Stetson University came into Richmond to play the Virginia Commonwealth University Rams wearing the uncomfortable hat of underdogs who no one gave a chance of winning…and they didn’t, but they competed as any well-coached team would. Stetson put together a nice 13-0 run in the second half to cut into the big VCU lead that was nineteen points at half time. Their coach, Casey Alexander, indicated in his post-game radio show that he knew the Rams were good and that they’d be up against it to paraphrase his words. I caught the game on the Hatter’s radio network (on MYAM1230.com) who made the 1200 mile trip by air up the coast from the Atlantic side of Florida to the chilly and palm tree-free streets of Richmond…the Hatters, incidentally, will be back in December to play another Atlantic 10 member, the Richmond Spiders.
VCU had an edge with their talent as was indicated by the game stats which showed the difference in team speed the Rams had over the Hatters: VCU forced 22 turnovers by the Hatters and stole the ball 14 times. Stetson forced eight turnovers and stole the ball five times. As the second half proceeded the Rams were outscoring Stetson 2:1 until Stetson responded in the second half with a 13-0 run which got their deficit from 55-27 into the mid-teens, 55-40. VCU largest lead was 36 points when the game ended and it was not on three-point shots. The Rams shot badly from three-point distance going just 5-22…Stetson couldn’t make up any ground with their three-point performance either: they went just 3-18 from long-distance territory. The final score was VCU 92 Stetson 56.
The turnovers the Rams forced were really a big part of the final score: VCU put up 69 shots to Stetson’s 47. Despite the horrible three-point performance by the Rams they shot 52% for the game on 36-69 shooting…in contrast the Hatters shot 34% for the game on 16-47 shooting. In the second half the Hatters significantly improved their overall their shooting percentage which was in the low twenties in the first twenty minutes.
The Rams put four players in double-figures: Juvonte Reddic (20 points), Rob Brandenburg (17 points), Jared Guest (17 points) and Briante Weber (11 points.) Stetson had two double-figure scorers: Joel Naburgs (16 points) and Chris Perez (15).
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