** Disclaimer: The games included in these articles are solely my opinion. If yours differs, I’d encourage you to comment below, or join the discussion on our forums. **
Make sure you checked out previous post of this ongoing series!
We are halfway through this series and each week gets harder and harder to pick a personal favorite.
There were several games in 2012-2013 season that I could have picked: the win against #19 ranked Memphis in the Bahamas, beating an Anthony Grant coached Alabama team, or maybe even the record breaking beatdown we put on Akron in the second round of the NCAA tournament—the largest margin of victory by a team seeded third or lower in tournament history.
Any of those would have made for a fine article, but for me it was all about the A10 that year. And, there was one team I had circled on my schedule as the cream of the crop for A10 play—Xavier.
#5 – VCU @ Xavier
February 23, 2013
Let’s just start with this thought: If you leave Troy Daniels unchecked, he will burn will you for it.
OK, now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about what I love about this game. Like I said before, I could have picked other games, and those we winners for sure, but this one stood out to me.
VCU, ranked #24 in the nation coming into this game, was brand new to the Atlantic 10 Conference. We were coming off a CAA Championship and a near Sweet Sixteen appearance in the season prior. But, this wasn’t the CAA, and Xavier was the beast on anyones A10 schedule.
In fact, Xavier was coming into this home game riding a 52-1 streak against A10 opponents at the Cintas Center in Cincinnati, Ohio over the prior 6 years.
The first half told a story that backed up the hype as VCU went 2-17 from three-point land and found themselves down 13 on the road to a Musketeer team that was shooting 74% at the half. Oh, did we mention it was in front of a sold out arena of over 10,000 people?
A dunk by Semaj Christon in the opening minutes of the second half put Xavier ahead by a near impossible to catch 17 point lead.
Near Impossible. Two words that mean nothing to VCU. Hell, I’m starting to think the Rams prefer when the odds are near impossible!
Down by 17 points, VCU went on a 10-0 run sparked by back-to-back triples from Troy Daniels. The speciality sharpshoot
er finished the night with 5 long range bombs which led to a game-high 19 points.
It seemed like every time VCU needed a big three from him in the second half, he nailed it.
The Rams squad as a whole shot 6 of 11 from distance in the second half after only connecting on 11% of their attempts in the first.
VCU tied the game at 48 after 5 straight points, including a three pointer, from Treveon Graham.
Then after thirty minutes of basketball, Teddy Okereafor nailed a layup to take the first lead of the game for the Rams.
Graham finished the night with 17 points and 6 rebounds.
Juvonte Reddic and Rob Brandenberg were the final two Rams to score double digits on the night.
Reddic posted a near double-double with a 10 point and 9 rebound performance.
While Brandenberg shot an impressive 60% from the floor on the night—good for 18 points—including the final 6 points for the Rams as VCU bruised their way back to a 75-71 victory over Xavier.
Come back next week as we move to #4 on my list of my personal top 10 games over the last 10 years. Here’s a little hint for those restless folks out there:
18/20/7 and a ring to go with it.
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