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Third Time’s the Charm

Third Time’s the Charm

VCU entered the Atlantic 10 conference during the 2012-13 athletic season. Since then, VCU men’s basketball has made it to the Atlantic 10 Tournament championship game every year. Their first time, they fell short to the Billikens of St. Louis 62-56. Their second time around, they fell short to the Hawks of St. Joseph’s in a close game 65-61 when St Joe’s came back in the final seconds and managed to escape with the victory. In February of 2015, VCU went on a three game losing streak as they fell to Richmond, Dayton, and Davidson respectively. For their third time in the Atlantic 10 Tourney, I want to focus on three games out of the four they played. In the first game, VCU beat Fordham 63-57 and qualified for the quarterfinals and then they moved on to

A-10 Quarterfinals – VCU vs. Richmond (3/13/15):

VCU played Richmond twice during the regular season and they defeated us both times. The first defeat was at VCU with a final score of 64-55. The second defeat was at Richmond with a final score of 67-63 after double overtime. Is the third time the charm? Let’s see. The game started off at a low 5-4 score with VCU in the lead after a Jordan Burgess made three-pointer. Later on, Richmond goes on an 8-0 run to make the score 16-9 with 12:01 left. After that VCU goes on a 10-2 run including a Terry Larrier jump shot, two back-to-back threes by Melvin Johnson, and a Treveon Graham layup making the score 19-18 with 8:45 to go. For the rest of the half, both teams exchanged punches as the score was 37-36 with VCU in the lead after Terry Larrier goes three for three from the foul line near the end of the first half. There were four ties and an unbelievable thirteen lead changes in the first half alone. In the second half, Richmond once again got off to a hot start with a 12-1 run which made the score 48-40 to put Richmond ahead with 13:40 left in the game. With four minutes to go, the score was 58-52 with Richmond leading, but here comes VCU. The Rams finish the game off on an 18-9 run which made the final score 70-67. The third time was the charm as VCU wins, ends Richmond’s possible tournament run, and moves on to the semifinals against Davidson.

A-10 Semifinals – VCU vs. Davidson (3/14/15):

The Rams also played Davidson twice during the regular season. The first game was a win at VCU with a final score of 71-65. The second game was a beat down as the Wildcats won at Davidson with a final score of 82-55. This game would be the best two out of three. So, is the third time the charm? Let’s find out. At the beginning of the game, Davidson went on a 16-4 run as 16-4 was the score with 12:36 left in the first half. With 11:47 left in the half, here comes VCU. They storm out of the starting blocks and blast off to a 40-12 run for the rest of the half. These points included an Alie-Cox dunk and free throw (11:47), a Larrier three-pointer (11:09), a Larrier layup (10:43), a Burgess layup (9:06), a Johnson three-pointer (8:31), a Lewis three-pointer (7:57), a Graham jump shot (6:42), two Alie-Cox free throws (6:05), a Brooks three-pointer (5:43), two Graham three-pointers (5:03 and 4:15), a Tillman layup (3:37), a Burgess three-pointer (2:26), a Johnson three-pointer (1:45), and an Alie-Cox layup and free throw (1:06). The score at the end of the first half was 44-28 with VCU in the lead. In the second half, things get a little nerve wracking as Davidson goes on a 16-0 run making the score 55-49 with 11:32 left in the game. After this, VCU goes on a 10-0 run of their own as the score is now 67-52 with 7:54 left. The game ended on an 11-3 run that was capitalized by a Doug Brooks made three-pointer at the buzzer. This made the final score 93-73 as the third time was the charm once again for VCU as they move on to the A-10 championship game against Dayton.

A-10 Championship – VCU vs. Dayton (3/15/15):

We played Dayton only once during the regular season at the Siegel Center. The final score was a close 59-55 as Dayton walked away with the win. However, this is VCU’s third time in the A-10 championship game. So, is the third time the charm? Let’s take a look. At the beginning of the game, after Dayton scores the first points, VCU then goes on a 6-0 run. However, a few minutes later, Dayton goes on an 11-0 run to make the score 18-12 to give Dayton the lead with 8:12 left in the first half. Then VCU goes on a 10-0 run off a Graham jump shot and free throw, an Alie-Cox dunk and layup, and a Graham three-pointer. After that, the score was 22-18 with 5:01 left. Punches were exchanged for the rest of the first half with VCU throwing a tiny bit more to make the score at halftime 33-26. In the second half, Dayton makes an 11-1 run to tie the game up 43-43 with 11:42 left. The game was tied once again at 59-59 after two free throws by Dayton’s Jordan Sibert. For the rest of the game, VCU goes on a 12-6 run off a Graham layup, a Lewis layup, four free throws from Larrier, two free throws from Lewis, and two free throws from Graham to put the icing on the cake with a final score of 71-65 as the third time was the charm yet again as VCU wins their first ever A-10 championship.

These games are the perfect example of winning through adversity. VCU got revenge on every single team that beat them during the three game losing streak that began in February. They came into the Barclays Center hungry and ready to get four wins and they achieved the four wins that they were aiming for. All of this led to VCU bringing home their first Atlantic 10 Championship title and trophy. Up next is the NCAA tournament as #7 VCU takes on #10 Ohio State in Portland, Oregon at 4:45 on TNT. It’s time to go dancing.

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