UNIVERSITY PARK, PA (WWBT) - Penn State’s Myles Dread connected on a three-pointer as time expired, sending VCU to a 72-69 loss in University Park on Wednesday night. It marked the first meeting ever between the two programs.
“They made one more play than us here at the end of the game,” head coach Mike Rhoades said after the contest. “I liked our effort today, I just thought we shot ourselves in the foot one too many times to get a road win.”
The Rams found themselves trailing by two or three possessions at several points during the game, but clawed back to tie or take a slight lead each time. With 3:46 remaining, the Nittany Lions held a 68-60 advantage, but the black and gold once again had an answer. Bones Hyland’s three-pointer trimmed the lead to five and Hason Ward’s lay-up cut the deficit to 68-65 with 2:26 to play.
Ward would score again with 1:22 left to trim the lead to one, and after a Penn State free throw, freshman Jamir Watkins went right to the rim for two, tying the game at 69 with nine seconds remaining.
The Lions drove up the court on the final drive and found Dread wide open on the wing. His three-pointer dropped as the buzzer sounded, sending VCU to a heart-breaking loss.
Levi Stockard paced the Rams with 13 points, while Hyland added 11 points and six rebounds. Freshman Ace Baldwin chipped in seven points and six assists, while Ward scored nine points and pulled down five boards.
The four-man freshman class contributed, giving VCU 20 points and nine assists. It’s games like this one that Rhoades thinks will benefit his young group down the line.
“We can’t just be bummed out until we get back to Richmond. We’ve got to make sure this burns in practice the next two days and we have more carry-over.”
Penn State’s Seth Lundy scored a game-high 32 points.
Rhoades announced after the game that sophomore Jarren McAllister has a torn ACL and will undergo surgery. Junior KeShawn Curry also suffered a shoulder injury during Wednesday night’s game, but the Rams do not know to what extent.
VCU (2-2) will host Mount Saint Mary’s on Saturday in its home opener. Tip-off is set for 2:00 PM at the Siegel Center.
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