RICHMOND- Despite the feisty play of 12th seeded Delaware, the VCU Rams were able to hold a big second half lead, winning their first round match up, 66-49.
The Rams held a 37-21 lead at halftime and pushed it to 47-25 after opening the half on a 10-4 spurt.
From that opening advantage the Fightin’ Blue Hens truly lived up to their name, outscoring VCU 16-6 narrowing the margin to 53-41 and making the suddenly-cold fifth seed a little nervous.
However, VCU was too much down the stretch, responding with a 9-1 run, pushing the lead back over 20 and finally putting away the gritty Blue Hens.
The VCU defense was the story, Delaware’s 49 points is the lowest any team has scored against the Rams all season. VCU also held Delaware leading scorer Jawan Carter to only eight points. It is the first time the Blue Hens’ star has scored in single digits in 23 games, that was the longest streak in the CAA.
Larry Sanders led the Rams with 15 points, he also nailed down a double-double as he grabbed 13 rebounds. Two other Rams went for double figures: Joey Rodriguez (Oviedo, Fla./Lake Howell) had 12 and Bradford Burgess (Midlothian/Benedictine) had 10.
The Rams out rebounded Delaware 39-29 and hit nine threes in the win.
VCU advances to play no. 4 George Mason in tomorrow’s 2:30 game.