The Collegian
Saturday, March 25, 2023

Men’s basketball stifled by VCU in second Capital City Classic meeting

<p>Senior Neal Quinn during men's basketball game against VCU on Feb. 24. Photo courtesy of Richmond Athletics.&nbsp;</p>

Senior Neal Quinn during men's basketball game against VCU on Feb. 24. Photo courtesy of Richmond Athletics. 

The University of Richmond men’s basketball team lost to Virginia Commonwealth University 73-58 at the Stuart C. Siegel Center Feb. 24. 

The last time UR took on VCU, Jan. 20 at the Robins Center, the Rams emerged victorious. This time around, the Capital City Classic swung in VCU’s favor for the second time this year. 

UR opened the game with a 7-2 lead early in the first half. Senior forward Tyler Burton scored UR’s first seven points. 

Burton committed two early fouls, forcing UR to lean on its bench early in the first half. 

By the 12:29 minute mark of the first half, the Spiders carried a six-point lead over VCU, 17-11. But, until the 5:25 mark, UR was held scoreless by the Rams’ defense. During that stretch, the Rams went on a 14-0 run to surge ahead 25-17 before senior center Neal Quinn’s jumper to end the drought. 

By the end of the first half, the deficit grew larger as VCU carried a 37-23 lead into halftime. 

“I thought the biggest thing that hurt us in that first half was offensive rebounds,” UR head coach Peter Thomas said after the game. “I don’t know that we’ve had an Atlantic 10 game this year where we gave up 13 offensive rebounds total and we gave up 13 in the first half, so certainly uncharacteristic for us.”

UR would have to overcome a 14-point deficit to come back in the crosstown rivalry-driven, late season Atlantic 10 conference game. 

However, VCU’s success on both ends of the court proved too much for the Spiders, leaving hopes of a comeback in the dust. With 10:02 to go in regulation, the Spiders found themselves down by 24 points, VCU’s largest lead of the game.

With 1:15 to play, the Spiders cut the Rams’ lead down to 13, but their late efforts were not enough as VCU won their fourth straight Capital City Classic, bringing the all-time series to 59-32 in favor of VCU.

“Our main focus is just getting into our offense, which [VCU] makes really difficult,” Thomas said. “You’re not going to be able to call a lot of plays against [VCU] because of the pressure.”

On the day, the Spiders found what offense they could primarily in the paint with Quinn. 

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Quinn totaled a season-high 21 points along with six rebounds. Burton balanced the offensive load with 18 points of his own and seven boards. No other Spiders scored more than four points. 

This loss drops the Spiders’ overall record to under .500 once again this season at 14-15. Their conference record stands at 7-9 with two more games remaining and the A-10 conference on the horizon. 

UR’s next game is away against Saint Joseph’s University at 7 p.m. Mar. 1. 

Contact sports editor Jimmy James at

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