VCU Defeats Monarchs, 74-53
By ODU Athletics
RICHMOND, Va. -- Five Virginia Commonwealth players finished in double-figure points and the Rams exploded for 43 second-half points to earn a 74-53 victory over Colonial Athletic Association rival Old Dominion in men's basketball Saturday afternoon at the ALLTEL Pavilion at the Stuart C. Siegel Center. ODU drops to 12-15 overall and 7-8 in the CAA.
Old Dominion played without the CAA's leading rebounder, Clifton Jones (Pleasantville, NJ.) who has a deep left thigh bruise suffered in the George Mason game earlier in the week.
Rasheed Wright (Greensboro, NC.) led the Monarchs with 18 points, hitting on 13-of-13 free throws. Ricardo Marsh (Mebane, NC.) added ten points and led with five rebounds.
VCU led by five points, 31-26, at halftime but outscored the Monarchs 16-8 in the opening minutes of the second half to take a commaning 47-34 lead with 13:38 left to play. The Rams held ODU to just 23.1% (6-26) shooting after intermission and the Monarchs never could get to the lead to within single digits after VCU's early-second period run.
Freshmen Domonic Jones (Chesterfield, Va./Manchester) and Johnnie Story (Hampton, Va./Hampton) led a balanced Rams' offensive attack with 12 points each, while senior Bo Jones (Richmond, Va./Huguenot) scored all of his 10 points in the second half to help VCU pull away. The Rams also received 10 points each from senior L.F. Likcholitov (St. Petersburg, Russia/St. Petersburg St. Tech. Univ.) and sophomore Willie Taylor (Smryna, Tenn./LaVergne), and the inside duo combined for 17 rebounds as the Rams owned a 40-31 overall advantage on the boards.
With the win VCU improved to 16-12 overall and 9-6 in CAA play and assured itself of its first winning season since the 1996-97 campaign. The Rams also won for the 11th straight time in the ALLTEL Pavilion and upped its record to 12-1 on their home floor this season.
The Monarchs host UNC Wilmington Monday night in the final regular season home game at 7:35 p.m. in the fieldhouse. The four Monarchs seniors, Andre McCullum (Whiteville, NC.), Heath Burris (Va. Beach, Va.), Clifton Jones (Pleasantville, NJ.) and Michael Williams (Thomasville, Ga.) will be honored before the game.