College Basketball

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Virginia Commonwealth (5-2) vs. Belmont (7-1)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Sunday, December 1, 5 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Curb Event Center (5,000) -- Nashville, Tennessee. Television: CSN, SNY, ESPN3.com. Home Record: VCU 2-0, Belmont 2-1. Away Record: VCU 1-1, Belmont 2-0. Neutral Record: VCU 1-1, Belmont 1-1. Conference Record: VCU 0-0, Belmont 0-0. Series Record: VCU leads, 1-0.

GAME NOTES: A battle of mid-major powers takes place at Curb Event Center on Sunday, as the Rams of Virginia Commonwealth collide with the Belmont Bruins in non-conference action.

The Rams returned from their stint in the 2013 Puerto Rico Tip-Off on Friday and coasted to a 79-66 victory over Northeastern. The win allowed VCU to bounce back from an 84-80 setback to Georgetown, as the Rams finished 1-2 in the Tip-Off event. Overall VCU is boasting a 5-2 overall mark.

Belmont battled a team from outside Division I in its most recent outing as it ran over Brescia (102-68) last Tuesday. The win was the sixth straight for the Bruins, who have just a single setback in eight tries on the campaign.

These two teams met for the first time last year when VCU claimed a 75-65 victory in Richmond.

Treveon Graham scored 24 points off the bench on 9-of-12 shooting to carry VCU over Northeastern. The Rams allowed the Huskies to connect on 50 percent of their field goal tries, but by forcing 16 turnovers, and managed to secure 10 more field goals on 14 additional shots.

As is tradition, the Rams have been creating turnovers at a rabid pace in their patented HAVOC defensive scheme. VCU leads the country in steals (12.7 pg), which has helped them win despite allowing teams to connect on 46.3 percent of their shots from the field. Graham (16.6 ppg, 6.6 rpg) was playing in his first game as a reserve this season against Northeastern, but it didn't stop him from leading the team in scoring, as he has done all season. Juvonte Reddic (11.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg) is having a rather pedestrian campaign considering the hype surrounding him in the offseason, while Rob Brandenberg (11.0 ppg, 2.4 spg) and Briante Weber (11.0 ppg, 3.6 apg) are the club's most disruptive defenders.

To the surprise of no one the Bruins had no trouble with Brescia. Belmont recorded an incredible 42 field goals on 61.8 percent shooting from the floor, while sinking 12-of-25 attempts from beyond the arc. Belmont also enjoyed enormous advantages in both points off turnovers (36-6) and rebounds (38-19).

Belmont has been playing consistently well at the offensive end of the floor this season, netting 86.1 points per game on 51.7 percent shooting. The Bruins have actually scored at least 80 points in all but one game, their 69-61 setback against Richmond. JJ Mann (18.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg) leads the way for the high-scoring attack as one of four players averaging in double figures. Mann had just 14 points against Brescia, as he only saw 16 minutes of court time in the blowout. Drew Windler (13.9 ppg) and Craig Bradshaw (12.5 ppg) are also reliable scoring threats.

With scorers all over the floor, Belmont will present a real test for VCU's tough defense. However, the Rams are a battle-tested team that doesn't shy away from adversity.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: VCU 77, Belmont 75

12/01 10:35:09 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NOR 1
DUR 2
 
1:05pm Today
NOR
DUR
 
3:30pm Today
MIA
CHA
Final
WAS 3
STL 4
Final
CLE 0
TOR 5
Final
DET 5
ANA 2
Final
BOS 4
BAL 2
Final
KAN 5
MIN 4
Final
CHC 8
CIN 4
Final
OAK 4
HOU 3
Final
PIT 7
MIL 8
Final
NYM 5
ATL 7
Final
TAM 16
NYY 1
Final
MIA 7
SEA 0
Final
TEX 6
CWS 3
Final
LOS 8
ARI 6
Final
COL 3
PHI 1
Final
SDP 3
SFG 1
1:05pm Today
CLE
TOR
 
1:08pm Today
DET
ANA
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
ATL
 
1:10pm Today
MIA
SEA
 
1:35pm Today
PIT
MIL
 
1:35pm Today
WAS
STL
 
1:40pm Today
TAM
NYY
 
2:10pm Today
KAN
MIN
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
CIN
 
3:05pm Today
TEX
CWS
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
HOU
 
4:10pm Today
LOS
ARI
 
4:10pm Today
COL
PHI
 
4:10pm Today
SDP
SFG
 
7:05pm Tonight
BOS
BAL
 
Final
TOR 87
BRK 94
Final
LAC 105
GSW 109
Final
IND 93
ATL 101
Final
OKC 100
MEM 86
1:00pm Today
SAN
DAL
3:30pm Today
MIA
CHA
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
WAS
9:30pm Tonight
HOU
POR
Final
STL 4
CHI 3
Final
PIT 3
CLB 4
Final
COL 4
MIN 2
12:00pm Today
NYR
PHI
3:00pm Today
BOS
DET
7:00pm Tonight
MON
TAM
10:00pm Tonight
SJS
LOS
Final
NOR 1
DUR 2
 
1:05pm Today
NOR
DUR