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VCU Rams lose in A10 title game

 

Scroll down to the bottom for video and post game reaction

BROOKLYN, NY (WTVR) — The VCU Rams again fell short in the A-10 title game, this year losing to St Joseph’s 65-61. It is the second straight year the Rams have made it to the A-10’s championship game only to come up short.

The Rams fell behind early as the Hawks jumped out to an 11-4 lead behind the play of tournament MVP Kalil Kanacevic who finished the game with 11 points and 14 rebounds.
But VCU rallied to close the gap to just four points at halftime, despite not getting any points from their leading scorere, Treveon Graham.

‘They (St Joseph’s) had a good game plan” said senior guard Rob Brandenberg. “They made us hold the ball a little bit. When we were aggressive, I thought we were getting anything we wanted.”

Graham wasted no time scoring in the second half, getting his first basket just 24 seconds in. He and Brandenberg combined to score 17 of the Rams first 19 points of the second half. The Rams took their first lead of the game with 12:38 to play on a Graham 3 pointer. He finished with 15 points total.

But St Joseph’s relied on their starters, who played all but 7 minutes in the game to withstand VCU’s Havoc defense. Kanacevic scored 11 points and hauled in 14 rebounds, while Ronald Roberts added 15, and Galloway a game high 19 including 5 3 pointers, some coming deep in the shot clock.

“We were right there in the press several times” said VCU head coach Shaka Smart. “They were just able to make those plays to get the ball out of those traps. We’ve gotta be a half-step better in those situations.”

Brandenberg picked up most of the slack for the injured Melvin Johnson, leading the Rams with 18 points. And while VCU will play again later this week in the NCAA tournament, this loss was particularly tough to take.

After losing last year to St. Louis, the long offseason, preseason, then the season is long” said Brandenberg. “We worked so hard just to get to this moment. To come up short is heartbreaking”

“To their credit, our guys really want to win bad” said Smart, who is now 1-3 in conference title games at VCU. “You’d rather have guys like that, then to have guys who blow it off, and turn the page and say it’s no big deal.”

 

Lane Casadonte March 16, 20143:13 pm

Juvonte Reddic in tears as the Rams come off the court. Amazing effort comes up just short for VCU

Lane Casadonte March 16, 20143:11 pm

That will about wrap it up. St Joes wins their first a-10 title since 1997 over the Rams.

Scott Wise March 16, 20143:09 pm

64-61 St. Joe’s :20 to play

Sean Robertson March 16, 20143:06 pm

62-58 St. Joe’s 34 seconds left

Sean Robertson March 16, 20143:06 pm

61-56 St. Joe’s 41 secs

Scott Wise March 16, 20143:05 pm

61-56 St. Joe’s :54 to play

Lane Casadonte March 16, 20143:01 pm

St Joe’s gets a huge 3 from Galloway and a huge slam from Roberts to take a 5 point lead with 1:28 to go

Scott Wise March 16, 20143:01 pm

59-54 St. Joe’s 1:28 to play

Scott Wise March 16, 20143:00 pm

57-54 St. Joe’s 1:30 to play

Scott Wise March 16, 20142:58 pm

54-54 2:50 to play

Lane Casadonte March 16, 20142:55 pm

Free throws might end up deciding this. Both teams are 4 of 9 from the line today

Scott Wise March 16, 20142:53 pm

52-51 VCU 3:43 to play

Scott Wise March 16, 20142:49 pm

50-48 VCU 5:00 to play

Lane Casadonte March 16, 20142:42 pm

Kalil Kanacevic has returned to the game. he’s scored two straight buckets for the Hawks as they tie the game at 48. No one is really in any foul trouble as there were only 7 total called in the first half.

Sean Robertson March 16, 20142:37 pm

Rob Brandenberg has 13 of his 18 points scored in the 2nd half.

Sean Robertson March 16, 20142:37 pm

VCU has their largest lead of the game.  Now it’s down to four. 

Sean Robertson March 16, 20142:35 pm

Cox makes one of two free throws

Scott Wise March 16, 20142:29 pm

Lane Casadonte March 16, 20142:25 pm

Rob Brandenberg and Langston Galloway are trading 3s. Game still tied at 40. VCU has yet to lead in this game

Lane Casadonte March 16, 20142:21 pm

Rob Brandenberg hits a 3 to tie the game at 35. St Joe’s offense looks out of sync to start the second half. VCU’s defense has a lot to do with that.

