Noah Fleischman, Sports Editor
When the Rams played at Wichita State last Saturday, they made four 3-pointers in the contest, struggling from beyond the arc.
Fast forward a week and a day later and men’s basketball knocked down a season-best 14 3-pointers in the win over Loyola (Md.) on Sunday night.
“I thought our guys came back with a little chip after our road game before Christmas,” coach Mike Rhoades said. “We had some good days of practice and locked in.”
With the university in winter break, the players have been able to practice more and work on their perimeter shooting.
“We’ve been working on it for a while now and I guess with break, we came back and we’ve been putting work in and tonight it just showed up,” senior guard De’Riante Jenkins said. “The shots fell tonight.”
Jenkins logged 15 points on 5-for-11 shooting from beyond the arc. Freshman guard Bones Hyland recorded a career-best 15 points on 5-for-7 shooting from deep.
“A lot of reps over the last two days,” sophomore guard KeShawn Curry said of the practices. “A lot of guys, you could tell they went home and it wasn’t a slack off, they came back and they was ready to play — shooting the ball well.”
Curry knocked down a triple en route to a career-high 12 points.
The threes were raining down, many of which from open looks created by inside, outside play and quick ball movement.
“I love when guys share the ball because it’s the right play,” Rhoades said. “Sometimes when that ball just moves, it ends up in the right player’s hand at the right time and that’s an assist.”
The Rams logged 24 assists on 31 made baskets throughout the night. Jenkins and Hyland each logged a team-high five assists in the contest.
At times in the contest, the black and gold were forced to shoot threes as the Greyhounds packed the paint to reduce the amount of touches junior forward Marcus Santos-Silva recorded. Loyola outscored VCU in the paint 32-24 on the night.
“They really packed it in and dared us at times,” Rhoades said. “We had some great opportunities with some inside, outside threes.”
The Rams attempted a season-high 34 3-pointers — the most since they took 34 threes against St. Johns on Nov. 20, 2018.
The Rams host Fordham on Jan. 2 at 7 p.m. to kickoff A-10 play.