Lady Rams resurgent under Stollings’ leadership

Alonzo Small
Contributing Writer

VCU women’s basketball head coach Marlene Stollings’ second-year campaign helped the Lady Rams tie for the 12th largest turnaround in the nation by tallying twice as many wins than the team did in 2012-13.

On Twitter, Stollings thanked VCU fans for their support and an exciting year.

“Year one of Fury ends w/ 22 wins & post season appearance. Thank you Ram Nation for making it extra special! Only the beginning..#FuryStrong,” Stollings tweeted.

For the sixth time in school history and the first since the 2009-10 season, the Lady Rams registered a 20-win season. The Lady Rams finished with 22 wins, the third-most in program history.

Stollings’ 2013-14 team entered the record books as the highest-scoring team in the history of the program. In 32 games played, the Lady Rams averaged 75.8 points per game, 41 rebounds and 15.4 assists while running the Fury offense.

VCU ranked fifth in the nation in steals, registering 11.5 steals per game in the vaunted 2-3 zone defense. The Lady Rams also ranked eighth in turnover margin (+6.28).

In a season that opened with the Lady Rams winning 14 of their first 15 games, the Rams scored more than 80 points in 10 wins this season, an eight-game turnaround from the 2012-13 season. The Rams topped 90 points in five winning matchups. Further, the Lady Rams set a school record in points, scoring 112 twice in wins against Atlantic 10 conference foes University of Massachusetts and George Mason University.

VCU set a school record with 235-made three-pointers this past season, averaging 7.3 three-pointers per game, good for 45th nationally. The Lady Rams saw departing senior forward Robyn Parks finish her career sixth all-time in scoring, third all-time in career free throws, seventh in rebounding, 10th in steals, fifth in double-doubles and second in games played. The WNBA prospect was named to the Richmond Times-Dispatch’s annual Division I All-State First Team, and has already been selected to the A-10 All-Conference First Team, as well as the All-Defensive and All-Tournament teams.

Freshman guard Keira Robinson dished out the most assists ever by a VCU freshman with 200, which was also good for the third most in school history. Robinson also was selected to the Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team.

Sophomore guard Jessica Pellechio ranked in the nation’s top-100 in three-pointers made while shooting 34.8 percent.

Ending her second year as head coach, Stollings is 33-29 with one postseason berth. The Lady Rams’ coach is no stranger to turning around teams, as evidenced by the job Stollings did with the Big South Conference’s Winthrop Eagles. In one year as head coach, Stollings coached the team to an 18-13 season, the second winning season for the Eagles in a 26-year span, en route to earning the Big South’s Coach of the Year honors before leaving for VCU.

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