Final Score: VCU 69, Long Beach State 59
Location: Newark, N.J. (NJIT Wellness and Events Center)
Records: VCU 3-9, Long Beach State 2-12
The Short Story: Trailing 47-35 with 4:09 left in the third quarter, the Rams exploded on a 22-4 run to retake the lead midway through the fourth quarter and held off the 49ers to conclude non-conference play with a win. Four Rams scored in double figures and Tera Reed was named to the All-NJIT Holiday Tournament Team.
- Reed's 18 points were a game-high and her nine rebounds tied for the team-high.
- Bria Gibson had 10 points and eight rebounds while Jailyn Maddox added 10 points.
- Niya Johnson scored a career-high 13 points, including nine points in the second half.
- The Rams had a 22-10 edge in offensive rebounds and led 21-13 in second chance points.
- The Rams had 15 turnovers in the first half but only committed five in the second half to help spark the run.
- VCU also forced 19 Long Beach State turnovers and had a 24-19 edge in points off turnovers.
- The Rams outrebounded the 49ers 46-27.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Rams started the game quickly with back-to-back buckets from Reed and Gibson and led 6-2 with 7:03 left in the first quarter.
- The Highlanders would respond and outscored VCU 14-4 to end the first quarter with a 16-10 lead.
- In the second quarter, VCU trailed 35-27 after a 3-pointer from Reed but Long Beach State responded with an 8-2 run to take a 35-22 lead, Long Beach's largest of the game, with 43 seconds left before the half.
- The Rams were able to cut the deficit to just 35-27 at halftime after a 3-pointer from Maddox and a jumper by Reed.
- The 49ers again expanded their lead to 47-35 with 4:09 left in the third quarter but the Rams then went on the 22-4 run to take the lead at 57-51 with 6:46 remaining and held it for the remainder of the game.
- VCU took its first lead at 50-49 with 8:46 left in the fourth quarter.
- During the last 3:50 of the game, the 49ers got no closer than five points.
VCU beings Atlantic 10 play at Saint Joseph's at 2 p.m. on Dec. 31.