Score: Norfolk State 63, VCU 60
Location: Richmond, Va. (Stuart C. Siegel Center)
Records: VCU 4-4, Norfolk State 6-3
Attendance: 7,637 (Sellout)
The short story: Senior guard Zeb Jackson scored a team-high 15 points and led a VCU comeback attempt in the waning moments, but it wasn’t enough for the Rams to slip past upstart Norfolk State Friday night.
- Jackson‘s 15 points and senior guard Max Shulga’s 14 led VCU in the scoring column.
- Redshirt sophomore guard Jason Nelson provided a spark of the Rams’ bench with 11 points, four rebounds and three assists
- Freshman swingman Michael Belle added five points, a season-high 11 rebounds, two blocks and two assists for the Black and Gold
- Allen Betrand and Jamarii Thomas both scored 17 for the Spartans.
- The Spartans shot .500 (13-of-26) in the second half and built a 12-point lead with four minutes remaining following a dunk by Nyzaiah Chambers and a pair of free throws by Jamarii Thomas with 4:00 remaining
- VCU did manage to make things interesting. Jackson pulled the Rams within six with back-to-back 3-pointers. VCU got within 54-51 on a pair of Jackson free throws with 1:53 on the clock, but Thomas responded with a 3-pointer with the shot clock winding down on Norfolk State’s next possession. Moments later, Nelson drew a foul on a 3-point attempt and sank all three attempts to trim the Spartans’ lead to 63-60 with seven seconds left. The Rams had one last crack at overtime following a Norfolk State missed free throw, but were unable to convert a 3-point attempt as time expired
- Norfolk State owned a 40-18 advantage scoring in the paint and forced 17 VCU turnovers
- VCU converted 11 second-chance points, compared to Norfolk State’s four
- The Rams out rebounded the Spartans 35-27
- The Black and Gold connected on 18-of-22 free throws
VCU will return to the Siegel Center next Wednesday, Dec. 7 to face off against the Memphis Tigers. That contest will air on ESPNU.
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