14th-RANKED RAMS DROP 77-53 DECISION TO #12 VILLANOVA

The Basics

  • Score: #12 Villanova 77, #14 VCU 53
  • Records: VCU (3-1), Villanova (4-0)
  • Location: Barclays Center – Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • The Short Story: The 12th-ranked Wildcats used an early second half run to pull away and hand #14 VCU a 77-53 defeat in the opening round of the Legends Classic at the Barclays Center. Senior Briante Weber and junior Melvin Johnson each poured in 13 points to lead the Rams offensively.
How It Happened
  • The Rams jumped out to an early lead with buckets from Weber, Johnson and Treveon Graham to grab a 6-2 lead less than two minutes into the contest.
  • Villanova answered, but jumper from Weber with 14 minutes left in the first half gave VCU an 11-8 advantage.
  • The Wildcats answered and held a 21-16 lead with nine minutes left in the first, but an old-fashioned three point by Johnson ignited a spurt in which VCU would score 10 of the game's next 14 points en route to grabbing a 26-25 lead.
  • The teams would trade buckets over final five minutes before Villanova hit a jumper with less than 10 seconds remaining to take a 32-30 into the break.
  • The first half featured five ties and 11 lead changes, neither team lead by more than five.
  • Back-to-back buckets by sophomore Mo Alie-Cox finished off a quick 6-0 spurt for the Rams to start the second half to give VCU a 36-32 lead with 18:40 to play.
  • After a timeout from head coach Jay Wright, Villanova ripped off a 22-3 run that took just five minutes and the Wildcats held a 54-39 advantage with 14:35 to play.
  • The Wildcats' lead would never slip below double-figures the rest of the way.
Quotes
  • "Congrats to Villanova. I thought they played really hard and it showed a lot of poise all game long.  In the second half they really got it going.  They made some great plays off the dribble and made some timely three's to extend the lead.  I thought our energy was really good coming out of halftime, but after that initial six point run we had, we didn't get stops.  You can't win games against anyone, particularly against a quality team like Villanova, if you can't stop them.  Over one stretch they scored five or six times in a row and then eight or so times out of ten.  It's unacceptable.  It's a painful reminder that we need to get better on defense." – Head Coach Shaka Smart
  • "We have to get way better on defense, more talk, more rotations, fly around more, get our hands on the ball.  On offense, coach always tells me to demand the ball because I can have a big presence on the game." – Sophomore Mo Alie-Cox

Up Next

  • The Rams will take on Pac-12 foe Oregon on Tuesday night. Game time on ESPNU is set for 7:30 p.m.