By: Noah Fleischmann
The annual Black and Gold game was held Saturday night at the Siegel Center as the Black team defeated the Gold team, 36-34.
Junior forward Issac Vann propelled the Black team to the victory as he recorded all of his game-high 16 points in the second half. The Black team only scored 20 points in the second half, so Vann accounted for all of but four of the points scored in the final 16 minutes.
Vann opened up shooting 1-for-6 in his first six attempts and had three points. After the five missed buckets, Vann knocked down six of his next eight shots, including another three-pointer to increase his total to 16 points.
The VCU faithful also saw their first glimpse of freshmen KeShawn Curry and P.J. Byrd in the contest. They combined to score 18 points, each logging nine points.
Curry, a Jacksonville, Fla. native, had a big dunk with eight minutes left in the first half that got the crowd on their feet. He shot 3-4 from the free throw line as well as recording two rebounds for the Black team.
“He’s a competitive kid, he’s got an edge, [and] he’s athletic.” Head coach Mike Rhoades said after seeing Curry play in the scrimmage. “He can shoot the ball, but also put it on the floor and I think he’s going to turn into a really good defender.”
Byrd, a Houston native, logged his 18 points in 29 minutes of play for the Gold team. He shot 3-for-9 from the field and drained one three. Byrd also was perfect from the free throw line as he hit both of his attempts.
“P.J. really pushes the tempo,” Rhoades said of the freshman point guard.
Byrd looks to earn the starting point guard spot as redshirt junior Marcus Evans is still out with an Achilles injury.
“He’s close,” Rhodes said of Evans’ status. “If you asked Marcus, he would have wanted 32 minutes today. He’s really coming around.”
Junior De’Riante Jenkins picked up where he left off last season as he had a team-high 13 points for the Gold team. He shot 50 percent from three and he shot a team-high 41 percent from three last season. Jenkins also added three rebounds and recorded two assists. He had a four-point play late in the first half as he was fouled draining a three-pointer in the corner.
“When he’s a downhill player, we’re a better team,” Rhodes said of Jenkins’ play.
Sophomore Marcus Santos-Silva recorded a game-high 11 rebounds including seven offensive boards. He also added four points from the field with a missed free throw.