VCU misses their engine in Ace Baldwin Jr.
Another rough outing for the VCU Rams on Sunday afternoon as they fell to the Memphis Tigers in their first road game of the season, 62-47. They were well below their scoring average with their season-low 47 points, scoring less than 60 points for the first time all season in the loss.
The offense didn’t flow much and the shots weren’t falling as they dished out seven assists as a team, a testament to the absence of Ace Baldwin Jr..
It was evident from the very beginning that the Tigers would look to apply pressure early and then push the pace off turnovers and the plan largely worked. At the half, the Tigers led 30-16 with Kendric Davis leading the charge with 17 points. He kept his rhythm going with nine points and six assists in the second half to keep Memphis on top and in control of the second half.
The offense was stagnant to open and never recovered
Memphis did a masterful job of applying pressure to the Rams, understanding Baldwin out hindered them greatly as an offensive unit. 13 of the team’s 18 turnovers came in the first half and the Tigers scored 26 points off those turnovers by the end of the game. While VCU did perform better in the second half, they dug themselves too big of a hole to ever recover.
The Tigers controlled the pace and paint from start to finish, outscoring the Rams 36-18 in the paint and outscoring the bench 19-5. In the first half, the Rams shot just 6-of-26 (23.1 percent) from the field and were 3-of-11 (27.3 percent) from behind the arc while having attempted just two free throws all half.
David Shriver had his first “bad game” in a Rams uniform, going scoreless while shooting 0-of-9 from the floor, 0-of-7 from behind the arc. The Rams shot 6-of-24 (25 percent) from 3-point land as a team. Zeb Jackson had a rough go of things from 3-point land as well, hitting 1-of-6 attempts from the arc though he still finished with seven points.
Jamir Watkins still played well
On a positive note, Jamir Watkins played well and was one of the few to respond when things weren’t going well. He registered his first double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds along with four steals and three assists. Watkins led all VCU scorers with 14 points as Brandon Johns Jr. finished below his average with just 10 points in the game.
He managed to shoot 5-of-11 from the field and 2-of-5 from 3-point land despite the team shooting woes. Jalen DeLoach was probably one of the biggest strugglers on Sunday afternoon, finishing with just one point, eight rebounds and four turnovers in 27 minutes of action.
It’s something to build upon with Baldwin out for roughly another week or so. VCU will be back in action on Saturday at 4 PM against Kennesaw State. There’s plenty of time to regroup.