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PHOTOS & GAME SUMMARY: VCU Takes Out St. Louis on way to the Atlantic 10 Championship

The Rams played the Final (spoiler they won) on Saturday and we’ll have those photos up later.

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Official VCU Game Summary

Score: No. 1 VCU 90, No. 4 Saint Louis 78
Location: Brooklyn, N.Y. (Barclays Center)
Records: VCU 26-7, Saint Louis 21-12
Schedule Note:: Atlantic 10 Semifinals

The short story: VCU used a 23-5 run to start the second half, powered by 10 points from sophomore guard Jayden Nunn, to take a commanding 67-44 lead and advance to the Atlantic 10 Championship game.

OPENING TIP

  • Jayden Nunn led five Rams in double figures with game-high 18 points, shooting a blistering 7-of-9 from the floor and a perfect 3-of-3 from 3-point range
  • Junior guard Ace Baldwin, Jr. poured in 13 points while adding six assists and five rebounds
  • Redshirt sophomore Jamir Watkins had 15 points and five rebounds
  • Graduate Brandon Johns Jr. nearly had a double-double with 16 points and a game-high nine rebounds. He also tied a career-high with four steals and added three assists
  • The Billikens were led by Javon Pickett who had 18 points and three rebounds

THE DIFFERENCE

  • The Rams outscored the Billikens 24-16 in points off turnovers and 14-8 in second chance points.
  • VCU won the rebounding battle 37-30 and led in steals 10-5
  • VCU shot 55.7 percent from the floor and 47 percent from 3-point range. Saint Louis shot 49 percent from the floor and 45 percent from behind the arc
  • The Black and Gold were firing on all cylinders early, taking a commanding 31-16 lead on a David Shriver 3-pointer with 9:21 left before halftime
  • The Billikens responded with a 13-2 run to cut the lead to 33-29 with 4:41 left in the first half. The two teams went back-and-forth as VCU led 44-39 at the break
  • The Rams were blistering hot to start the second half, using the 24-5 run to push their lead to 67-44. Nunn hit two 3-pointers and had 10 points during the run
  • The Rams led by as many as 25 points but worked the clock to hold off Saint Louis for the win

NOTABLE

  • The 26 wins this season mark the most by VCU under Head Coach Mike Rhoades
  • The Rams reach their seventh A-10 Championship, the most appearances by any program in the league since 2012-13
  • VCU has never lost in the A-10 Semifinals, improving the mark to 7-0 all-time dating back to joining the league in 2012-13
  • VCU has won eight straight contests overall and the Rams haven’t lost a road or neutral site game since Jan. 4, now a 10-game streak

NEXT UP
VCU will face the winner of No. 2 Dayton and No. 3 Fordham on Sunday, March 12. The game will tip at 1 p.m. and be nationally televised on CBS.

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Community

PHOTOS & GAME SUMMARY: Kickers Back On Track With Win Over Lexington

An action filled second half made for a tense final minutes but Kickers held on for the win and three needed points.

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Official Kickers Game Summary

RICHMOND KICKERS: 2 60′ Belmar (Gordon), 76′ Gomiero (Mecham)
LEXINGTON SC: 1 90+3′ Smart (penalty)

The Richmond Kickers’ (3-2-4, 13 pts) earned a 2-1 win in front of 5,252 fans in their first-ever matchup with league debutants, Lexington SC (2-5-1, 7 pts), Saturday night as the Roos tentatively vaulted into third place in USL League One.

Kharlton Belmar and João Gomiero each scored their first goals at home to reward RVA for their continued support in making City Stadium the most-attended venue in the league.

Richmond and Lexington locked horns in a competitive first half as both keepers put together strong performances between the pipes, stifling dangerous chances and keeping the score locked at zeroes at the break.

The Kickers powered forward on the momentum of their first-half performance and found their first goal in the 60th minute.

Richmond progressed the ball into Lexington’s penalty area, but the visitors forced a turnover. However, they failed to clear the ball out as Justin Sukow raced to keep the ball alive with a slide and pass out wide to Owayne Gordon.

The winger took on his defender, bouncing outside before cutting the ball back across the six-yard box. Belmar pounced on the opportunity and powered a low-driven shot into the net as the keeper was left ball-watching.

