VCU stumbles to Seton Hall in Charleston

CHARLESTON, SC (WWBT) - VCU had the opportunity for an early season resume boosting win in Charleston. But the Rams offense didn't show up Thursday night against Seton Hall.

Seton Hall dominated the Rams from the start, winning 69-54 in the opening round of the Charleston Classic at the TD Arena on Thursday evening.

Senior Bradford Burgess led the Black & Gold offensively with 11 points on 4-of-10 shooting. Freshman Briante Weber came off the bench and gave the Rams a spark with nine points, two rebounds and two steals. Junior Darius Theus had seven points, five assists, two rebounds and two blocked shots on the evening.

For the Pirates, Herb Pope finished with 20 points and 13 rebounds, while Jordan Theodore also had 20 points, thanks in large part to a 12-of-12 effort from the charity stripe.

It was a slow start for both squads with Seton Hall turning the ball over early and the Rams struggling to make shots. A fastbreak layup by Fuquan Edwin gave the Pirates a 23-16 advantage with just under five minutes to play in the first half.

But the Black & Gold became aggressive and got three consecutive defensive stops and pressure defense by Burgess drew an elbow from Seton Hall's Patrik Auda, who was ultimately ejected because of the foul. The Midlothian, VA. native knocked down his free-throws and brought VCU within three at 23-20, but Seton Hall would extend that lead back out to seven at the break, 29-22.

Seton Hall would come out in the second half and push the lead to 12 before Weber came off the bench to give a spark and brought the Rams within six at 41-35 after a steal and jumper with 12:01 to play.

However, the Pirates would put together a 16-3 run over the next six minutes to grab the largest lead of the game at 19, 57-38, after two free-throws from Pope.

VCU couldn't get closer than 15 the rest of the way as they fell for just the third time in the past 11 contests against a BCS opponent.

The Rams will face the loser of Saint Joseph's and Georgia Tech, who took to the court at the TD Arena following their contest. Friday's game will tip off at 8:30 p.m.