Score: #13 Missouri 68, VCU 65
Record: VCU (3-3), Missouri (5-1)
Location: Imperial Arena - Atlantis Resorts - Nassau, Bahamas
The Short Story: For a second straight night, the Rams took a top-15 team down to the wire, battling back-and-forth with #13 Missouri, but ultimately falling to Phil Pressey's late-game heroics, 68-65. Sophomore Treveon Graham and junior Juvonte Reddic combined for 24 points, 14 rebounds and five assists for the Black & Gold.
MIZZOU STARTERS: #1 Phil Pressey, #14 Negus Webster-Chan, #21 Laurence Bowers, #33 Earnest Ross, #42 Alex Oriakhi
How It Happened
- Mizzou got off to a quick start and on a three-pointer by Pressey took an 11-6 lead with 13:09 showing on the first half clock.
- As they did all week, VCU answered back behind three treys from senior Troy Daniels to spark a 17-5 run to give the Rams a 23-16 advantage with under seven minutes to play in the first stanza.
- Mizzou would chip away at the lead and eventually take a 30-28 lead into the break after scoring eight of the half's final 10 points, capped off by a bucket from Alex Oriakhi.
- The Tigers would hold onto the lead for much of the second half until senior Darius Theus stepped up and scored seven straight points in less than a minute to give VCU a 60-59 lead with 3:28 remaining.
- The teams exchanged layups until sophomore Briante Weber rattled in a three-pointer with 1:36 to play to give the Rams a 65-63 lead.
- That's when Pressey unleashed his heroics, hitting a step-back three-pointer and followed it up with a runner in the lane that ultimately sealed the deal for Mizzou.
- VCU would have a chance, drawing up a shot from sharpshooter Troy Daniels, but his long-distance attempt with under 10 seconds to play rattled off the rim to give the 13th-ranked Tigers the 68-65 victory.
Beyond the Box Score
- This week marked the first time in school history that VCU played three top-20 teams in consecutive games.
- Graham had a strong week against some of the nation's toughest teams, averaging 18 points and six rebounds, while shooting 52.8% from the field.
- Reddic, who went toe-to-toe with three of the nation's best big men, averaged 12.0 ppg and 9.3 rpg, while shooting 52.9%.
- Mizzou held a 40-31 advantage on the glass, marking the first time all year that VCU was outrebounded..
Head Coach Shaka Smart:
- "I thought it was a hard fought game. Missouri made some huge shots down the stretch, especially Phil Pressey. He's a terrific player. We tried to slow him down and take him out of some of their stuff. I thought our guys did a good job of that earlier in the game, but as the game wore on, he was able to get loose and create wide open shots for his teammates, and ultimately himself at the end of the game."
- "We had the opportunity to play three teams in the top-20 in the country. That had never happened in VCU's history. That right there is a special opportunity. Obviously, we play every night to win, so we are disappointed we let two of those opportunities slip away. At the same time, all three games are incredible learning experiences.
Senior Troy Daniels
- "I think the biggest thing we learned is that we need to do all the little things every time we take the court. Our effort was there all week, but our discipline and execution wasn't there. If we want to play with some of the best teams in the country, we have to do all those little things."
Junior Rob Brandenberg
- "We played hard enough, but just playing hard doesn't win games against some of the best teams in the country. We have to do all the little things and that's what we're going to focus on when we get back home."
COMING UP NEXT:
- VCU returns to the Siegel Center for the first time in over two weeks when Stetson visits Richmond on Wednesday, Nov. 29. Tip time on CBS 6.3 is set for 7:30 p.m.