Vann, VCU beat Gardner-Webb 69-57

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Issac Vann had 16 points and eight rebounds and Mike’L Simms scored 12 on 4-of-5 shooting from 3-point range, to help VCU beat Gardner-Webb 69-57 on Tuesday night in the season opener for both teams.

VCU closed the first half on an 18-4 run, including two 3-pointers by Malik Crowfield and another by Simms, to make it 38-22. Gardner-Webb went 2 of 9 from the field with five turnovers, including a 10-second violation, during that span.

Vann converted a 3-point play that pushed the lead to 20 points three minutes into the second half. The Runnin’ Bulldogs scored the next seven points and Jose Perez hit two free throws to pull them within eight with nine minutes to go, but Marcus Santos-Silva responded with a layup and, after a Gardner-Webb turnover, Evans hit jumper to spark a 10-3 spurt that made it 65-50 with 6:55 to play.

Jose Perez, a freshman, led the Runnin’ Bulldogs with 16 points. David Efianayi added 14 and DJ Laster 12.

VCU have won 13 consecutive season openers.