ISU Men's Basketball Drops Season-Opener at No. 14 VCU
Paris Lee (1) defends in the second half
Paris Lee (1) defends in the second half

Nov. 8, 2013

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RICHMOND, Va. - Zach Lofton scored 12 points to lead Illinois State in a 96-58 season-opening loss at No. 14 Virginia Commonwealth Friday night. Nine Redbirds made their NCAA Division I debuts in the opener at VCU's Siegel Center.

ISU's Daishon Knight, Paris Lee and Jamaal Samuel each contributed nine points, while John Jones and Nick Zeisloft both grabbed seven rebounds. Zeisloft set a career-high with his rebounding effort. Meanwhile, VCU's Treveon Graham and Terrance Shannon both led the Rams with 14 points.

Playing in front of a sellout crowd, VCU jumped out to a 20-4 lead early. Juvonte Reddic scored 10 points for the Rams during the stretch. Four-consecutive free throws by Lofton pulled the Redbirds within 23-8 midway through the first half before VCU answered with a 19-2 run to take a 42-11 advantage.

Illinois State outscored VCU, 4-0, to end the first half with two Lee free throws, followed by a steal and layup at the buzzer by Lee to cut ISU's halftime deficit to 52-22. Lofton and Lee both ended the first half with a team-best six points, and Reddic led the Rams with 10 first-half points.

In the second half, ISU put together a 6-2 run, with layups by Reggie Lynch and Bobby Hunter, followed by a Michael Middlebrooks layup to make the score 63-31. However, the Rams proceeded to widen the second-half gap to secure VCU's season-opening win.

After tipping off the season on the road, Illinois State opens its regular-season home schedule this Tuesday, Nov. 12 versus Drexel. Tickets are available by calling the Redbird Arena ticket office at (309) 438-8000 or by clicking here.

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