VCU Men’s Basketball returned home to the Siegel Center after losing two straight Atlantic 10 road games. The Rams welcomed La Salle to the Siegel Center and brought HAVOC out to play as VCU returned to their winning ways Sunday afternoon.
HAVOC Got The Party Started
HAVOC brought the ruckus in the first half. Doug Brooks and Samir Doughty put the pressure on La Salle’s guards to cause back to back turnovers. Doughty was able to ignite the Rams on offense from downtown as VCU looked good after tip-off.
The energy was not lacking inside the Siegel Center as the noise level continued to rise along with HAVOC. Justin Tillman had a scare just two minutes into the game with a bad landing on his leg but the lovable Fro returned to the bench after being checked out by the trainer.
Ahmed Hamdy kept the high tempo of the Black & Gold going from off the bench. The big man out of Egypt kept the Explorers grounded defensively with blocks and rebounds. Hamdy also brought out the Animal with a huge dunk that put the Rams up 7 with 11:42 left in the first half.
Welcome To The Animal Explorers
La Salle was in a bind thanks to HAVOC. VCU surmounted pressure on the Explorers to keep La Salle scoreless for 3:32. Pookie Powell was able to connect from three in hopes of getting the Explorers going offensively. The Rams silenced the Explorers quickly with back to back three-pointers from Jordan Burgess and JeQuan Lewis.
Lewis and VCU had an explosive first half of basketball. Lewis led the Rams with 13 points in the first half on 5-of-6 shooting from the field and a trifecta of three-pointers. Doughty collected 9 points from 16 minutes of action while Hamdy scored 7 points and grabbed 9 rebounds.
Black & Gold 1st Half Dominance
As a team, VCU shot 52% from the field and 50% from downtown on 5-of-10 shooting. The Rams outscored the Explorers 20-4 inside the paint and forced 9 La Salle turnovers. It was a memorable half for the Black & Gold that left VCU fans wanting more immediately.
The Explorers could not deliver a counter in the first half. La Salle was held scoreless for the last 7 minutes of the first half. Justin Tillman delivered the Explorers a nail in the first half coffin with an explosive jam just before the buzzer. VCU rolled into half-time with swagger and a 42-16 lead over La Salle.
No Rest For VCU
Even with a half-time break, VCU handled business in the 2nd half. Doug Brooks out the gates collected 2 steals and a three ball just after the second half began. Doughty was back on the grind for buckets with a quick layup as VCU continued working.
VCU’s bench continued putting in quality minutes in the second half. Hamdy kept the Explorers busy at the rim while Jordan Burgess got on the scoreboard with back to back three balls. As the lead increased, La Salle was able to muster a few buckets but not enough to turn the deficit around.
Sunday was a rough day at the office for La Salle. B.J. Johnson struggled for La Salle with 2 points and went 0-for-8 from the field. Jordan Price was able to score 11 points while Pookie Powell added 10. The Explorers were held to season-low shooting percentages at 28% from the field and 26% from downtown.
Five Rams were able to score double-figures versus La Salle. Justin Tillman led VCU with 16 points and just short of a double-double with 9 rebounds. Ahmed Hamdy got a double-double from the bench with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Samir Doughty and JeQuan Lewis both had 15 points while Jordan Burgess scored 10 points.
VCU only had 10 turnovers in the game and scored 22 points off of La Salle’s 16 turnovers. The Rams bench outscored La Salle 33-23. The paint was all Black & Gold as VCU scored 42 points near the basket against the Explorers.
By Unanimous Decision
VCU put in a complete game against La Salle. The Rams were rewarded with a 90-52 victory to improve to 5-2 in A-10 play and 15-5 overall. La Salle fell to 5-2 in Atlantic 10 conference play and their 5 game winning streak is no more.
VCU Men’s Basketball returns to Atlantic 10 action on Friday, January 27th versus Dayton. Tip-Off is set for 9 PM at the Siegel Center on ESPN 2.
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