Rams Spoil Abrams' Homecoming
Dec. 29, 2009
From wire and staff reports
RICHMOND, Va. --- Brandon Rozzell's 3-pointer with 2:29 left gave Virginia Commonwealth a two-point lead and ignited a 9-0 run as the Rams topped East Carolina 82-74 on Tuesday night.
After Rozzell's trey, T.J Gwynn had a follow and the Rams (8-2) hit 4 of 7 free throws. The Pirates (5-8) missed their final five field goals and did not score in the last 2:57. East Carolina had one field goal in the final 7:46.
"It's very much like the George Washington game," Pirate coach Mack McCarthy said. "On one hand, I'm really proud that we've improved to the point where we're playing this well. On the other hand, I'm just mad that we haven't been able to finish either game."
There were 13 ties and 22 lead changes and neither team had a double-digit lead.
East Carolina's Jamar Abrams, returning to his hometown, had a career-high 26 points, going 10-for-15 from the field and 5-for-8 on 3-point attempts. Chad Wynn added a season-high 17 points and Brock Young had 16.
Virginia Commonwealth's Larry Sanders had a career-high 23 points, nine rebounds and four blocks. Joey Rodriguez had a season-high 19 points and Rozzell added 15.
The Pirates built a six-point lead with 9:53 to go behind back-to-back 3-pointers from Jontae Sherrod and Abrams. Following a bucket by VCU's Sanders, Sherrod's jumper from the elbow with 7:46 left pushed the lead back up to six, 69-63.
Rodriguez and Rozzell each sank a 3-pointer as part of an 8-0 spurt that gave VCU the lead back with 5:11 to play.
Young then scored four of the Pirates' next five points to them back on top, 74-73, with 2:59 remaining before Rozzell sparked the run that finished the game.
The Pirates return to action on Sunday at home against N.C. Central. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m.
Coach McCarthy announced following the game that sophomore Chris Turner has rendered himself academically ineligible under NCAA rules.