First-half score: Richmond – 22, VCU – 38
Analysis: Briante Weber scored 16 points and led VCU’s suffocating defense, as the Rams dominated the first half. Richmond shot 7-21 and committed 10 turnovers in a half that was all VCU. VCU came out fast and Briante Weber scored the game’s first six points, as the Rams claimed an early 8-1 lead. The Spiders started 0-6 from the field before ShawnDre’ Jones hit a 3-pointer more than five minutes in. VCU opened up an 18-8 lead midway through the half, but a quick Richmond run cut VCU’s lead to five. Then VCU took over. The Rams responded with an 15-2 during a five-minute stretch that opened up a 33-15 lead with more than four minutes left.
What to look for in the second half: Not a whole lot went well for the Spiders in the opening 20 minutes. Richmond wants to play at a slow tempo, but it has to run in the second half, because it isn’t getting good looks in the half court. ShawnDre’ Jones scored eight points on 2-3 shooting, a good sign given how cold he has been as of late, but that’s about the only positive I can say about Richmond’s offense. VCU dominated the glass even when Juvonte Reddic sat on the bench with two fouls, out-rebounding Richmond 27-11. 27-11! Richmond showed it can rebound with the Rams in its 56-50 loss a couple weeks ago, but tonight, it’s been all VCU. To make matters worse, both Kendall Anthony, who shot 1-7 from the field, and Alonzo Nelson-Ododa have two fouls. When the Rams are playing their game they are hard to beat, and tonight they are on their game. This game will need to take a complete 180 for the Spiders to come back.