Game of the Night
Rhode Island Rams 67, VCU Rams 83
It was a battle of the Rams on Tuesday night, and the ones from VCU were able to run the table and get their second straight victory. VCU (19-7, 11-2 A 10) had gone on a 12 game winning streak before losing two-straight in conference play. Now the Rams are back to winning as they’ve rattled off two consecutive victories, including this one over the other Rams. Rhode Island (14-12, 6-7 A 10) has now lost its last two but has gotten the brute of the A-10. The Rams had a tough go-around with Dayton last Friday before visiting VCU at the Siegel Center. Despite stifling injuries, they still sit in the middle of the pack in the Atlantic 10.
VCU was led by its NFL prospect Mo Alie-Cox who went 10-12 from the floor for 21 points. Melvin Johnson added 19 points of his own including 4 of 9 from downtown. Korey Billbury had 14 points and pulled down 6 rebounds. Despite only scoring 3 points, Doug Brooks made yet another huge impact on the defensive end of the floor. He had 7 steals; the Rams ended up with 13 as a team. Rhode Island’s Jared Terrell had 22 points but went just 8 of 19 from the floor. Also in double digits for the Rams were Hassan Martin and Jarvis Garrett with 19 and 15 respectively.
This was a great win for VCU, a team that is now firmly on the NCAA Tournament bubble. The Rams are in dire need of a strong finish to the season if they want to go dancing this March. They’ll host Richmond on Friday as part of college basketball’s rivalry week. Rhode Island has struggled this season but will still have a chance to make some noise down the stretch. The Rams will host Duquesne on Saturday before going on the road to face Davidson and Dayton in a difficult stretch.
Elsewhere in A-10 Action
Richmond Spiders 79, Davidson Wildcats 83
Despite losing a decent chunk of its players to an illness on Tuesday night, Davidson (15-9, 7-6 A 10) still managed to pull off a home win over the Spiders. Notably, the Wildcats were without key players Jack Gibbs and Jordan Barham, but solid performances by Peyton Aldridge and Brian Sullivan helped the Cats sneak past Richmond. The two played 40 minutes each and combined for 45 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists. Those two did a spectacular job of stepping up in the absence of leading scorer Gibbs, and Rusty Reigel (14) and Nathan Ekwu (12) also managed double digit contributions. Richmond (14-11, 6-7 A 10) got an outstanding performance from T.J. Cline with 25 points, but it wasn’t enough to lift the Spiders to victory. Though falling just short, Richmond had a very good night taking care of the basketball as it turned it over just 4 times compared to 12 by Davidson. ShawnDre’ Jones had 5 assists and 0 turnovers to go along with 13 points.