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VCU began their first home stretch of the season at the Siegel Center where games are much different than before. Due to COVID-19 regulations, only 250 fans are allowed in the arena. But even with much fewer fans in what is usually one of the best environments in college basketball, the Rams dominated their opponents winning all three games by at least 18 points.
MOUNT ST. MARY’S
Once Bones Hyland found his stride, there was no turning back for the Rams who beat the mountaineers 60-42. The sophomore guard went four of eight from three and used back-to-back three’s to fuel a 23-2 VCU run. The Rams also used their defensive presence to contribute to the home opener victory. VCU scored 26 points off of 22 Mount St. Mary’s turnovers.
Tre Clark had a notable performance off the bench with 4 steals. VCU had 17 on the night. Freshman Ace Baldwin chipped in with 5 rebounds and 5 assists.
Possibly the biggest disappointment of the night for the Rams was shooting 38% from three (7-18). It wouldn’t matter because the score was tied just once and after near halfway of the first half, there was no turning back for coach Rhoades and VCU.
NORTH CAROLINA A&T
The Rams scored the most points in a game since 2014 against Maryland-Eastern Shore in their rout of the Aggies 95-59. The story once again was Bones Hyland who went for a career night scoring 30 points and going 7/12 from three including making his last six in a row.
Other notable performances included Ace Baldwin’s 10 points and team leading five assists. Vince Williams had seven points and a team high eight rebounds.
The Rams efficient shooting notched this win from early on when VCU began on a 9-0 run. They would go on to finish shooting 62% (35/56) and 45% from three (11/24).
The Aggies were held to shooting 29% from the field (17/58) and 20% from three (4/20). VCU continued their season-long streak of forcing every opponent to at least 15 turnovers with the Aggies turning the ball over 15 times.
The instate rivalry tensions were high coming into the 96th meeting all time between these two teams. VCU had beat ODU last year at the Siegel Center and was looking to continue their dominance on Saturday night. However, the home court advantage seemed to help the Rams as they dominated the Monarchs 77-54. VCU went on a 21-4 run in the first half limiting ODU to just 22 points in the half.
Bones Hyland once again led the way for the Rams with 15 points and six steals. Freshman Mikeal Brown-Jones had an under the radar performance with 10 points and five rebounds in 15 minutes.
ODU did not score a point in the first half till over 5 minutes had gone by. The Rams once again held their opponent to shooting 20% from three (3/15) and shot just under 39% for the game and forced 17 turnovers. VCU leads the all time series between the two teams 52-44.
RECAP AND UP NEXT
Despite junior Keshawn Curry still being out due to a shoulder injury, the Rams offense has not missed a beat. Vince Williams, who has replaced Curry in the starting lineup has played to expectations as the team’s second leading scorer averaging 10 points per game and just under five rebounds.
VCU is tied for third in the nation in blocks with 40, 3rd in steals with 75, and tied for 12th in steals per game averaging 10.7.
After canceling their match against Louisiana due to being over the 27 game limit for the season, VCU will finish their homestand and look for their sixth win of the season against Western Carolina on December 15th.
The Catamounts are 6-1 on the season and coming off a 104-98 victory against North Carolina A&T. VCU is 4-0 against Western Carolina but haven’t faced off since 1978 in a 88-61 victory.
Western Carolina has a high powered offense averaging 87 points per game and four players averaging in double figures including team leader whose averaging 18 points per game and seven rebounds.
Tip off is at 7 p.m.