Big Shot Bones: Hyland’s Heroics lift VCU past Rhode Island

Big Shot Bones: Hyland’s Heroics lift VCU past Rhode Island
Bones Hyland scored a career-high 31 points in VCU's win over Western Carolina on December 15, 2020. (Source: WWBT NBC12)

KINGSTON, RI (WWBT) - Bones Hyland has hit some big shots for VCU during his young college career, but none more so than the one he knocked down on Wednesday night.

Hyland’s three-pointer with three seconds left gave VCU the lead and lifted the Rams past Rhode Island, 63-62, in Kingston. The black and gold avenge a January loss to URI at the Siegel Center.

Trailing 62-60 in the final seconds of the game, Jamir Watkins missed a three-point attempt, but fellow freshman Ace Baldwin was able to tip the rebound out to Hyland, who adjusted, squared up, and knocked down the eventual game winner.

“I’m in the gym every single day, so I’ve practiced that shot, probably a thousand times,” Hyland said after Wednesday’s win. “I’ve got so much trust in that shot that I’m going to make it, so honestly, when that ball dropped through the net, my emotions were through the roof.”

“Bones has made shots like that in his life before,” added head coach Mike Rhoades. “You want guys that want that shot because they’re going to find a way to make it.”

The Rams weren’t out of the woods after Hyland’s big three, however. Vince Williams fouled Ishmael Leggett with a second remaining, sending him to the free-throw line for a one-and-one attempt. Leggett missed the front end and VCU pulled down the rebound to end the game and secure the win, its third in a row.

Hyland scored a game-high 23 points, while Levi Stockard III added a season-high 15 points. Hason Ward contributed nine rebounds and four blocks as the black and gold snapped a four-game losing streak to Rhode Island and won in Kingston for the first time since January of 2015.

Leggett led URI with 17 points in his second start of the season, replacing injured guard Fatts Russell.

The Rams improve to 13-4, 6-2 in the Atlantic 10, and are back in action on Sunday at Duquesne. Tip-off from Pittsburgh is set for 4:00 PM.

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