The Rams headed to Norfolk a 6-point underdog in the CAA’s biggest rivalry this afternoon. The only thing at stake for the Black-and-Gold? Weeks worth of bragging rights and control of first place in the CAA.
VCU started the game by out ODUing ODU, winning the battle on the glass in the first half and jumping out to a 31-27 lead. While ODU threatened midway through the second, VCU continued to hit big shot after big shot, eventually icing the game at the line for a 59-50 win, VCU’s 15th of the season and 6th straight.
Chris Cooper’s layup with 6:50 to play gave the Monarchs a 46-45 lead and brought ODU faithful to their feet. A minute later Ed Nixon hit one of his many floaters on the evening, followed by a Bradford Burgess 3-pointer that extended the lead to four.
ODU kept the game within a 2-point arms reach until senior Joey Rodriguez nailed a deep 3 with 1:56 left to play, extending the lead to five.
Two missed Kent Bazemore threes later and an Ed Nixon rebound sent the Rams to the line where they extended their lead to 7, and eventually the 9-point difference that ended the game.
Bradford Burgess lead all players with 15 points on the evening.
The Rams defense held all Monarch to single digit scoring in their second lowest point total of the season.
Jamie Skeen lead all players with 10 rebounds, and contributed 14 points for the Rams, good for his 5th double-double of the season. Skeen matched Joey Rodriguez’s team high 5 assists in a game that saw him double teamed on a consistent basis.
Rodriguez added 9 points in the effort and a game high 3 steals for the Rams.
Ed Nixon rounded out VCU’s double-digit scorers with 13 points on the evening. The senior guard known for his lock down defense saw 31 minutes of play without committing a foul.
VCU moves to 15-5 on the season and gets just a days rest before heading back on the road to face the 4-13 Towson Tigers in a rare Monday tip.
The Rams then have just a couple of days rest before heading back to the Siegel Center to face a Hofstra team currently tied with VCU at 7-1 in CAA play.