Kris Mason (VCU): As a VCU fan, this was a crushing loss for the Rams. This game featured so many ups and downs, but let’s take a look back at some key moments. Let’s start with the Spiders having a commanding 16 point lead in the 2nd half. What was the thought process on the Spiders’ fans perspective at the point?
Greg Caple (UR): We were thinking that we had the game in the bag. I think confidence might have gotten to our players as well. Our defense was on fire and Shawn'Dre was shooting the lights out. What started your comeback?
KM: The people I was watching with had started discussing what food we were gonna get after the game because we assumed the game was over. But VCU slowly chipped away, partially because UR's offense went cold as well. Treveon was obviously key, scoring 17 points in the second half, making buckets as well as getting to the foul line. Then Melvin Johnson finally made a 3 point shot all a sudden UR lead cut to 52-49 with 36 seconds left. What was the atmosphere in the stadium like at that point?
GC: Well we have lost so many games this year by such small margins that we were thinking that we were about to do it again. It was looking bad and we were praying that we could just hang on. It made the game much more intense though.
KM: Ok VCU is gonna foul UR as soon as the inbound- wait MO ALIE COX with the interception-like steal!! Looking like the NFL tight end that every TV announcer is obligated to mention once a game. Graham for 3 to tie... and it’s an air ball. Game over right? Kendall Anthony on the line, he’s automatic. Were people heading out of the Robin’s center at that point?
GC: Absolutely not. We wait every year for this game and we were holding our breath until that clock ran out. No one left. The screams were deafening. It was a looking great. We had Graham pushed back to about 30 feet away with around seven seconds left. Then you know what happened.
KM: Treveon with another clutch 3! Another one to add to his legendary performance one against UVA, SLU earlier this year. While he won’t break the school’s all-time scoring record, he will go down as one of the greatest players of all time. Just when you think we are safe Richmond throws up a wild, off balance shot that bounces on the rim three times before falling off. Heart stopping play. Did you think that was in from your view in the student section?
GC: Let’s go to the end of the first OT now:
Well now we are purposely fouled and down by 3 are thinking that it's all over. We managed to blow the halftime lead and now we are down in OT. Shawn'Dre is on the line shooting two but we need three points. He has had such a great game that we hope he doesn't accidentally make the second basket. Well Shawn'Dre made the first so people weren't ready to leave just yet. We knew that we needed something crazy to happen. He purposefully missed the second and VCU knocked it out of bounds. Suddenly we had a chance. We inbounded the ball on the baseline and somehow T.J. Cline was left open right under the basket. Tie game. The place went absolutely insane.
KM: Unbelievable. Jarred Guest should have grabbed that rebound after the intentional miss and it would have been game over. But on the inbound Jordan Burgess did the one thing u want to deny, a layup at the basket. In that situation at least make them shoot a contested jumper. With two of our big men out in Justin Tillman and Mike Gilmore, our bench is shorter than normal and the rams are exhausted. Not feeling great about double OT.
GC: Finally everything started looking up. We had momentum back on our side and the second Overtime went by with us in a commanding lead. The foul game started and it was becoming clear as the clock ticked down that we had were going to win. When the clock hit zero, we stormed the court having beat our A10, and RVA rivals!
KM: Fitting that there was a jump ball at the end after Richmond missed a free throw. Game wouldn’t end in a normal way. Had everything we could ask for; chance to tie or take lead with Graham with the ball in his hands. VCU fans wanted a foul call but it’s too close to call in that situation. Classic game but you guys shouldn’t swarm the court if you wanna consider us your rivals and equals, makes you guys look like it was a miracle win when you guys clearly are a good program. Instead of taking outright lead of first place rams are now in four way tie for first. The end of the game made people forget how horrendous VCU was offensively for the first 30 minutes of the game. Hope to play you guys again in Brooklyn.
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