RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Mike'L Simms hit a pair of 3-pointers in the final 2:07 for his only baskets of the game and No. 25 VCU held off North Texas 59-56 on Friday night.
Marcus Evans led VCU (2-0) with 13 points and De'Riante Jenkins had 12, including two free throws with 10.5 seconds left.
The Mean Green (1-1) had a chance to tie it but never got off a shot against the Rams' tight defense.
North Texas trailed most of the night but went ahead 48-47 on DJ Draper's 3-pointer with 5:25 to play. Jenkins answered with two free throws and, after a miss at the other end, Corey Douglas scored on a putback for the Rams, just their second field goal in 12 attempts.
After two free throws by Umoja Gibson pulled North Texas within 51-50, Simms connected on a 3-pointer from the top of the key, his first field goal in seven tries. He did it again with 1:10 to play after Draper's fourth 3-pointer pulled the Mean Green to within 54-53 with 1:41 remaining.
The Rams trailed 19-11 before holding North Texas scoreless for more than nine minutes while scoring 20 consecutive points. Jenkins had eight points in the burst, and Malik Crowfield and Evans hit 3-pointers.
North Texas: The Mean Green had 13 first-half turnovers that led to 16 VCU points, but they turned that around in the second half.
VCU: The Rams were outscored 26-10 in the paint as Marcus Santos-Silva, who had 21 points and 18 rebounds in their opener, was quiet, finishing with just three points and seven rebounds.
North Texas plays at Arkansas next Tuesday night.
The Rams face former coach Will Wade and No. 22 LSU next Wednesday night.
Maryland football head coach Mike Locksley released a statement on social media following the death of George Floyd.
Floyd, a black man, died in police custody after a police officer kept his knee on his neck for several minutes. His death has sparked civil unrest and protests in Minneapolis, Atlanta, New York City, Richmond, Va. and several other cities across the country.
The statement read:
I've been truly struggling attempting to grasp the events of the past few days. My heart goes out to George Floyd and his family. As a father and a coach of players for 30 years that look like George Floyd and myself, it breaks my heart to see this type of behavior continue to be accepted. Regardless of race and color, it's sad and scary to know that these type of events continue to happen in our communities.
This type of senseless tragedy should never happen and cannot ever be normalized. I will continue to pray that none of my children or players - past, present or future - ever run into the type of injustice that we've seen this week. I sincerely hop ethat these tragedies make us all take some time to think about how we view and treat others. It's on all of us to CREATE CHANGE and DO THE RIGHT THING.
Several other athletes have used their platforms to address Floyd's death and the civil unrest that has followed. Nationals relief pitcher Sean Doolittle released a statement on racism on Friday. Wizards star Bradley Beal sent a series of tweets to address some of the protests.
Wednesday was a good day for Red Raider fans when Mac McClung announced his transfer commitment to Texas Tech.
Even former alum and Super Bowl MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes - who also was openly recruiting the star on Twitter - was excited about the big get.
He was joined by fellow Texas Tech alum Jarrett Culver in sharing his excitement of getting the 6-foot-2 guard. Culver's style and skill set are very similar to McClung's. Under head coach Chris Beard, he helped transform the combo guard into a first-round NBA prospect.
Other professional athletes including Trae Young gave McClung their congratulations.
As a late entry into the transfer portal, McClung was one of the biggest available players this offseason. While he is required to sit a season due to NCAA transfer rules, there is some buzz that he may get a waiver to compete next season in Lubbock.
Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.
MORE NCAA NEWS: