The VCU Rams got its revenge on former head coach Will Wade as the Rams handed LSU its first loss of the 2019-20 season 84-82.
Turnovers, turnovers, and even more turnovers plagued LSU all night long. The Tigers ended the night with 26. The turnovers and the abundance of fouls by LSU, 25, helped give the Rams a 12-point second half lead. But to LSU’s credit, the Tigers battled back and even claimed an 82-81 lead with 41 seconds to play.
But Emmitt Williams would pick up his fifth and final foul mere moments later. With LSU up one, Williams fouled senior guard De’Riante Jenkins behind the three point line. Jenkins would hit on two of three and gave the Rams an 83-82 lead.
On the ensuing LSU possession, Skylar Mays—who led LSU with 23 points—missed a jumper, had another shot blocked by VCU’s Marcus Santos-Silva and missed another jumper. VCU would hit one more foul shot and had an 84-82 lead with three seconds left. Mays inbounded the ball but lost possession of it before getting a shot off.
As per a clause VCU puts in their coach’s contracts, Will Wade was obligated to play the Rams in the Siegel Center. It was that or LSU would pay the Rams $250,000. The Siegel Center was rocking Wednesday night. The Rams were no doubt itching to get a crack at its former head coach and VCU unleashed its renowned style of play known as “Havoc” on the Tigers.
VCU turned 26 Tiger turnovers into 37 points. The Rams were also aggressive driving to the basket, getting to the free throw line 29 times. Four of VCU’s five starters scored double digit points. Santos-Silva was a force with 17 points, 11 rebounds and that aforementioned key block on Mays late in the second half. De’Riante Jenkins and Marcus Evans, VCU’s starting guards, each scored 15 points; and Vince Williams had 11 points and seven rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench.
For LSU, every member of the starting five scored double digits. Mays had 23, one off a career high, Javonte Smart had 15 points and three assists, Trendon Watford had 11 points, and Darius Days and Charles Manning Jr. each had 10 points.
Looking at the box score and you’ll find a game LSU probably should have won. LSU shot the ball better from the field and from three and out-rebounded the Rams by seven. But the 26 turnovers and the excess fouls cost LSU. Both Days and Emmitt Williams fouled out, while Smart and Aundre Hyatt had four apiece.
Next up for LSU, the Tigers return home to the PMAC and play the Nicholls State Colonels Saturday afternoon.