Richmond, VA (WWBT)- While a George Mason three pointer at the buzzer doomed the VCU men's basketball team on Tuesday, the Rams made sure it wouldn't come down to the final possession in their Bracketbuster match-up with Northern Iowa on Friday.
Bradford Burgess scored 17 points and VCU held the Panthers to just 24 second half points in a 77-68 win at the Siegel Center on Friday. The two teams battled back and forth for the first half, as the frame saw six lead changes and Northern Iowa grabbed a 44-42 lead at the break.
It was a similar contest for the remainder of the game. Rob Brandenberg hit a jump shot to put the Rams on top, 57-55, with 12:04 to play in the game, and VCU would not lose the lead again. Shaka smart watched his team close out the game on a 9-2 run in the last 1:40 to pull away, and Juvonte Reddic scored six key points in the final 1:10 to slam the door on the Panthers.
Burgess led four Rams in double figures with his 17 points. Reddic posted a double-double of 15 points and eleven rebounds. Brandenburg scored 13 and Troy Daniels chipped in 12 points. UNI's Deon Mitchell led all scorers with 18 points.
VCU's style of play helped it down the stretch, as the Rams ended up forcing the Panthers into 19 turnovers to VCU's ten. UNI would shoot 55.6 percent from the field in the losing effort.
The Rams hit the road for the final time this regular season on Wednesday, as they head to UNC-Wilmington.