crowd of 7,248…all of which went home winners of free Papa John’s pizza after a VCU student hit maybe the most memorable shot of the night, a half-court bomb that is sure to annoy PJ’s pizza makers all over Richmond.
The Rams got the victory behind a balanced offensive attack and another solid defensive performance. Ã‚Â VCU held Akron to just over 29% from the field in the first half, 31% on the game.
Larry Sanders was saddled with foul trouble but managed a near double double, posting 15 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 blocks in 20 minutes on the night.
Brandon Rozzell continued his hot shooting in the Siegel Center, going 3-5 from long range and contributing 13 points off the bench for the Rams.
Freshman Darius Theus was another bright spot off the Rams bench, matching a season high 10 points on a flawless 3-3 from the field. Ã‚Â Theus added 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals in a game that saw starter Joey Rodriguez struggle through shoulder pain. Ã‚Â Rodriguez, the CAA’s leading assist man lead the Rams with on the night to go with 3 points, and 3 rebounds.
Jamie Skeen (11) and Ed Nixon (10) rounded out VCU’s list of double digit scorers.
The win over the MAC’s top team moves VCU to 19-7 on the season. Ã‚Â Shaka Smart gets his first shot at a 20 win season this Wednesday at home (7:30) in a rematch against the JMU Dukes.