By: James Brown
Last Thursday, the VCU Rams took on the Liberty Flames in an exhibition match to raise funds to help those in need in Puerto Rico as a result of hurricanes Irma and Maria. While this contest didn’t officially count towards the win column, both teams came out looking to put on a show for everyone in attendance. Ultimately the Liberty Flames emerged victorious over the Rams 85 to 69. Ezra Talbert was the leading scorer for the flame with 23 points on 7-8 shooting and an impressive 5-5 from beyond the arc. Point guard Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz a native of Puerto Rico had 8 points and 3 assists playing not only for his team but his family and friends as well both here and back in his hometown of Ponce. Malik Crowfield was the leading scorer for the Rams with 14 points. Crowfield had the hot hand for the Rams in the second half as the Rams managed to close the deficit to 6 points. VCU also caused some havoc on the court managing to create some turnovers on defense to slow down Liberty.
After the game, Coach Rhoades told his players that while this may have been a dress rehearsal for their opening game against Virginia Union there are some areas they need to improve on. The Rams had 20 turnovers on the night with 12 occurring in the second half. All in all, Coach Rhoades said that he saw a lot of things that the team did well Thursday night. He saw a couple of young guys step up show improvement while rotating them in with some of the veteran players. Freshman Sean Mobley didn’t play Thursday night due to concussion protocol but Coach Rhoades assured that Mobley would be return to practice this week and be ready for the opener.
The VCU Rams open their season this Friday, November 3 at the Siegel Center against the Virginia Union Panthers. Game starts at 7pm, so show up and watch and help the Rams wreck some havoc. Go Rams, Go!