UR falls to Long­wood in opener

VCU takes down Hamp­ton

Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - BY WAYNE EPPS JR.

To VCU coach Mike Rhoades, sopho­more for­ward Mar­cus San­tos-Silva has skill and abil­ity to score.

In ad­di­tion to those qual­i­ties, San­tos-Silva plays harder than every­body else, Rhoades said.

On Fri­day, in VCU’s

69-57 vic­tory over vis­it­ing Hamp­ton, San­tos-Silva led the Rams with a ca­reer­high 16 points and added four re­bounds.

The per­for­mance came in a tad over 15½ min­utes on the floor. San­tos-Silva helped VCU (2-0) stave off a late run by Hamp­ton (1-1) with 6 of his points in the fi­nal 3:19.

“It was just a team ef­fort,” San­tos-Silva said. “My team­mates were giv­ing me the ball, and I was do­ing any­thing to help the team win. And it was just an over­all great ef­fort from all of us.”

Though San­tos-Silva led, the Rams scored by com­mit­tee for most of the game. Ju­nior guard Mar­cus Evans

added 13 points, and ju­nior for­ward Is­sac Vann and sopho­more for­ward Sean Mob­ley had 7 apiece.

“This year ... we call it a whole army,” Evans said. “We can go re­ally deep, whether guys get in foul trou­ble or just hav­ing an off night.”

Evans played 18:34 on Fri­day, up from the 9:18 he played in Tues­day’s sea­son opener. He’s still on lim­ited min­utes com­ing off his June Achilles in­jury.

Ju­nior guard De’Riante Jenk­ins, the Rams’ lead­ing re­turn­ing scorer at

12.9 points a game, did not play Fri­day be­cause of a heel bruise. He’s day-to-day.

Ju­nior guard Mike’L Simms (High­land Springs), who is known for the spark he brings off the bench, got his first ca­reer start in Jenk­ins’ ab­sence. He fin­ished with 5 points.

Rhoades, over­all, liked how the Rams came out and guarded.

Hamp­ton fin­ished just 18 of 62 from the field (29 per­cent).

“Press­ing and in the half court,” Rhoades said. “We were real ac­tive, did a great job help­ing each other.”

Hamp­ton had a par­tic­u­larly cold first half. At one point, the Pi­rates had a 1-for-15 stretch from the field.

They shot 20 per­cent over­all be­fore the break (8 for 40).

The Rams put to­gether an 11-0 run, start­ing 6½ min­utes in, that al­lowed them to start pulling away. The run be­gan with a 3-pointer by fresh­man point guard P.J. Byrd, the first bas­ket of his ca­reer.

San­tos-Silva then fol­lowed

Mar­cus

San­tosSilva

scored a ca­reer-best 16 points in the win over Hamp­ton. a layup with a steal and a fast-break dunk.

Af­ter that, fresh­man Vince Wil­liams’ layup pushed the Rams’ lead to 20-8 with 11:48 to play in the half.

In the sec­ond half, Hamp­ton ju­nior guard Jer­maine Marrow caught fire. Start­ing with a jumper at the 8:19 mark, Marrow put to­gether a per­sonal 14-0 run.

Se­nior guard Kalin Fisher added three free throws at 4:06 to push the Pi­rates’ run to 17-0, and cut VCU’s lead to 57-50.

But Evans then halted the run with a 3, and San­tos-Silva fol­lowed with a dunk. He also added a pair of late layups.

Marrow fin­ished with a game-high 25 points for the Pi­rates, but no other Hamp­ton player fin­ished in dou­ble dig­its.

Fri­day’s game was part of the Le­gends Clas­sic Rich­mond Re­gional. VCU will play an­other Le­gends Clas­sic re­gional game on Mon­day, at home against Bowl­ing Green.

“I’m glad we won the last two. But there’s a lot to learn,” Rhoades said. “There’s a lot to learn to play with a lead. And our up­per­class­men got to put it away, and our young guys got to help them put it away.”

JOE MA­HONEY/TIMES-DIS­PATCH

VCU’s Corey Dou­glas cov­ers up the ball amid fly­ing Hamp­ton de­fend­ers. Dou­glas fin­ished with 4 points. Mar­cus San­tos-Silva led the Rams in scor­ing with 16 points.

VCU 69, HAMP­TON 57Mon­day: Bowl­ing Green at VCU, 7 p.m., MASN

JOE MA­HONEY/TIMES-DIS­PATCH

Mike’L Simms, a for­mer High­land Springs stand­out, eyes the hoop as Hamp­ton’s Don­dre Grif­fin de­fends. Simms fin­ished with 5 points in the Rams’ 69-57 vic­tory.

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