March 10, 2013

RAMS DROP REGULAR SEASON FINALE, 84-76, AT TEMPLE

The Basics

  • Score: Temple 84 #21/#19 VCU 76
  • Records: VCU (24-7, 12-4 A-10), Temple (23-8, 11-5 A-10)
  • Location: The Liacouras Center - Philadelphia, Pa.
  • The Short Story: Atlantic 10 Player of the Year candidate Khalif Wyatt scored a game-high 30 points to help lead Temple past VCU, 84-76, in the regular season finale for both squads. Junior Juvonte Reddic led the Rams with 20 points, while also grabbing nine rebounds on the day, while sophomore Treveon Graham finished with 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists. VCU heads to next week's A-10 Tournament as the two seed.

How It Happened

  • With emotions running high from Temple's pregame senior day ceremonies, the Owls jumped out to a 12-3 lead after one of those seniors TJ DiLeo laid in a fastbreak layup off a pass from Wyatt with 16:08 to play in the first half.
  • HAVOC turned things around quickly, using five straight points from senior Darius Theus to kick start a 18-0 run that was capped off by a jumper in the lane from Reddic which gave VCU a 21-12 cushion with 11:27 left in the stanza.
  • The Rams' lead would reach as high as 16 after freshman Melvin Johnson drilled his second 3-pointer of the half to give VCU a 41-25 advantage.
  • Temple would lock down defensively in the final 3-plus minutes of the first half, ending the stanza on an 11-0 run that sent the Black & Gold into the halftime break with a 41-36 lead.
  • The teams would trade buckets to start the second half, but a 3-pointer from Jake O'Brien ignited a 16-6 run that pushed Temple's lead to seven at 59-52 with just under 10 minutes to play.
  • Graham and Reddic would help the Rams climb within five on a couple of occasions, but that's as close as it would get as the Owls pulled away for their seventh straight victory.

Beyond the Box Score

  • The Rams will head to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. as the second seed in the Atlantic 10 Tournament. VCU will take on the winner of seventh-seeded Xavier and 10th-seeded Saint Joseph's on Friday night at 6:30 p.m.
  • VCU ends the season as one of just three programs to post 24 wins in each of the past seven seasons. Kansas and Memphis are the other two.
  • It was the first time since 2010 that the Rams went a perfect 10-of-10 from the charity stripe. 
  • It was the seventh 20-plus point performance of the year for Reddic, who now is just 52 points away from 1,000 for his career.

What They're Saying

Head Coach Shaka Smart

  • "I give Temple a ton of credit, they played a great game led by their seniors on Senior Day. They did what really good seniors do, took control of the game, even when we had a lead, they didn't get rattled, battled back and made big plays throughout the game."
  • "It comes back to defense. We've got to hang our hat on defense, no matter what's happening on offensive end, and we did not do that today."

Senior Darius Theus

  • "We're all disappointed in how we played today. We've done some great things throughout the year, but the bottom line is we didn't today. We weren't good enough and that's not acceptable with our team. We have to look ourselves in the mirror and really get back to what we do as a team, we need to get back to VCU basketball. That's what we'll do this week before we head up to Brooklyn."

Up Next

  • VCU heads to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. as the second seed in the Atlantic 10 Tournament. The Rams will play at 6:30 p.m. on Friday night against the winner of seventh-seeded Xavier and 10th-seeded Saint Joseph's.
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