Richmond struck for the eventual game-winner 16 minutes later.

Sukow was the catalyst again as he lofted a ball from midfield up the right wing for Jake Mecham who was timing a forward run perfectly, shedding his defender. With acres of space, Mecham ran onto the ball near the backline and cut the ball back toward the penalty spot as Gomiero perfectly timed his run into the box and one-timed a curling ball away from the keeper and right inside of the far post.

The goal marked Gomiero’s third of the week after he scored his first goals as a member of the Kickers on the road at North Carolina FC on Wednesday night. Mecham’s assist was his first as a professional.

Lexington had the opportunity to cut Richmond’s lead late after drawing a penalty in the third minute of eight allotted minutes for stoppage.

After Akira Fitzgerald deflected a Lexington attempt on the goal with a kick save, Lexington’s Nico Brown was running toward the ball with his back toward goal. Gomiero appeared to get to the ball first as his leg collided with Brown’s, but it was determined as Brown went to ground that the contact was enough for a penalty kick.

Veteran attacker Don Smart stepped up and hit a low shot to the left. Fitzgerald dove in the correct direction, but the shot had just enough pace on it to beat his reaching hand and end up in the back of the net.

The win at City Stadium proved cathartic as the Kickers celebrated their first league victory at home. Richmond dominated the stats outshooting Lexington 17-13, making six more final third entries, and earning four more corners. And the night ended with hundreds of fans crowding the front of the seating bowl as the Kickers signed autographs a long while after the final whistle rang out in the stadium.

The Kickers are back on the road next week to face reigning USL League One Champs, South Georgia Tormenta FC on Saturday, May 27th. Kickoff for the match is set for 7:30 p.m. The Kickers will host an official watch party at the Ardent Barrel Room.

The Kickers then return home on Saturday, June 3rd to host Chattanooga Red Wolves SC during Military Appreciation Night presented by Tech For Troops. The doors at City Stadium are set to open at 5:45 p.m. ahead of the 7 p.m. kickoff. Tickets are available at richmondkickers.com/tickets.

Stay up to date with all of the Kickers news at RichmondKickers.com and on social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Download the Richmond Kickers mobile app for news, contests, and more!

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Community

PHOTOS: Dominion Riverrock

Three days of music and sports wrapped up on Sunday.

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Game Preview: Kickers Cap Busy Week With Home Game

Kickers are on pace to break all sorts of attendance records this year but need to start getting some wins to keep that momentum.

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Opponent:  Lexington (2-4-1)
Date/Time: Saturday, May 19th, 7:00 PM
Last Result: Kickers 2 – NCFC 3

Weather Forecast From WeatherBug.com

Three Things to Kick About

  1. Rebound – On Wednesday the team was in Cary, North Carolina taking on the league leaders NCFC. The first half was all Kickers and they had a two goal lead going into the locker room. The second half things took a disastrous turn. Three unanswered goals later and the Kickers left the field with a loss. I was down there and can say the mood of the players and coaches after that game was about as low as I’ve seen. This game will be an excellent chance to wash that bad feeling away and get back on track.
  2. Shallow – The game on Wednesday pointed to exactly how shallow our depth is on the Kickers. Three starters were out with injury and the Kickers had academy kids on the bench. This is more than an Achilles’ heel for this team more of an Achilles’ torso. Hopefully, on Saturday Vinyals will return to the mid-field.
  3. Terzaghi – It’s only a rumor since the Kickers keep information on lockdown but word in the stands was that last year’s scoring juggernaut was out with an injury. Although Terzaghi is struggling to find the back of the net he’s still a vital part of the Kickers offense and his injury adds to the team’s issues.

Prediction

This is the first time ever that the Kickers will face Lexington. I went into this saying this should be an easy win for the Kicker because after all the new guys are below us in the standings. On closer inspection, I learned that both teams sit on only 2 wins. The Kickers only saving grace is a game in hand and 4 draws. The Kickers goal differential sits at -1 while Lexington is at -4 so not a massive difference there either. My prediction is based on both Vinyals and Terzaghi returning to the line-up of which I have no evidence. I definitive win is needed for the players and the fans.

Kickers 2 
Lexington 0

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