RAMS HOLD THIRD STRAIGHT OPPONENT UNDER 50 IN 67-42 ROAD WIN AT TOWSON
TOWSON, Md. – HAVOC continued its tour across the Colonial Athletic Association on Wednesday night when the VCU men's hoops team held its third straight opponent under 50 points in a 67-42 over Towson.
It is just the third time in school history that the Rams have held three straight opponents under the half-century mark (others were in '83-'84 and '07-'08).
"Once again, I'm really proud of the way our guys defended tonight. Towson is a team that has been playing better recently and it was great to see our guys stay focused on getting the job done on the road tonight," Head Coach Shaka Smart said. "Because of the stretch we are in, we knew we wanted to get a lot of different guys minutes tonight and it was great to get good contributions off the bench."
VCU held Towson to just 14 field goals on the night, the fewest by an opponent since Feb. 2, 2008 in home win over the Tigers. The 42 points was the fewest allowed by the Rams since a 69-41 home win over Georgia State on Feb. 28, 2009.
"We constantly talk about how our defense is going to be what carries us through this year," sophomore Rob Brandenberg said. "No matter how we're shooting or playing offensively, we know that if we defend like we know we can, we'll have a chance to win every game."
Brandenberg was the star offensively with 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting, while also adding four steals and three rebounds. Freshman Treveon Graham scored in double-figures for the fifth time this year with 13 points and a team-high eight rebounds.
"I really give all the credit to my teammates and coaches for always encouraging me to keep shooting and keep being aggressive," Brandenberg said. "I've never been in a slump like that in my life and it was great to have them always in my ear to encouraging me all the time."
The game started with the teams trading baskets early before a jumper from freshman Jarred Guest ignited a 22-5 run for the Rams. During the run, VCU forced 13 Tiger turnovers over a 12 minute span, which gave the Black & Gold a 35-17 halftime cushion.
A slew of Rams would see time in the second half and all would help the lead stay above 20 for much of the second half, reaching as high as 26 on several occasions. Ten different Rams played double-digit minutes with Guest capping off the 25-point win with an alley-oop from classmate Teddy Okereafor in the final minutes of play.
"We love playing with each other and as a group, we have confidence in every guy on this team," Brandenberg said. "If we're going to accomplish our goals for this year, we're going to need contributions from everyone and I think tonight we saw that."
Junior Darius Theus continued his impressive play at the point guard spot with 10 assists and no turnovers, along with six points and four rebounds.
"Darius was terrific again tonight. It was almost the perfect statline for him with both of his three-pointers going in as well," Smart said. "He's really done a great job working on his shot, working late into the night and it's becoming clear that it's working."
HAVOC was on display all night with VCU forcing 20-plus turnovers (24) for the eighth time this year, while registering double-digit steals (14) for the 13th time. The Rams are currently second in the country in steals per game with 10.2 per night.
The Rams will continue their three-game road swing with a Saturday afternoon showdown with Georgia State. Game time on Comcast Sports Southeast is set for 4 p.m.