January 19, 2013

RAMS ROLL TO 13TH STRAIGHT VICTORY WITH 90-63 WIN AT DUQUESNE

The Basics

  • Score: VCU 90, Duquesne 63
  • Records: VCU (16-3, 4-0 A10), Duquesne (7-11, 0-4 A10)
  • Location: CONSOL Energy Center - Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • The Short Story: VCU rolled to its 13th straight win, using a 28-4 run in the first half to put the game away early. Junior Rob Brandenberg and sophomore Treveon Graham combined for 42 points to lead the Rams to the 90-63 victory over the Dukes. VCU has now won 12 of its past 13 true road games dating back to last January. The win gave Head Coach Shaka Smart his 100th career victory, making him just the 12th coach in Division I history to win 100 games in his first four seasons.

How It Happened

  • Graham hit two early three-pointers as the teams traded buckets to start the contest. Derrick Colter kept Duquesne close with eight early points for the Dukes.
  • With VCU leading 13-12, the Black & Gold kicked it in to high gear with three straight treys from Graham to ignite a 28-4 run that gave the Rams a 41-16 cushion with 2:12 to play in the first half.
  • Graham and Brandenberg combined for 27 first-half points to help send VCU into halftime with a 44-18 lead.
  • The second half would start exactly the first half ended with a layup by Juvonte Reddic, a steal and a three-pointer by Brandenberg.
  • VCU's lead would reach as high as 35 after junior D.J. Haley grabbed an offensive rebound and laid it in for a 62-37 lead with 14:26 remaining in regulation.
  • The lead would stay above 30 for much of the remainder of the game thanks to 24 bench points for VCU with 11 different players finding the scoring column on the day.

Beyond the Box Score

  • The victory was the 100th career win for Head Coach Shaka Smart. At 35, Smart is the second youngest in terms of age (Brad Stevens was 34). He becomes just the 12th coach in Div. I history to win 100 or more games in his first four years. He did so in just 131 games, which is tied for 30th fastest in all Div. I college basketball history.
  • Senior Darius Theus became just the fourth player in VCU history to tally 200 steals with four on the night. He moved into third-place all-time on the steals chart (203).
  • Senior Troy Daniels became just the fourth player in VCU history with 200 career three-pointers. He joined Joey Rodriguez (211), Brad Burgess (231) and BA Walker (269).
  • Treveon Graham scored in double-figures for the 12th straight game with 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting. He knocked down a career-high five three-pointers on the night. He now has five 20-plus point outings this season.
  • Four different Rams had at least five rebounds to help VCU gain a 42-29 advantage on the glass.

Quotable

Head Coach Shaka Smart

"The thing is that's just not my 100th win. It's the 100th win at VCU for Coach Rhoades, Coach Wade, Coach Roose, David Hinton, Darius Theus, Troy Daniels, all those guys have been around for the last four years. Over that time we've made a lot of progress and they all had a huge part in it. Other than that, it's just another win, we all want to win some more. If you spend too much time focusing on milestones and accomplishments, you're not focusing on the next game, which is the only way you can keep getting better."

"I'm pleased with the way our guys played defensively tonight, particularly in the first half, only giving up 18 points. Coming out of the Saint Joe's game, we gave up 80 points in regulation in that game and that was flat out too many. I thought tonight the first half tonight was a step in the right direction, the second half wasn't as good, but we'll get back and watch the tape and see what we have to work on for the next game."

Sophomore Treveon Graham

"We didn't actually even know it was number 100, so congrats Coach. It says a lot about the type of coach he is and what he demands from us, not just on the court, but in everything we do."

"My teammates are doing a good job of getting me good looks and I've been able to knock down some shots. I just want to do whatever I need to do to help the team win, whether that's getting a rebound or scoring baskets, whatever it takes to win, that's what I want to focus on."

Junior Rob Brandenberg

"One thing we always work on is continuing to play our style of basketball no matter how the game is going. Whether it comes in the first half or late in the game, whenever we can get to the other team, we just want to continue to push the ball and put pressure on them for all 40 minutes."

Up Next

  • The Rams hit the road again, making the short trek across town for the first of two showdowns with intracity rival, Richmond. Game time at the Robins Center is set for 7 p.m. The contest can be seen nationally on CBS Sports Network.
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