VCU Falls to In-State Foe Liberty, 76-63
FINAL: Liberty 76, VCU 63 – Richmond, Va.
LIBERTY STARTERS: #21 Frazier, #22 Omotola, #24 Gardner, #30 Campbell, #40 Brown
VCU STARTERS: #3 Green, #11 Hobson, #13 Koivunen, #23 Pellechio, #30 S. Henry
THE BASICS: Junior Robyn Parks paced three VCU players in double-figure scoring with a game-high tying 15 points but the Rams couldn't overcome a 14-point first half deficit and fell to Liberty, 76-63, Thursday afternoon. Senior Robyn Hobson, who made her third start of the season, added 13 points, while freshman Jessica Pellechio chipped in 12.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- VCU used an early 10-0 run, including seven points from senior Carleeda Green, to take a seven-point advantage at the 16:19 mark.
- A layup from Liberty's Jasmine Gardner knotted the game three minutes later but VCU took a 17-13 lead on a triple from Pellechio with 9:19 showing.
- Liberty pulled ahead by six twice during the next six minutes before a jumper by Parks cut the deficit to 25-21 with 3:28 left. The Flames responded by scoring 11 of the final 12 points of the half – part of a 23-5 run – and eventually took a 36-22 advantage into the locker room.
- The Rams scored five quick points out of the break – a 3-pointer from Pellechio and a layup by Koivunen – to pull within 36-27 with 19:03 to go. However, it was as close as VCU would get the rest of the game as Liberty's lead ballooned to as many as 25 points at the five-minute mark.
- Trailing 71-50 with 2:52 showing, VCU went a quick 3-of-4 from beyond the arc and trimmed its deficit to 14 with a minute remaining.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Hobson's 13 points tied her career high.
- Koivunen made her first career start.
- VCU knocked down double-digit 3-pointers (10-of-27) for the third time this season.
- Pellechio, who ranks third in the nation with 3.7 treys per game, went 4-of-9 from long range. She also added two assists and a game-high four steals.
- The Rams went a season-best 13-of-14 from the free throw line.
- Liberty's Emily Frazier dished out a game-high 12 assists, while Devon Brown and Tolu Omotola scored 15 points apiece for the Flames.
WHAT'S AHEAD: The Rams conclude their season-long three-game home stand Friday when they host NJIT at 2 p.m. VCU then travels to 24th-ranked Ohio State on Dec. 27. Check VCUAthletics.com for complete game coverage.