Women’s basketball win six of seven

Sterling Giles
Contributing Writer

Sophomore guard Keira Robinson attempts a layup against University of Rhode Island on Thursday, Jan. 8. Robinson finished with 10 points, three rebounds, two steals and one assist in the 64-48 home win. Photo by Brooke Marsh

VCU women’s basketball team has been clicking on all cylinders, winning six of their last seven games.

The team’s record was unblemished in the latter half of December, going 5-0. While the team fell to Saint Joseph’s University at home in the first game of the new year, the Rams responded with a 64-48 win against Rhode Island University on Thursday, Jan. 8, extending their home winning streak to 7-0 this season.

After splitting the team’s first two games played in December, the five-game winning streak began with an 80-73 win against North Carolina-Greensboro University at the Siegel Center Dec. 14, which served as a testament to the team’s resilience. This game marked the first time all season that more than two Rams had scored double-digit points; four players were in double-figures. Junior combo guard/forward Adaeze Alaeze had her first start of the season and posted a season-best 17 points.

The Rams trampled their next two opponents at home. The team won 81-59 in the Dec. 18 tilt against High Point University and 64-43 against Texas-Pan American University in the Dec. 21 game.

The largest disparity in statistics between VCU and its two opponents was in rebounds and fast break points. The team outrebounded High Point 48-37 and Texas-Pan American 53-33, respectively. Also, on the fast break, the Rams posted nine points to HPU’s six and 14 points to UTPA’s seven.

Once again, four Rams posted double-digit points in the Dec. 18 contest led by sophomore guard Isis Thorpe’s 22 points, including five three-pointers. In the Dec. 21 tilt, Thorpe had another impressive showing with 14 points and a career-high eight rebounds. The team as a whole had two impressive runs in this game, with a 7-0 run going into the half and a 15-0 run at about halfway through the second half. This victory marked head coach Beth O’Boyle’s 100th career win.

After a strong showing at the homestead, the Rams traveled to Baltimore, Maryland to take on Coppin State University in the Dec. 28 contest. Statistically, CSU overpowered VCU but the Rams managed to outlast with a 63-52 victory. Sophomore guard Keira Robinson led the team with 22 points and sophomore combo guard/forward Camille Calhoun led the team with 13 rebounds.

The Rams returned to the Siegel Center for their last game of 2014 against North Carolina A&T University. O’Boyle’s team managed to pull away for a 60-51 win due to strong offensive performances from sophomore guard Ashley Pegram and Thorpe. Pegram finished with 19 points and Thorpe with 18. This marked the end of out-of-conference play and the beginning of in-conference play beginning with Saint Joseph’s University.

The Rams’ five-game streak was halted by the Hawks in the Jan. 3 contest. SJU dominated VCU statistically and won 63-46. VCU shot an abysmal 28 percent from the field and was outplayed offensively and defensively.

Despite the blowout loss, head coach O’Boyle felt her team played hard but said that SJU was attacking efficiently on the offensive end.

“I thought our team came out and played hard,” O’Boyle said. “Obviously when St. Joe’s comes out and has the half like they did, where they are shooting the ball so well, you really have no room for error.”

The Rams would rebound against a Rhode Island University team that had the same win total as VCU (9). VCU made easy work of URI, winning the contest 64-48. Again, four Rams players scored double-digits with Monnazjea Finney-Smith leading the way with 14 points. Alaeza registered a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds. Thorpe and Robinson finished with 10 points each. The Rams finished the first half 40-17, easily their biggest lead entering the break this season.

Up next for the Rams will be a one-game road trip against Saint Louis University on Monday, Jan. 12 before returning to the Verizon Wireless Center to host Davidson College on Thursday, Jan. 15.

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