Wednesday, November 13, 2013

VCU outlasts UVA

Tuesday night in Charlottesville VCU defeated Virginia at the sold-out JPJ Center: VCU 59, UVA 56.

College basketball games played before Thanksgiving Day can look half-baked. Frequently coaches are still tinkering with their lineups. Even teams blessed with plenty of good players can look sloppy or lackluster. And, although the Cavs and the Rams will surely play more artistic games later in this season, they both brought an intensity to the floor that looked like mid-season form.

Both UVA (No. 25 AP Poll) and VCU (No. 14 AP Poll) are already formidable teams and they treated a national television audience to a pretty decent game. Because it was a tilt dominated by the defenses, some armchair coaches will criticize the quality of the performances. I'd rather watch paint dry than listen to much of that kind of talk.

Yes, both teams missed too many free throws. The refs slowed the game down by calling 48 fouls, which was too many. But as hard as the two teams were playing, I'm sure the guys on the court were grateful to catch a breath.

The Cavs committed 19 turnovers, while making just 18 field goals. While that's not a winning formula they offset that woeful statistical comparison by dominating the glass; Virginia pulled down 40 rebounds to VCU‘s 24.

UVA needs to be able to hit a few jump shots. VCU's slashers need to kick the ball back out sometimes. All that will probably come with a few more games.

The winning shot (shown in the video), a 30-footer by Treveon Graham, broke a tie with just one second left in the game. Graham led all scorers with 22 points.

Click here to see the box score.

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