VCU’s win at Texas on Wednesday evening was cathartic for VCU fans. After the Rams dropped a very close (71-67) home game to Texas last season during Shaka Smart’s return to the Siegel Center, Wednesdays game was one that had many implications for VCU fans, including closure for those looking to seal a chapter in VCU history.
VCU’s matchup with Texas was looking to be a tough road game, particularly after seeing the Longhorns take down then #7-ranked UNC early in the season. Texas has struggled though as of late, particularly with the lack of production from star senior guard Kerwin Roach II who is shooting just 19% through the last 3 games. For the Rams, a win on the road against a Big 12 team looks good on the resume regardless.
Here are some key takeaways from that game:
Marcus Santos-Silva showed up BIG.
Marcus out-rebounded both Texas bigs Dylan Osetkowski and Jericho Sims combined with a career-high 16 rebounds, half of which were much-needed offensive rebounds that helped VCU stay in the game offensively. He recorded 10 points, another career-high 5 steals, and 2 blocks.
Havoc Lives Here.
VCU forced Texas to turn the ball over a 18 times on Wednesday. That’s a season-high for Texas. Further, the Rams allows the Longhorns to score just 4 points in the final 7 minutes of play, and forced 8 turnovers in the stretch. Defense was key in VCU’s victory, as it struggled offensively, shooting just 28% overall (24% from 3).
Ram Nation travels.
Here’s a quote from Mike Rhoades following the win: “As much as our fans want us to be successful and win, and win all the time, which is great, they really care about our players.” “I think that’s a special thing, I don’t think that’s everywhere.” VCU fans made their presence known in Austin.
When the media can still hear your fans in the press room 20 minutes after the game:
— VCU Basketball (@VCU_Hoops) December 7, 2018
VCU fans showed up in masses. Loudest opposing fan base I’ve ever covered in Austin. They were chanting for over 20 minutes straight after the final buzzer.
— Steve Helwick (@s_helwick) December 6, 2018
— VCU Basketball (@VCU_Hoops) December 6, 2018
Here are the highlights from Wednesday night:
VCU will travel to Charlottesville this Sunday to face the undefeated #4-ranked Virginia Cavaliers in a return game of a home-and-home series between the two programs. The Rams will need continued focus on their #14-Kenpom-rated defense as they face a UVA program that does a good job of protecting the ball.