Not exactly the way you wanted your first taste of hoops season, but at least it was for a good cause.
The Rams fell at home 85-69 to the Flames of Liberty University in an extra exhibition game granted by the NCAA to raise money for hurricane relief.
The black and gold ran into a red-hot Flames team that had trouble missing on the night, hitting 11 of their 22 threes on a 50% Liberty shooting night.
VCU ended the night with a strong 40% from three evening, but couldn’t string together enough stops to ever challenge the experienced Big South squad.
Liberty won the battle of the glass 33-30 in VCU’s first game without Mo Alie-Cox and the Rams turned the ball over 20 times in the loss.
There were some individual offensive bright spots however, with sophomore Malik Crowfield catching a bit of fire himself, hitting four of his five three-point attempts to finish with a team-leading 14 points in the loss. Crowfield was one of five Rams in double figures on the evening, joining Issac Vann with 13, Jonathan Williams with 11 and De’Riante Jenkins and Justin Tillman with 12 each.
Vann led the Rams with six rebounds but had seven of VCU’s turnovers.
Jonathan Williams led VCU with a game-high five assists.
Newcome Mike’ll Simms added five points for VCU while freshman Tyler Maye added two of his own on a coast-to-coast bucket. Four Rams went scoreless and freshman Sean Mobley missed the game due to concussion protocol.
VCU will have one more chance to tune up this year’s squad, taking on Virginia Union Friday November 3 before officially tipping up the season Nov 10 against Grambling.