The women’s basketball team competed in its first game of the season Friday morning at the Siegel Center against Coppin State University, defeating the visiting Bald Eagles 73-42.
It was Education Day at the Stu and nearly 2,300 fans, the majority being elementary school children, came out to support the Lady Rams and to have fun participating in shooting contests and relays on the court in between the new 10-minute quarters.
“It was a lot of fun. We had a lot of fun out there, I mean it’s always fun winning, but we have a lot of kids that look up to us, it’s always fun,” said junior guard Keira Robinson.
Alongside Robinson, senior Adaeze Alaeze, juniors Chadarryl Clay, Camille Calhoun and Ashley Pegram started off on the court. The Rams came out strong and aggressive during the first quarter of the game, hitting 50 percent of their shots (8 out of 16) and forcing seven turnovers against the Eagles causing a booming lead of 25-6 with a closed out 14-0 run for VCU.
Coppin came out with nerves as they only got to manage two first quarter field goals. The Lady Rams controlled the pace early as they started off with a full-court press.
“We talked about the point of emphasis for us is to dictate the tempo and obviously our pressing allows us to do that,” said head coach Beth O’Boyle. “I think our players, their athleticism, their energy, it really comes out when we are up pressing.”
Pegram led three Rams in double figures as she had 13 points. Her active energy brought out buckets for Clay and Robinson as they reached double digits as well to add on to the scoreboard. Robinson also contributed with seven assists, six rebounds and three steals in an all-around effort.
Sophmore forward Curteeona Brelove made a comeback after being injured most of last season with a recorded career-best of eight points and 10 rebounds in 14 minutes off the bench for the Rams. VCU used a balanced attack to roll the Eagles. Nine Rams recorded at least one bucket and seven players scored at least seven points.
“We did a good job of sharing the ball and also, I think especially in the first half, we were moving the ball so well getting that little inside out and pulled them out of their zone,” O’Boyle said. “That’s something obviously you’re obviously trying to do and credit to our players I think they bonded to what the game plan was, but then the next step to that is to go out and to execute and today they did a great job.”
VCU ended with a 56-29 advantage on the glass. The Rams also turned 22 Coppin turnovers into 26 points. The Rams outscored the Eagles in the paint 36-20 and 22-3 on second chance opportunities.
VCU will head to New Rochelle, New York to take on Iona on Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m.
Malinka Walters, Contributing Writer