Slow Start Hampers Blue Hens as Delaware Falls to VCU 68-55 in CAA Basketball
January 14, 2012
Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del. -- The University of Delaware could never recover from an agonizing start and VCU used its depth to stay in front as the Blue Hens dropped a 68-55 verdict Saturday afternoon in Colonial Athletic Association men's basketball action at the Bob Carpenter Center.
Delaware (7-9, 3-3 CAA), which dropped its second straight game, misfired on its first 11 shots of the game to fall behind 8-0 and could never grab the lead in dropping its fifth straight contest to a VCU team that advanced all the way to the NCAA Final Four a year ago.
Blue Hen junior forward Josh Brinkley (at right) recorded his second straight double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds, junior forward Jamelle Hagins (below left) posted his 10th double-double of the season with 10 points and 14 rebounds, and sophomore guard Devon Saddler added 10 points to lead the Delaware effort.
VCU (13-5, 4-2) got a game-high 18 points and seven rebounds from senior guard Brandon Burgess, the lone returning starter from the Rams' historic run a year ago. VCU downed the Hens for the 15th time in the last 16 meetings between the two schools. The game marked the only meeting between the two schools this year in regular season play.
The Rams' balance was too much for the Hens as Juvonte Reddic added 11 points and nine rebounds, Treveon Graham came off the bench to score nine points, and D.J. Haley, Darius Theus, and Rob Brandenberg all scored eight points with Theus dishing out a game-high five assists.
"We had one of those night when we just didn't shoot the ball well," said Delaware head coach Monté Ross. "Defensively we were not bad, but as much as we put a premium on that end of the floor, you have to score the ball. But credit VCU because some of those misses can be attributed to their defense. Our inside guys played well enough for us to win. They are our older players and we expect a lot from them.”
Delaware failed to score on its first 13 possessions of the game, shooting 0 of 11 from the field and turning the ball over five times before a Saddler three-pointer with 11:02 left in the opening half finally put the Hens on the board. But the Hens stayed in the game thanks to some tough defense as VCU managed to hit just 2 of its first 11 shots from the field.
Delaware cut the VCU lead to 11-10 on a Hakim McCullar jumper with 8:49 left in the first half and trailed just 17-15 after a Jarvis Threatt free throw with 7:02 remaining but could never get closer. Burgess scored 10 first half points to help VCU build its biggest first half lead at 30-19 with three minutes left before baskets by Delaware's McCullar and Hagins cut the gap to 30-23 at the break.
Brinkley led a second half surge by the Hens, scoring seven points in a 9-4 run that helped Delaware pull to within four points at 36-32 with 15:50 left in the game. But the Hens would never get closer than that the rest of the way as the Rams responded with a 12-2 run thanks to consecutive three-pointers by Graham and Briante Weber and stayed up by double digits for most of the remainder of the game.
Delaware did cut the lead to eight at 48-40 with 9:53 on two Saddler free throws, but VCU answered with an 8-2 run to put the game away.
The Hens finished the game hitting just 31 percent of their shots from the field (18 of 58) and knocking down just 3 of 18 from long range.
VCU shook off a tough shooting performance in the first half (9 of 32) and forged ahead in the second half. The Rams hit seven three-pointers and committed just six turnovers the entire game.
The Blue Hens will continue a tough early-season CAA slate this week when they travel to George Mason on Jan. 18 and host an upstart Georgia State squad on Saturday.
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