Larrier has 21 as No. 15 VCU buries UMES 106-66
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) Terry Larrier arrived at Virginia Commonwealth as a top recruit and is still making the adjustment.
He took a step forward Thursday night, hitting four 3-pointers and scoring 21 points in just 20 minutes as the No. 15 Rams beat Maryland-Eastern Shore 106-66. Larrier also had six rebounds and two of the Rams' 15 steals. In his first two college games, Larrier had made only three of 14 shots from the field.
''It felt good to get it going, get my confidence up,'' the 6-foot-8 freshman guard from New York said. ''It felt real good.''
Treveon Graham added 17 points for the Rams (3-0), who won their 22nd in a row at home. They needed a lopsided game to get Larrier and their other younger players more experience before heading to New York to play No. 12 Villanova on Monday night in the Legends Classic. They will then play either Michigan or Oregon on Tuesday, also in New York.
Devon Walker scored 21 and Devin Martin 20 for the Hawks (1-3), who were playing for the second night in a row and fourth time in seven days, and who arrived with the Rams intent at taking them out of contention very quickly.
They, did, too, hitting 10 of their first 11 shots in grabbing a 23-5 lead after 5 minutes.
On Wednesday night, the Rams watched on TV as the Hawks beat Mount St. Mary's 53-41 in Maryland.
''We realized they weren't going to get to Richmond until about 2 in the morning, which was definitely an advantage for us,'' said Melvin Johnson, who scored 10 points in just 13 minutes. ''We felt as though that we were going to use that.''
Michael Myers added 14 points for UMES, but the team committed 20 turnovers.
''It wasn't what they did offensively tonight, obviously,'' UMES first-year coach Bobby Collins said. ''It was their transition offense and the steals that they got. I've never seen a team so resilient and so focused and so mentally tough. They did what they wanted tonight. They're physically tough, but their mental toughness far exceeds their physical toughness.''
After falling behind 16-0 and then 23-5, the Hawks closed to within 38-26 with 9:05 to play, but the Rams ended the half the way they started - with a 23-4 run that gave them a 61-30 margin at the break.
''When they're defending like that and they shoot the ball like they did tonight, you really don't have a chance,'' Collins said.
The Rams got 3-pointers from seven players as they made 10 of 16 from long range in the first half.
Coach Shaka Smart pulled his starters early after halftime and went predominantly with youth and reserves. No VCU starter played more than 15 minutes, and the Rams eased up on their full-court pressure well before halftime.
UMES: First-year Hawks coach Bobby Collins inherited a team that went 6-24 last season, then lost all five of its starters. ... The Hawks' 53-41 victory at Mount St. Mary's was their first nonconference road win by double digits since December 1993.
VCU: The Rams extended their home sellout streak to 52. ... Treveon Graham became the 15th player in VCU history to score 1,400 career points. He got there with a 3-pointer early in the second half.
HEADED HOME: VCU's trip to New York for the next two rounds of the Legends Classic at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn will be a homecoming for Johnson and Larrier, who are both natives of the Bronx. Johnson said he's more excited for Larrier because he's already had several experiences of playing in front of a hometown crowd.
UMES plays at St. Francis, Pa., on Saturday.
VCU plays No. 12 Villanova in the Legends Classic at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
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