RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Mike’L Simms scored 14 points and VCU used big runs in each half to beat Fordham 64-46 on Thursday night in the Atlantic-10 Conference opener for both teams.
Marcus Santos-Silva added 11 points for the Rams (11-3), who had a 14-1 run in the first half and a 16-1 spurt early in the second half to essentially put the game away. The latter left VCU with a 57-31 lead with 11 minutes left and Fordham never challenged.
Onyi Eyisi scored 13 points and Erten Gazi 10 to lead the visiting Rams (6-7). Fordham turned the ball over 18 times leading to 22 points for VCU.
VCU already led 14-10 when it launched a 14-1 run miday through the first half. But Fordham answered immediately with a 14-4 burst to close to within 32-25 before Nah’Shon Hyland beat the halftime buzzer with a 3-pointer for VCU.
VCU played without reserves Malik Crowfield (broken wrist) and Corey Douglas (left foot), and Fordham was without No. 3 scorer Antwon Portley (10.6 ppg, ankle).
Fordham: The Rams committed 10 first-half turnovers and caused coach Jeff Neubauer to call a timeout 63 seconds into the second half. After Simms hit a 3 for VCU, Kyle Rose attempted a long pass that Santos-Silva intercepted and, seconds later, Jenkins’ 3 made it 41-25, prompting the quick timeout.
VCU: The Rams are back to causing havoc with half-court traps and the like, averaging more than 19 turnovers forced per game, but their half-court defense has also improved with opponents averaging under 62 points.
Fordham returns home to face LaSalle on Sunday.
VCU heads up I-95 to face George Mason in Fairfax, Virginia, on Sunday.