Men’s Basketball: VCU’s second-half surge buries Tribe

TRIBE 50, VCU 66

With 14:10 remaining in the game, the College of William and Mary (3-6, 0-1 CAA) held a two-point lead. One possession later, the Tribe’s lead was gone for good.
Poor shooting and Virginia Commonwealth University’s 26-4 second-half run led to the College’s 66-50 loss.

“We’re struggling inside right now to convert the ball,” Head Coach Tony Shaver said. “We’ve got to become more consistent in that area. We think we have capable post scores. We don’t have guys who are going to score 30 points a night, but we do have guys capable of making plays, which we’re
not making right now.”

VCU guard Joey Rodriquez fueled the Rams’ 26-4 run with three three-pointers and reigning CAA player of the year Eric Maynor hit timely runners in the lane.

After the Tribe pulled ahead 36-34 with 14:10 remaining in the contest, the Rams’ Ed Nixon connected on a three-pointer from the corner and then Maynor scored in the lane between three Tribe defenders. VCU stretched their lead to twelve before the College recorded its next bucket.

“I really think it was just that one run in the second half that countered our run, and we didn’t have
anything to punch back with,” senior forward Peter Stein said. “It was just that one stretch where we got loose with it and they really took advantage of it.”

VCU’s scoring spurt lasted nearly ten minutes as the Tribe committed four turnovers and hit just two of 16 shots, and VCU pushed their lead to 20.

The College made plays on defense early containing Maynor to four of 12 shooting from the floor for 15 points – many of which coming in the game’s waning minutes. With Maynor taking more of a distributor role against the Tribe, Rodriguez emerged for the Rams, drilling six of seven three-pointers and finishing with a career high 20 points.

“I think [VCU’s defensive pressure] wore us out a little bit,” Shaver said. “I thought we did a good job with turnovers. Every time we turned it over it led to a basket almost without fail.”

The Tribe’s leading scorers, junior guard David Schneider and junior forward Danny Sumner, combined for 10-32 from the floor, including four of 17 from long range. Schneider and Sumner recorded 10 and 18 points, respectively.

Sumner opened the game strong, notching the Tribe’s first nine points, but struggled in the second half, shooting only 20 percent from the floor, which mirrored the College’s poor second-half shooting performance.

“Maybe everybody in here will think I’m crazy, and maybe our players looked at me like I was crazy, but I just told them: ‘We’re closer to being where we need to be than we’ve been all season long,’” Shaver said.

The College returns to the hardwood Dec. 20 when it hosts Haverford University at 7 p.m.


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