The VCU Rams traded in their black and gold for pink in partnership with the VCU Massey Cancer Center for their annual Play4Kay game. The past few games haven’t gone in the Rams favor, but after a slightly slow start they hit their stride, took the lead, and never looked back. Despite a spark at the end of the first half and perseverance in the second the Minutewomen were unable to catch up with the runaway Rams.
The first half illustrated the defensive skill of the Rams as they held UMass to single digits until just under the 2 minute mark. The Minutewomen were scoreless for over 11 minutes while the Rams extended their lead to 19. Then UMass hit a FT and went on a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 12 before the first buzzer.
UMass came in energized from the run at the end of the first and ready to fight in the second. They chipped away at the VCU lead getting as close as 7, but then the Rams hit back. There was some back and forth as UMass fought to regain momentum but VCU kept the tempo high and the shots falling. VCU led by as many as 24 during the final half and despite UMass almost doubling their production they would end 22 points behind the Rams at the final buzzer.
Chadarryl Clay led the Rams with 20 points shooting 7-9 from the field and hitting 4-5 from beyond the arc. She was 1 of 4 to contribute double digits this game followed by Isis Thorpe (14), Ashley Pegram (12), and Adaeze Alaeze (10). Alaeze also contributed 9 rebounds and Ashlee Mitchell provided 6 assists to the stat sheet.
Now for a few things that won’t appear in other pieces, but are worth noting. Keira Robinson lost her shoe on an offensive play and left it behind as she ran to get back on defense. The crowd witnessed the success of the Peppas fake shot clock to get UMass to shoot prematurely. Also some of the program’s biggest fans are members of the men’s team who make their way into the stands almost every game to support their fellow student-athletes. These are things that show there is so much more to a game than the numbers that end up in official records. It’s that fan interaction that helps influence the energy and creates the moments you miss in statistical recaps.
Click below for fullscreen images
The 65 – 43 victory marks the end of an unfavorable 5 game trend for the Rams and moves them to 15 – 12 on the season and 6 – 8 in conference play. There are 2 remaining games before the tournament begins. Your final chance to see the Rams at home is Sunday March 1st versus their cross town rival University of Richmond before A-10 tournament games commence at the Richmond Coliseum.