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Justin Tillman was unstoppable.

Nothing Grant Golden was doing was working.

There was absolutely no way VCU could lose with a 12 point lead and 8 minutes left in the game.

Until the Rams forgot about Justin Tillman.

Chris Mooney plugged in Nathan Cayo to bolster his front court and Nick Sherod spent some defensive shifts guarding Justin Tillman, but make no mistakes, the lack of intent to get Tillman the ball late is entirely on the Rams.

In a game where Johnny Williams was out due to an ankle injury the Rams lazily assembled their priorities as they went about closing out the game.

The energy in the Robins Center was theirs to capture.

Suddenly a Da’Monte Buckingham injury caused a lull in the crowd.

Then, before you know it the deficit was cut.

Still, the Rams did not turn to Tillman…

After the golden haired VCU Senior made a layup off of a Malik Crowfield pass with 8:36 left in the game to enable his team to take a supposedly insurmountable lead, he did not take another shot. He did not get to the free throw line where he was 5-8. He had 3 blocks, a rebound, and a foul in the last 8+ minutes of a game where he finished with 21 points and 7 boards.

But no points.

I refuse to fully blame him.

It could be he shied away from the spotlight in the most important juncture of the game.

In reality it looked like VCU settled for jumpers and were bothered by one small aforementioned strategic change that UR made.

That’s inexcusable.

Force it to the big man if you want to expand upon your lead.

Don’t just throw it in cruise control.

UR is know for it’s lack of size and you’re telling me when they pull their tallest starter VCU shouldn’t attack the paint even if Tillman is double covered?!

There have been moments in any athlete’s career where the clock has just disappeared and you couldn’t get what you wanted done in the flow of the game.

The Rams didn’t prioritize getting their star the ball late and they blew a 12 point lead because of it.

If they want to improve upon this loss, they must learn that they can’t allow their best player to disappear.

Also On ESPN Richmond:

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