In 2012, VCU Men’s Basketball was the #12 seed and upset #5 Wichita State 62-59 in the NCAA Tournament in the second round. 7 years later and the rubber match had arrived in the Siegel Center on Saturday between the Rams and Shockers. VCU turned their game around with a 40-minute performance that left Wichita State under constant pressure.
HAVOC at the Basket!
Jaime Echnique and Markis McDuffie shocked VCU with a 5-0 scoring run for the visitors after winning the tip-off. Marcus Evans responded with the Rams’ first bucket to halt the Shockers’ scoring pace. Issac Vann took over with assistance from De’Riante Jenkins for 4 quick points including a breakaway jam off the steal by Jenkins.
Offense was the name of the game with VCU working at the rim and WSU connecting from beyond the three-point line. Malik Crowfield gave the Rams an extra spark from the bench with aggressive defense and gunning the ball inside. While inside the paint worked wonders at 8-of-9 for VCU, the three ball was nonexistent with the Rams shooting 0-for-7.
Visiting Whistles & Turnovers
Samajae Haynes-Jones and Markis McDuffie ran into early foul trouble for WSU picking up two personal fouls. Head coach Mike Rhoades went further into VCU’s reserves with adding KeShawn Curry to the mix. Curry got down to business on his first jumper from mid-range to keep VCU within 5 points of Wichita State.
Wichita State had more worries as the 1st half continued. Jaime Echnique left the court with a leg injury and Haynes-Jones was whistled for his 3rd personal foul. Turnovers gave VCU the green light with WSU coughing the ball up 11 times for 1 VCU points.
The Vannimal made his mark with 14 first half points. As a team, VCU was shooting 0-for-10 from three until Issac Vann connected on back to back three pointers.
HAVOC was felt under the rim and on defense. VCU scored 18 of their 37 first half points from the painted rectangle. On defense the Rams had 7 steals and held WSU to 48% shooting from the field. At halftime, VCU held a 37-34 lead over the Shockers.
Shocking Turn Of Events
The 2nd half began with a Black & Gold offense exhibition by the Rams. VCU went 5-of-6 to start the half thanks to buckets from Marcus Evans and Marcus Santos-Silva. De’Riante Jenkins ignited the home crowd and VCU’s three pointer with two successful attempts.
As VCU rocketed ahead 49-34, the Shockers were held back shooting 0-for-5 from the field. Wichita State head coach Gregg Marshall did not like what he saw out of the Shockers and burned a 30 second timeout.
Shooting For Nothing
WSU’s second best scorer in Haynes-Jones was called for his fourth personal foul at the 14:25 mark. The struggle continued for the Shockers shooting the ball and infected WSU from three. Nothing was dropping at 0-for-6 behind the arc and WSU going 2-of-13 in the first 10 minutes of the second half.
Frustration for the visitors led to mistakes. McDuffie was bullied by Vince Williams for a tough VCU basket. Words were exchanged by the two as the ball was brought down by Wichita State. An offensive foul was done by McDuffie as he overextended upon Williams to make him fall flat on the court. All Coach Marshall could do was a disappointed facepalm as VCU regained possession.
A Gift That VCU Really Wanted
Siegel Center was full of cheer during the holidays. VCU put on an offensive clinic from the inside out against WSU. A 34-26 scoring advantage in the paint that was led by Santos-Silva and Vann. HAVOC was on the menu with Wichita State turning over the ball 17 times on the night and held to 23% shooting from the field in the 2nd half.
A statement was made on Saturday in the Siegel Center with VCU defeating Wichita State 70-54. Issac Vann scored a team high 18 points and the duo of Marcus Evans and De’Riante Jenkins put up 15 points each. Marcus Santos-Silva was the fourth Ram in double figures with 10 points and 5 rebounds.
Stats & What’s Up Next
Wichita State won the team rebound battle versus VCU 38-32. Markis McDuffie scored 16 points for the Shockers and Jamarius Burton had 12 off the WSU bench. VCU scored 13 points off of WSU turnovers and another 13 on the fastbreak. VCU now leads the all-time series against Wichita State 3-2.
VCU Men’s Basketball takes on Rider in their final non-conference game before Atlantic 10 conference play officially begins. That game will tip-off from the Siegel Center at 2 PM on Sunday, December 30th on MASN.