Game #9-349: La Salle Explorers at Virginia Commonwealth RamsJanuary 26, 2013 8:00 pm
One of my favorite movie quotes comes from Major League
and legendary manager Lou Brown: "OK, we won a game yesterday. If we win today, it's called 'two in a row'. And if we win again tomorrow, it's called a 'winning streak'...IT HAS HAPPENED BEFORE!" It has been quite some time since VCU fans had experienced a losing streak and heading to the game Saturday most fans were still reeling from a loss to crosstown rival Richmond, which ended a 13 game winning streak.
Ram fans were just looking to get a bad taste out of their mouth and there is no way some team named La Salle would win on VCU's homecourt, right?...RIGHT?!?!
It seems like the A10 is full of sneaky, under the radar type teams this year. Earlier I talked about a Charlotte squad that just, kind of, quietly cruised to a 14-2 record. La Salle also seemed to be one of those teams. The Explorers came to Richmond with a 13-5 mark and a 3-2 conference record. They had an impressive win over crosstown rival Villanova earlier in the season, but were slated with a terrible two-step in A10 play with Butler and VCU back-to-back. I mean, really? Is there a worse combo of teams you have to take on? La Salle took down Butler, which was impressive but VCU fans didn't think much of it with Rotnei Clarke out. Actually, I'm not even sure VCU fans noticed as they just wanted to get back to their winning ways and get past the Richmond loss.
I didn't know much about La Salle and I've only seen them play once at the University of Richmond. I knew they had a good record, just beat Butler, hail from Philadelphia, and Longwood star TT Carey used to go there...that's the extent of my knowledge.
I'm not sure what is about Philly schools when they come to play VCU, but they come to play and they come to play with a short bench. Just like St. Joe's, who VCU narrowly escaped, the Explorers weren't sporting much of a bench. It was immediately apparent that the La Salle's guard heavy lineup would result in a monster night for VCU's Juvonte Reddic and it did as Reddic finished with 22 points and 10 boards.
At the halftime the Rams found themselves down 34-25. The crowd kind of went from "don't worry things will be OK" to "what's going on?!?!?!" to Will Ferrell in Old School, "NOBODY FREAK OUT! KEEP YOUR COMPOSURE!" The crowd seemed rattled but not the Rams players. VCU would rally in the second half and take an 8 point lead. VCU had 17 consecutive points to open the second half. At this point, some dude named Ramon Galloway decides to take the game in his own hands and score 12 points on an Explorer 18-4 run. Then there were about 3 minutes left and it was back to a one-point game. From there on out Galloway continued his dominating 32 point night. The Rams could never get back over the hump or within one-shot striking distance.
A losing streak? The black and gold were on the verge.
LA SALLE 69, at VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH 61
LA SALLE 14-5 (4-2) -- D. Atkinson 0-4 3-4 3; R. Galloway 9-18 9-10 31; T. Duren 4-10 8-11 16; S. Mills 3-6 0-0 6; D. Peterson 1-3 0-0 2; S. Zack 2-5 0-0 4; T. Garland 4-7 0-1 8; J. Wright 1-2 0-0 2; T. Dunn 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-51 17-22 69.
VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH 16-5 (4-2) -- J. Reddic 9-13 4-7 22; D. Theus 3-6 0-0 6; T. Graham 4-17 5-8 13; T. Daniels 4-7 0-0 11; R. Brandenberg 2-10 1-1 6; M. Johnson 0-3 0-0 0; B. Weber 1-4 1-2 3; D. Haley 0-0 0-0 0; J. Guest 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-60 11-18 61.
Three-point goals: LAS 4-13 (R. Galloway 4-8; T. Duren 0-1; S. Mills 0-2; T. Garland 0-1; D. Peterson 0-1), VCU 4-16 (T. Daniels 3-6; D. Theus 0-1; R. Brandenberg 1-4; B. Weber 0-1; T. Graham 0-4); Rebounds: LAS 32 (S. Zack 11), VCU 32 (T. Graham 12); Assists: LAS 14 (T. Duren 3), VCU 11 (D. Theus 6); Total Fouls -- LAS 18, VCU 19; Fouled Out: LAS-None; VCU-None.