Fresh faces help VCU defeat familiar foe

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Tonight's exhibition marked the third time in the past four years the Rams have played California, PA. VCU handled the Vulcans, who are a Division II based school out of the Pennsylvania State Athletics Conference. Coach Smart, once again, offered his former Coach, Bill Brown, some teaching moments for his players, as VCU handled the Vulcans 92-43.

It may have been a familiar match up but there were plenty of unfamiliar faces. Freshman Justin Tillman got the crowd going with a stunning baseline reverse dunk that seemed impossibly amazing. Tillman collected a double-double within his first 13 minutes on the court. He ended the night with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Freshman Jonathan Williams provided good signs of leadership on the court while coming off the bench. Williams ended the night with 4 assists and 6 points. Freshman Michael Gilmore also had a strong showing on the glass, grabbing 6 rebounds.

Of course, there were the regulars who picked up right where they left off last season. Sophomore Jordan Burgess went 3-5 from behind the arch, chipping in 10 points on the night. Ram fans saw the return of Junior Melvin Johnson. Johnson was injured during the Atlantic 10 Tournament in Brooklyn in March.

VCU pushed the ball up the court with a sense of urgency as if it were a regular season game. The Rams went into halftime with a 32 point lead, 46-14. The second half was more of the same.

VCU pretty much dominated on the boards the entire night. VCU collected 48 rebounds to California's 30. Tillman led the Rams in rebounding with 10.

Johnson was not shy about pulling the trigger from downtown. No reason to be when you're hot. He made 6 of 8 from three point land as the team would shoot 12 of 28.

VCU will travel to Annapolis, MD to take part in the Veteran's Classic and will play Tennessee on Friday, November 14th.
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Michael Hagan is a '04 VCU Graduate (Mass Comm) and a lifelong Richmonder. He also is a full time commercial & video producer.
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Michael Hagan
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