Virginia Commonwealth, now #21 and glowing after stomping on then #20 Butler by more than 30 points, took on cross town neighbor and fellow A-10 member Richmond in a rematch...back in January the Rams had the Spiders all but put away but were tied in the last few seconds of regulation--giving up a seven-point lead in the last minute-- and lost by a dozen in overtime. They were, perhaps, a bit too casual.
University of Richmond v. Virginia Commonwealth...March 6, 2013...8 P.M.
This was the rematch of the earlier meeting of the two schools in this the 2012-13 season and this was on VCU's home turf: they call it the Stu, short for the Stuart Siegel Center. The weather was absolutely horrible outside the Stu, much like a chilly snow soup, but inside the game was exciting as UR took it to the Rams with hot shooting from the start: the Spiders had the first half's largest lead at nine points and only surrendered the lead with four seconds left on a three-pointer by Rob Brandenburg. The second half was going to show the metal of the Spiders, though, since the pressure defense of VCU takes its toll on opposing teams and forces turnovers by then. In the first half Virginia Commonwealth forced eight UR turnovers while only giving it up twice themselves. This VCU team, incidentally, leads the country in steals.
The second half found the game close with the Spiders getting a 6-point lead, at 13:42, 63-57...by 3:53, at the final media timeout, the Rams had regained the lead, 77-75. UR had some significant number advantages: by 4:08 of the second half they had a +12 rebounding advantage, 31-19. Over the course of the game, though, the Rams had significantly out-shot the Spiders in free throws: they had more than twice as many shots from the free throw line in the game. The rebounding disparity was largely because VCU was fouled on so many shooting attempts they weren't able to secure a subsequent rebound.
The game outcome was decided by the Rams, affirmatively, who, after being tied at 79-79, outscored the Spiders in the final 3:13, 14-3, to win the game by 11 points, 93-82. The Rams shot 28-36 from the line, as they were consistently fouled as they put up shots in the lane.
VCU faces Temple in their A-10 regular season finale on Sunday March 10, 2013 in a home game at the Stuart Siegel Center.
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