VCU Rolls Past UMass 81-51, Posts 15th Win In Last 17 Games

FINAL: VCU 81, UMass 51 (Amherst, Mass. – Mullins Center) 

RECORDS: VCU (16-3, 4-2 A-10), UMass (3-16, 0-5 A-10)

VCU STARTERS: #22 Williams, #24 Parks, #31 Henry, #34 Robinson, #45 Thorpe

UMASS STARTERS: #10 Harris, #23 Timbilla, #24 Mital, #31 Hill, #41 Bomben

THE BASICS:

  • Senior Robyn Parks recorded her seventh double-double of the season with game-highs of 21 points and 10 rebounds and VCU posted its 15th win in its last 17 games with a dominating 81-51 victory at UMass Saturday afternoon. 
  • The Rams, who outscored UMass 46-23 in the second half, used a massive 26-4 run near the beginning of the period to put the game out of reach.
  • Sophomore Jessica Pellechio added 16 points off the bench, while freshman Isis Thorpe chipped in 13 as the duo combined to knock down seven threes.  Senior Zakia Williams finished with eight points, eight rebounds, six assists and three steals for the Rams.
  • VCU, which scored 31 points off a season-high 32 Minutewomen turnovers, improved to an impressive 9-2 on the road.  The Rams forced a then season-high 30 miscues in their 112-54 route of UMass on Jan. 2.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

  • Thorpe drained back-to-back threes on VCU's first two possessions, and scored 11 of the Rams' first 12 points en route to a 12-3 advantage just over four minutes in.
  • After allowing 10 straight points to start the game, UMass settled down and pulled within five twice over the next five minutes.  However, Pellechio knocked down a pair of treys on consecutive trips down the floor and eventually capped a 10-2 spurt with a jumper that gave VCU its largest lead at the time, 26-13, with 8:46 to go in the first half.
  • The Minutewomen continued to battle and cut their deficit to nine on three occasions over the next 3:30.  Down 12 with just under two minutes remaining, UMass scored five straight points to close the half and pulled within 35-28 at the break.
  • After the Minutewomen made it a seven-point game again with 18:15 showing, VCU erupted for a 26-4 run spanning 10 minutes to put the game out of reach.
  • The Rams took their largest lead at 73-40 on a pair of free throws from Williams with 6:25 remaining. 
  • VCU led by 33 points four times the remainder of the game. 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:

  • Freshman Camille Calhoun chipped in seven points, nine rebounds, two assists and three steals off the bench.
  • VCU, which forces a league-best 22.7 turnovers per game, caused UMass to commit an average of 31 in its two games against the Rams this year.  The Black & Gold also outscored the Minutewomen 193-105 in those two contests.
  • VCU collected 16 steals and entered the game ranked second in the nation with averaging 13.0 thefts.
  • The Rams, who lead the A-10 with 7.7 threes per game, shot 9-of-27 from distance.
  • VCU dished out 20 assists for the sixth time this season.

WHAT'S AHEAD: VCU returns to the Verizon Wireless Arena against Duquesne on Jan. 22.  Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.  The Rams then host George Mason on Jan. 25.

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