March 6, 2014

PARKS, PELLECHIO LEAD VCU PAST RICHMOND, INTO A-10 QUARTERFINALS

ATLANTIC 10 CHAMPIONSHIP – FIRST ROUND
Score:
VCU 61, Richmond 52
Location:
Richmond, Va. (Richmond Coliseum)
Records:
VCU 22-8, Richmond 14-16

THE BASICS
  • Senior Robyn Parks poured in 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds, while sophomore Jessica Pellechio buried 4-of-5 three-pointers Thursday in a 61-52 win over Richmond in the first round of the Atlantic 10 Championship at the Richmond Coliseum.
  • VCU, the No. 8 seed, will advance to meet top-seeded Dayton in Friday's quarterfinal round at noon. Dayton nipped VCU 73-69 on Feb. 5 in Dayton in the two teams' only meeting this season.
  • Pellechio finished with 14 points, while freshman Isis Thorpe added 10 for the Rams.
  • Richmond's Kristina King led all players with 24 points.
  • Freshman Keira Robinson, an A-10 All-Rookie Team selection, chipped in with eight points, six assists, five rebounds and three steals for the Rams.
  • VCU and Richmond split two previous meetings this season, each winning on its home floor. The Rams avenged a 73-60 loss to Richmond on Feb. 26 in VCU's final regular season game.
HOW IT HAPPENED
  • VCU built a 15-point halftime lead behind efficient offense and stingy defense. Parks scored 11 of her points in the first, while Pellechio, Thorpe and freshman Ashlee Mitchell were a combined 4-of-6 from beyond the arc in the first period. VCU shot 48 percent (14-of-29) in the first half overall.
  • Defensively, the Rams held the Spiders to 31 percent shooting (8-of-26) and forced nine turnovers in the opening 20 minutes.
  • Richmond charged back late in the second half. Shortly after VCU pushed to its largest lead, 51-33 with 13:29 left, the Spiders began chipping away. A layup by Richmond's Genevieve Okoro pulled the Spiders within 51-42 left, but Pellechio responded her fourth triple of the game on the ensuing possession.
  • The Spiders eventually drew as close as 56-52 with 1:44 remaining, but a layup by freshman Camille Calhoun gave the Rams some breathing room with 1:01 left. VCU knocked down 3-of-4 free throws in the final minute.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
  • Thursday's win was the 22nd of VCU's season, the third-most in school history. Only VCU's 26-win campaigns in 2007-08 and 2008-09 were better.
  • With her four 3-pointers, Pellechio moved into eighth on the Rams' single-season list with 57, and into fourth in VCU career history with 134 in just two seasons.
WHAT'S NEXT
VCU will take on top-seed and two-time defending conference regular season champion Dayton at noon at the Richmond Coliseum. Tickets are available at the box office or through Ticketmaster.com.
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