Miracle finish, Rams shock the Shockers
Joey Rodriguez had a chance to ice the game for the Rams as he stood at the free throw line for a 1-and-1 with 13 seconds to play.
On the following possession Ed Nixon fell into the wrong guy, and Wichita State’s Joe Ragland, an 88% free throw shooter was sent to the line for two shots and a chance at the lead.
Ragland connected on both shots and VCU’s nightmare stretch appeared as if it would continue.
Then, in one of the gutsiets performances we’ve ever seen by a Ram, Joey Rodriguez drove the floor in 4.4 seconds and drew the foul on the layup attempt.
Second shot … . . . ..good.
Rodriguez’s 15th point of the evening ended up the deciding bucket in VCU’s 68-67 road BracketBusters win, as VCU watched a desperation WSU three roll off the back of the rim.
The win was of the much needed variety, after VCU had sustained two brutal home losses to CAA rivals George Mason and ODU.
The Rams jumped out to a 7 point halftime lead, scoring an impressive 45 first half points and hitting 7-of-10 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes of action.
The black-and-gold found scoring much more difficult in the second half however, and were held to just 23 second half points.
That proved to be just enough, as VCU held WSU to just 29 second half points of their own, in one of the Rams best defensive halves in several games.
Rodriguez added 11 assists in the win, 9 of which came in the first half.
Jamie Skeen posted a double-double of another variety, scoring 11 points and posting 12 rebounds on the night.
Bradford Burgess rounded out the Rams double-digit scorers, posting a game high 17 points in the win.
The Rams had a chance to walk away from this one in much less dramatic fashion, having a 3-point lead with 15 second to play when a ridiculous foul was called on Bradford Burgess as WSU’s David Kyles heaved up a 3-point attempt.
Kyles made two of his three attempts and get the game to within 1 before Ragland’s made free throws with 4.4 left on the clock.
The miracle win was VCU’s 21st of the season, and against the always strong Missouri Valley Conference’s top ranked team.
The loss was only WSU’s 6th of the season (their 4th by 3 points or less), a team looking to bolster their at-large chances by boosting their current 49 RPI.
VCU moves to 21-8 on the season, and heads to Drexel Feb 23rd in a return to CAA play.
The Rams return home Feb 26th in a senior night tilt against the JMU Dukes.