Hempstead, NY - Troy Daniels came off the VCU bench to score 15 points on five three pointers, and Darius Theus posted 14 points and seven assists as the Rams posted an 80-63 Colonial Athletic Association win over Hofstra Monday night at the Mack Sports Complex. Senior guard Mike Moore led the Pride, which concluded a five-game homestand, with 14 points.
Hofstra falls to 6-8 on the season, 0-2 in the CAA, and sees their three-game win streak snapped. VCU, which won its eighth consecutive contest, improves to 11-3 overall and 2-0 in league play.
The Rams, who advanced to the NCAA Final Four in 2011, started the second half with a 13-4 run to extend an 11-point halftime advantage to a 20-point edge, 54-34, on a Theus layup with 15:13 on the clock. Hofstra rallied with a 9-2 spurt that was started by a Moore three-pointer and followed by six points from senior forward Nathaniel Lester to make it a 56-43 game with 9:57 remaining.
But VCU used a 7-2 run to take a 63-45 lead with 8:01 to go and Hofstra would not get closer than 13 the rest of the way. The Pride had difficulty with VCU's pressure defense, committing 21 turnovers which led to 28 points for the Rams. VCU's depth also played a part as the Rams used 13 players and received 44 points off the bench compared to nine players for Hofstra and 21 bench points.
Both teams got off to a blistering offensive start. Over the first eight minutes, Hofstra shot 73-percent (8-11), though it trailed the Rams, 19-17. VCU shot 67-percent (8-12) in the opening eight minutes and connected on 3-4 three-point shots. The Rams would close the half on a 22-13 run to take a 41-30 advantage at the break. The field goal shooting would cool in the final 12 minutes as the Pride would finish the first half at 44 percent, while VCU was at 46-percent.
In addition to Moore, sophomore guard Shemiye McLendon scored 13 points off the bench, while Lester and junior forward David Imes contributed 10 points each. Lester also added a game-high nine rebounds.
The Rams put two other players in double-figures with Juvonte Reddic and Briante Weber tallying 12 points each.
Hofstra hits the road for its next two games, beginning Wednesday night (Jan. 4) at Delaware. The Pride then travel to Wilmington, NC, for a Saturday night (7 p.m.) showdown with UNCW.