November 14, 2013

VCU Mounts Furious Rally But Falls Short at Ohio State, 83-71

FINAL: Ohio State 83, VCU 71 (Columbus, Ohio) 

RECORDS: Ohio State (3-0), VCU (1-1)

VCU STARTERS: #23 Pellechio, #24 Parks, #34 Robinson, #44 Calhoun, #45 Thorpe

OHIO STATE STARTERS: #13 Craft, #14 Alston, #22 Moore, #25 Scullion, #33 Adams

THE BASICS:

  • Senior Robyn Parks led all scorers with a game-high 26 points and helped fuel a furious second half rally but VCU came up short in an 83-71 setback at Ohio State Thursday night.
  • Trailing by 19 with less than seven minutes to play, the Rams used an 18-4 run spanning nearly five minutes and pulled within 76-71 on a 3-pointer by sophomore Jessica Pellechio with 1:59 left.  However, it was as close as VCU could get as Ohio State went 7-of-10 from the free throw line to close the game.
  • The Rams had four players score in double figures for the second straight game as freshman Monnazjea Finney-Smith contributed 12 points off the bench, while Pellechio chipped in 11 and freshman Keira Robinson added a career-high 10 to go along with Parks' 26. 

HOW IT HAPPENED:

  • Ohio State hit six of its first eight from the field and jumped out to a 13-4 lead six minutes into the game.
  • VCU had several good looks throughout the first half but had a difficult time getting shots to fall.
  • Trailing 21-6 at the 10:54 mark, VCU began to chip away as Finney-Smith knocked down a 3-pointer from the left wing, which sparked a 12-5 run and the Rams pulled within 26-18 with 6:32 showing.
  • The Buckeyes went ahead by as many as 40-23 with 33 seconds left in the opening stanza before Finney-Smith drained a 3-pointer from the left wing as time expired to pull the Rams within 40-26 at the break.
  • VCU used that momentum out of the locker room to trim its deficit to eight on back-to-back buckets from Parks at the 17:21 mark.
  • Ohio State halted the Rams' rally on its next possession, and scored 14 of the next 18 points and built its largest lead at the time, 58-41, with 12:55 to play.
  • The Buckeyes' pushed their advantage to 19 with less than seven minutes left before VCU began to mount its furious rally.  A jumper from Robinson sparked a massive 18-4 run, including six points each from Parks and Pellechio, and the Rams pulled within 76-71 with 1:59 remaining.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:

  • VCU forced 20-plus turnovers for the second straight game as the Buckeyes finished with 21.
  • Ohio State attempted 20 more free throws than VCU, and hit a critical 7-of-10 at the line to close the game.
  • The Buckeyes shot 50 percent from the field in the second half, while the Rams shot 48.6 percent in the final 20 minutes.
  • After trailing by 14 at the half, VCU outscored Ohio State 45-43 in the second stanza.
  • VCU received 22 points off the bench, led by Finney-Smith's 12.

WHAT'S AHEAD: After back-to-back road games to start the season, VCU returns to the Verizon Wireless Arena for its home opener against Elon on Sunday, Nov. 17.  Tipoff is set for 2 p.m.  The Rams then travel to Texas for a pair of games against Texas-Pan American (Nov. 21) and UT-Arlington (Nov. 24).

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