After a record setting performance at George Mason to claim the Atlantic 10 Regular Season Championship outright, VCU Men’s Basketball returned home to the Siegel Center for Senior Night. The Rams honored Michael Gilmore and Xavier Jackson prior to tip-off against Saint Joseph’s.
Eleven consecutive victories for the Black & Gold had VCU in the groove before their final conference game of the season. Rams added another win at Siegel to send Gilmore and Jackson out on great note before A-10 Tournament play begins.
“This was a good win…I thought Saint Joseph’s played very well. Thought a lot of guys played good minutes.”
-VCU Head Coach, Mike Rhoades
Let’s Get It Started!
Marcus & Marcus got VCU’s offense started after Santos-Silva won the tip-off. Evans created some
Lamarr Kimble kept SJU close with a three pointer after the under-16 timeout. Sean Mobley quickly responded on VCU’s next possession from downtown raising the noise level at the Stu. The Vannimal came to play as Issac Vann collected 5 quick points putting the Rams ahead 14-12.
Micheal Gilmore checked into the game on his big night and brought HAVOC to another level. Gilmore was involved with two consecutive VCU steals after some well placed traps on the Hawks. Those steals lead to Marcus Evans doing damage on the fastbreak and the free throw line.
Vince Williams put in work off the feed by PJ Byrd to the basket for an And-1. Williams drained a three in the Hawks’ face next trip to put VCU up 10 points at 27-17. Evans got Siegel Center even louder after nailing a wide open three for VCU’s 5th three pointer of the first half.
From Beyond The Arc!
Threes continued to fall for the Black & Gold as the lead increased. Lamarr Kimble put a hand in De’Riante Jenkins’ face and that couldn’t stop the VCU three from falling. On the next possession, Vann hit VCU’s 7th three to put the Rams on a 6-0 scoring run.
The ball was hot for VCU in the 1st half shooting 50% from the field along with 7 three pointers. Marcus Evans led the Rams with 11 points and took a 41-33 lead back to the locker room at halftime.
Evans, Crowfield Shows No Mercy
No cool down for Marcus Evans was shown as the 2nd half got underway. Evans would score 10 straight points including three free throws, a three, and two shots in the paint keeping VCU up double-digits. Momentum remained with the Black & Gold while Saint Joseph’s worked on cutting the deficit down.
After Malik Crowfield provided a three off the VCU bench, the Rams lead 56-44 with 11:20 to go. Saint Jospeh’s struggled scoring consistent buckets and could not halt the Rams with their zone defense.
One More Victory
Taylor Funk gave the Hawks something to work with a three followed by a layup from Charlie Brown putting SJU within 9 points. VCU’s lead would get down to 6 until a second wind from Evans and Jenkins revamped the offense after cold shooting streak lasted over 3 minutes.
Coach Rhoades wanted VCU to stay aggressive and loose and the Rams got back on track to finish the job. VCU celebrated victory on Senior Night with a 75-63 win over Saint Joseph’s. This season matched the Rams most conference wins in a season at 16-2 in the Atlantic 10. Rams roll into the Atlantic 10 Tournament on a 12 game win streak as the #1 seed.
“We all want to go to Brooklyn and do what we do.”
–VCU Head Coach, Mike Rhoades
Marcus Evans led VCU with 23 points, 4 assists, and 4 rebounds. Issac Vann collected 15 points and 4 rebounds. De’Riante Jenkins put up 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists against Saint Joseph’s. VCU scored 32 points in the paint and 11 threes.
Time For Brooklyn!
The 2019 Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Tournament takes place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. VCU is the #1 seed and will play the winner of the #8 vs. #9 seed game on Friday, March 15th at Noon. That contest will be broadcasted on NBC Sports Network.