Ram fans braved the snow to pack a sold out Siegel Center for the state’s best college hoops rivalry. VCU rewarded them by rolling out a top secret Russian prototype basketball player…The KP-1000, Kirill Pishchalnikov.
Pishchalnikov got his first start in some time after Larry Sanders was forced to sit early due to a coaches decision. Kirill responded to the added responsibility by posting his best game of the season and providing an emotional spark in a game that was already packed full of emotion. KP scored 6 of VCU’s first 8 points and finished the night with 14 points and 5 rebounds.
“Kirill’s just a real hard worker”, said Sanders. “I knew he was gonna be ready…I have so much faith in him and he proved me right”.
Sanders had a game of his own off the bench posting yet another double double to the tune of 14 points and 12 rebounds.
The win was VCU’s 4th in a row and their 8th of the last 9 games. VCU moves to 9-4 in the CAA, 17-5 on the season, and just a game back of ODU and Mason who VCU will take on this coming Tuesday.
VCU trailed by 2 at the half but steadily took control of the game behind a strong second half by Sanders. Larry only had 3 points in the first half after going scoreless the previous game, but finished with his 8th double double of the season.
Rodriguez, playing with a partially separated shoulder, struggled in the first half but finished the game with 9 points and 8 assists to go along with 2 steals.
Bradford Burgess rounded out the group of double digits scorers with 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals.
The Rams remain tied with Drexel for that pivotal 4th seed in the CAA but will have a chance to redeem their early road loss to the Dragons in VCU’s next home game on February 16th.