Norfolk, VA (WWBT)- 2011 saw Old Dominion take two of three match-ups with VCU, including a 70-65 victory in the CAA championship game to earn the conference's automatic NCAA bid. This year, the Rams got one back on January 21 at the Siegel Center, and were able to lock up a regular season sweep of their arch rivals on Saturday afternoon.
Bradford Burgess posted 24 points and Darius Theus hit a go-ahead lay-up while being fouled with 30 seconds remaining, as VCU posted a 68-64 win over Old Dominion. For awhile, it looked as though it would be the Monarchs' game, as they opened up a 26-14 lead in the first half, capped off by a Donte Hill three pointer. VCU would go on a 10-0 run and pull to within two, and would trail 36-33 at halftime.
VCU took its first lead of the game at the 14:13 mark of the second half on a Treveon Graham three pointer that put the Rams in front, 38-37. That began another 10-0 VCU run that would put Shaka Smart's club in front, 45-37, with 11:09 to play. The Monarchs weren't done, as they stormed back to tie the game at 54 with 3:51 remaining in the game. ODU would find itself with a 61-58 lead with a minute to go. The Rams, however, had one rally left in them, as Burgess tied the game at 61 with a three pointer, then stole the ball from Kent Bazemore, setting up Theus' go-ahead lay-up. The guard then went to the line and complete the three point play, putting VCU on top, 64-61. The squad would hit its free throws down the stretch and earn the four point win.
The win marked the eleventh straight victory for the Rams, who improve to 22-5 overall and 13-2 in the CAA. The winning streak is the longest for a VCU men's basketball team since the 1984-1985 season. Neither VCU or Old Dominion has swept this regular season series since 2004 and this marks the Rams' second straight win in Norfolk.
Burgess' 24 points marked the game high and he added six boards and five steals. Theus added 14 points, while Juvonte Reddic pulled down seven boards to lead the team.
VCU is back in action on Tuesday when the Rams travel to Fairfax for a big match-up with George Mason. Smart's team is tied with the Patriots for first place in the CAA (along with Drexel) and this marks the first of two meetings in eleven days for the two conference title contenders.