Women’s basketball posted an 0-3 record over the past week, falling to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Georgia State University and Mercer University, the latter two matchups taking place in the Georgia State Thanksgiving Classic tournament. The Black and Gold fell to 0-5 on the season.
Despite 18 points and 10 boards from freshman guard Tera Reed, VCU fell to the Bears of Mercer University Sunday afternoon by a final of 70-54.
VCU beat themselves as much as the Bears did. The Rams committed 21 turnovers leading to 24 Mercer points. The Black and Gold couldn’t make up for their sloppy play on the offensive end either, as they shot 33 percent from the field on the afternoon.
Reed led all scorers Sunday and has amassed an impressive 64 points over the first five games of her freshman campaign. She’s averaging 12.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game in a starting role right off the bat.
Sophomore guard Jailyn Maddox was the only other Ram in double figures against Mercer. Maddox poured in 12 points on 4-8 shooting.
VCU’s young, dynamic guard duo of Reed and Maddox has been an early bright spot in an otherwise disheartening campaign for the Black and Gold, who only sport two upperclassman on their roster.
Georgia State hosted VCU for the opening game of the GSU Thanksgiving Classic on Friday. VCU nearly survived a late rally by the Panthers, but were ousted at the last moment to fall to 0-4.
Although the Rams were 0-3 to begin the season, the team put up a dominant first-half effort against Georgia State, finishing off the half with a 37-20 lead. The half kicked off with a 7-0 run. The 17-point advantage featured an overwhelming second-quarter by VCU, as the Rams outscored Georgia State 21-8.
However, the Panthers rallied back in the third quarter, besting the Black and Gold by 10 points. The Rams stumbled in the final frame as GSU put up 17 points. VCU could only manage five and the matchup concluded with Georgia State barely edging the Rams 61-56.
Junior forward Bria Gibson led the VCU offense with a career-high 15 points, while Reed added 11 of her own to the effort. Maddox scored another 10, with fellow sophomore guard Nyra Williams tallying 5 points, a career-best, 8 assists and 3 steals.
The Rams’ defense held GSU to a 32.7 shooting percentage from the floor, while the VCU offense achieved a 42.3 percentage. The real difference was made at the free throw line, as GSU went 22-26, while the Black and Gold finished just 8-18.
VCU visited UNC Greensboro on Tuesday, with the Spartans having posted a 3-1 record to open the season.
The matchup opened in favor of the North Carolina-based team, as a first-quarter surge left VCU in an early 25-8 hole. The Black and Gold rallied to outscore the Spartans 20-11 in the second quarter, leaving them trailing by only eight going into halftime.
Greensboro edged the Rams in the third stanza of the game by two points, with the 18-16 quarter edge giving them a 10 point lead. VCU fought back in the fourth, scoring 17, but the Spartans continued their hot streak, tallying 20 points of their own to seal the game.
Although the Rams fell to 0-3 with the loss, Reed put up 13 points and Williams added a career-high 10 of her own.
Freshman guard Delphynia Sparks added another 10, and Gibson tallied eight points and 11 rebounds.
Women’s basketball will look to get in the win column Wednesday evening when they take on the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in the Tarheel state. The Rams next home game is Wednesday, Dec. 6 against Old Dominion University.
Adam Cheek, Contributing Writer