Shorthanded VCU tripped up by UMass; losing streak reaches five

Shorthanded VCU tripped up by UMass; losing streak reaches five
Issac Vann handles the basketball during VCU's 79-65 loss at Dayton on January 14, 2020. (Source: VCU Athletics)

AMHERST, MA (WWBT) - VCU is hitting marks it hasn’t seen this century, and not in a good way. The Rams struggled from the floor in the second half and fell to Massachusetts, 60-52, at the Mullins Center on Wednesday night. It’s the first five game losing streak VCU has suffered since February of 1998.

The two squads battled back and forth for the first half. The Rams went on a late 7-0 run in the frame to open up a seven point lead and held a 33-28 advantage at the break.

Early in the second half, it looked as though the black and gold might open it up and take control. Issac Vann’s lay-up with 15:07 remaining gave VCU a 38-30 lead. However, that’s when the Minutemen caught fire, going on an 11-0 run of their own to go up 41-38. Marcus Santos-Silva’s lay-up with 9:41 to play gave the Rams the lead back, 42-41, but UMass quickly responded and would take control for good.

VCU shot just 23 percent (7-30) from the floor during the second half and hit just one of its nine three point attempts. The black and gold shot 31.6 percent for the game and were out-rebounded by UMass, 37-35. Depth went to the Minutemen, whose bench outscored VCU’s, 16-2.

Santos-Silva paced the Rams with 14 points and 11 rebounds, his tenth double-double of the season. De’Riante Jenkins added 13 points, scoring 10 in the first half. UMass’s Carl Pierre led all scorers with 21 points, while freshman sensation Tre Mitchell scored 19 points and pulled down 15 boards.

VCU played without Marcus Evans, Corey Douglas and Vince Williams, who were all sidelined with various injuries. Evans continued to rest his sprained MCL, Douglas is nursing a foot injury, while Williams sat with a calf issue.

The Rams fell to 17-11, 7-8 in the Atlantic 10, and dropped to ninth in the conference standings. They’ll return home to face George Washington at the Siegel Center on Saturday at 4:00pm.

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