Anticipation turned into reality Friday afternoon with VCU Men’s Basketball taking on Virginia inside the Siegel Center. The two schools in the Commonwealth battled for 40 minutes however VCU didn’t have enough in the tank to derail UVA.
Lane With The Green Light
Khris Lane erupted early on offense for VCU. The senior Freight Train started banging the glass for buckets inside and scorched UVA with a three-pointer. Lane scored 7 of VCU’s first 9 points of the contest.
Virginia stayed ahead of the Rams thanks to Devon Hall and Kyle Guy connecting on three pointers. The Cavaliers were unaffected by the crowd noise early on as UVA slowed the pace down and scored buckets early.
Cavaliers Invade The Stu
More buckets came for the visitors with Virginia launching a 7-0 scoring run. Guy once again connected from downtown while VCU struggled without a bucket for three minutes. Justin Tillman was able to break the cold streak followed by Issac Vann to put the deficit to 13-18.
Another scoring spell for the Cavaliers began just seconds later. UVA kept moving the ball on their side of the court and took advantage of VCU turnovers for fast break points. Once again the Rams went cold on offense for three minutes.
As Jonathan Williams and Issac Vann started turning the momentum, Guy silenced the crowd with his second three-pointer of the 1st half. The Vannimal was unleashed with back to back three-pointers made by Vann on a 6-0 run to make it 30-25.
Good Finish to a Rough Half
VCU was on the wrong side of the turnovers column in the first half. HAVOC was not causing turnovers but the Rams coughed up the ball 8 times that turned into 11 points for UVA. Virginia committed 3 turnovers but VCU could not turn them into points on the scoreboard.
De’Riante Jenkins and Vann got in the grove just before halftime. Jenkins connected on a much need three-pointer followed by cashing in on a second chance bucket. Vann finished the half with 14 points off the VCU bench and forced a UVA turnover with 13 seconds left.
The Rams had one final attempt at the rim but the rim denied VCU with an unfriendly roll out of the basket. Virginia headed back into the locker room with a 38-32 lead over VCU.
More Offense in the 2nd Round
Kyle Guy and Khris Lane got their offenses going as the 2nd half got underway. Lane connected his second three-pointer while Guy continued driving to the basket for buckets. Jack Salt added extra salt to VCU’s wound with a two-handed flush to put UVA up 7 points.
Malik Crowfield scored his first three-pointer of the contest to keep VCU within reach. Foul trouble began to loom for Virginia as Mamadi Diakite and Ty Jerome picked up their third personal fouls with 12 minutes left in the game.
UVA Springs, VCU Stays Alive
Virginia took of the half once again with their defense slowing down the Rams. Jay Huff slammed in an uncontested dunk to bring UVA’s lead to double-digits. Vann came to the rescue from three-pointer range that hit all net as VCU continued working to draw the game closer.
Mike’l Simms put the game within two points on a three-ball that amped up the crowd and VCU. Siegel Center evolved into the Animal with their team trailing 57-59 and 8:02 left on the clock.
The offense for VCU went cold once again however HAVOC made an appearance to keep to contest close. Khris Lane picked up his third personal foul on the charge and was replaced by Santos-Silva, Jenkins got the arena fired up with an And-1 contested layup for the three-point play to make it 60-63 UVA.
Just Not Enough Juice
Time continued winding down with VCU still trailing the Cavaliers. Kyle Guy restarted UVA on offense with his fourth three-pointer to pad the lead back up to 5 points. Ty Jerome hit a clutch three-ball well beyond NBA range to inch UVA closer to the finish line.
Jonathan Williams did not go quietly into the night with 5 quick points including a three to make it 67-71 with one minute remaining. Guy put the game out a reach with one more bucket from mid-range in a career-high performance of 29 points.
The deficit was too great for VCU as the Rams fell to Virginia 76-67 at the Siegel Center. Issac Vann led the way from VCU’s bench with 19 points and 5 rebounds. Jonathan Williams had 14 points and 8 assists against the Cavaliers. Khris Lane was the third Ram in double-digits with 12 points and 5 rebounds.
VCU committed 12 turnovers that turned into 16 points for Virginia. VCU outrebounded UVA 36-26 and went 46% from the field. Next up for VCU Men’s Basketball is the Maui Invitational. The Rams will take on Marquette at 2:30 PM on Monday, November 20th in Hawaii.