Game #9-189: Longwood Lancers at Virginia Commonwealth RamsDecember 21, 2012 7:30 pm
I went into Friday night's game at VCU not expecting much of anything. I knew my Lancers were going to get blown out, but it is still always cool to see Longwood in my hometown. We had a great pregame event for Longwood fans, alumni, and students at a bar not too far from the Siegel Center named Home Team. It's always fun to catch up with alumni of all ages and it has been awesome to see how Lancer Pride has grown over the past nine or ten years.
One person who was set on having a good time was my wife. She was an undergrad student at Longwood with me but did did her masters degree at VCU. She gets dragged to plenty of LU game, but rarely does she come with me to VCU games. While getting ready for the game, I noticed she had on a yellow shirt. I knew she was wearing VCU colors just to drive me crazy, but then she slipped on a blue vest and pronounced that she would be rooting for both teams tonight. She fulfilled her mission all throughout the game rooting for both teams equally. The thought of this may appall some sports fans, but it also shows that sometimes we take things too seriously and, in the end, sports are supposed to be fun!
The game itself was a total blowout. My one knock on VCU this year has been their shot selection, which I feel has been masked by the points they generate off turnovers. This was an evening where VCU was on point shooting, especially from downtown where they were fourteen of twenty-eight. Falling asleep last night the announcer yelling "THAT'S ANOTHER WELLS FARGO 3 POINT T-SHIRT!" rang throughout my head. I'm still surprised they didn't run out of shirts.
One of the more bizarre moments of the game came early in the second half when a flagrant foul was accessed to Longwood. I'm still not sure what happened, so I can't really comment on the foul. But the bizarre part came when Longwood coach Mike Gillian and VCU's Shaka Smart started yelling at each other from their respective black lines. Shaka took it as an opportunity in a, sort of, close game at that point and riled up the crowd and his team like he was a WWE wrestler after winning a title bout. It was strange to say the least. I always think its funny to see how Gillian acts and reacts in big environments like last night compared to ill-attended road games or games in Farmville. He certainly knows when he's in a bit of the "spotlight".
Troy Daniels lead VCU on the evening with 25 points, including seven threes, and Juvonte Reddic added another 20 points. Sadly, for fans around the world, Longwood's "Swiss Army Knife" Michael Kessens had a rough night and didn't score; he did, however, grab 9 rebounds. Leading Longwood in the scoring department was hometown boy David Robinson with 18 points.
People I talk to may think I'm insane, but I think Longwood actually looked pretty good against VCU. The Lancers were finishing up a brutal three games in five days road trip against VCU, Seton Hall, and a much improved Canisius squad. In the Friday night beat down, I saw a more mature squad who was doing a lot more things correctly. It's encouraging as we now hit a four game homestand, including our first three conference games EVER. It's also encouraging to see an eight man rotation which features four freshmen and one sophomore get so much valuable playing time against quality competition before conference play.
From here both Longwood and VCU await the same opponent to come town, Fairleigh Dickinson.
at VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH 93, LONGWOOD 56
LONGWOOD 3-10 (0-0) -- M. Kessens 0-4 0-2 0; D. Robinson 7-13 1-1 18; K. Ziegler 2-6 1-2 5; T. Carey 6-13 2-4 17; J. Dublin 5-9 0-1 10; L. Woodhouse 1-1 0-0 2; N. Brown 1-5 0-0 2; J. Havenstein 0-1 0-0 0; M. Parker 0-1 0-0 0; S. Shockley 0-0 2-2 2; K. Staine 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-53 6-12 56.
VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH 9-3 (0-0) -- T. Graham 5-10 3-4 16; M. Johnson 4-9 0-0 9; R. Brandenberg 4-6 0-0 11; J. Reddic 9-12 2-2 20; D. Theus 2-3 1-1 5; T. Daniels 9-15 0-0 25; B. Weber 0-1 0-0 0; J. Guest 2-6 0-0 4; T. Okereafor 0-2 0-0 0; D. Haley 0-3 0-0 0; J. Tuoyo 0-1 1-2 1; D. Hinton 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 36-70 7-9 93.
Three-point goals: LONG 6-15 (T. Carey 3-6; M. Parker 0-1; D. Robinson 3-7; N. Brown 0-1), VCU 14-28 (T. Daniels 7-13; D. Theus 0-1; R. Brandenberg 3-5; B. Weber 0-1; T. Okereafor 0-1; T. Graham 3-3; J. Tuoyo 0-1; M. Johnson 1-3); Rebounds: LONG 28 (M. Kessens 9), VCU 33 (D. Haley 5); Assists: LONG 9 (M. Kessens 4), VCU 27 (D. Theus 9); Total Fouls -- LONG 10, VCU 15; Fouled Out: LONG-None; VCU-None.