Noah Fleischman, Sports Editor
Heading into the Atlantic 10 tournament, coach Beth O’Boyle wanted her team to win the rebounding battle. On the first defensive possession, redshirt-sophomore forward Samantha Robinson caught an elbow to the face going for a rebound.
The Bradford, Canada, native went to the locker room, received stitches and came back to the court.
“She’s really tough, and she had some really big plays for us,” O’Boyle said of Robinson.
The Rams beat Davidson 69-52 in the A-10 second round on Thursday afternoon at the Stuart C. Siegel Center.
Senior guard Tera Reed led the way with 20 points. Redshirt-sophomore forward Chloe Bloom added 13 points and a career-high 16 rebounds, her first-career double-double.
“My mentality just was to win every board for my teammates,” Bloom said. “I was just doing that so we could flow and play like us.”
Bloom’s previous career-high was six rebounds, but O’Boyle said she told Bloom she wanted her to be physical on the court in the game. Bloom rose to the occasion.
“She was so strong out there and it was a difference maker for us,” O’Boyle said of Bloom’s play.
The Rams’ defense only allowed the Wildcats to log nine offensive rebounds, leading to only 6 second chance points.
“We really talked about really owning the defensive boards and not allowing second chance points,” O’Boyle said.
It was a slow start from deep for the Rams, missing their first five attempts. Then, black and gold found its stroke from long range, hitting two 3-pointers to cap a 7-0 run. The second-quarter scoring outburst gave the Rams a 3-point lead.
Late in the quarter, senior guard Taya Robinson hit her second 3-pointer of the afternoon from the top of the key, falling down as she released the ball. She logged 10 of her team-high _ points in the first half.
VCU held Davidson to one made basket in the final five minutes of the second quarter.
“Our mindset was to get stops, two in a row,” Robinson said. “Our defense fueled our offense, so we just wanted to get stops.”
Robinson scored 18 points in the contest and added eight rebounds.
The black and gold shot 50% from the field in the second quarter after recording a 23.8% clip in the first quarter.
The Rams opened the third quarter on a quick 7-0 run, including a Robinson 3-pointer from the right corner. VCU’s defense limited Davidson to nine points in the period on 3-of-15 shooting.
Reed made eight free throws in the fourth quarter, six stemming from technical fouls assessed to Davidson’s bench. The Wildcats’ head coach Gayle Fulks and an assistant were ejected due to the technicals.
The Rams will play Rhode Island on Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. at the Stuart C. Siegel Center. The game will be televised on ESPN+.