Bubble bursts for VCU at Drexel

by Matt Lincoln

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - If the win over Wichita State was bracket buster Friday, then VCU's game with Drexel was bubble-bursting Wednesday.  With a very small margin for error, VCU suffered one of their worst losses of the season, 64-60 in Philadelphia.

Jamie Skeen led the way for the Black & Gold, notching 17 points, four rebounds and three blocked shots. Classmates Brandon Rozzell and Joey Rodriguez were other two Rams in double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Drexel jumped out to an early 9-3 lead after a couple early VCU turnovers, but Skeen muscled his way to 15 first-half points and eventually drilled a three-pointer to give the Black & Gold a 28-25 advantage with 3:12 remaining in the first stanza.

However, back-to-back three-pointers by Derrick Thomas and a dunk from Dartaye Ruffin quickly changed momentum and sent the Dragons into halftime with a 33-28 cushion.

Out of the break, Rozzell and freshman Juvonte Reddic led the Rams on a surge that was capped off with a three-pointer and drawing a fourth foul on Drexel big man Daryl McCoy, which led to VCU holding their largest lead of the game at 42-38 with 13:41 to play.

After the Dragons had tied it up at 47 with 7:32 remaining, the basket got smaller for the Rams and bigger for Drexel.  Over the next four minutes, VCU would go 1-of-7, while the Dragons connected on 5-of-6 to hold its largest lead of the game at 56-49.

Even with the tough shooting, the Rams found themselves within three, but five offensive rebounds for the Dragons over the final three minutes of the game allowed Drexel to hold on and pick up the 64-60 victory.

VCU, who was without freshman guard Rob Brandenberg due to a thigh contusion, saw extended minutes for Reddic and classmate D.J. Haley. The inside duo combined for 10 points, seven rebounds and five blocked shots.

The regular season wraps up for VCU on Saturday for Senior Day against James Madison at Noon.

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