RAMS CLINCH TOP SEED, MAYNOR SETS MARK IN 69-41 ROUT
RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia Commonwealth University is atop the Colonial Athletic Association again, and the Rams can thank senior Eric Maynor (Raeford, N.C.), who helped put them there in historic fashion Saturday.
Maynor became VCU’s all-time scoring leader and the Rams crushed Georgia State, 69-41, on Senior Day at the Stuart C. Siegel Center. With the win, VCU (21-9, 14-4 CAA) clinched its third consecutive CAA regular season title and top seed in the upcoming conference tournament. The Rams are just the second team to win three straight titles outright.
“That’s the number one goal for us when we start the year. Win the regular season conference championship,” Said VCU Head Coach Anthony Grant. “And we accomplished goal number one, and I think those guys are proud of their accomplishment, proud of the program and the tradition that is VCU.”
Sophomore Larry Sanders (Fort Pierce, Fla.) scored 14 points, grabbed six rebounds and blocked three shots for the Rams, while classmates Brandon Rozzell (Richmond, Va.) and Joey Rodriguez (Oviedo, Fla.) added 13 and 10 points, respectively.
VCU forced 21 turnovers and held the Panthers (11-19, 8-10 CAA) to 33 percent (18-of-54) shooting.
But this day was about Maynor. The 6-3 guard, who needed just two points to pass Kendrick Warren on the Rams’ all-time scoring list, had his No. 3 jersey retired during a pregame ceremony.
“It was a little emotional at the beginning,” Maynor said of Saturday’s game. “But just coming in here, I already knew how it was going to be. The main thing coming in here was leave on a good note, and that was to win at the Siegel Center in my last game.”
Maynor started slowly, missing his first three attempts. However, with 11:21 left in the first half, the 2008 CAA Player of the Year split two defenders and connected on an eight-foot pull-up jumper to set the mark with 1,859 points. Maynor finished with nine points and nine assists, raising his school-record total in that category to 651.
“I try to do it for my team,” Maynor said. “All the stuff I’ve done in my career, I always said I couldn’t do it if I didn’t have four other guys on the court with me or the other guys who’ve got my back on the bench.”
Rashad Chase led the Panthers with 10 points and eight rebounds.
The Rams, who have earned the No. 1 seed for the CAA Tournament, will receive a first round bye and play Saturday, March 7 at 12 p.m. at the Richmond Coliseum. VCU will meet the winner of Friday’s 8/9 game, which will feature Georgia State and either Delaware or Towson.