- Score: #10 VCU 73, Long Beach State 67 – Final
- Records: VCU (4-1), Long Beach State (1-5)
- Location: Coliseo Roberto Clemente – San Juan, Puerto Rico
- The Basics: Seniors Rob Brandenberg and Juvonte Reddic combined for 36 points and 12 rebounds to lead the 10th-ranked VCU men's basketball team to a 73-67 defeat of Long Beach State in the second game of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. Junior Treveon Graham scored in double-figures for 36th time in the past 41 games, while Briante Weber finished with 15 points, six rebounds and four assists on the evening.
How It Happened
- The teams traded baskets to start the game before an old-fashioned three-point play from Reddic and a trey from Brandenberg to give VCU a 20-16 advantage with 10:52 left in the half.
- Long Beach quickly closed the gap and got three straight buckets late in the first half to take a 36-35 advantage into the break.
- The first half was a back and forth battle throughout that featured nine ties and 11 lead changes. Neither team led by more than four points.
- Long Beach started the second half strong, taking an eight-point lead after a quick 6-0 spurt to give the 49ers a 50-42 lead with 14:36 to play.
- VCU switched the defensive switch on and made 10 straight stops en route to a 13-0 run to grab a 55-50 lead with 9:15 remaining.
- The Rams would stretch that lead to eight after Brandenberg picked up a steal and a fastbreak layup to make it 68-60 with 2:41 left.
- A 3-pointer from Branford Jones would bring the 49ers within five, but Brandenberg and Weber went 3-of-4 from the charity stripe in the final 30 seconds to clinch the win for the Rams.
- "I thought it was a hard fought win, these guys next to me did a great job providing senior leadership and making big plays down the stretch. We did not shoot the ball particularly well, so that really kept us from extending our lead as much as we wanted to, but we got some stops down the stretch. They threw some tough shots in that made it tougher, but these guys did a nice job." "I thought it was a hard fought win, these guys next to me did a great job providing senior leadership and making big plays down the stretch. We did not shoot the ball particularly well, so that really kept us from extending our lead as much as we wanted to, but we got some stops down the stretch. They threw some tough shots in that made it tougher, but these guys did a nice job." – Head Coach Shaka Smart
- "Briante did a nice job running the team, a good job getting these guys the ball, that's his job as point guard. We don't need him to score a lot of points, tonight he scored 15. He hit some nice pull-ups, he's good at that. Three for four from the line, rebounded the ball well. I thought he really lead the way defensively for us. He's just an energy guy that basically is a spark behind our defense. He was huge tonight and played big minutes." – Head Coach Shaka Smart
- "Juvonte stayed out of foul trouble for the most part, which really helped. It was a big point of emphasis for us to get him the ball. He led us in shot attempts which is a great thing. If you add up the shot attempts from Juvonte and Rob (Brandenburg) plus Melvin (Johnson) and Treveon (Graham), who are our four best scorers, those guys shot 51 out of 63 attempts which is really good. Those are the guys we want shooting the ball." – Head Coach Shaka Smart
- "Coach Smart talked to me before the game. He's been doing a good job telling me to look past the play that just happened, you know if I make a bad shot or have a foul called on me, I just need to move on, forget about it and worry about the next thing. He's been telling me since the first game of the season. I'm starting to understand it and it's really helping me out." – Senior Juvonte Reddic
- "I was just trying to stay aggressive and help my team anyway I can. Briante (Weber) was finding me all game, so I just wanted to make sure I was shot-ready and attacking, putting pressure on their zone. I wasn't really thinking this is what we need to do, but I realized we had to play with some urgency at that time. It worked out." – Senior Rob Brandenberg
- The Rams return to action on Sunday when they take on Georgetown. Game time on ESPNU is set for 2 p.m. EST.