From Staff Reports
VCU nabbed its fourth win in its history Wednesday night at the Trask Coliseum in Wilmington, N.C. as the Rams beat UNC Wilmington, 73-60.
Even though leading scorer Larry Sanders (Fort Pierce, Fla./Port St. Lucie) was held scoreless for the first time since Nov. 16, 2008, the Rams were able to dominate the Seahawks down the stretch.
Junior Ed Nixon (St. Petersburg, Fla./Lakewood) scored a career-high 19 points on 7-11 shooting and three 3-pointers.
The Rams started 4-18 from the floor in the first 11 minutes in what seemed like an eerie carbon copy of one of VCU’s toughest losses during the 2008-2009 season. The Rams were upset in that game at Wilmington 81-72, behind poor 3-23 3-point shooting.
However, this was a different night and VCU was not going to be denied as the team shot 10-11 in the next 10 minutes, scoring 31 points in that stretch.
The hot shooting gave the Rams a 40-31 lead at the half.
VCU used a 9-2 run early in the second half to gain a 13 point lead, its largest at the time, and kept the lead at double digits from there.
The Rams got out a 22 point lead at the 4:55 mark of the second half.
UNC Wilmington was able to drop the lead to under 20 against the VCU bench in the final minutes but couldn’t get it any lower than 13.
The Rams locked up the game 73-60 for their eighth conference win of the season, moving them into a tie for fourth in the league.
Nixon’s 19 was joined by Joey Rodriguez’ (Olviedo, Fla./Lake Howell) 18. Bradford Burgess (Midlothian/Benedictine) and freshman Troy Daniels (Roanoke/William Fleming) scored seven.
Although Sanders, battling foul trouble, did not score he lead the Rams with 10 rebounds in 19 minutes on the floor.
Chad Tomko was the only Seahawk in double figures with 11.
VCU (16-5, 8-4) plays host to arch-rival Old Dominion at the Stuart C. Siegel Center on Saturday.
With George Mason’s upset loss at Georgia State, the CAA is wide open with three teams (ODU, Northeastern and Mason) tied at the top and two (VCU and Drexel) tied for fourth.
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