RICHMOND, Va. –– Jalen DeLoach totaled 12 first-half points and 18 overall to spark a VCU (9-4) rally that gave the Rams a 74-52 victory over the Navy (7-5) men’s basketball team, Wednesday night at the Siegel Center in Richmond, Va.
The game was the last non-league game for both teams.
Navy started the evening about as well as it could by taking an 11-0 lead. The Mids would soon build a 20-7 lead with just under 12 minutes remaining in the half following a third three-point basket by Mac MacDonald (So., Richmond, Va.).
“I was really proud of the guys with the way we came out of the locker room,” said Navy head coach Ed DeChellis. “We were ready to play, executed well and took the lead.”
VCU answered with a 7-0 and 14-2 run to close to within 22-21 of the Mids. After a basket by Daniel Deaver (Sr., Falls Church, Va.), VCU hit back-to-back triples as part of a 13-3 run that gave it a 34-27 advantage. The Rams would go into the locker room holding a 37-30 lead at the break.
Navy was on the short end of first half points scored in the paint (24-12) and points scored after turnovers (14-7).
The Mids began the second half by scoring the first five points of the stanza (37-35), but the Rams countered by scoring the next 10 as part of an 18-3 run that gave them a 55-38 advantage.
“I thought we played hard,” said DeChellis, “just not well at times. VCU had a lot to do with that. They are athletic and long. We didn’t play our best game, which all of us needed to do to get the win at their place. The final score was not indicative of the game as a whole. We fought hard.”
VCU held a lead of between 13 and 17 points before closing the contest on a 10-2 run to extend the margin to a high of 22 just before the buzzer sounded.
Navy as a team collectively shot 36.4 percent (20-55) from the field and 47.1 percent (8-17) from three-point range. VCU ended the night with an overall shooting percentage of 51.8 percent (29-56) and a mark of 35.3 percent (6-17) from beyond the arc.
Individually, Tyler Nelson (Sr., Monroe, N.C.) scored 17 points, MacDonald tied a career best with 14 and Deaver added 12. Also, Deaver and Nelson each contributed eight rebounds, with the former snaring six offensive caroms and the latter totaling six defensive boards.
Navy held a 13-8 lead in offensive rebounds, but VCU posted an 11-9 advantage in second-chance points scored. The Rams also held the edge in points scored after turnovers (26-14) as they forced 17 and committed only nine, and also tallied a 46-24 lead in points scored in the paint.
Navy will open Patriot League play Dec. 30 when it plays at Boston U.