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VCU shoots down Eastern Kentucky, 71-68 in overtime

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The 6-2 Eastern Kentucky Colonels took on the 6-2 Virginia Commonwealth Rams at the Siegel Center in front of the 39th consecutive home sellout crowd at VCU. This Eastern Kentucky team isn't to be confused with the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers from the Sun Belt Conference who VCU has played in recent years. This Eastern Kentucky team is from the Ohio Valley Conference eastern division: they've been predicted to be the best in the OVC this year along with Belmont University who Virginia Commonwealth played last week.

December 5, 2013, 7 P.M. Eastern Kentucky University Colonels @ Virginia Commonwealth University Rams

This game was all the huge sellout crowd of 7,741 Virginians could have wanted and more: five minutes more. The overtime was, of course, the extra minutes.

The Rams were in their zone of comfort tonight which made the fans happy because their comfort zone is outside the three-point line; VCU launched 31 threes tonight (13-31) which outnumbered their two-point shots (12-22 twos.) Eastern Kentucky launched 25 three-pointers (7-25.)

The game was always close but for a brief stretch in the first half when EKU got a 14-point lead (at 10:54.) There were ten lead changes in the game and seven ties. VCU scored last in regulation to tie the game at 66-66; overtime was a defensive war with VCU outscoring the Colonels 5-2. Eastern Kentucky sharpshooter and points-per-game leader Glenn Cosey launched a three-pointer at the buzzer which would have tied the game and we would have had another five minutes but it rimmed out.

The two teams were almost identical in their overall field goal numbers: VCU was 25-55 while EKU was 26-55. VCU struggled from the free throw line going 8-17; this bad shooting might have lost the game for the Rams. The deep VCU bench scored 29 of their 71 points while the Colonels' bench only scored nine.

In an interesting note this game featured three Johnson's and two Lewis's so any play-by-play announcers had to be alert to fit those first names in the mix to keep the hard-of-hearing fans among us up to date. I sympathize with their dilemma.

There were seven double-digit scorers tonight; for VCU there was Rob Brandenburg (12 points), Melvin Johnson (12 points), Treveon Graham (15 points) and Je Quan Lewis (13 points.) EKU had Glenn Cosey (17 points), Corey Walden (19 points) and Marcus Lewis (15 points.)

Three EKU Colonels played more than 40 minutes tonight: the EKU starters played 182 minutes (out of 225 total.) VCU has a deep bench: their starters played 157 minutes.

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