VCU blasts Rhode Island, takes first in A-10

vcu men's basketballSophomore forward Marcus Santos-Silva provided a double-double and helped anchor a lock-down defensive effort as VCU rolled past Rhode Island, 76-42, Tuesday night.

With the victory and Davidson’s loss to Dayton, VCU (20-6, 11-2 A-10) moved into sole possession of first place in the Atlantic 10 Conference.

Santos-Silva led all scorers with 19 points while also grabbing 12 rebounds to record his fifth double-double of the season.

Overall, 10 different Rams got on the board, including Santos-Silva and junior guard De’Riante Jenkins, who buried 4-of-6 from 3-point range and finished with 14 points.

Rhode Island’s Jeff Dowtin led his team with 14 points and four assists.

After falling behind 4-0 in the first minutes of the game, VCU took the lead at the 16:59 mark and never looked back.

With just under 12 minutes to play in the first half, VCU went on a 12-4 run in a matter of four minutes to take its first double-digit lead.

VCU held URI to just two points in the final 7:34 of the first half before Dowtin hit a long 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer. VCU took a 39-22 lead into the locker room.

VCU’s defense remained strong in the second half, holding URI to under 10 points through the first 13 minutes of the second half.

The Black & Gold’s stifling defense forced Rhode Island to commit 20 turnovers, which led to 21 VCU points.

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Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.

The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
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