Men’s Basketball defeated Virginia-Wise 87-41 Tuesday night in its final preseason tune up behind freshman guard KeShawn Curry’s game-high 15 points in only 15 minutes played.
“Tonight just showed a sneak peek, he’s a really good player,” junior guard De’Riante Jenkins said of Curry.
The Rams jumped out to an early four-point lead in the first half. They then added to the lead with an 11-0 run that spanned more than six minutes of play.
Freshman guard P. J. Byrd made a big steal right after he entered the game and dished it to redshirt-junior guard Mike’L Simms, who made a 3-pointer from the corner, during the big first half run.
Back-to-back blocks by Rams from Jenkins and redshirt-sophomore forward Corey Douglas got the crowd on their feet.
Curry made a loud entrance to the Siegel Center, scoring five points within 14 seconds. He was fouled shooting a layup, converted the bucket and hit the free throw for the 3-point play. Curry then stole the ball after the inbounds pass from the Cavaliers and capped it off with a monster dunk.
“He’s a really good key factor on the top of the diamond and you are going to see a lot more flashy dunks by this kid,” said sophomore forward Marcus Santos-Silva. “He’s really good.”
The Black and Gold took a 45-21 lead into the halftime break as Santos-Silva led the team with eight points and seven rebounds.
VCU opened up the second half the same way as the first 20 minutes — the Rams went on a 10-0 run in the first 7:35 of the half.
Redshirt-senior forward Michael Gilmore gave the Black and Gold faithful something to get loud about in the second half as he recorded two blocks in less than a minute for the Rams.
The Rams kept their foot on the gas as they went on another run, outscoring the Cavaliers 20-6 over a six minute span.
VCU scored 50 points in the paint compared to UVA-Wise’s eight. The Rams shot 41 percent from the field and 25 percent beyond the arc.
The Rams outscored the Cavaliers 32-17 in the second half.
Santos-Silva and Jenkins each finished with double-doubles. Santos-Silva had 12 points and 10 rebounds. Jenkins logged 10 points and 10 rebounds in 22 minutes on the floor.
“I didn’t realize how much I missed this crowd and atmosphere,” Santos-Silva said. “One thing [Jenkins] told me last year was, ‘It’s going to be a long wait until your sophomore year.’ I didn’t realize that until now and it was a long wait.”
The Rams distributed minutes throughout the entire roster with Jenkins logging the most at 22.
“Coach says we are an army,” Douglas said. “We’re sent in waves and we will keep coming every couple minutes sending new guys in, fresh legs, and creating havoc.”