The men’s basketball team looked to bounce back a day after suffering such a shockingly lopsided loss to Florida State University. Their second opponent in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off was Long Beach State University on Friday Nov. 22nd.
VCU fans and college basketball enthusiast were eager to see how Shaka Smart and his talented team handled themselves after their first loss of the season.
The first half of the game started out very even as neither team could separate itself from the other on the scoreboard. LBSU seemed to be prepared for the patented Havoc pressing style as they took care of the ball very well and went into halftime 36-35 with a one-point lead.
LBSU came out swinging in the second half and built up a 50-42 lead over the seemingly sluggish Rams until a 13-0 run by VCU led by senior guard Rob Brandenberg who finished the game as the Rams leading scorer with 19 points.
LBCU regained the lead 58-57 until a second VCU surge gave them a 68-60 lead with 2 minutes and 45 seconds left in the contest.
The leadership of junior point guard Briante Weber became evident. He finished with 16 points 6 rebounds and 5 assists and had a positive impact on his teammates’ morale.
Senior forward Juvonte Reddic tallied his first double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds as he and junior guard Treveon Graham (12 pts) made numerous clutch plays late to fend off a stubborn LBSU team.
With the close 73-67 win, the Rams will try to leave San Juan with a 2-1 tournament record as they look forward to a matchup on Sunday with the prestigious Georgetown University Hoyas at 2 p.m. on ESPNU.