Rams Advance to Sunday

March 4, 2012   ·   1 Comments

by Cody Norman

VCU 75, Northeastern 65

Depending on who you ask, VCU is the team to beat this weekend.

Their defensive intensity is unrivaled in the conference and their coach, Shaka Smart, is one of the most brilliant young minds in all of college basketball – not to mention the tournament is held in their backyard. But, sticking with the apparent theme in the Richmond Coliseum this weekend, Northeastern forced the Rams for every point and every defensive stop on Saturday evening.

Photo credit: Stephen Kline

“Defensively, they got us on our heels at the end of the first half,” Smart said. “But, in the second half, our style of play really allowed us to get going, get open shots.”

In the first sold out session in Colonial Athletic Association Tournament history, the Rams were helped by a few quick runs that allowed them to run away with 10-point victory and advance to Sunday’s semifinal round.

And it was both youth and reserve production that lifted the Rams to victory.

Hot shooting by sophomore guard Rob Brandenberg gave the Rams a large cushion, pushing their lead to as much as 21 points with just over seven minutes left in the game. Brandenberg knocked down 4-of-6 3-point attempts on his way to an effective 19-point effort.

“I tried to stay shot-ready all night,” Brandenberg said. “The first two 3-pointers went in and my teammates kept finding me.”

Freshman Treveon Graham knocked down 6-of-9 attempts, scoring 16 points off the bench for Smart.

“You’re talking about a freshman and a sophomore,” Smart said. “They have a long way to go, and they know that. But we need it right now. And they gave it to us right now.”

Overall, the bench produced 46 points and nine assists for the Rams. They forced the Huskies into 25 turnovers while committing just 11 of their own.

“We just wanted to be the aggressors,” Smart said. “When we pressed, we were able to get them on their heels and turn them over. If we can force 25 turnovers, we’ll win. Period.”

The Rams will return to action on Sunday for the evening matchup against the winner between Mason and Georgia State tonight.

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Readers Comments (1)

  1. David

    That’s very illegal in the NFL. They won the Super Bowl of coruse by doing so. read full news Published: Sat, 10 Sep 2011 19:00 Tags: TK’s Game of the Week (Rams vs Eagles) Week

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