Sean Robertson March 16, 20142:14 pm

Kanacevic is a tough matchup.  Rams down two…31-29

Lane Casadonte March 16, 20141:56 pm

St Joes leads 28-24 at the half. Juvonte Reddic leads Rams with 6, Langston Galloway has 9 for the Hawks. Treveon Graham has not scored yet, but looks winded coming out of the game. Rams shooting 33% while the Hawks are shooting 46%. Rams have forced 8 turnovers while the Hawks lead in rebounding 21-17

Scott Wise March 16, 20141:47 pm

The Hawk is shedding. #LetsGoVCU photo by willweaverrva

Scott Wise March 16, 20141:46 pm

Lane Casadonte March 16, 20141:45 pm

Melvin Johnson may be injured and on the sidelines but nothing wrong with his voice!!! Letting the refs know what he finds offensive with the St Joe’s offense

Scott Wise March 16, 20141:44 pm

 Graphic h/t cbssports.com

Scott Wise March 16, 20141:35 pm

Graphic h/t cbssports.com

Lane Casadonte March 16, 20141:34 pm

Kalil Kanacevic set a midcourt pick on JeQuan Lewis that almost knocked him out. But Lewis got up to grab another steal, Rams could not convert on offensive end. If there’s a weakness to this VCU team, it’s their halfcourt offense and St Joes is making them spend a lot of time doing just that

Lane Casadonte March 16, 20141:29 pm

Barclay’s Center got very loud during that VCU 7-0 run, highlighted by Juvonte Reddic’s steal and slam. But Langston Galloway hits a 3 to give the Hawks a 14-11 lead halfway through first half. VCU still not shooting great from floor just 5 for 19

Lane Casadonte March 16, 20141:22 pm

St Joe’s playing good defense, forcing tough shots for VCU. And then breaking out and getting good looks underneath. Hawks lead 11-4 as VCU calls timeout

Scott Wise March 16, 20141:18 pm

Sloppy start…

Lane Casadonte March 16, 20141:16 pm

Both teams dealing with some jitters through the first 4 mintues. Kanacevic has all 4 of St Joes points

Scott Wise March 16, 20141:08 pm

Lane Casadonte March 16, 20141:07 pm

Easily the biggest crowd of the weekend At least 65% black and gold

Scott Wise March 16, 20141:06 pm

Lane Casadonte March 16, 201412:55 pm

VCU Band leader Ryan Kopaci broke out the Ric Flair robe for today’s title game. WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

Lane Casadonte March 16, 201412:44 pm

VCU will have to reign in Halil Kanacevic. The Staten Island native had just 7 points and 10 rebounds in St Joe’s win in the regular season, but totaled 26 points and 17 rebounds in yesterday’s win over St Bonaventure

Sean Robertson March 16, 201412:43 pm

VCU going for their 2nd conference title win in the last three seasons.  The Rams won the CAA in 2012.

Scott Wise March 16, 201412:41 pm

“The rams are ready! #winformelvin” via MadMain

Scott Wise March 16, 201412:38 pm

Lane Casadonte March 16, 201412:34 pm

The latest “bracketology” updates:

ESPN –
Virginia as a 3 seed, VCU as a 6 seed, both headed to Raleigh

CBS Sports –
Same as ESPN

USAToday –

Virginia as a 2 seed in the West regional headed to Raleigh and VCU as a 5 seed in the East regional, but starting out in San Diego.

Hard to imagine the NCAA sending the Rams to the West Coast twice in 3 years

Scott Wise March 16, 201412:31 pm

Sean Robertson March 16, 201412:27 pm

Today marks the fourth straight time that VCU has played in a conference title game.

Scott Wise March 16, 201412:26 pm

Here is Lane Casadonte’s report from Brooklyn on Saturday night.

Lane Casadonte March 16, 201412:25 pm

The Peppas warming up for today’s A-10 title game at Barclay’s…

Scott Wise March 16, 201412:14 pm

VCU Peppas band outside Barclays Center video by Matt Norlander

Scott Wise March 16, 201412:13 pm

Scott Wise March 16, 201412:12 pm

Scott Wise March 16, 201412:05 pm

Take a look at Coach Smart and the steps he takes both on and off the court towards helping the VCU Basketball program move forward in his quest for March success.

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