Jesse Pellot-Rosa (Richmond, Va./George Wythe) showed what makes him a leader on this year’s Rams team.
With four seconds to play and VCU leading 68-67, Michael Anderson (Virginia Beach, Va./Landstown) was fouled and went to the free-throw line for two shots. He hit the first, but when the second fell off of the rim, Pellot-Rosa put it back up, was fouled, and hit the free throw to give the Rams a 72-67 lead. Georgia State hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to make the final score 72-70, and put the wraps on VCU’s school record 16th conference victory, and second CAA regular season title.
The performance is exactly what has been expected from Pellot-Rosa, the player labeled by coach Anthony Grant as the senior leader following Jan. 17’s victory over UNC Wilmington.
Point guard Eric Maynor (Fayetteville, N.C./Westover) went for another double-double with 16 points and 10 assists. Wil Fameni (Douala, Cameroon/Amelia Academy) also scored 16 points while Pellot-Rosa chipped in 15.
Inside the numbers
VCU (16-2 CAA, 24-6): Fameni 16, Anderson 9, Maynor 16, Walker 6, Pellot-Rosa 15, Coward 3, Shuler 6, Roland 1, Gwynn. Totals: 24 18-29 72. 3-pointers: Pellot-Rosa 3, Shuler 2, Walker.
Georgia State (5-13, 10-19): Perique 13, Cartwright 6, Dickerson 14, Mendez 28, Larris 7, Chase 2, Mitchell 0, Goldston 0, McBride 0, Billingslea 0. Totals: 25 14-23 70. 3-pointers: Mendez 5, Larris.
The Rams fell behind 28-24 at halftime after shooting a disappointing 36 percent from the field. However, VCU turned 17 Georgia State turnovers into 21 points to help make up the difference. The win put an end to a season of surpassed expectations for VCU. The Rams were picked to finish sixth in the conference in the preseason poll.
VCU will be the No. 1 seed in next week’s CAA tournament, hosted at the Richmond Coliseum, where they will receive a first-round bye. They will play Saturday, March 3, at noon against the winner of the Georgia State-William & Mary game.
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