Gritty Rams bounce back at JMU

<a href=""><img class="alignleft size-full wp-image-5086" title="JMU COnvo" src="" alt="" width="400" height="267" /></a>VCU had just two days to put a tough road loss behind them before facing a talented JMU team.  Mission accomplished.

The Rams got off to a slow start in Harrisonburg, but rallied behind their go-to duo of Jamie Skeen and Bradford Burgess in the 70-66 road win.

The Dukes jumped out to a 9-point lead to start the game with senior Denzel Bowles pounding the Rams for 8 quick ones.

But VCU rallied and took their first lead of the game behind a big Brandon Rozzell 3-pointer.

VCU took that lead into the half and held it all the way through the 5:13 mark when Devon Moore gave JMU a 58-56 advantage as he slashed to the hoop.

The Rams weren't in the mood to trail for long as Joey Rodriguez got 2 at the line, his first points on the afternoon tieing the game at 58.

29 seconds and a JMU turnover later, Jamie Skeen's 3-pointer with with 4:10 on the clock gave the black-and-gold the lead back, a lead they would never surrender.

Joey Rodriguez finished with only 6 points on the night, but a crucial 6 including a 2-point jumper as the shot clock expired with only 23 seconds left on the clock, giving VCU 4 points of breathing room.

Bradford Burgess scored a team high 22 points in the game, and went a perfect 7-7 from the free throw line.

VCU outscored the Dukes by 17 at the stripe.

Skeen finished with 17 of his own, and added 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and a steal.

Ed Nixon tied Joey Rodriguez's team high 7 rebounds and posted 9 points and 4 assists in the win.

Brandon Rozzell saw his first action since breaking his hand a month ago.  VCU's third leading scorer went 1-3 from the field in 13 minutes of play in his first game back for the Rams.

The win moves VCU to 19-6 on the season, 11-2 in CAA play.

VCU would remain tied atop the CAA standing with George Mason if the Patriots get a home win against ODU (currently leading at the time of this post).  And ODU win would give VCU sole possesion of first place heading into Wendesday night's road tilt at Delaware.

The Rams return to the Siegel Center next Saturday in a sure to sell-out (if not already sold out) nationaly televised (ESPN or ESPN2) matchup against rival Old Dominion.
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Mat Shelton-Eide
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