Virginia Commonwealth used a huge rebounding advantage to take a 26-point halftime lead, then coasted to an 80-57 victory over Florida Gulf Coast Friday night in the season opener for both teams.
The Rams had a 42-26 rebounding edge. Their 21 offensive boards were five shy of Florida Gulf Coast's total rebounds.
Eight VCU players scored in the first half for a 46-20 lead. Juvonte Reddic just missed a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds. Guard Briante Weber recorded one with 10 steals and 13 points. Guard Rob Brandenburg was also in double figures with 11 points.
For the Eagles, guards Bernard Thompson (a game-high 21 points) and Sherwood Brown (16) combined to score 37 of Florida Gulf Coast's 57 points. The Eagles, a good 3-point shooting team, went 0 for 7 from the arc in the first half with 16 turnovers. They finished 4 of 13.