The first half of tonight contest was every bit of a rivalry game that fans should have expected. VCU lost back-to-back games in the Emerald Coast Classic—while ODU lost 5 straight games coming into tonight—but it felt like a battle for the CAA title was on the line once again.
The Monarchs took a 29-28 lead into the locker room after the game had already seen nine lead changes. ODU was shooting 41% at the break while VCU was struggling to connect from the floor at 34%.
The Rams came out of the locker room inspired though: A Marcus Santos-Silva free throw tied the game and then a layup by Issac Vann gave VCU lead. They’d hold on to that lead for the rest of the game.
The Monarchs kept it close until Freshman, Bones Hyland, checked in for VCU and hit a three-pointer to give the Rams their largest lead of the night to this point—a margin of five points.
Hyland then found Corey Douglas (5pts/1reb) on the next play with a wrap around bounce pass in the paint.
Malik Crowfield proceeded to hit three long range three-pointers over the next four minutes—including back-to-back triples assisted by Hyland.
Hyland scored of assisted on 11 straight points for the Rams and pushed them out to a 49-39 lead.
Crowfield would end the night a perfect 3-3 from the field—all from distance. He had 9 points on the night.
Hyland ended the evening with 5 points and 3 assists.
In total, the VCU bench contributed 25 points for the Rams.
The Monarchs would chip back to a 5 point deficit, but that was as close as the game would get, as a three-pointer from Vann would be the start of a 14-3 run that locked the victory up for the Rams.
Santos-Silva led all-scorers with 13 points. The big man also grabbed 4 rebounds for VCU on the night.
Marcus Evans and Vann both hit 10 points for the night and were the only other Rams in double-figures at the sound of the final buzzer.
VCU returns to action Sunday, December 15th, as they host Missouri State. That game is set to tip at 7pm and will be broadcast on MASN.