The 2019-20 season officially began for VCU Men’s Basketball at the Siegel Center on Tuesday Night versus Saint Francis (PA). #25 VCU took the game inside against the Red Flash with VCU going through the first game jitters and beginning the season in the win column.
Make Way For #0 & HAVOC!
De’Riante Jenkins was VCU’s offensive catalyst as the game got underway. The Rams had #0 to thank for their first four points while as a team VCU shot 3-of-7 to start the game. Things started to go in motion at the basket with Marcus Santos-Silva doing the work for his first basket. Saint Francis (PA) made a costly turnover on the inbound that sent Mike’l Simms and Siegel into a frenzy before the first media timeout.
VCU’s lead would increase to 11-6 afterward thanks to a 9-0 scoring run. Corey Douglas added two from inside and Marcus Evans capped the run from downtown. Saint Francis had a difficult time breaking through HAVOC missing seven consecutive shots in a 3-minute span. High tempo was the name of the game with the Black & Gold putting constant pressure on the Red Flash while expanding their lead to double-digits.
SHUT IT DOWN!
After 10 minutes of play, VCU was cooking at 60% from the field while SFU was stuck on the floor shooting 20%. Isaiah Blackmon and Keith Braxton continued firing on offense scoring 7 combined of the Red Flash’s nine points in total. The duo would kick into gear late into the half co-leading SFU with 6 points each.
The paint was covered in Black & Gold after the first thanks to a 22-8 scoring advantage for VCU. HAVOC kept the Red Flash on lock shooting 24% from the field and 10% at three going 1-of-10. For VCU, Jenkins led with 9 points and 3 rebounds while Santos-Silva was on the verge of a double-double at half collecting 9 rebounds and 8 points. VCU led Saint Francis (PA) 36-22 at halftime.
A Battle For Tempo Control
Coach Krimmell wanted the Red Flash to slow the game down to begin the 2nd half. Saint Francis did just that scoring a pair of much-needed buckets to cut the deficit. HAVOC would crash the party and crank the game back up forcing opposing turnovers that lead to fastbreak points.
Three minutes into the half and Santos-Silva collected his first double-double of the season. Santos-Silva was a physical yet vocal leader as the VCU junior took control of the paint to everyone’s approval at the Siegel Center. He got the crowd roaring with a defensive takeaway that led to a solo dunk of rim-rattling proportions.
A 20 point margin at 50-30 had the Rams roaming away from the Red Flash. VCU’s offense took a backseat going 5:40 without a bucket awhile SFU started to run towards the rim. Saint Francis got within 10 points of the Rams until Jenkins scorched the Red Flash with an And-1 layup through contact.
Flashing Red..(Shut-Down Activated)
Saint Francis got another lifeline with Myles Thompson hitting a three-pointer as Santos-Silva fouled him on the shot. Trailing 63-50, the Red Flash could not cash-in even with VCU committing 17 turnovers. On the other end, HAVOC countered with forcing turnovers but also couldn’t convert them into points as time winded down.
Tyler Stewart would foul out of the game late for SFU. Moments following that, Ramiir Dixon-Conover used a timeout and limped off the court painfully. Jenkins slammed the nail in SFU’s coffin as the VCU senior soared to the rim to finish the night scoring 16 points. Santos-Silva finished his double-double tally with 21 points and 18 rebounds against the Red Flash.
#25 VCU starts the 2019-20 season at 1-0 defeating Saint Francis (PA) 72-58 at the Siegel Center. A 42-22 paint scoring advantage for the Black & Gold while outrebounding SFU 42-39. HAVOC scored 20 points off of SFU’s 19 turnovers.
Injury Updates & What’s Next!
Vince Williams was inactive due to a concussion. His status is day-to-day but Coach Rhoades shared that Williams should be ready for the next game. Malik Crowfield left the game with a minor leg injury and will be further evaluated.
VCU returns to action on Friday, November 8th for Homecoming against North Texas. Tip-off goes up at 7 PM inside the Siegel Center on MASN.