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Winthrop (2-0) at (14) Virginia Commonwealth (2-0)



Saturday, November 16, 7 p.m. (et)

The Sports Network

By Scott Haynes, Senior College Basketball Editor

FACTS & STATS: Site: Siegel Center (7,617) -- Richmond, Virginia. Television: CSN+. Home Record: Winthrop 2-0, VCU 1-0. Away Record: Winthrop 0-0, VCU 1-0. Neutral Record: Winthrop 0-0, VCU 0-0. Conference Record: Winthrop 0-0, VCU 0-0. Series Record: VCU leads, 2-0.

GAME NOTES: The 14th-ranked Virginia Commonwealth Rams take aim at a third straight win to open the 2013-14 campaign, as they play host to the Winthrop Eagles on Saturday evening.

Shaka Smart's Rams have already served notice that they are once again going to be one of the top mid-major programs in the nation. VCU has opened the year with back-to-back victories, showing offensive proficiency in a rout of Illinois State (96-58) and then defensive tenacity in a hard-fought road win over nationally-ranked Virginia (59-56).

Winthrop comes into this contest without a blemish on its record as well. The Eagles have opened with a pair of wins at home, topping Roanoke College (93-74) and USC Upstate (82-74). It is the first time the team has opened a year with two straight wins since the 2009-10 season and the most points scored in its first two games since 1999-2000. Pat Kelsey's squad is looking to improve on last year's 14-17 overall record and compete for the Big South Conference crown this time around.

This is just the third meeting between these two teams. VCU has won both prior matchups, including a 90-54 lopsided affair a year ago.

Offense hasn't been a problem for the Eagles this season, as the team has eclipsed 80 points in back-to-back games for the first time since 2007. It has been a balanced attack thus far, with five players making significant contributions. Joab Jerome leads the way at 16.0 ppg, followed closely by Andre Smith (15.5 ppg) and Keon Johnson (14.0 ppg). Christian Farmer (12.0 ppg) and Tevin Prescott (10.5 ppg) have been strong off the bench.

Smith led the charge in Winthrop's last win over USC Upstate, hitting four 3- pointers en route to 21 points. Jerome wasn't far behind with 19 points, while Prescott provided 10 in 18 minutes off the bench.

Treveon Graham's late game heroics lifted the Rams to a big win in Charlottesville, as his 3-pointer with just 1.4 seconds left proved to be the difference for VCU. The Rams beat the Cavaliers at their own game, holding the home team under 40 percent shooting, while forcing 19 turnovers. It wasn't a surprise that Smart looked to Graham at the end of the game, as he was on point all game long, finishing with a game-high 22 points, on 8-of-15 shooting. Juvonte Reddic finished second on the team in scoring at nine points, while Rob Brandenberg chipped in with seven.

It was a completely different scenario in the win over Illinois State, as VCU connected on a healthy 55.4 percent from the floor, as five Rams notched double figures. Graham and Terrance Shannon led the way with 14 points, followed by Reddic (13 pts), Brandenberg (12 pts) and Melvin Johnson (11 pts).

The Rams can win games in various ways and that will serve them well the rest of the season. Winthrop has shown some offensive strength in the early going, but it won't be enough on the road against a legitimate Top 25 team.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Virginia Commonwealth 76, Winthrop 60

11/16 10:43:03 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUKE 47
TULA 13
Final
ECU 70
UNC 41
Final
TOWSN 31
NCCU 20
 
Final
NCSU 42
PRES 0
 
1:30pm Today
CAR
CLB
 
8:30pm Tonight
CAR
PIT
Final
KAN 2
DET 3
Final
CHC 8
LOS 7
Final
OAK 0
PHI 3
Final
NYY 3
TOR 6
Final
COL 5
ARI 1
Final
BAL 7
BOS 2
Final
PIT 0
MIL 1
Final
TAM 3
CWS 1
Final
MIN 3
CLE 7
Final
ATL 2
NYM 4
Final
HOU 10
SEA 1
Final
MIA 2
WAS 3
Final
STL 8
CIN 4
Final
SDP 3
SFG 2
Final
ANA 8
TEX 5
1:05pm Today
NYY
TOR
 
1:10pm Today
MIA
WAS
 
1:35pm Today
BAL
BOS
 
1:35pm Today
PIT
MIL
 
1:35pm Today
ATL
NYM
 
1:40pm Today
TAM
CWS
 
2:10pm Today
MIN
CLE
 
2:10pm Today
KAN
DET
 
2:10pm Today
HOU
SEA
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
LOS
 
3:35pm Today
ANA
TEX
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
PHI
 
4:10pm Today
COL
ARI
 
4:10pm Today
SDP
SFG
 
8:05pm Tonight
STL
CIN
 
Final
WISC 68
BGU 17
Final
MSU 73
EMICH 14
Final
VT 24
GT 27
Final
PITT 20
IOWA 24
Final
RICE 42
ODU 45
Final
UGA 66
TROY 0
Final
SYR 20
MD 34
Final
DUKE 47
TULA 13
Final
COL 21
HAW 12
Final
AKR 17
MARS 48
Final
WAKE 24
ARMY 21
Final
KU 24
CMICH 10
Final
ALA 42
UF 21
Final
FIU 3
LOU 34
Final
ECU 70
UNC 41
Final
NAVY 24
RUTG 31
Final
SMU 6
TEXAM 58
Final
MICH 10
UTAH 26
Final
BYU 41
UVA 33
Final
WYO 20
FATL 19
Final
MIZZ 27
IND 31
Final
PSU 48
UMASS 7
Final
MINN 24
SJST 7
Final
ILL 42
TXST 35
Final
WASH 45
GASTATE 14
Final
SMISS 21
APPST 20
Final
TOL 34
BST 23
Final
OHIO 36
IDAHO 24
 
Final
CIN 31
UMO 24
Final
MEM 36
MTST 17
Final
LSU 29
MSST 34
Final
ARK 52
NILL 14
Final
ARKST 21
UTST 14
Final
SALABAMA 6
GASO 28
Final
WVU 33
OKLA 45
Final
VANDY 34
SCAR 48
Final
NEB 41
MIAMI 31
Final
NMST 35
NMU 38
Final
HOU 47
UNLV 14
Final
FSU 23
CLEM 17
Final
ARZ 49
CAL 45
Final
ORST 28
SDST 7
Final
WASU 31
OREG 38
Final
BSU 34
LALAF 9
1:30pm Today
CAR
CLB
 
5:00pm Tonight
WAS
BUF
 
6:30pm Tonight
CLB
STL
 
8:00pm Tonight
EDM
CAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
CAL
EDM
 
1:00pm Today
CLE
BAL
1:00pm Today
STL
DAL
1:00pm Today
DET
GBP
1:00pm Today
NYG
HOU
1:00pm Today
JAC
IND
1:00pm Today
NOS
MIN
1:00pm Today
NEP
OAK
1:00pm Today
BUF
SDC
1:00pm Today
CIN
TEN
1:00pm Today
PHI
WAS
4:05pm Today
ARI
SFX
4:25pm Today
SEA
DEN
4:25pm Today
MIA
KAN
8:30pm Tonight
CAR
PIT
Final
TOWSN 31
NCCU 20
 
Final
NCSU 42
PRES 0