Nov. 15, 2007
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -Jamal Shuler scored 20 points, including the go-ahead three-point play with 1:06 remaining, to lead Virginia Commonwealth to a 73-72 victory against Houston in the O'Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip-Off on Thursday.
The Rams (2-0) led by as many as six in the second half after trailing 33-30 at halftime in the first-round game that featured 15 ties and 11 lead changes.
The Cougars (1-1) took a 70-68 lead with 1:27 to go on a pair of free throws by Zamal Nixon. But Shuler answered with a basket and a free throw that put VCU up 71-70.
Joey Rodriduez made two free throws with 10 seconds left to pad the lead for the Rams, and after Robert McKiver answered with two free throws for Houston with 4 seconds remaining, the Rams inbounded the ball and avoided being fouled before the buzzer.
Michael Anderson added a career-high 18 points and eight rebounds for VCU, while T.J. Gwynn scored 11 in the Rams' third consecutive victory against the Cougars. Eric Maynor, the star of the Rams' victory against Duke and near-miss against Pittsburgh in last year's NCAA tournament, missed 11 of 12 shots and scored six with six assists.
Brockeith Pane led Houston with 21 points and McKiver had 17.
Houston will next play Marist on Friday at 10:00 a.m. (Central). The game can be heard on AM790 "The Sports Animal".