Despite trading a pair of misses between both teams to start the game, Marcus Santos-Silva, opened the scoring for the Rams off an assist from fellow veteran, De’Riante Jenkins.
In the first exhibition game since losing seniors, Jonathan Williams, Khris Lane, and Justin Tillman, the Rams needed to come out strong and show that, despite losing major pieces of the puzzle, this years team could tackle the task by committee.
Corey Douglas was the first new face off the bench for the Rams, and promptly put in an electric 6 points, 5 rebounds, 1 block performance in only his first three minutes of action. He would end the night one rebound shy of recording a double-double. He finished with 10 points, 9 rebounds, 4 blocks, and an impressive 6-6 from the free throw line.
The shooting from the free throw line by the Rams tonight was a long refreshing breath. The VCU team went for a combined 17-19 for 90%.
After shooting only 34% from the floor (15-44) in the first half, the Rams seemed to shake loose any offseason rust that may have accumulated, or any freshman nerves that lingered, by the return from half. VCU shot 17-34 in the second half for 50%.
Overall, the Rams had two players reach the double-double milestone, Santos-Silva and Jenkins.
Santos-Silva put in a 12 point, 10 rebound performance, while Jenkins added a 10 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Jenkins also led the team with 4 assists.
Freshman point guard, PJ Byrd, contributed a respectable 2 points and 3 assist to the stat sheet tonight in 17 minutes of play before committing his 5th foul and forced to sit.
Newcomer Vince Williams was responsible for 5 points and 5 rebounds in his 16 minutes of action tonight.
Returning redshirt-senior, Michael Gilmore, had a quiet first half before exploding for back-to-back three pointers in a second half that also included a defensive rebound and a blocked shot.
It was freshman, KeShawn Curry, though who poured the enthusiasm on thick tonight. The freshman guard led all scorers with 15 points on 7-9 shooting (78%). Curry also turned three steals into highlight reel dunks that highlighted his speed and athleticism as much as it did his aggressiveness.
VCU held UVA-Wise to 17% shooting from the floor and, through 14 steals, forced 22 turnovers. The Rams turned those 22 turnovers into 33 points.
The Rams return to action Tuesday, November 6th, as they host Gardner-Webb for the official home-opener in the Stuart C. Siegel Center. That game is set to tip-off at 7PM EST.