Rams Win Double-Overtime Thriller over #23 Northern Iowa, 93-87

The Basics

How It Happened

  • UNI started the night with a three that grabbed an early lead that it would hold for much of the first half. That lead grew to nine, 20-11, at the 13:51 mark and it would be the most the Panthers lead all game.
  • VCU would fight its way back thanks to some deft shooting of its own, in addition to the Panthers' shooting going cold. UNI began the night a perfect 4-4 from beyond the arc and 8-10 from the field overall. After that, however, they missed their next seven 3-pointers and coughed the ball up four times, eventually leading to a trey from sophomore JeQuan Lewis to tie the game up at 22-22.
  • Entering halftime the Rams led 37-35, and the momentum seemed to be accumulating in their favor. UNI ended the first half with just two field goals in the final seven minutes and had turned the ball over four times in that span.
  • Coming out of the locker room, the Panthers were able to hang around despite not regaining the lead at all. It wasn't until after the halfway mark of the period that the Rams began to pull away, growing their lead to a game-high 11 after a layup from freshman Justin Tillman.
  • Northern Iowa would not back down though, reeling off a 19-8 run to close off the second half and tie the game up at 73-73. The Panthers actually had the lead in the final minute, but Graham expertly drove to the hoop to bring the score back to a tie. In the final moments of regulation, senior Briante Weber forced a steal that sealed overtime.
  • In the first overtime, VCU held the lead for all but 46 seconds. Sophomore Mo Alie-Cox started off the extra period with a thunderous dunk on the first possession of overtime, and UNI found itself behind the Rams all the way until the 33 second mark when the Panthers' Matt Bohannon nailed a three to make it 83-83 and force a second overtime.
  • The second overtime started off similarly to the first, with VCU scoring on the first possession to take an early lead, though this time it was a trey from sophomore Doug Brooks that brought the crowd to its feet. The Rams pulled away and, after hitting their free throws down the stretch they came away with a 93-87 victory.

Beyond The Box Score

  • With tonight's victory, VCU improves to 4-1 against ranked opponents at the Siegel Center.
  • The Rams' last double-overtime game came last season against La Salle, which VCU won 97-89. The last double-overtime game at the Siegel Center, however, was way back in the 2000-01 season against Texas A&M, a game that the Rams won.
  • Under head coach Shaka Smart, VCU now improves to 40-9 following a loss.
  • Weber's six steals tonight vaulted him into the top-20 in career steals in NCAA history. He now has 330, placing him at 16th all-time.

Quotable

  • "I thought it was a terrific game. Looked like one that was fun to watch for our fans. I hope it was. Our fans again were terrific. I thought they gave us a big lift. Northern Iowa, they've got a great team. They really battled, made a ton of shots and made a ton of plays. I think  they're going to win a lot of games this year and they're going to be playing certainly in the NCAA Tournament if they keep doing what they're doing. So I thought for our guys it was a good team win. We've got a lot of things we've got to get better at, but it was important  for us to be able to win a game like this." -Head coach Shaka Smart
  • "Our bench production is what won us the game. Our bench was better than it has been earlier in the year. We still have to keep improving, but today was a step in the right direction." -Smart

Up Next

  • VCU hosts Belmont on Tuesday, December 16 at 7 PM before heading to Cincinnati to take on the Bearcats on Saturday, December 20 for a 12 PM game on ESPNU. The Rams return home to face East Tennessee State on Monday, December 22 for their final game before the holidays begin.