The Rams (6-3) led most off the way, but put the game away with a 20-4 burst in the second half, capped by 13 consecutive points. They won their third in a row, having beaten South Florida of the Big East by 23 and then George Washington by 15 on the Colonials' home floor.
The Spiders (6-3) had no answer when the Rams cranked up their fullcourt defensive pressure with 10 minutes to go and made their push to the delight of a sellout crowd. Last year Richmond ended a six-game losing streak against VCU with a blowout victory on their home floor,
Cedric Lindsay led Richmond with a career-high 22 points, just five in the second half, and Kendall Anthony had 13.
VCU led 42-32 early in the second half when Anthony scored eight points in 2 minutes during a 13-5 run for the Spiders that pulled them within two at 47-45. But as they had all game, the Rams responded with Burgess hitting 3 of 4 free throws, Brandenburg hitting one and Darius Theus making a 3-pointer from the top of the key. Quickly, it was 54-45 with 8:38 left.
The Spiders closed again to within 54-49, but this time the Rams put them away.
Burgess hit another free throw, Brandenburg scored on a drive and D.J. Haley had a putback. After another miss by the Spiders, Troy Daniels fed Juvonte Reddic for an alley oop with 4:52 left, and Brandenberg's back-to-back 3-pointers stretched the lead to 67-49.
Over less than 7 minutes, the Rams had outscored the Spiders 20-4.
Daniels added 13 points for the Rams.
As the final minute ticked off the clock, the crowd at the Siegel Center chanted "Just like Kansas," a reference to Richmond's loss to the Jayhawks in the regional semifinals during last season's NCAA tournament. The Rams, of course, then beat Kansas to reach the Final Four.
VCU led 35-27 after a first half marked by runs. The Rams scored 10 straight to go ahead 16-8, and Richmond answered with 10 of its own, the first eight by Lindsay. After an exchange of baskets, VCU ran off 14 consecutive points as the Spiders were scoreless for 5 minutes.
Lindsay's 3-pointer finished the half, pulling the Spiders within 35-27.
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- Bernard Clinton
- Dwayne Gladden
- Dennis Allocco