Second-half surge pushes Rhode Island past VCU
VCU forward Marcus Santos-Silva provided 11 of his career-high 17 points in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to stop Rhode Island, which shot 53 percent after intermission in a 71-65 win Wednesday night at the Ryan Center.
Jeff Dowtin scored four points to spark a 10-0 run that pushed Rhode Island (11-7, 4-2 Atlantic 10) to a 43-34 lead with 8:36 remaining.
Rhode Island would push its lead to as much as 61-49 with 3:38 remaining on a Fatts Russell triple from the left wing, followed by a layup from Tyrese Martin.
VCU (13-6, 4-2 A-10) was able to make a late push. Bolstered by a pair of Santos-Silva traditional three-point plays, the Black and Gold closed the gap to 65-60 when Marcus Evans drew a three-shot foul on Russell at the 1:00 mark. Evans connected on all three free throws to make it a one-possession game.
But Jermaine Harris knocked down a mid-range jumper in the lane on Rhody’s next possession, and VCU was called for a charge on a drive to the basket on its ensuing opportunity.
Santos-Silva finished 6-of-10 from the field and 5-of-8 at the charity stripe for VCU. He added seven rebounds and a pair of blocked shots.
Junior guard De’Riante Jenkins added 16 points, three blocks and two steals for the Black and Gold, while Evans supplied 13 points and six assists.
Russell led all scorers with 19 points for Rhode Island, while Dowtin kicked in 14.