The Richmond men's basketball team was out-muscled on rebounds by Virginia Commonwealth University in the Siegel Center Friday night and lost 74-87.
The Rams grabbed 20 more rebounds than the Spiders.
"They were just more aggressive than we were," T.J. Cline, who led Richmond with 22 points, said when asked what went wrong with Richmond's rebounding. But VCU coach Will Wade mentioned another reason for the huge rebounding disparity.
"There's a little bit of a difference in physicality level," Wade said.
VCU's Mo Alie-Cox said after the game that Richmond did not box out, and that the players just rushed toward the glass and tried to turn rebounds into a jumping contest.
When asked if this was a fair assessment of his team, Richmond coach Chris Mooney said, "Tonight, it seems like it, yeah."
In the first half, both teams played well offensively from the floor. VCU's 3-pointers and dunks gave the team an early lead, but the Spiders hung close with steals and layups.
By halftime, the score was 42-38 in favor of VCU. The Spiders and Rams were fairly even from the field with both teams making 55 percent of their shots. The biggest difference came from the Spiders' inability to rebound well – VCU had 20 rebounds compared to only eight for Richmond.
The Rams began the second half by dominating from beyond the arc. The only thing more golden than the Siegel Center's crowd was Melvin Johnson's shot-making.
Johnson scored 20 points, 12 of which were from 3-pointers, and tied the VCU school record for most career 3-pointers with 269.
Johnson, along with Alie-Cox and JeQuan Lewis who both posted double-doubles by accumulating double-digit numbers in two of the five statistical categories, helped VCU to a 17-point lead five minutes into the second half, and it felt as if the game was over at that point.
Midway through the second half, though, the Spiders made a seven-point run to bring the game back within reach. But the momentum change was short-lived because VCU continued to make 3-pointers and dunks, further hyping up the crowd and overwhelming Richmond.
By the end of the game, VCU was in full control of the rebounding battle. The Rams took advantage of their rebounding opportunities to score more 3-pointers and dunks throughout the game.
Contact sports assistant Aidan Logan at firstname.lastname@example.org