45 teams in NCAA Men’s Basketball are unbeaten in Division 1; 15 of those squads reside in the AP Top 25 alongside #21 VCU. The Rams took on Alabama State in their second Emerald Coast Classic campus game. Monday night’s contest was the Black & Gold’s sixth home game while the Hornets competed in their fifth straight on the road (0-4).
Stingy Hornets & Threes
Alabama State came out firing from the field at 4-of-6 to start the contest. The Hornets were able to break through VCU’s full-court press and made the Rams pay on uncontested shots. De’Riante Jenkins and Marcus Evans kept the Rams at bay with consecutive three-pointers keeping ASU in VCU’s sights.
Evans gave a swift kick for the Black & Gold on offense with quick buckets off of ASU turnovers. Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland and Malik Crowfield added extra firepower off the bench to push VCU ahead at 17-16. The three-pointer was in working condition for VCU shooting 4-of-5 to start the game.
The Wrath of Evans & Simms
Offense turned cold for both teams until Mike’l Simms brought VCU back to life with a corner three. Evans yet again broke free on the fast break as HAVOC continued forcing turnovers out of the Hornets. Simms joined forces alongside Evans to score 8 of VCU’s 12 points during a 12-0 run pushing the Rams in front 32-21.
That lead increased to 18 with Evans knocking down four three-pointers to lead the Rams with 18 points in the first half. The VCU senior from Chesapeake obliterated ASU’s defense with back to back threes and a rebel yell in the closing minutes of the half.
“This team is full of scorers. Anyone can get hot on the night. It was just my night tonight.”
-Marcus Evans, VCU Senior Guard
HAVOC turned 10 ASU turnovers into 13 points. VCU ended the half on an 8-0 run to lead Alabama State 48-26.
Yup. Evans Still Got It!
The hot hand belonged with #2 for the Black & Gold once the 2nd half got underway. Evans knocked down three-pointer #5 to keep the Rams ahead by 17 points. Outside of Evans, VCU’s offense struggled shooting 3-of-10 to begin the 2nd half. After the 1st half of only 2 turnovers, VCU had 3 turnovers in the first 10 minutes of the 2nd half.
Siegel Center raised their displeasure upon a questionable personal foul call on Marcus Evans that resulted in his fourth personal foul. AJ Farrar couldn’t capitalize for ASU missing both free throw attempts and trailing 59-45 with 10:07 remaining.
Bones, Reserves, History
Bones stepped up from the bench and sent VCU back in the right direction from downtown. Simms brought out the Animal on a steal and send to Jenkins on a breakaway two-handed slam to put the Black & Gold back in business offensively.
VCU’s second string handled closing time on the floor to solidify the Black & Gold’s first 6-0 start in school history with a 78-62 win over Alabama State. Marcus Evans led the Rams with a season-high 24 points including five three-pointers. Bones Hyland provided 12 pts as VCU’s backup point guard from the bench. VCU shot 55% from three and 47% and had a 24-18 paint scoring advantage.
On The Road!
#20 VCU goes on the road for the first time this season to Niceville, Florida for the final two games of the Emerald Coast Classic. The Rams battle Perdue on Friday, November 29th at 9:30 PM inside The Arena at Northwest Florida State College. That game will be broadcasted on CBS Sports Network.