Welcome to a new semester here at VCU! While Mother Nature delayed the opening festivities for 2 hours, the Docket has arrived for the week of January 14th, 2019! VCU Men’s and Women’s Basketball jump back into the Atlantic 10 trenches as the Rams climb towards the top of the table. What’s on the docket? Let’s take a gander.
VCU Men’s Basketball: Back to Basics at Siegel
A late push by Davidson at Belk Arena was the difference on Saturday’s 64-57 win over VCU. The Rams caught fire on the road led by Marcus Evans with 16 points and 7 rebounds. Davidson sprang into action with a 14-0 scoring drive led by Kellan Grady to put the Wildcats at 3-0 in A-10 play. The Wildcats improved to 8-0 on their home floor this season at Belk Arena.
VCU suffered their first A-10 loss of the season and fell to 2-1 in the standings. A game where arguably VCU should have come out victorious, the Rams could not finish the fight as the opportunity rolled away at Davidson. On the docket this week is two home games for VCU with Atlantic 10 play coming in hot at the Siegel Center.
vs. Dayton (11-5, 3-0 A-10)
One of the hottest teams in the Atlantic 10 is the Dayton Flyers on a 6 game winning streak and a perfect 3-for-3 in conference play. The Flyers opened A-10 play with a 24 point rout over Richmond then two close victories at George Washington and versus UMass.
Head coach Anthony Grant has multiple scorers capable of getting the hot hand for Dayton. Josh Cunningham leads Dayton with 15.9 PPG while shooting 66% from the field and 50% behind the three. The Flyers have 5 players averaging 10 points or more per contest after 16 games. In short, HAVOC will have a good defensive test on paper come tip-off.
This game features the Atlantic 10’s second-best scoring offense in Dayton vs. the second best defense in VCU. A top of the table clash worthy of all the hype that comes with VCU vs. Dayton.
vs. Massachusetts (7-9, 0-3 A-10)
UMass has been on the wrong side of close games sitting at 0-3 in the A-10. After dropping the ball at home in their A-10 opener versus La Salle, the Minutemen lost by 3 points at Saint Louis then by 5 at Dayton. UMass is currently on a 4 game losing skid in search of their first conference win.
After taking on George Mason in a mid-week A-10 clash at home, UMass comes down to the Siegel Center to face the Rams. Luwane Pipkins still leads the offense with 17.3 PPG and has a consistent second option in Carl Pierre averaging 12 PPG after 3 conference games.
The three-point defense of UMass was exposed at Dayton with the Flyers shooting 11-of-19 from downtown. If VCU is able to reignite their three-pointer for one night only this would be the ideal contest for that to happen. Near the bottom of the A-10 table, VCU is the favorite for this contest however if the Rams pull up like they did versus La Salle it could be another long night at the Stu.
Wednesday, January 16th: VCU vs. Dayton (8 PM at Siegel Center, 📺: CBSSN)
Saturday, January 19th: VCU vs. UMass (6:30 PM at Siegel Center, 📺: NBCSN)
VCU Women’s Basketball: FIVE! 5⃣‼️ FIVE! 5⃣‼️ FIVE!
All high fives and excitement for VCU Women’s Basketball clicking on all cylinders during this five-game winning streak and going 3-0 to begin A-10 play. The Rams are currently in a three-way dance with Fordham and Davidson for the top spot.
Two statement wins for the Black & Gold began with forcing a season-high 34 turnovers in the 30 point win at Siegel Center versus La Salle. Tera Reed led VCU into the Robins Center and dominated the 2nd half by outscoring Richmond 42-21. VCU went on to win the crosstown showdown 68-43 over the Spiders.
Coming up this week on the docket is two Battle of the Rams for VCU varying in stakes and venues.
at Fordham (12-5, 3-0 A-10)
In order to become the Alpha Ram, VCU must travel to the Bronx in a first-place clash at Fordham. The Rams out of the Empire State have been dominant on a 7 game winning streak. Fordham started A-10 play with blowout wins over George Washington and Richmond. Zara Jillings cashed in a last-second layup at Saint Louis to edge out the Billikens 56-53 to keep the streak alive.
Bre Cavanaugh and Mary Goulding are still a cohesive duo on offense for Fordham. Cavanaugh remains the offensive leader with 16.7 PPG while Goulding’s points are going up to 12 PPG. There are other scoring options amongst the Fordham ranks and the Rams still have a firm hand on ball control.
What awaits Fordham in Rose Hill Gym is the A-10’s best defense in VCU. After 3 games, the Rams has held their opponents to 40.3 PPG. The second best is Dayton at 46.0 which is a telling stat between the two. Danielle Hammond has sent shockwaves through the Atlantic 10 with her contributions off the VCU bench while Tera Reed keeps shooting lights out.
Someone’s streak will be broken in New York in an anticipated contest between two of the A-10’s early frontrunners. For VCU, that gritty defense plus team shooting and rebounding must make the trip up north.
vs. Rhode Island (6-9, 1-2 A-10)
Rhody was in a downward spiral before A-10 play begin and appears to be going down that slope yet again. Rhode Island finished their non-conference slate on a 5 game losing streak which included defeats against Kentucky, Clemson, and Minnesota. The Rams tasted victory in their A-10 opener at Richmond but lost their last 2 games versus George Washington and Davidson.
The road terrain gets tougher for Rhody this week at Saint Louis then at VCU this weekend. Rhode Island’s offense is ranked #4 in the A-10 however their struggle is a defensive one allowing 67 points in their previous 3 contests. Nicole Jorgensen shines for Rhody inside as the Rams’ reliable paint force in scoring and rebounding (17 PPG, 7.3 RPG)
Sunday Funday varies on the victor and after each team finishes a mid-week challenge, who knows what goes down on the seventh day in the Siegel Center.
Wednesday, January 16th: VCU at Fordham (7 PM, 💻: ESPN+)
Sunday, January 20th: VCU vs. Rhode Island (1 PM at Siegel Center, 💻: ESPN+)
Annddddd…that’s the Docket this week! Shout-out to Siad Haji of VCU Men’s Soccer being drafted #2 in the 2019 MLS Draft by the San Jose Earthquakes! Haji became VCU’s highest drafted player since Jason Johnson was picked 13th by the Houston Dynamo in 2013.