FINAL: Manhattan 68, VCU 63 (Riverdale, N.Y. - Draddy Gymnasium)
VCU STARTERS: #3 Green, #11 Hobson, #22 Williams, #23 Pellechio, #24 Parks
MANHATTAN STARTERS: #12 Stec, #20 Lawrence, #23 Morgan, #32 Roeder, #34 Ericksen
THE BASICS: Trailing by 13 with 5:00 minutes left, VCU mounted a furious comeback and cut its deficit to 64-63 on a 3-pointer by freshman Jessica Pellechio with nine seconds left. However, Manhattan hit all four of its free throws down the stretch to fend off VCU's rally and handed the Rams a 68-63 setback. Junior Robyn Parks led all scorers with a career-high 34 points.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Manhattan (1-1) hit eight of its first 11 from the field and jumped out to a 23-6 advantage at the 11:05 mark in the first half.
- VCU (0-2) pulled within 13 on three occasions during the next four minutes before the Jaspers went back ahead 35-17 with 4:09 to go before the break.
- However, the Rams held strong and limited Manhattan, which shot 50 percent in the first half, to just one basket the rest of the period, and outscored the Jaspers 12-1 during the final 3:36 to cut the deficit to 36-29 at intermission. Senior Carleeda Green nailed a 3-pointer with 1:21 to go, Parks converted a pair from the line with 34 seconds showing, and Pellechio knocked down her second trey of the half with five seconds left to close the gap.
- Manhattan scored six quick points to open the second half, pushing its lead to 42-29 with 18:39 remaining. VCU then answered with five straight points to pull back within eight with 16:35 left.
- The Rams remained within striking distance despite trailing by 13 points with 5:00 to go.
- A jumper from Parks ignited a quick 8-0 run, capped by back-to-back 3-pointers from Green and Pellechio to make it 58-53 with 3:29 showing.
- Both teams traded field goals on five straight possessions before back-to-back triples from freshman Kaneisha Atwater and Pellechio pulled the Rams within 64-63 with nine seconds left.
- Manhattan then went 4-for-4 from the free throw line to fend off VCU's rally.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:
- Parks' career-high 34 points were VCU's most since Courtney Hurt scored 35 against UNC Wilmington on Jan. 6, 2011. She finished 11-for-15 from the field and 12-of-16 from the free throw line.
- Pellechio added 17 points after scoring 18 at Elon on Monday in her collegiate debut. She also pulled down a team-best six rebounds to go along with a game-high tying four steals.
- Green finished with nine points, a team-high six assists and three steals.
- Parks scored 11 of VCU's first 12 points of the game and led all scorers with 17 in both the first and second stanzas. Pellechio and Parks combined to score 26 of VCU's 29 first half points.
WHAT'S AHEAD: VCU concludes its three-game road swing with a trip to former Colonial Athletic Association rival Old Dominion on Nov. 17. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. The Rams return to Richmond for their home opener against UMKC on Nov. 20. Check VCUAthletics.com for complete game coverage.