Thursday, February 08, 2007

VCU 63, Mason 49

Except for the first three minutes, in which VCU exploded for 13 points, it was hardly the prettiest game the Rams have played this season. But for years George Mason has been specializing in making basketball games physical and ugly, then winning a lot of those ugly games. So, the sellout crowd (7,585) at the Siegel Center, plus the ESPNU audience that watched this CAA tilt, watched VCU grind out a win: VCU 63, Mason 49.

Wil Fameni’s double double -- 10 points and 11 rebounds -- provided a nice compliment to B.A. Walker’s 17 points, in pacing the Rams offense. The Patriots were led by Will Thomas who scored 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.

Now the talk about postseason play for the Rams will increase. VCU (21-4, 13-1 in CAA) has a RPI in the mid-40s, which is borderline for getting an at-large invitation. Last season, the CAA did send two teams to the NCAA tournament -- the Patriots used their at-large bid to make a run to the Final Four -- but the league was rated higher then than it is this year.Thus, winning the CAA tournament here in Richmond, Mar. 2-5, remains the only sure way for the Rams to go dancing, NCAA style.

Elsewhere in CAA action Drexel (18-6, 10-4 in CAA) defeated Hofstra (18-7, 11-3 in CAA) in overtime (95 to 87), to give VCU a two-game lead on the conference field. VCU plays next at ODU (18-7, 11-3 in CAA) on Saturday at noon. That game, which is already sold out, will be televised regionally on CN8.

Update: Wil Fameni’s emphatic block of Folarin Campbell’s attempted layup at the 3:44 mark of the first half was featured on ESPN’s Plays of the Day segment as No. 7.

No comments: