Capital City Classic, Presented by Richmond Area Honda Dealers
Score: VCU 63, Richmond 52
Location: Richmond, Va. (Stuart C. Siegel Center)
Records: VCU 14-8 (6-3 Atlantic 10), RV Richmond 16-6 (8-1)
Attendance: 7,637 (Sellout)
The short story: Senior guard Max Shulga and graduate forward Kuany Kuany scored 15 points each and combined to the Rams second-half push as VCU dealt Richmond its first Atlantic 10 Conference loss in the first edition of the 2024 Capital City Classic, Presented by Richmond Area Honda Dealers, Saturday at the Siegel Center.
- Shulga netted 11 of his 15 points in the second half, and he finished 5-for-14 from the field, adding five assists and five rebounds with two buckets from beyond the arc
- Kuany also scored 11 of his 15 points in the second half, shooting 5-for-7 with six rebounds and two blocks
- Senior guard Zeb Jackson led the VCU offense with six assists, adding five rebounds and seven points (2-for-8) while sophomore forward Tobi Lawal came off the bench to provide a strong 20 minutes, grabbing a team-high eight rebounds while adding seven points
- Both Jordan King and Delonnie Hunt led Richmond with 12 points each
- With VCU holding a slim one-point lead at 33-32 with 9:54 to go, Shugla went on a tear, scoring 11 straight points to give to give the Black and Gold the lead for good. The run began at 8:49 when Shulga would hit the first of back-to-back 3-point baskets. Richmond would answer each basket with a pair of their own and after a three-point play by the Spiders’ Neal Quinn the Rams held a two-point advantage at 39-37 (6:54). It was here the Shulga took over the scoring completely, nailing three free throws after being fouled beyond the arc to make it 42-37. Shulga then caused a turnover at midcourt and was off and running, slamming home a dunk to ignite the Siegel Center and put the Rams up by seven with six minutes to play
- Despite Richmond’s best efforts over the opening five minutes of the second half, the Rams would not let the Spiders pull away. VCU trailed 26-22 at the 16:50 mark, but back-to-back buckets from Kuany and sophomore forward Christian Fermin tied the score at 26-all with 14:51 remaining and set the stage for Shulga’s heroics
- VCU connected on 18-of-20 free throws
- The Rams held Richmond’s bench scoreless, the first time an opponent has done that this season
- The Rams have now won the last three meetings with Richmond and have taken the victory in nine-of-the-last 11 games in the Capital City Classic. The win was also the 60th all-time against Richmond for VCU and it extends their all-time advantage to 60-32
- VCU has won six out of its last seven games, including three straight at home
- Kuany is averaging 11.0 points over the past six games
- Shulga’s 15 points gives him his third-straight game with double figures and it’s the eighth time in the last 10 games he’s hit the mark
VCU next hits the road for a trip to the Bronx, N.Y. to face Fordham in an A-10 matchup. The game tips off at Rose Hill Gym at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 6 and will be broadcast on ESPN+.
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