Thorpe, Parks Pace VCU to Sixth Straight Win, 75-55, at UMBC

FINAL: VCU 75, UMBC 55 (RAC Arena – Baltimore, Md.)

RECORDS: VCU (7-1), UMBC (1-8)

VCU STARTERS: #22 Williams, #24 Parks, #31 Henry, #34 Robinson, #45 Thorpe

UMBC STARTERS: #3 McNaughton, #4 McCarley, #23 Russo, #30 Tarbert, #31 O'Donnell

THE BASICS:

  • Freshman Isis Thorpe scored a career-high 26 points and senior Robyn Parks added 23, and VCU picked up its sixth straight victory with a 75-55 triumph at UMBC on Saturday afternoon.
  • The Rams, who are off to their best start in six years, improve to 7-1 for the first time since 2007-08, and just the fifth time in the program's 40-year existence. 
  • VCU, which posted its fifth straight double-digit road win, pushed its unbeaten streak to six games, its longest since reeling off eight straight in 2009-10.
  • Thorpe knocked down a career-best seven 3-pointers, which is the most by any VCU player this season.  As a team, the Rams matched their season high will 11 triples.
  • VCU is one of just two Atlantic 10 teams with one loss on the season (Saint Joseph's).

HOW IT HAPPENED:

  • After UMBC cut its deficit to 9-8 on a 3-pointer by Emily Russo six minutes in, VCU took control, used a 13-2 run and claimed a 12-point advantage on a triple by freshman Keira Robinson at the 8:15 mark.
  • The Rams eventually pushed their lead to 26-12 on a jumper from sophomore Adaeze Alaeze with 6:44 showing before the Retrievers made one final push to pull within nine with 4:58 to go.
  • However, the Rams settled in and held UMBC to just two points in the final five minutes of the opening stanza, hit four straight 3-pointers to close the half, which was part of a 16-2 spurt, and took a 42-19 lead into the locker room.  Thorpe, who was 5-of-10 from beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes, hit three during that stretch.
  • VCU forced three turnovers during the first 40 seconds of the second half and scored five straight to extend its lead to 28 points with 18:58 remaining. 
  • Trailing 54-27 at the 14:28 mark, UMBC scored nine of the next 11 points and trimmed its deficit to 20 on a 3-pointer from Janelle Saling with 11:17 left.
  • VCU caught fire again as Parks scored seven straight to spark a 16-6 run and the Rams took their largest lead of the game, 72-42, with 5:22 to go.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:

  • VCU, which leads the A-10 in turnovers forced, scored 29 points off 24 UMBC miscues. 
  • Thorpe and Parks, who both won A-10 honors last week, combined to score 48 points.  With just over three minutes to play, the duo was outscoring the entire UMBC team. 
  • VCU went 11-of-32 from beyond the arc.
  • Robinson finished with 10 points, four assists and two steals.  Meanwhile, senior Zakia Williams added eight points, four rebounds, four assists and four steals.
  • UMBC shot 62.5 percent in the second half but could only cut its deficit to 20 points.

WHAT'S AHEAD: VCU returns to the Verizon Wireless Arena for three straight home games beginning with Cleveland State on Dec. 15.  Tipoff is set for 2 p.m.  The Rams then host Manhattan on Dec. 18 and Florida A&M on Dec. 22.

 

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