When you’re hot, you’re hot. And right now VCU senior Kita Waller (Gainesville, Ga./Gainesville) could melt the snow on the ground with the touch of a finger. The guard has scored in double figures in seven of VCU’s last eight games and this past weekend led the Rams to a pair of CAA wins and made a little history in the process. In Thursday night’s game against UNC Wilmington, Waller scored 35 points, a new record for a VCU women’s basketball player. VCU won that game 75-63. Sunday Waller followed up her earlier performance with 28 points in VCU’s 53-39 win over Georgia State. “We’ve just had to step up. I know that if I get things going then my teammates will respond,” Waller said. Sunday’s game with Georgia State started ugly for both teams as they committed 25 combined turnovers. The 18 committed by VCU was higher than the amount that they average for an entire game but to the Rams credit, Georgia State was only allowed to score seven points off turnovers in the first half as the VCU defense held them to 30 percent shooting and only 17 points. “It was a great defensive effort,” VCU coach Beth Cunningham. “We didn’t do as good of a job as we would have liked taking care of the ball but we told our kids afterward that to turn it over 27 times and still win by the margin we did says a lot about what we did defensively.” Another impressive statistic for VCU was the fact that they half Georgia State’s Danyiell McKeller to only seven points on 3-13 shooting. McKeller came into the game averaging 19.4 points per game, good for fourth in the CAA and 18th best in the nation. “She was definitely a focus for us coming into the game,” Cunningham said. “Our kids did a great job executing our game plan and limiting her touches.” With their lead scorer held in check, the Panthers had trouble all day manufacturing points. Georgia State was held to its season low in points with only 39 on the day. Despite the ineptitude of the Georgia State offense, VCU was not able to pull away in the game until mid-way through the second half when the Rams gained their first double-digit lead at 34-24 with 13:47 remaining. That lead came during the back end of the 11-2 run they opened the half with and from there, VCU never looked back. When it was all said and done, VCU held a 53-39 victory and maintained their share of first place in the CAA. To go along with Waller’s 28, the Rams got double-figure scoring from Courtney Hurt (Loganville, Ga./Salem) who had 11. Shay Rawls was the only Panther in double figures with 10. The Rams look to move to continue their winning ways as they look for their 10th win in 11 games Thursday at home against James Madison.
By the numbers
Georgia State (12-8, 3-6) Burtts 8, McKeller 7, Rawls 10, Graham 3, Johnson 7, Anderson 2, Haltiwanger 0, Sumpter 2, Paulk 0
Totals: 14 9-17 39
3-pointers: Burtts 1, Graham 1 (team: 2-10)
VCU (15-6,8-1) Moss 6, Hurt 11, Lane 5, Patterson 1, Waller 28, Hobson 0, Solomon 0, Taylor 0, Watts 0, Snyder 0, Perry 2, Adebayo 0
Totals: 17 15-18 53
3-pointers: Waller 4 (team 4-10)