VCU (13-6, 4-2 A-10) fought a tough battle on the road in a 71-65 loss to Rhode Island (11,7, 4-2 A-10). VCU entered the game hoping for a significant win on a stretch of road games where the Rams would be looking to prove it belongs atop the Atlantic 10 standings. VCU fell just short of that goal, in a hard-fought, often difficult to watch battle with Rhode Island.
Both teams had abysmal shooting performances – Rhode Island shot 41% overall, and just 11% from 3. VCU shot 42% overall and 16.7% from deep. However, the Rhode Island Rams were able to get off 10 more shots than VCU, a result of 19 VCU turnovers, which ultimately handed Rhode Island the win.
VCU’s Marcus Sant0s-Silva led the Rams in scoring with 17 points, 7 rebounds. De’Riante Jenkins and Marcus Evans followed with 16 and 13 points, respectively. Marcus Evans also contributed 6 assists.
VCU put up a good run in the first half, with forward Marcus Santos-Silva helping jumpstart the offense, scoring the first 6 points for VCU.
VCU took an 8 point lead (16-8) at the 11 minute mark after a 9-0 run generated from a series of forced Rhode Island turnovers. The Rams (VCU) played smart defense, and would benefit from patient shot selection.
Rhode Island eventually responded with a 6-0 run of their own, a result of a few VCU turnovers where P.J. Byrd and Marcus Evans struggled to protect the ball, bringing the VCU lead to just 4 at about the 6 minute mark.
At the end of the first half, VCU led Rhode Island 25-21. VCU shot 25% from long range at the half, taking only 4 attempts, and shot 43.5% overall. With 13 turnovers in the half, VCU shot well but struggled to get good opportunities. VCU had 8 points off turnovers in the 1st half, a figure that helped them maintain a lead heading into halftime.
RI took the lead (27-25) for first time in the 2nd half at the 16:32 mark. VCU would never fully recover.
What took place in the 2nd half was a less than stellar performance from both teams.
VCU had one last opportunity down by 5 (65-60) with 1:05 to go with a Rhode Island shot clock violation, where Marcus Evans was subsequently fouled on a missed 3 pointer. Evans would make all three shots, bringing the game to within 2 for VCU with 1:00 remaining.
However, Rhode Island’s Jermaine Harris hit a 2 point turnaround jumper, followed by a VCU turnover on a charge by Marcus Evans. VCU finishes 4-2 in conference play, and will travel next to Pittsburg to face a red hot Duquesne (13-5, 4-1 A-10) team on the road on Saturday, 2:00pm on ESPN+ (MASN).