Punch out: Men’s Basketball rolls to 59 point victory over Towson on Wednesday night, moves back in to CAA picture

Taylor Howsmon
Sports Editor
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In his heyday, Mike Tyson was known for beating opponents who were supposedly on his level to a pulp in abnormally short amounts of time.

Wednesday night didn’t see any bitten ears or face tattoos, but VCU men’s basketball managed to resemble Tyson in their 112-53 throttling of CAA opponent Towson at the Stuart C. Siegel Center.

“That was a fun game,” said VCU coach Shaka Smart. “I was really happy about our guys on the offensive end … but what I am most proud of is what we did on the defensive end.”

The Rams, behind the explosive shooting of Bradford Burgess (Midlothian/Benedictine) and the unselfish play of Joey Rodriguez (Olviedo, Fla./Lake Howell), were able to gain an early 12-3 advantage in only two minutes.

From there VCU never really looked back as the Rams kept up their hot shooting.

The Rams hit their first six shots shot a sweltering 65 percent from the floor in the first half, including Burgess going 4-5 from the three-point arc.

Burgess had a break out game for VCU, as he was in double figures in the first 10 minutes of the game.

“I saw Brad in the office this morining … and he was in a really good mood. I said to one of my coaches, ‘Brad is going to have a good game tonight,’ ” Smart said.

Good mood and all, Burgess was hot from the opening tip.

“We were ready to play,” Burgess said. “We were excited as a team to get back on the court and prove that we are the best team in the conference.”

After gaining the large, early lead the Rams first got the lead to double digits at the 17:20 mark of the first half, and never let Towson get any closer.

The black and gold had a 55-32 lead at halftime, VCU’s largest output in any first half this season. Many other firsts were to be accomplished in the second.

Larry Sanders (Ft. Pierce, Fla./Port St. Lucie) had his sixth double-double of the season before halftime and at the break, Rodriguez was only four assists away from the VCU all-time record for helpers in a game.

Despite their most outstanding effort of the season in the first half, the Rams would outdo the effort in the second.

With the bench playing most of the second stanza, VCU went 13 for 18 from three in the second half and saw all but one of its players hit the scoreboard.

At the 4:10 mark of the second half, VCU finally reached the milestone on people’s minds: triple digits.

Brandon Rozzell (Richmond/Highland Springs) hit his one of his four 3-pointers of the night to give the Rams 101.

It is only the seventh time since the opening of the Siegel Center that there have been three digits under the VCU name on the scoreboard.

The Rams were far from done; that three at the 4:01 mark was sandwiched in the middle of a streak in which seven straight Rams’ baskets come by way of the three.

When it was mercifully all said and done, the final score read 112-53.

VCU put five players in double figures: Sanders with 17 and 14 rebounds, Burgess with a game-high 22, Rozzell who scored 16, T.J. Gwynn (Burlington, N.C./Cummings) scored 11 and Jay Gavin (Seat Pleasant, Md./Marist University) had 14.

Rodriguez finished the night with 13 assists, three off the single game VCU record.

Although one Ram missed on that record, these 2010 Rams did shatter one VCU record, made three pointers in a game.

VCU hit 20 three pointers Wednesday night, beating the 17 the 2003 hit during a game against William & Mary.

The Rams also won the rebounding battle 46-21.

With the win, VCU is 6-4 in the CAA and 14-5 overall.

With nine games remaining, eight being in conference, VCU has to win down the stretch in order to compete for a shot at a good seed at the CAA tournament.

This journey into the home stretch begins with Georgia State in the homecoming game on Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Siegel Center.

By the numbers

  1. Towson (4-16, 1-9)
  • Philmore 11, Brown 2, Jar. Smith 12, Thornton 12, Lee 9, Ji. Smith 0, Polk 5, Brewster 0 Franklin 2, Quinn 0
  • Totals: 20 8-12 53 3-pointers: Jar. Smith 1, Thornton 2, Lee 1, Polk 1 (team: 5-21)
  1. VCU (14-5, 6-4)
  • Sanders 17, Rodriguez 3, Burgess 22, Skeen 4, Rozzell 16, Gavin 14, Grayson 3, Saintil 5, Theus 2, Pishchalnikov 4, Daniels 9, Hinton 0, Gwynn 11, Nixon 2
  • Totals: 41 10-16 112 3-pointers: Rodriguez 1, Burgess 6, Skeen 1, Rozzell 4, Gavin 4, Grayson 1, Daniels 3 (team: 20-33)

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