Saturday night at the Siegel Center featured VCU Men’s Basketball versus one of the Atlantic 10’s early front-runners. George Mason rode into RVA on a 5 game win streak with a 7-1 record at the top of the A-10 standings.
A local contest of Rams vs. Patriots before the big game on Sunday had fans amped inside the arena before tip-off. Fans of the Rams were entertained from downtown and all around the Stu as the Patriots struggled to perform in hostile territory.
HAVOC made an impact on Mason by forcing a shot clock violation on the visitors first possession. VCU got their offense rushing to the basket thanks to Issac Vann and Marcus Santos-Silva. Justin Kier led Mason back on leveled terms with an And-1 off the shooting foul by Santos-Silva before the first media timeout.
Perimeter defense aided the Rams with the help of double teaming. VCU forced 3 turnovers for Mason in the first 10 minutes of the contest. Otis Livingston II felt the wrath of HAVOC that turned into two points for the Black & Gold.
Mason Levels, VCU Pulls Away
Jordan Miller turned things around for George Mason with an And-1 bucket. Miller was able to get his own offensive board off the miss and finish through contact from Corey Douglas. The free throw was good to give the Patriots a one point lead.
Head coach Mike Rhoades went to his Ram Army to find some more production. KeShawn Curry was up to the task by scoring a layup just 10 seconds into checking into the game. Douglas kept working at the basket while Michael Gilmore knocked down a three to put VCU up 5.
Runnin’ Up The Score!
After that three by Gilmore, Vann got a steal near halfcourt leading to Mobley scoring on a breakaway. VCU went on a 7-1 scoring run while Mason didn’t score from the field for 3 minutes.
While the three ball was not up to shooting standards, VCU did damage inside with 18 points in the paint. HAVOC fed on 9 turnovers from the Patriots that turned into 11 points. A 38-30 lead at halftime for the home team had Ram fans excited at the Siegel Center.
A Patriotic Adjustment
George Mason regrouped in the 2nd half and responded with 10-0 scoring run. The Patriots were able to make a lane towards the basket with points from Calixte and Miller. Livingston slammed home a dunk and Javon Greene went 2-for-2 at the free throw line. At the first media timeout, George Mason cut the deficit to 46-42.
De’riante Jenkins iced the Patriots on a well timed three pointer. VCU showed improvement from three with Malik Crowfield and Sean Mobley knocking down treys alongside Jenkins. As the Rams started to regroup, Mason found themselves in foul trouble with Justin Kier picking up his 4th personal foul.
It’s GOOD! It’s GOOD! It’s GOOD!
The three pointer came alive along thanks to the some VCU heroics. Gilmore started the 9-0 run with a hoist from the spot that hit all net. On VCU’s next possession, Gilmore hit another contested three to send Siegel Center in pandemonium. Mike’l Simms iced the cake with VCU’s third consecutive three ball that put the Rams 9 points ahead of the Patriots.
VCU was in a scoring trance and George Mason could not stop the Rams. The Vannimal in Issac Vann kept scoring from everywhere to lead the Rams with 21 points on the night. Vann’s third three pointer brought VCU back to a double-digit lead that sent Ram fans bonkers on a Saturday night. Even with 4 personal fouls, Coach Rhoades told Vann to “let it out” and the Vannimal did just that.
HAVOC at the Perimeter
No help from three was at George Mason’s disposal. VCU held the Patriots to a season-worse 10.5% from downtown on 2-of-19 shooting. The three ball sparked in the 2nd half with 7 Black & Gold three pointers to give VCU the 79-63 victory.
Marcus Evans was battling a cramping issue during the contest and finished the game with 11 points, 5 assists, and 3 rebounds. Michael Gilmore put up 11 points off the VCU bench and shot 3-of-4 from long range. Marcus Santos-Silva was the 4th Ram in double digits with 10 points and 5 rebounds.
Another Day At The Offic
A huge night of teamwork according to Coach Rhoades resulted in VCU dishing out 21 assists compared to 11 turnovers. George Mason had the paint advantage winning the rebound battle 38-33 and scoring 42 points at the basket. The Patriots lead the game for only 50 seconds against the Rams.
The Rams improved to 6-2 in the Atlantic 10 and 15-6 overall. George Mason’s 5 game winning streak was snapped at the Siegel Center and the Patriots fell to 7-2 in A-10 play.
Back On The Road!
Next week starts a