Rams can't hold on late, fall to former coach in Tuscaloosa

<a href="http://www.vcuramnation.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/3356709150_5a160f91e5_o.jpg"><img class="alignleft size-full wp-image-6128" title="3356709150_5a160f91e5_o" src="http://www.vcuramnation.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/3356709150_5a160f91e5_o.jpg" alt="" width="201" height="250" /></a>VCU looked to finish a 5-game road trip with an upset over former coach Anthony Grant's Alabama Crimson Tide, but were unable to hold on to their halftime lead, falling 72-64 to college basketball's 13th-ranked team.

The Rams took a 1-point lead into the locker, shocking 'Bama fans and threatening to end the Tide's 23-game home winning streak. But with 4:07 left to play, Tide big man JaMychal Green hit two free throws that would give the SEC squad the lead for good.

Bradford Burgess lead VCU with 18 points against his former coach, but the black-and-gold as a team struggled to score over the final 10 minutes, hitting just three shots from the field. During that span, the Tide hit three of their own, but went 13-of-16 from the free throw line, putting the game out of reach for the Rams. VCU was 2-of-4 from the free throw line over the final 10 minutes.

VCU sophomore's Rob Brandenberg and Juvonte Reddic posted 10 points each in the effort, rounding out the Rams list of double-digit scorers.

The youthful squad also got valuable minutes from two freshmen as well, as guard Briante Weber lead the Rams with 6 rebounds to go along with 8 points, 1 block, 1 assist and a steal in the loss. Treveon Graham added 7 points, 3 rebounds, and an assist of his own on the night.

The loss moves VCU to an even 3-3 on the season heading into their return to the Siegel Center this Wednesday at 7:30 against Big East foe and former Sunbelt rival South Florida.

The Bulls are 5-2 on the season including an overtime loss to CAA rival Old Dominion in a neutral Hall Off Fame Tip-Off tournament contest.

The Rams fell to South Florida in their last meeting, losing by a point in overtime after battling back from a rough 28-10 start.

That game is expected to sell out, but home games as usual are available online for free at ESPN3.com.

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Licensed Virginia Realtor and part-time basketball writer. Co-founder of VCURamNation.com and A10Talk.com.
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Mat Shelton-Eide
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