As if simply being a great hometown rivalry isn’t enough, both teams had to amp it up by making deep runs in the NCAA Tournament last year. Richmond, VA for a short time was known as Hoopstown, USA and why not?
Tonight’s match up was so anticipated that even ESPN 2 decided to pick up the coverage moving it from Saturday to Friday. Oh yea, did we even need to mention that it’s the 7th straight sellout at The Stu?
This marks the 66th meeting between the two and VCU is looking for their 5th win in the last 6 meetings with the Spiders. But for the Rams with the 10th youngest team in the nation, this is a totally different match up from last year.
Both the Rams and the Spiders lost key players in the off season. One VCU player who is no stranger to the match up is Senior Bradford Burgess. Seeing that it was his last game against the cross town foes, Senior Bradford showed up big for the Rams in the 73 to 51 win against the Spiders.
Burgess along with sophomore Rob Brandenberg led all Rams in scoring with 14 on the night.
The first half saw three lead changes with both teams having their runs with the largest lead being 10 points by VCU. VCU and UR were almost even on the glass with 16 & 17 rebounds respectively and end 33 rebounds on the night a piece.
The Rams had a big fit trying to stop Spider Cedrick Lindsay who almost had a perfect night going 7 for 10 from the field and led all Spiders in scoring with 22.
A late second half surge led by Brandenberg as he hit 2-4 from three point land in a matter of minutes gave the Rams the momentum which they never lost.
Coach Smart’s Havoc full court defense forced 17 Spider turnovers in the game which led to 21 points for VCU.
VCU’s next game will be in Richmond against UNCW on Saturday December 17th.