The Rams have seen success in the Coach O’Boyle Era with a strong 8-2 start to her second season as head coach. Their biggest accomplishment thus far was a defeat of a ranked team when they beat #17 Arizona State on the road. The first win versus a ranked opponent in close to 30 years. VCU has been enjoying an undefeated record at home where O’Boyle and her team rule with a 5-0 record. Enter local rival the ODU Lady Monarchs with a 3-6 overall record and the clear advantage in the series where VCU is only 15-57 in their in state history.
VCU executed early on the home court advantage hitting the boards off 2 from Adaeze Alaeze at the line. ODU tied it up quicky off a lay up from Keyana Brown. The Rams and Lady Monarchs took it head to head for a bit with the teams staying within a 1-3 point advantage either way for most of the first quarter. Curteeona Brelove went 3 for 3 from the field and gave VCU their largest lead with a lay up that gave them a 7 point lead. Chaddaryl Clay led the scoring with 7 points and VCU leading 19-14 at the first buzzer.
The Rams struck early in the second half with a jumper from Jessica Ogunnorin and ODU answered with a lay up from Annika Holopainen. Then VCU turned it up and went on a 6-0 run. The Rams had an 11 point lead by the time Destinee Young hit one from the line. Brelove was the first Ram to hit double digits to put VCU up 33-19 with 1:33 remaining in the second quarter. Both teams were above 40% shooting with VCU leading in opportunities with 6 Rams on the board and only 3 for the Lady Monarchs, the home court advantage was in full effect. The Rams went into the half up 35-24 with Brelove on her way to another double double at 10 points and 7 rebounds.
No surprises as VCU gets the first 2 buckets in the third quarter from Adaeze Alaeze and the Rams take a 15 point lead. Alaeze is the second Ram to hit double digits during the VCU domination of the Lady Monarchs. ODU continues to struggle offensively as the Rams run away with the lead. Brelove secures her double double and the buzzer sounds with the Rams up 56-36.
The final quarter would continue to frustrate the visiting rival as VCU would lead by as many as 25. It didn’t deter the Lady Monarchs who fought back attempting to chip away at the Ram advantage. ODU made a valiant effort but it proved to be too little too late and VCU claimed their 6th home victory of the season improving to 9-2 and proving who reigns at the Stu.
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