Tuesday night at the Siegel Center hosted a VCU Men’s Basketball exhibition versus UVA-Wise that many Ram fans wish was the real thing. The Rams welcomed back college hoops on Broad Street with a Black & Gold showcase full of highlight reel offense, smothering defense and some not so wise Cavaliers feeling the HAVOC for 40 minutes.
Off To The Races!
De’Riante Jenkins got his VCU teammates involved offensively right after VCU won the tip-off. Jenkins made two good dishes to Marcus Santos-Silva followed by Sean Mobley for the Rams’ opening buckets. Issac Vann said hello from downtown with a three-ball to get the home crowd roaring in the Siegel Center.
UVA-Wise was not deterred and stayed close with Briggs Parris scoring their first 6 points of the contest. The Cavaliers relied on their freshman for buckets as the rest of the team could not sink one for the next few minutes. During that span, VCU unleashed a 13-0 scoring surge to go up 20-6.
The New Guys in the Ranks!
Vince Williams made his presence felt on the court with a block on the run that denied Parris from the corner three-point spot. Corey Douglas joined Williams as VCU substitutions that went straight to work on the glass and defending the paint from UVA-Wise. HAVOC showcased some good defensive imagery holding the Cavaliers to 13.3% shooting during that span.
Things turned sour for Chance Sheffey later in the first half. After getting in a tangle with Issac Vann over a loose ball, Sheffey was not too happy about the call. As he was mouthing off to the refs and Vann, UVA-Wise had to escort him to the bench to restore order along with the exhibition.
This Looks Familiar…
Eric Okenchi was whistled for his third personal foul with 7:50 to go making things more difficult for the visitors. KeShawn Curry made his Black & Gold debut in a big way by baptizing the rim on a contested dunk that brought everyone to their feet inside the Animal. Crowfield followed that with the Black and Gold’s fourth three-ball of the first half to go up 35-13.
Inside the painted rectangle laid Santos-Silva who led the Rams at the half with 8 points. Santos-Silva owned the backboard with 7 rebounds and wrecked his own version of HAVOC at the rim versus the Cavaliers. VCU finished the first 20 minutes shooting 34.9% and led UVA-Wise 45-21. UVA-Wise had 12 turnovers and the Rams stole the ball 7 times.
A Little of a Delay
The second half had some rough opening minutes for VCU. Sean Mobley left the court frustrated after being whistled for his fourth personal foul just two minutes into the half. After a dominant presence in the first, VCU struggled to establish dominance as UVA-Wise took the fight to the Rams. Santos-Silva finally broke through with a much-needed bucker off a reverse layup just before the under-16 media timeout.
On the opposite side, the Cavaliers continued to have major problems against VCU. UVA-Wise missed their first seven shot attempts of the 2ndhalf. Cameron Whiteside broke the ice with a three-pointer off the assist from Michal Seals.
Back To Scheduled Programming
Curry gave VCU something to cheer about off the bench. Fastbreak after fastbreak saw Curry sprint past everyone for the open basket. VCU did a better job of moving the ball around on offense while also hitting the fastbreak smoothly in transition well ahead of UVA-Wise.
Simms found an open lane to the basket that VCU took advantage of on numerous trip. After a successful layup by Simms, he bounced the ball to Crowfield on the following trip for an easy basket inside. Jenkins was up next with an And-1 layup that turned into a 3 point play at the free throw line.
Not Even Close
Michael Gilmore erupted behind the three-point line with back to back treys to put the game even further out of reach. UVA-Wise could not find a breakthrough against VCU’s defense in the 2ndhalf shooting 12.5% in the half. Briggs Parris played 28 minutes and led UVA-Wise with 9 points against the Rams.
VCU erupted with 50% from the field and outscoring the Cavaliers 42-20 in the 2ndhalf. The final buzzer sounded with VCU defeating UVA-Wise 87-41 in the exhibition.
Stats & What’s Ahead!
KeShawn Curry led the Rams with 15 points on 7-for-9 shooting with 4 rebounds and 3 steals. Marcus Santos-Silva got a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds while De’Riante Jenkins had 10 points and 10 rebounds on the night. Corey Douglas was a rebound short of a double-double with 10 points and 9 rebounds. Mike’l Simms led VCU’s defense with 5 steals against the Cavaliers.
Coming up on Tuesday, November 6this the official 2018-19 season opener for VCU Men’s Basketball versus Gardner-Webb inside the Siegel Center. Tip-off is set for a 7 PM start on MASN.