** 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!
Last time we were together we talked about the importance of the VCU game at Xavier as the Rams were new on the scene and needed to assert our arrival in a new conference.
This week we will talk about how the Rams asserted their dominance in our old conference, the Colonial Athletic Association, against in-state, George Mason University.
Now let’s just be honest here, VCU has pretty much owned GMU in post-season head-to-head match-ups. In fact, I can’t find a single instance in the 21st century that VCU didn’t win.
To be fair, some of them were close games. Take for example the 2004 CAA Tournament Finals, VCU only won that game by one point in the final seconds. You might remember that star-studded team as having names like Michael Doles, Nick George, Dominic Jones, and freshman like B.A. Walker and Jesse Pellot-Rosa. You may also remember the true-freshman, JPR, make a free throw with just over 1 second left on the clock to secure that win at the Richmond Coliseum.
Don’t worry, I’m providing a video here because it’s just too good not to watch again:
So, sure, VCU has owned the competition (GMU) in post-season play, and some of those games have been close calls.
The latter is 100% not the case with this weeks entry.
#6 – VCU vs GMU
March 9, 2009
This was the Eric Maynor and Larry Sanders show from beginning to end. I mean there was nothing that was gonna stop them from the opening whistle.
VCU lead 11-7 early in the first half, and it was nearly nine minutes in before Maynor hit his first basket.
But, once he connected on that his confidence soared.
Over the next three minutes, Maynor—CAA Player of the year—went on to score 10 straight points for the Rams pushing the lead to 21-12.
Freshman Bradford Burgess would chip in the next 4 points before Maynor started connecting again for the final two baskets of the half for VCU.
When Maynor wasn’t hitting his own shots he was facilitating the looks for his teammates. He finished the night with a game-high in both points (25) and assist (8). He ended with 1 more assist than the entire GMU team.
What could possible be better than that?
A record breaking performance from Sophomore Larry Sanders, that’s what!
Sanders barely missed out on securing a triple-double as he pulled in 20 rebounds, dropped 18 points, and swatted 7 shots.
His 20 rebounds set a new CAA Tournament record, and this is in a conference that THE David Robinson used to call home!
VCU took a 23 point lead—the largest of the night—and never let up.
Twenty minutes later, and with a chance at a automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament on the line, VCU ended the night in a decisive 71-50 pounding over the Patriots.
The 2009 auto-ticket to the Dance was VCU’s third trip in six seasons, which includes another automatic bid—over GMU again— just two years earlier after Maynor put on perhaps the best two minutes of VCU basketball I’ve ever seen (writers note: I wanted to include that game in my list, but it didn’t fall in my ten year window. Also, LongLiveMichaelDoles).
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:
Bracketbuster game that led to a shocking post-season run!
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