By: Jacob Sexton
VCU beat Saint Joseph’s 75-63 in the final regular season game.
VCU would have full control of the game as they only trailed for 49 seconds all night. This was due to the explosiveness of Marcus Evans when he was on the floor. In thirty minutes, he had 23 points, four rebounds and four assist. He also helped Issac Vann with having a 15 point night, with four rebounds and one assists. De’riante Jenkins would have himself a 11 point night with six rebounds and four assist.
The crowd saw VCU distribute the ball well as they had 21 assist on a Saint Joseph’s defense that struggled throughout the night. What kept the Hawks in the game was having four of their players in double digits, with Guard Lamarr Kimble and Forward Charlie Brown scoring 15 points each and Guards Jared Bynum and Chris Clover with ten points a piece.
While we saw break away buckets from Issac Vann and threes from the Rams after Hawks turnovers, there was one fast break moment from Corey Douglas. Heading towards the rim, he was attempting to do a dunk but didn’t convert. Issac Vann recommend Douglas to take lessons from him.
“Cut him (Douglas) off from flight school…,” Vann said in the post-game interview.
While the Rams have won their 12th straight game, Evans says that the team has to stay focused heading to Brooklyn for the A-10 Conference Tournament.
“We got to stay locked in. Don’t want to leave it by chance. We need to win the conference tournament,” Evans said.
Evans has been outstanding for the Rams this season with his leadership and his play and Coach Mike Rhodes believes that he’s up for contention in conference player of the year.
“Absolutely. It’s all about winning. If your lead your team to win the way he’s done it with big baskets… I hope they watched what we did,” Rhodes said.
VCU’s play throughout the season has been known for their defense and Vann even said that it was their calling card. While VCU’s defense improved from last season, Coach Rhodes still remembers how the defense played last season and doesn’t want to relive that chapter of his coaching career.
“We were one of the worst defensive teams I coached in my 23 years of coaching last year… not going through that again… can’t have an achieving culture that way,” Rhodes said.
For the rest of the team, Forward Vince Williams has seven points. While the two seniors on the team, Forward Michael Gilmore and Guard Xavier Jackson saw time on the floor, they both had zero points on the night.
VCU now stands on top of the A-10 as regular season champions with a 25-6 record, a win total that hasn’t been met since the 2016-2017 Rams squad achieved that many victories with a 26-9 record under Will Wade.