De’Riante Jenkins was one of VCU’s highest rated recruits ever when the South Carolina native committed to VCU and he reminded Ram fans of how he earned that impressive ranking Tuesday night, leading the Rams with an impressive 27-point, 11-rebound double-double in the VCU’s 83-69 Maui Invitational win over the Cal Bears out of the Pac-12.
The Rams got off to a hot start, taking a 55-29 first half lead into the lockers and never looked back.
The black and gold stayed hot on offense, finishing the game 50% from the field, but added some much-improved defense as well, limiting the Bears to just a 43% shooting effort that included just four makes on 15 attempts from three, the first time the Rams have held a team to under double-digit threes since VCU’s opening-season win over Grambling.
VCU turned Cal over 18 times but got a bit sloppy late themselves, turning it over 18 times as well in the win.
Despite giving up a serious size advantage down low, the Rams managed to out-rebound the massive Bear front court, winning the rebound battle 39-34.
Jenkins’ 27 points and 11 rebounds were both career-highs, as the sophomore finished 11 of his 15 attempts in the win. He was the only player to score in double digits for VCU, but the Rams saw three finish with nine each.
Jonathan Williams was one of those players, also leading the game with eight assists on the night.
Fellow senior Justin Tillman added nine points and eight rebounds while freshman Sean Mobley connected on three of his five three-point attempts to finish with nine points in a career-high 19 minutes of play.
Malik Crowfield added eight points while Khris Lane, Mike’l Simms and freshman Tyler Maye al finished with seven points.
The win moves VCU to 3-2 on the season and will set the Rams up for a matchup with the winner of Michigan and Maui Invitational host school, Division II Chaminade.
VCU returns to the Siegel Center Tuesday, November 28 for a home matchup against Appalachian State.