TRIBE 54, VCU 76
Just over two minutes into the game against Virginia Commonwealth University Saturday, the College of William and Mary was down 9-1. It only got uglier from there.
“I thought on Wednesday night against a really fine Northeastern team, we held our composure extremely well and really executed our stuff,” Head Coach Tony Shaver said on the Tribe Radio postgame show. “Tonight, we didn’t have composure from the first 30 seconds of the game to the very end. They forced us into a tempo we can’t play right now.”
The end result — a 76-54 thrashing at the hands of the Rams (17-7, 10-3 CAA) — featured 19 Tribe turnovers (due in large part to VCU’s aggressive fullcourt pressure) and a 55 percent shooting effort from VCU. Those two ingredients combined to create a disastrous recipe for the College (6-17, 2-11 CAA) Saturday night in Richmond.
The Rams scored 25 points off the Tribe’s 19 turnovers and consistently found holes in the College’s defense for easy shots.
“I thought their defense was exceptional tonight,” Shaver said. “It really unnerved our guys and we just never could regain our composure. We just couldn’t get things going our way.”
After starting the game on a quick 9-1 run, the Rams struggled for a few minutes as the Tribe cut into the lead, eventually getting within 13-8 on senior forward Chris Darnell’s three-pointer. But that’s as close as the College would get.
A jumper from Ed Nixon started a 21-5 VCU run, which put the Rams up 34-13 with 3:29 remaining in the first half. During the spurt, which ran for 9:02, the Tribe hit 3 of 10 shots and committed five turnovers, helping to fuel the Rams’ offensive eruption. VCU guard Eric Maynor, who scored a game-high 13 points and dished out 7 assists, finished off the run with two free throws after Tribe Head Coach Tony Shaver received a technical foul for arguing with an official over a call.
VCU extended its lead to as many as 25 points in the second half, continuing to carve up the Tribe’s defense and disrupt the College’s offense with its pressure.
“Their speed is phenomenal,” Shaver said. “We just don’t have it on the floor. Really, position-by-position their speed was very disruptive all night long.”
VCU’s 11 steals were its second-highest total in conference play.
Junior guard David Schneider was the only Tribe player to score in double figures with 11 points.
The College returns to action tomorrow when it hosts the University of North Carolina-Wilmington at 7 p.m. in Kaplan Arena. The Tribe defeated the Seahawks 73-59 on the road in the teams’ first meeting Jan. 7.