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Rodriguez leads VCU past William & Mary 81-59

Jan 21, 2010 - 2:44 AM By HANK KURZ Jr. AP Sports Writer

RICHMOND, Va.(AP) -- Joey Rodriguez scored 18 points and dished out 10 assists and Virginia Commonwealth used ball-hawking defense to cool off William & Mary 81-59 on Wednesday night.

The Rams (13-4, 5-3 Colonial Athletic Association) took command with a defense-led 18-5 run early in the second half, turning a 33-31 game into a 51-36 advantage with 11 minutes left. When VCU's Bradford Burgess and Ed Nixon answered a Tribe basket with 3-pointers, pushing the Rams' lead to 18.

William & Mary (14-4, 6-2), which arrived winners in 14 of 15 and riding a school-record seven-game road winning streak, had trouble all night with the Rams' defensive intensity, which yielded three steals and easy layups during the game-changing second-half spree.

Danny Sumner led William & Mary with 20 points, while Markus Kitts had 16 points and 11 rebounds.