Home VCU gets off to frigid start, fails to get back in game in 74-52 loss at UMass

VCU gets off to frigid start, fails to get back in game in 74-52 loss at UMass

Chris Graham
(© OJUP – Shutterstock)

VCU got behind big early, and UMass rode the hot start to a 74-52 win over the Rams on Tuesday at the Mullins Center.

Senior guard Joe Bamisile led VCU with 13 points off the bench, and senior guard Max Shulga added 10 points on 3-of-5 shooting from beyond the 3-point line for VCU (17-9, 9-4 A-10).

Graduate wing Sean Bairstow chipped in eight rebounds and six assists.

Josh Cohen led all scorers with 20 points for UMass (17-9, 8-6 A-10). Matt Cross turned in an 18-point, 12-rebound effort for the Minutemen.

VCU started cold and was unable to recover. The Rams missed their first 14 field goal attempts as UMass built a 17-2 lead to open the contest and took a 38-26 advantage into the locker room at halftime.

Bairstow found junior forward Roosevelt Wheeler for a dunk off a pick-and-roll to trim UMass’ lead to 48-38 with 14:00 remaining. But the Minutemen promptly responded with a 7-0 burst, punctuated by a Jayden Ndjigue 3-pointer at the 12:01 mark.

The Rams never seriously threatened again.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].