VCU men’s basketball routs Virginia State in preseason tune-up

Senior guard Marcus Evans logged a team-high 15 points Saturday night. Photo by Tzeggai Isaac.

Noah Fleischman, Sports Editor

It was raining threes for sophomore guard KeShawn Curry in the first half, as he hit a trio of them to propel men’s basketball over Virginia State 90-53 Saturday night at the Siegel Center. 

Curry finished the night with 14 points, one behind team-leader senior guard Marcus Evans’ 15. 

“[Curry] gives us such a positive punch on both ends of the ball,” coach Mike Rhoades said. “He knocks the ball on defense, causes some problems. Offensively, he improved his shot, he can get to the rim.”

Senior forward Mike’l Simms set the tone for the night with some havoc defense, ripping the ball away from a Virginia State player off the tip-off and laying it in for two points. 

VCU held Virginia State to shooting 18% from the field in the first half and 34% for the game. 

The Rams experimented with different combinations on the floor during a 14-2 run over eight minutes of the first half. 

Rhoades used a young lineup of freshman forward Hason Ward, freshman guard Bones Hyland sophomore forward Vince Williams, senior guard Malik Crowfield and Curry midway through the first half that sparked the run for the Rams. 

Curry hit his first of three 3-pointers on the night during the run, just before the under-12 minute media timeout. He ended a scoring drought later in the half after nailing a long 3-pointer with just under five minutes to play in the first half. 

“When I hit the first one it felt great,” Curry said. “The other two were open so whatever happens, happens.”

Later in the half, Curry logged back-to-back baskets: hitting a 3-pointer and then a layup soon after. His only miss of the half was on an acrobatic layup attempt that was tipped in by Santos-Silva. 

VCU shot 39.4% from the field in the first half, including 31.3% from three. 

Simms opened the second half with a quick five points, including a 3-pointer. He finished the night with 10 points. 

Hyland found his stroke from deep in the second half, nailing two 3-pointers in back-to-back attempts. He finished with 9 points, all from deep. 

“The best thing about Bones right now … he’s very, very coachable, he has an awesome heart, he wants to get better,” Rhoades said. “When you see it go in, people get confident.”

Sophomore forward Vince Williams logged 24 minutes and six points only six days removed from returning to practice after offseason shoulder surgery. 

The Rams kept the train rolling in the second half, outscoring the Trojans 52-34 en route to the victory. 

VCU hosts St. Francis (Pa.) in the season opener Nov. 5 at 7 p.m.

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