FINAL: VCU 85, Manhattan 64 (Richmond, Va. – Verizon Wireless Arena)
RECORDS: VCU (9-1), Manhattan (1-7)
VCU STARTERS: #22 Williams, #24 Parks, #34 Robinson, #44 Calhoun, #45 Thorpe
MANHATTAN STARTERS: #3 Skrec, #12 Stec, #25 Underhill, #32 Roeder, #35 Grimme
- Senior Robyn Parks scored a game-high 29 points for the second time in as many outings, and paced three Rams in double figure scoring as VCU cruised to its eighth straight win, 85-64, over Manhattan Friday afternoon in front of more than 1,300 area students as part of Education Day at the Verizon Wireless Arena.
- Freshman Keira Robinson added 14 points, eight assists and five steals, while sophomore Jessica Pellechio chipped in 12 points off the bench.
- The Rams, who are off to their best start in six years, improve to 9-1 for the first time since 2007-08, and just the third time in the program's 40-year existence.
- VCU also pushed its unbeaten streak to eight games, matching its longest since 2009-10. The school record is nine, which occurred in 1994-95.
- The Black and Gold remains just one of just two Atlantic 10 teams with one loss on the season (Saint Joseph's).
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Manhattan shot 55 percent from the field, including five of its first seven from 3-point range, and raced out to a 27-15 advantage at the nine-minute mark.
- VCU halted the early run with six straight free throws by three different Rams, which sparked a massive 25-6 spurt the remainder of the half. Trailing by 12 with 8:13 showing, the Rams scored 13 of the next 15 points and pulled within 29-28 on a layup from Parks with 3:38 to go.
- Manhattan built a five-point advantage on a jumper by Shayna Ericksen with 2:23 remaining before VCU scored 12 straight points to close the half and took a 40-33 lead into the locker room.
- The Jaspers trimmed their deficit to four twice during the first 3:40 of the second half but it was as close as they would get the remainder of the contest.
- Kayla Grimme pulled Manhattan within 45-41 with 16:20 left but Parks scored six straight and senior Zakia Williams converted a fast break layup to push VCU's lead to 12 with 13 minutes to go.
- Grimme helped the Jaspers make one final push with 12 minutes remaining as she cut their deficit to 53-46, but freshman Isis Thorpe buried a triple on VCU's next possession to swing momentum back into the Rams' favor.
- VCU pushed its lead to 63-47 with 9:43 to play and eventually took a 23-point advantage on a pair of free throws with 2:50 showing.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:
- VCU scored 36 points off 25 Manhattan turnovers. It was the third straight game and eighth time in 10 outings this season the Rams forced 20-plus miscues.
- The Black & Gold, which improved to 10th nationally in steals (12.3 spg) this week, collected 19 against the Jaspers. VCU has logged double-digit steals seven times this year.
- Robinson, who ranks second in the A-10 with 5.6 assists per game, dished out a team-high eight. She is averaging 9.3 assists per game during her last three outings.
- VCU, which leads the league and ranks 23rd nationally with 8.1 treys per game, drained nine against Manhattan.
- The Rams hit 20-of-23 from the free throw line.
- Parks, who has scored in double-figures in 38 straight contests, posted her seventh 20-point game of the year to go along with seven rebounds.
WHAT'S AHEAD: VCU concludes its three-game home stand on Sunday, Dec. 22 against Florida A&M at 1 p.m. The Rams then travel to NJIT on Dec. 28 before hosting Old Dominion on Dec. 30.