Wednesday, February 21, 2007

VCU tops JMU

Tonight was Senior Night at the Siegel Center. VCU’s first year head coach, Anthony Grant, started the four seniors on the team, as tradition calls for. Two of them, B.A. Walker and Jess Pellot-Rosa, have started for four years. The other two, Calvin Roland and Matt Coward, are normally subs.

The JMU Dukes were seen as a 20-point underdog in the published betting line. So, when the Rams pulled ahead 13-3 at the 17:13 mark of the first half, and all four seniors had already scored, it looked like it might be an easy night for Coach Grant.

It wasn’t.

Actually, it was a weird basketball game with a lack of tempo. Neither team really looked good. There was lots of one-on-one play. Yet both teams had pretty good shooting nights, percentage-wise.

The Rams posted a nine point lead at the halfway point. Then, eight minutes into the second half the Dukes pulled to within one point of the Rams. But a clutch trey by Jamal Shuler stiff-armed that run and the home team slowly but surely pulled away for good: VCU 83, JMU 72.

For whatever reason, except for that opening three-minute burst and the last seven minutes of the game, VCU seemed out of synch for most of the 30 minutes of play in between. Perhaps it was a carryover from its tough loss to Bradley on Saturday night in a nationally televised BracketBusters matchup. Perhaps the Rams simply expected to be able to beat the Dukes easily.

Pellot-Rosa scored 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds to pace the Rams attack. Walker scored 16 points. JMU’s Terrance Carter led all scorers with 21 points.

VCU (23-6, 15-2 in CAA) travels to Atlanta on Saturday to face Georgia St. (10-18, 5-12 in CAA) in what will be the last game of the regular season for both teams.


Vivian J. Paige said...

And ODU won last night, too.

F.T. Rea said...


The top four teams in the 12-team CAA -- VCU, ODU, Hofstra and Drexel -- are all tough and quite capable of winning the tournament, Mar. 2-5, to be played here in Richmond. But a championship matchup between the two with the best records, VCU and ODU, would be the best possible finish. It would pack the Coliseum and I'd love to see it turn out that way.

Vivian J. Paige said...

Well, I never get to see any games this time of the year. Nevertheless, I still pull for my alma mater.

Go ODU! :)