This victory, along with other CAA action today -- Hofstra lost to Northeastern -- puts the Rams alone atop the conference standings, one game ahead of Hofstra (12-5, 5-1 in CAA) and Old Dominion (12-5, 5-1 in CAA). VCU (14-3, 6-0 CAA) has now won five in a row, and 12 of its last 13 games.
Towson’s Gary Neal, who entered the game with the fifth-highest scoring average in Division I, scored 33 points, but he had to work hard to get them. To Towson’s credit, the Tigers never quit and the game was still up for grabs in the last minute.
It was VCU’s Jesse Pellot-Rosa who hit eight consecutive free throws late in the game to seal the win. He finished with 16 points and a game-high seven rebounds for the Rams.
Asked after the game if he ever considered using a junk defense on Neal, Rams head coach Anthony Grant smiled and shook his head. Many coaches prefer not to use box-and-ones, or other such off-balance defenses.
“It was tempting,” said Grant. Then he smiled more widely as he shook hands with his happy boss, VCU president Dr. Eugene Trani (pictured above), who is a frequent visitor in the Siegel Center‘s media room.