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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 16, 7:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Stuart C. Siegel Center (7,693) -- Richmond, Virginia. Television: Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic. Home Record: GW 5-6, VCU 12-2. Away Record: GW 5-5, VCU 7-1. Neutral Record: GW 1-0, VCU 1-2. Conference Record: GW 5-4, VCU 8-2. Series Record: Virginia Commonwealth leads, 3-0.
GAME NOTES: The Virginia Commonwealth Rams look to continue their dominance over George Washington as they host the Colonials in an Atlantic 10 Conference clash at the Stuart C. Siegel Center.
This will be the fourth meeting in history between these schools. VCU toppled GW, 75-60, in last season's meeting to mark its third consecutive win in the series.
The Colonials are coming off a hard-fought, 59-56, setback to the No. 14 Butler after missing a pair of 3-point attempts within the final 10 seconds. The loss dropped GW down to the .500 mark overall and to a 5-4 A-10 record. Isaiah Armwood produced his second consecutive double-double with 14 points and 11 boards. The team went 17-of-61 (27.9 percent) from the field and 1- of-12 (8.3 percent) from beyond the arc with seven assists to 13 turnovers. Kromah and Joe McDonald both added 10 points in the loss to Brad Stevens's Bulldogs.
Coach Mike Lonergan enters Saturday just two wins shy of his 400th career victory (398-188). Lasan Kromah is the second option in the Colonials' offense with 9.9 points per game and Patricio Garino adds 9.6 points and 2.1 steals to the mix. George Washington has been able to get away with only scoring 66.3 ppg by limiting its opposition to just 62.3 ppg, which is the third lowest scoring defense mark in the conference.
Shaka Smart's Rams are in the driver's seat of the A-10 race for the crown as they hold sole possession of first place with an 8-2 mark in league action. VCU collected its fourth win in a row on Thursday by completing an 86-68 rout of Massachusetts at home. Smart's squad has shown expertise on defense to lead the nation in total steals (302), steals per game (12.1) and turnovers forced per game (20.4). The win over the Minutemen made it 11 times that VCU has scored 80 or more points, which has helped it to a 14th best among Division I schools 77.8 points per game average.
The Rams are virtually impossible to stop due to their four-headed attack of Treveon Graham, Juvonte Reddic, Troy Daniels and Rob Brandenberg. Graham netted 19 points in the victory over UMass to raise his team-leading scoring average to 16 per contest. Graham has scored in double-figures in 18 straight games and posts 17.9 ppg in league action. The 6-foot-9 Reddic registers 14 points and eight boards per tilt while Brandenberg (10.9 ppg) is also a threat on the wing. Daniels is the most dangerous asset for Smart, as he has already knocked down 89 3-pointers to come within five of his own single season school record.
The Colonials' inability to take care of the ball against Butler is not a good sign entering their matchup with the aggressive Rams. VCU could run away with this one if GW's backcourt can not cope with the intense pressure. Smart's team has been solid at home all through the campaign with 12 wins to two losses at the Siegel Center. The Rams would have to have an off-night to let this one slip away.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: VA Commonwealth 76, George Washington 64
02/16 10:36:11 ET
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