It’s been 7 days since the Rams last played, completing a thrilling 17 point comeback on the road against Xavier. VCU would hope to carry that momentum into the most anticipated game of the regular season, as they would face the team that kept them from their first National title appearance in the #20 Butler Bulldogs.
This time the Rams would get revenge against the Brad Stevens coached Butler team in a big way. After Butler scored the first bucket of the game, they would never see a lead again, not even close as the Rams would win 84-52.
Senior Troy Daniels got the crowd going early with a deep couple of threes that would set the tone for the rest of the game. Daniels would lead all scorers, from both teams, with 20 points on the afternoon and made 4 of his 8 shots from behind the arc, including one that was at least 6 feet behind the three point line.
But Daniels was not alone. In fact, 3 other Rams scored in double digits, all with 11, Junior Juvonte Reddic, Sophomore Briante Weber and Sophomore Treveon Graham. Junior Rob Brandenberg and
Senior Darius Theus both scored 8 in the total team victory.
Maybe more important than Daniels three point barrage was VCU’s intensity on the defensive end. Weber and Theus combined for 7 steals, the team with 17, and the Bulldogs turned it over 23 times where they Rams converted them into 34 points. VCU only gave the ball up just 7 times.
The one bright side for the Bulldogs, if there even is one, was on the glass, where they out rebounded the Rams 42-28 but other than that the Rams dominated every stat category including points in the paint, 36-28, steals 17-3.
VCU held Butler point guard Rotnei Clarke to just 5 points on the night. Reserve VCU guard Teddy Okearafor would out score their starter with 6 points.
This marked the third match up between the two programs, the other coming in the 2011 Final Four in Houston and then back in 1970 the Rams traveled to the Hinkle Fieldhouse where they bested the Bulldogs, 99-97. This is also just the seconds time a ranked team has entered The Siegel Center, the other was a 2009 meeting against the Oklahoma Sooners, which was another VCU win.
With the win the Rams move to 24-6 (11-3 in conference play) on the season and solidify a first round bye in the Atlantic 10 tournament in Brooklyn.