Lancers Unable To Match VCU On Inside or Outside

Published 3:58 pm Thursday, December 27, 2012

RICHMOND – The Longwood University men's basketball team was turned inside-out in its 93-56 loss to Virginia Commonwealth University last Friday at the Siegel Center in Richmond.

The Rams scored at will in the paint, and had no trouble shooting from beyond the three-point arc in the Lancers' last non-conference road game of the season.

Not a good combination for Longwood's chances at pulling an upset, but one that the Lancers hope will prove to be helpful as they move toward Big South play.

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“We've had six high-profile games,” said LU head coach Mike Gillian, who has been looking forward to answering a question about upcoming league play – any league for a number of years. “These games are teaching tools for us, and they're now done. We won't play anybody who plays defense like VCU. We won't play anybody who can score with the efficiency of Creighton. We won't play anybody with the length of Georgetown and Marshall.

“All of those things are going to be more difficult than what we're going to face when we play our competitive equals.”

Virginia Commonwealth showed why it could lay claim to being the best basketball program in the state by building a 13-2 lead less than four minutes in the game. The combination of 6-9 center Juvonte Reddic and the VCU guards, led early on by Treveon Graham, gave the Rams a comfortable early advantage they would hold for the rest of the game.

Longwood guard Tristan Carey was hot early on, and helped the Lancers remain within striking distance. Carey scored a three-pointer with 14:45 left in the half to cut VCU's lead to 16-8.

After another short VCU run, Longwood guard Jeylani Dublin scored on a layup and a three-pointer at the 11:31 mark to cut VCU's lead to eight points at 22-14.

That was as close as the Lancers could get. VCU steadily pulled away. A three-pointer by David Robinson cut the Rams' lead to 31-19, but VCU's defense was too dominating for the Lancers. Multiple turnovers helped the Rams to a 21-point lead at the 4:52 mark after a three-pointer by Troy Daniels.

Longwood managed to cut the lead just before the half on a rare four-point play by Robinson. He was fouled by Nick Brown with just two seconds left, and hit the foul shot to pull LU back under 20 points at 50-31.

It didn't take long for VCU to reestablish its dominance in the paint in the second half. A thundering dunk by Reddic and a three-pointer by Daniels gave a preview of what was to come.

Longwood cut the Rams' lead back under 20 points (59-40) on a Robinson jumper with 18 minutes remaining, but VCU took complete control from there. The Rams built as much as a 44-point lead at 86-42 with 7:22 left to play, before both teams started to substitute.

VCU held a 38-28 advantage over Longwood on points in the paint and scored 42 from behind the arc, compared to the Lancers' 18. The two teams posted identical rebounding numbers of 34 (12 on the offensive glass). Longwood committed 27 turnovers, compared to 12 for VCU. The Rams held a 19-9 advantage in steals and a 27-9 advantage in assists.

Longwood shot 41.5 percent from the floor (22-53), 40 percent from behind the arc (6-15) and 50 percent from the foul line (6-12).

VCU shot 51.4 percent (36-70) from the floor, 50 percent (14-28) from three and 77.8 percent (7-9) at the foul line.

The Lancers were led in scoring by Robinson, who had 18 points on the evening. Carey scored 17 points and pulled down seven rebounds, and Jeylani Dublin scored ten points. Freshman Michael Kessens led the team with nine rebounds.

VCU was led by Daniels, who had 25 points, while Reddic scored 20 and led the team with five rebounds. Graham added 16 points and Rob Brandenberg chipped in 11. Darius Theus and Briante Weber were credited with nine assists apiece.

Longwood will wrap up its pre-league schedule on Monday, December 31 at home against Fairleigh Dickinson, and will begin Big South play on Saturday, January 5, at home against Coastal Carolina at 2 p.m.

“Right now, after this long road trip, we're tired,” said Gillian. “But, I think after the break, we'll be fresher and ready to go.”