The VCU Rams trumped the University of Rhode Island Rams at home, 68-52, extending their winning streak to six.
The game was riddled with poor offensive execution, specifically in the second half, countered with great defensive intensity.
Senior forward Juvonte Reddic lead the way with 14 points and 11 rebounds. This marks Reddic’s ninth double-double of the season, and his fourth in the last four games.
Coach Smart has stressed in practice that the offensive focus has shifted from guard play to the paint.
“You’ve got to feed the beast sometimes,” redshirt freshman Jordan Burgess said.
The Rams came out strong in the first half and shot 15-33 from the field (45.5%), with 24 points in the paint. However, it was a tale of two halves.
In the second half, Shaka’s team shot an abysmal 6-29 (20.7%) from the field. However, the Havoc system was able to force 11 second-half turnovers and 20 for the game.
URI struggled from the field as well, only shooting 18-52 (35%) for the game. Despite being undersized in comparison to VCU, they recorded 40 rebounds for the game, only four fewer than what VCU had.
Despite URI’s struggles, junior forward Gilvydas Burita had a solid performance, just missing a double-double, with nine points and 14 rebounds. Senior guard Xavier Munford was also able to record 10 points and five rebounds.
Coach Smart agreed that his team’s offense did suffer remarkably but he was impressed with the defensive effort.
“I tell the guys all the time if you want to become a great team…we’re going to have to continue to get better at sustaining our defense throughout the game. Tonight was a good step.”
The Rams will leave the homestead and travel to Saint Joseph’s for the Feb. 8 tilt, also airing on the CBS Sports Network.