FIVE PLAYERS IN DOUBLE-FIGURES LEAD BALANCED RAMS PAST WINTHROP, 90-54
Score: VCU 90, Winthrop 54
Record: VCU (2-1), Winthrop (1-2)
Location: Winthrop Coliseum - Rock Hill, S.C.
The Short Story: VCU's Havoc style reigned supreme on both ends of the floor in Rock Hill, S.C. with the Rams posting five players in double-figures and forcing 21 turnovers in a decisive 90-54 victory over Winthrop. Leading the way for the second straight game was junior Juvonte Reddic who finished with 17 points and seven rebounds on the afternoon. Sophomore Briante Weber chipped in a career-high 14 points off the bench.
WINTHROP STARTERS: #2 Gideon Gamble, #3 Andre Smith, #12 James Bourne, #15 Derrick Henry, #23 Larry Brown
How It Happened:
- Havoc appeared early and often in this one with Winthrop turning the ball over five times in the first 3:30 which allowed the Rams to roll off to a 9-2 start.
- Eight points in the first 10 minutes of action from sophomore Treveon Graham pushed VCU's lead to 26-10 with 10:01 left in the first stanza.
- VCU connected on eight first-half three-pointers, including one from Darius Theus with just over a minute to play which gave the Black & Gold its largest lead of the game at that point, 48-22.
- Winthrop used the last minute of the first half and first two minutes of the second half to put together a 12-0 run, sparked by two three-pointers from Derrick Henry, which brought the Eagles within 14 at 48-34.
- After the teams traded baskets for a few minutes, VCU put the game out of reach with a 21-1 run capped off by five straight points by Weber to give the Rams an 81-47 advantage.
- A jumper from Melvin Johnson with 49 seconds remaining pushed the Black & Gold past the 90-point plateau for the first time in 42 games, dating back to a 94-76 victory over Purdue in the 2011 NCAA Tournament.
Beyond the Box Score:
- Not only was it the first time in 42 games for VCU to reach 90 points, but it was also that Purdue game in which the Rams last had five players in double-figures, which also happened in the victory over Winthrop. Reddic led the way with 17 points, followed by 14 apiece from Graham and Weber, along with 11 apiece from Daniels and Johnson.
- The 14 points for Weber and the 11 points for Johnson were both career-highs.
- The 13 made three-pointers were the most by a VCU squad since the Rams poured in 20 from downtown in a 112-53 home victory over Towson on Jan. 27, 2010.
- VCU has now won 15 of its past 18 games away from the Siegel Center.
Head Coach Shaka Smart:
- "I thought our guys overall played with a lot of energy and we knew coming down here that the Winthrop team would be excited and motivated to play. I have a ton of respect for Pat Kelsey and he's going to get this thing going, there's no question about it. I think he's got some good young guys that really competed. Overall, I thought our guys responded well and thought it was a good team effort."
- "Every game is different, every opponent is different. I was happier with our approach today as opposed to our last time out. I think when you get a level of attention as a team or individually coming into the season, sometimes you can lose sight of the fact that you have a long way to go. And I think that may have happened to us on Tuesday. Win or lose, you need to be reminded that there's a lot of progress that needs to be made."
- "Treveon was better, but I'd like for him to get more than six shots, but he got to the line, he made his free-throws, made two of three from beyond the arc. He's still learning what his role is on this team and his role is to score and attack, to be just as much if not more than Brad was and be a big focal point of our offense."
Senior Troy Daniels:
- "The trainer and weightlifting coach, Daniel Roose and Eddie Benion, did a great job and worked with me to get me back there in no time. It felt like I was a 100% out there."
- "Rebounding was our emphasis in practice, that what's we really wanted to work on and go hard at it during practice, that's where it starts, on the practice good. We did a good job as a team of bouncing back and getting better every day since the other night and that's what it's all about."
Junior Juvonte Reddic:
- "The hook shots, it's been something that Coach Wade and I have been working a lot on during practice and after practice, getting up extra shots. The extra work that I've been putting in with him has really been paying off, I just need to keep doing that and continuing to improve my game in all facets."
- "The post is where you make the money. Coach Smart always talks about everyone doing their jobs and that's my job is to establish my game down low. That's what I'm trying to work on, just doing my job to help my team win."
Sophomore Treveon Graham:
- "Coach just wanted us to respond to their run. Just because they make a run or may get a lead, it doesn't change the way we want to play and our game plan. We just had to focus up and play our game."
- "Last game I couldn't make shots or find a rhythm, so I wanted to focus on playing my game coming into tonight. I got a little frustrated with the early fouls last game and let it affect the way I was playing, but this game, I just wanted to stay calm, relaxed and focused on playing my game, let the game come to me."
COMING UP NEXT:
- VCU opens up play as part of a prestigious eight-team field in the Battle 4 Atlantis on Thursday evening. The Rams face off against 17th-ranked Memphis in the first game of the three-day tournament.