FINAL: VCU 64, NJIT 52 – Richmond, Va.
NJIT STARTERS: #4 Olson, #5 Johnson, #10 Griffin, #12 Dweck, #50 Nwankwo
VCU STARTERS: #3 Green, #11 Hobson, #23 Pellechio, #24 Parks, #30 Henry, S.
THE BASICS: Junior Robyn Parks scored 14 of her team-high 20 points in the second half, while freshmen Jessica Pellechio and Kaneisha Atwater added 12 and 11 points, respectively to lead VCU to a 64-52 victory against visiting NJIT Friday afternoon at the Verizon Wireless Arena.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- NJIT raced out to an early eight-point advantage less than four minutes in before VCU settled down and pulled within 15-14 on a 3-pointer from senior Robyn Hobson at the 8:31 mark.
- Trailing by one with less than four minutes to go, VCU scored eight of the final 10 points of the first half and took a 27-22 advantage into the locker room.
- The Rams increased their lead to as many as seven points twice during the first six minutes of the second stanza before NJIT again cut the deficit to 39-38 with 10:47 remaining.
- It was as close as the Highlanders would get, however, as VCU reeled off 12 straight points and built its largest lead at the time, 51-38, on a triple from Pellechio at the 7:58 mark.
- A pair of Parks free throws eventually gave the Rams a 62-47 lead with 2:46 left.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- The Rams shot better than 90 percent (12-of-13) from the free throw line for the second straight game.
- Pellechio, who registered a game-high four steals, knocked down four 3-pointers for the third consecutive game and fifth time in her last seven outings. She entered the week as the nation's third-leading 3-point shooter with 3.7 treys per game.
- Parks, who leads the Rams and ranks second in the Atlantic 10 in scoring, reached the 20-point plateau for the fourth time this season.
- Atwater added 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting, including 2-of-2 from long range, to go along with a pair of assists off the bench.
- Senior Carleeda Green dished out six assists for the fourth time this year.
- VCU held a 40-30 advantage on the glass.
- NJIT's Rayven Johnson led all scorers with a game-high 23 points and eight rebounds.
WHAT'S AHEAD: VCU travels to 24th-ranked Ohio State on Dec. 27. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. The Rams then return to the Verizon Wireless Arena for back-to-back home games against Maine (Jan. 1) and Youngstown State (Jan. 4). Check VCUAthletics.com for complete game coverage.