BRANDENBERG, RAMS PICK UP BIG ROAD WIN, 68-61, AT CHARLOTTE

The Basics

  • Score: VCU 68, Charlotte 61
  • Records: VCU (19-5, 7-2 A-10), Charlotte (17-6, 5-4 A-10)
  • Location: Halton Arena (Charlotte, N.C.)
  • The Short Story: Junior Rob Brandenberg scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half and VCU forced Charlotte in 17 turnovers en route to a hard-fought 68-61 road win at a hostile Halton Arena. Brandenberg went 7-of-12 from the field, including 3-of-5 from long range, while classmate Juvonte Reddic poured in 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting. VCU's defense held the 49ers to just  one three-pointer, while capitalizing on Charlotte's mistakes to the tune of 23 points off turnovers on the evening.

How It Happened

  • Charlotte scored the game's first points, but the Rams responded with eight points of their own, capped off by a steal by Reddic and jumper by Brandenberg to give VCU an 8-2 lead with 16:55 to play in the first half.
  • The Rams would stretch that lead to double-digits on three ocassions in the first half, including a 22-12 cushion with 8:25 to play in the first after Reddic connected on a running hook in the paint.
  • Terrance Williams would help Charlotte climb back in it with six points in the final five minutes of the first half to bring the 49ers within one.
  • However, Darius Theus would hit a running jumper and get fouled as time ran out in the first half. Theus hit the free-throw to send VCU into the break with a 34-28 advantage.
  • The Black & Gold would hold Charlotte to just three field-goals in the first 10 minutes of the second half to stretch their lead to 12 at 49-37 with 11:12 remaining.
  • Charlotte would cut the lead to seven, but another hook from Reddic and a three-pointer from senior Troy Daniels quickly pushed VCU to its largest lead of the night at 62-48 with 5:01 left in the contest.
  • The Rams would hold strong in the game's final minutes and give Charlotte its first home loss in Atlantic 10 play.

Beyond the Boxscore

  • Brandenberg's 21-point outing is the second-highest of the season for the junior. He scored 22 in a road win at Duquesne (Jan. 19). It's his fourth career 20-plus point outburst.
  • Sophomore Treveon Graham scored 12 points on the night for his 17th straight double-digit outing. He has now scored in double-figures in 22 of VCU's 24 games this season.
  • Daniels' three-pointer with 5:01 remaining extended his streak to 34 consecutive games with a three-pointer. It's the fourth-longest active streak in the country. (Omar Strong of Texas Southern has the longest at 55)
  • Seven different Rams recorded a steal on the night as VCU increased its nationally-leading total to 287 on the season.
  • Senior Darius Theus dished out six assists on the night and now sits at 404 for his career. He is currently tied with Calvin Duncan for eighth all-time on VCU's career assists list.
  • The Rams are now 19-0 when forcing 15 or more turnovers this season.

Quotables

Head Coach Shaka Smart

  • "That was as physical of a game as we've played in a long time and we knew it would be that way. They did a great job on the boards on us, doubling us up in that category, but it's a testament to the way we defended and really kept the pressure on them the entire night."
  • "At home, it's much easier to have that pressure that we do because our fans to an unbelievable job of creating so much energy that our guys really feed off of it. Charlotte had a very loud and hostile crowd and it was a challenge all night, but credit to our guys for creating that energy we need to in environments like this and finding ways to win in tough places."

Junior Rob Brandenberg

  • "It was tough for us to get in a rhythm early because of some foul trouble, but we were able to find ways to stay aggressive and keep the pressure on, which I think really got to them at times tonight."
  • "The credit goes to my teammates for giving me confidence and finding ways to get me good looks tonight. I just wanted to stay aggressive all night and they kept switching off ball screens and left me with a big guy who was three or four feet away from me, so I was able to make some plays off of that."

Up Next

  • The Rams return home for another nationally-televised game as Preseason Player of the Year Chaz Williams the UMass Minutemen visit the Verizon Wireless Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center. Tip time on CBS Sports Network is set for 9:12 p.m.
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