VCU Men’s Basketball welcomed George Mason into the Siegel Center Wednesday night for another round of Rams vs. Patriots. George Mason stumbled in on a 4 game losing streak and sat near the bottom of the A-10 standings at 2-8. Wednesday was a night of regret for VCU after a flat performance against the Patriots.
Welcome To The Trap!
HAVOC began the night trapping the Patriots to force 3 turnovers before the under-16 timeout. Mason had difficulty breaking free with multiple Rams smothering their opposition with pressure to force the ball away. Marcus Santos-Silva led the VCU offense early to the basket including a one-handed slam putting the Rams ahead.
George Mason quickly regrouped and launched a 9-0 run ahead of the Rams. Jordan Miller put his foot on the gas to the rim to start the scoring festivities. Following that was a pair of dunks and a Xavier Johnson three-ball giving the visitors momentum and a scoring cushion up 6. VCU went scoreless for 3:27 until the next media timeout.
Turn Up The Heat
Shooting woes continued for VCU for just over 6 minutes until De’Riante Jenkins broke the ice from three. The freezer burn at the Stu infected GMU after their 9-0 run going scoreless for 5:12 while the Black & Gold mustered a pending comeback.
That comeback was realized on a 7-0 Black & Gold run led by Bones Hyland’s steals and De’Riante Jenkins layups. Just as the Rams and Siegel started to roam, Jordan Miller silenced everyone with a corner three to stop VCU’s scoring streak. Issac Vann sprinkled some Stu Magic with 1:27 remaining on an And-1 three-pointer after the shooting foul by Greene just as the shot clock expired.
De’Riante Jenkins led VCU with 13 points in 15 minutes as the Black & Gold held a 33-30 lead at the break. Defense reigned supreme for VCU forcing 12 GMU turnovers and 8 steals.
More Of The Same…
A similar start was on the floor in the 2nd half. George Mason went 0-for-3 from the field then found the green light making 3 straight to regain the lead at 36-33. VCU once again was frozen making only one field goal in the first 10 minutes of the second half. As the Rams continued their search for offense, GMU went on a 14-0 run to increase their lead to 15 points.
During a time of chaos, Bones shined a glimmer of hope. With 2:29 left, Hyland connected from three and followed that with a steal into another three-pointer cutting the deficit to 8. Siegel Center came unhinged as Bones continued his offense from the free-throw line. Vince Williams kept the run going with a steal and layup finish bringing VCU just 6 points behind GMU.
Who Would Have Thought?
Even with threes from Jenkins and Williams, Mason finished the game from the free-throw line to seal the deal. The Patriots’ 4 game losing streak came to an end at the Siegel Center with a 72-67 upset over VCU. George Mason outrebounded VCU 48-27 including 15 offensive rebounds.
“(George Mason) beat us to every rebound, loose balls. They wanted to win more than we did. Can’t sugarcoat it. Disappointing.”
De’Riante Jenkins led VCU with 16 points against George Mason. Issac Vann scored 13 points and Bones Hyland hit 11 points along with Marcus Santos-Silva. HAVOC forced 19 turnovers and scored 15 points. Marcus Evans is being evaluated after a knee-to-knee collision on his sprained MCL led to an early exit from the game.
Return Of A Rivalry
Chapter 2 of the Capital City Classic arrives at the Robins Center on Saturday, February 15th between VCU and Richmond. VCU took first blood at the Siegel Center 87-68 over the Spiders. Tip-off starts at 4 PM on CBS Sports Network.