LAHAINA, HI (WWBT) - Malik Crowfield scored 17 points and Justin Tillman added 15, but it wasn't enough, as VCU fell to Marquette, 94-83, to open play in the 2017 Maui Invitational.
Crowfield scored eight of the Rams' first ten points, as VCU jumped out to a 10-3 lead, but a 12-0 Golden Eagle run erased the lead and put Marquette in front for the remainder of the half. The two teams went into the locker room with the Rams trailing, 45-44. VCU would briefly take the lead early in the second half, but Marquette would respond once again. A Tillman three-pointer would pull the Rams to within five points at 86-81 with 2:56 remaining, but the Golden Eagles went on a quick 4-0 surge to slam the door down the stretch.
VCU (2-2) forced 17 Golden Eagle turnovers, leading to 24 points, but the Rams' inability to pull in rebounds gave Marquette several extra opportunities, making a big difference in the outcome. The Eagles outscored VCU, 22-6, in second-chance points, and out-rebounded Mike Rhoades' team, 40-33..
Marquette also shot 51.5 percent from the floor, including 13 three pointers. Markus Howard paced the Golden Eagle attack with 22 points, while Sam Hauser and Andrew Rowsey added 20 points apiece.
In addition to Crowfield and Tillman, De'Riante Jenkins was the only other Ram in double figures with eleven points.
Redshirt sophomore forward Issac Vann left the game in the second half with an ankle injury. X-rays were negative and he is considered day-to-day. Vann will be re-evaluated prior to Tuesday's game with California at 4:00pm ET. The Golden Bears blew a double-digit lead against No. 6 Wichita State on Monday.