#20 VCU (6-2) lose nail-biter matchup against #17 Tennessee (5-1), 72-69

NICEVILLE, Florida - Marcus Santos-Silva scored 22 points, 11 rebounds in a nail-biter matchup with 13 lead changes, as No. 17 Tennessee defeated No. 20 VCU 72-69 on Saturday night in the Emerald Coast Classic.

De’Riante Jenkins connected from 3 with :05 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 69, but Tennessee’s Lamonte Turner answered with a 3 to seal the victory for the Volunteers.

The loss puts VCU (6-2) winless on the road (0-2), while Tennessee (5-1) leaves Destin, FL with a signature win.

At the 7:16 mark, Marcus Santos-Silva tied up the game at 56 with a layup. KeyShawn Curry then followed with a 3 pointer to give the Rams their first lead (59-56) since the 12 minute mark in the first half. It was a momentum shift that carried through the remainder of a the game.

VCU trailed Tennessee 37-26 at the half, shooting 24% overall, 36% from deep. Tennessee out-rebounded VCU in the first half 26 to 13, and scored 18 points in the paint against the Rams. VCU struggled to score in the half, connecting on just 1 shot in the last 12:43 of regulation.

After a close loss to Purdue last night, which included 13 lead changes, the Rams were looking to leave Destin, FL with at least a 1-1 record on the road.

VCU (6-2) will look to bounce back with their return home to the Siegel Center to face cross-state rival Old Dominion (3-5) on Saturday, December 7th at 7:00 PM.
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Matt has been reporting on VCU sports for Ram Nation since 2007 with a focus on news, photos, and feature stories.
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Matt Morton
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