RAMS DOMINATE SECOND HALF EN ROUTE TO 75-71 ROAD WIN AT XAVIER
- Score: VCU 75, Xavier 71
- Records: VCU (22-6, 10-3 A-10), Xavier (15-11, 8-5 A-10)
- Location: Cintas Center at Xavier University
- The Short Story: Senior Troy Daniels and junior Rob Brandenberg combined for 24 points in the second half and VCU forced Xavier into 12 second-half turnovers en route to a dramatic 75-71 road win for the Black & Gold. The Rams blistered the nets at a 53.1 percent rate in the second half, while stifling the Musketeers to just nine second-half field-goals as VCU rallied from 17 down to defeat Xavier at home, a place the Musketeers had previously won 52 of their past 53 conference games.
How It Happened
- After Xavier jumped out to an early lead, the teams would trade baskets for the irst 10 minutes.
- With the Musketeers leading 15-12 with 10:59 on the first half clock, Dee Davis would spark a 13-2 run by XU and help the home team take a 39-26 advantage into halftime.
- Travis Taylor and Semaj Christon connected on buckets to start the second half and give XU its biggest lead of the game at 17, 43-26.
- Back-to-back three-pointers from Daniels sparked a 10-0 run that quickly brought the Rams within seven at 43-36 with 17:00 left in the second half.
- HAVOC continued to give VCU chances and five straight points from sophomore Treveon Graham and a layup by classmate Teddy Okereafor capped off a 24-5 run that gave the Rams their first lead of the game, 50-48, with 10:43 left in the contest.
- The teams would trade the lead six teams over the next six minutes before another three-pointer from Daniels, this time off a beautiful dish from classmate Darius Theus, put the Rams up 69-65 with 4:04 to play.
- VCU would never relinquish the lead with the Cincinnati native, Brandenberg, scoring the Black & Gold's final six points, including four straight from the charity stripe to seal the huge road win.
Beyond the Box Score
- It took 6:39 (from 18: for VCU to erase a 17-point deficit. Over that stretch, VCU put together a 22-5 run with five Xavier turnovers and held the Musketeers to 1-of-6 shooting.
- Entering the game, Xavier had lost just one home conference game in its past 53 home outing, a span that reached back to the 2006-07 season.
- Daniels' five 3-pointers gave him the new single-season mark at VCU with 99. He surpassed his own record of 94, which he set last year. He now has 226 for his career, just five away from Brad Burgess who ranks second on VCU's career 3-pointer list.
- Sophomore Briante Weber had four more steals on the day for 83 on the year. He is now five away from tying Rolando Lamb's 28-year old single-season record of 88.
Head Coach Shaka Smart
"I thought it was a great game this afternoon. Both teams really battled and I give Xavier a lot of credit. They really fought and scrapped, even with Davis on the sideline, they never gave up, they kept fighting and obviously it was anybody's game there at the end."
"I give our guys a lot of credit too. They could have folded up the tent at halftime or early in the second half. We didn't play well at either end in the first half and we talked at halftime that we needed to show more energy, talk more and most importantly show more spirit as a team. I thought our guys did that in the second half."
"For us, it has to start with energy and spirit. When we can get in our press, we really try to deny teams and get them in the trap. We got on our heels a little in the first half, a couple guys got in foul trouble, our traps weren't any good, they were just passing out of them. I thought in the second half, our guys played with nothing to lose, just went after and it and we were able to really crank up the pressure."
Senior Troy Daniels
"I know my role and that's to knock down shots when my teammates find me open. I was just ready to shoot and was able to hit a couple threes when my team needed me to. Ultimately, it's a credit to my teammates for continuing to give me opportunities to get the open shots."
Junior Rob Brandenberg
"It really all starts with our upperclassmen, first with our senior point guard Darius Theus and all the other upperclassmen, really keeping our energy and focus for the entire 40 minutes, never getting down on ourselves. We knew with our style of play that if we can get it going, we're never out of a game. We just have to keep up our energy and our talk for the entire game."
- The Rams have the mid-week off before a showdown with top-25 ranked Butler at the Verizon Wireless Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center. Tip time on ESPN2 is set for 12 p.m.