FINAL: VCU 81, Old Dominion 68 (Richmond, Va. – Verizon Wireless Arena)
RECORDS: VCU (12-1), Old Dominion (6-6)
VCU STARTERS: #22 Williams, #24 Parks, #31 Henry, #34 Robinson, #45 Thorpe
OLD DOMINION STARTERS: #1 Kelley, #3 Painter, #4 Allison, #5 Goodhope, #32 Minor
- VCU extended its school-record winning streak to 11 games, the fifth-longest active streak in the nation, and improved to 12-1 for only the second time in program history with an 81-68 victory over in-state rival Old Dominion Monday night in its non-conference finale at the Verizon Wireless Arena.
- The Rams, who led by as many as 17 points midway through the second half, posted their seventh win in their last nine outings against the Lady Monarchs. It was also VCU's 10th double-digit victory of the season.
- Senior Robyn Parks posted her fifth double-double with game highs of 27 points and 11 rebounds, while freshman Keira Robinson added 15 points and eight assists, and classmate Isis Thorpe chipped in 13 points for the Rams. Robinson has now dished out at least eight assists in five straight games.
- VCU, which is off to its best start in six years, improves to 12-1 for the first time since 2007-08, and just the second time in the program's 40-year existence.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- VCU hit six of its first eight from the field and raced out to a 14-4 lead just over four minutes into the game.
- Old Dominion responded with an 11-0 run of its own to grab its only lead of the game, 15-14, on a layup by Galaisha Goodhope with 12:45 left in the first half. However, the Rams scored 10 of the next 12 points and eventually grabbed a seven-point lead when senior Zakia Williams stole the ball from Stephanie Gardner and converted a fast break layup at the 11:00 mark.
- The Lady Monarchs cut their deficit to four on three occasions over the next five minutes before VCU took its largest lead of the half, 36-24, on another fast break layup by Robinson with 4:21 to go.
- Trailing 41-31 with 1:20 showing, Old Dominion scored the final six points of the half to cut its deficit to four.
- Parks scored 12 straight points to start the second stanza and VCU used a 19-8 run to push its lead to 60-45 with 13:13 remaining. Two minutes later, sophomore Adaeze Alaeze gave the Rams a 17-point lead, their largest of the game, with 11:32 to go.
- Old Dominion made one final push as the Lady Monarchs used an 11-0 spurt to pull within 66-60, at the 8:52 mark. However, it was as close as they would get as VCU led by at least 11 points during the final 5:30 of the game.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:
- VCU registered double-digit steals for the seventh straight game (10 vs. ODU). The Rams entered the week ranked third in the nation averaging better than 13 thefts per game.
- The Black & Gold, which hit 11-of-14 free throws against the Lady Monarchs, shot 70 percent or better from the free throw line for the seventh time in their last 10 games.
- Sophomore Jessica Pellechio and Williams chipped in eight points apiece, while redshirt-sophomore Melanie Royster added a career-high tying six points to go along with six rebounds and three blocks off the bench.
WHAT'S AHEAD: VCU opens Atlantic 10 play against UMass on Jan. 2 at the Verizon Wireless Arena. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. The Rams then play back-to-back road games at Duquesne (Jan. 4) and La Salle (Jan. 8).