Against a tough opponent on Friday night, the Binghamton men’s basketball team was thoroughly outclassed. The Bearcats suffered a tough 81-42 blowout loss to VCU, which has made the NCAA tournament six years in a row.
“VCU is a very good team,” said BU head coach Tommy Dempsey. “We needed to play really well and hope they didn’t play well to have a chance, and it went the other way.”
The Bearcats (2-2) held their own to start the game, taking an 8-6 lead just over six minutes into the game. Then, the Rams’ (3-0) reputable defense kicked into gear, suffocating the Bearcats while running up a 35-16 lead at the half. Turnovers were a problem throughout the game for BU and Dempsey felt that this run is what put the Bearcats out of the game early.
“It got away from us,” Dempsey said. “They don’t let you throw a pass and that puts a lot of pressure on your offense … and when you turn it over in this environment, it gets away from you.”
The second half was more of the same for BU. VCU’s defense continued to force bad shots and turnovers, eventually extending its lead to 39. The Bearcats had no answer for the Rams’ shooting and defensive ability.
BU looked rattled on the big stage, shooting just 15-for-54 from the field, including only three 3-pointers on 23 attempts. Freshman guard Fard Muhammad led BU in scoring, putting up 10 points on 2-for-6 shooting from the field. Sophomore guard Everson Davis added nine points and pulled down six rebounds.
BU’s offensive void mainly came from the absence of junior forward Willie Rodriguez and redshirt sophomore guard J.C. Show’s off performance. Rodriguez has now missed his third game of the season with a lingering hamstring injury. He attempted to play against Central Connecticut State last Wednesday, but exited early after aggravating the injury. Show, on the other hand, simply couldn’t muster the load offensively against VCU. He shot just 2-for-9 from the field and 0-for-4 from long range.
VCU had no troubles getting into an offensive groove, spreading the ball and having four players reach double-digit scoring. The Rams were on fire from deep, shooting 11-for-20 in the huge victory. Freshman guard De’Riante Jenkins was everywhere for the Rams, scoring 14 points and adding 10 rebounds. He consistently forced turnovers and altered shots on the defensive end, while also displaying a versatile offensive game which extended out to the 3-point line; he sunk two 3-pointers in his impressive performance.
The Bearcats now look ahead to a long road trip, during which they will play three games in Florida over the next week.
BU is set to face Ave Maria on Tuesday. Tipoff from the Tom Golisano Field House is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Ave Maria, Florida.