November 24, 2013

VCU Wins Third Straight, Defeats UT Arlington 74-63 in Overtime

FINAL: VCU 74, UTA 63 – OT (College Park Center – Arlington, Texas)

RECORDS: VCU (4-1), UTA (0-6)

VCU STARTERS: #2 Finney-Smith, #20 Alaeze, #34 Robinson, #44 Calhoun, #45 Thorpe

UTA STARTERS: #11 Pope, #22 Suleiman, #25 Te'o, #32 Harris, #44 Nwanguma

THE BASICS:

  • VCU used a balanced scoring attack with four players in double figures, and received key contributions on both ends of the floor in a 74-63 overtime victory at UT Arlington Sunday afternoon.
  • After forcing a turnover on UTA's final possession of regulation, the Rams outscored the Mavericks 17-6 in overtime, hitting 4-of-4 from the field, 1-of-1 from 3-point range and 8-of-8 from the charity stripe to earn their third straight double digit road victory.
  • Senior Robyn Parks posted her third double-double in as many games with 19 points and 14 rebounds, while freshman Isis Thorpe added 18 points, classmate Keira Robinson finished with a career-best 17 and senior Zakia Williams chipped in a season-high 11 off the bench to pace VCU offensively.
  • The Rams improve to 4-1 to start a season for the first time since 2008-09 when VCU made its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

  • UTA hit 5-of-8 from the field, including 2-of-2 from beyond the arc, and jumped out to an early 15-6 lead just over five minutes in. 
  • Freshman Camille Calhoun cut the Rams' deficit to six at the free throw line just over two minutes later but the Mavericks continued to crash the paint and eventually built a 19-9 advantage, their largest of the game, with 11:07 showing.
  • VCU began to chip away and Parks ignited an 18-6 run, capped by three straight buckets from Robinson, and took its first lead, 27-25, on a fast break layup from the rookie with 3:56 remaining.
  • The lead changed hands four times during the final four minutes of the half, but UTA scored four straight, including a jumper from Allyson Te'o as time expired, and took a 33-30 lead into the locker room.
  • Trailing 52-44 with 9:28 left, VCU erupted for a 13-2 run spanning seven minutes, capped by a Thorpe 3-pointer from the right corner, and the Rams pulled ahead 57-53 with 2:31 to go.
  • A jumper by Te'o from the right elbow cut UTA's deficit to two with 2:06 remaining, before a layup from Tahlia Pope knotted the game at 57-57 with 1:23 left.
  • The Mavericks had chance to win it on their final possession but VCU forced its 26th turnover with 3.1 seconds remaining.  The Rams, who had to travel the length of the floor, came up short on a Robinson heave as time expired.
  • VCU scored five straight to start overtime, including a triple from Robinson from the top of the arc, and went on to build a 70-60 lead with 2:06 left. 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:

  • VCU forced a season-high 28 turnovers, tallied 15 steals and dished out 15 assists.
  • The Rams have had four players score in double figures in all five games this season.
  • Six different VCU players dished out an assist, led by Robinson's game-high tying five.  Freshman Ashlee Mitchell and Williams added three apiece.
  • Calhoun also finished with five points and grabbed six rebounds.

WHAT'S AHEAD: VCU continues its season-long five-game road trip with a visit to UNC Greensboro on Nov. 27.  Tipoff is set for 1 p.m.  The Rams then travel to Wagner on Dec. 1 before facing UMBC on Dec. 7.

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