Score: VCU 81, Princeton 70
Location: Richmond, Va. (E.J. Wade Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center)
Records: VCU 6-1, Princeton 2-3
Attendance: 7,637 (86th consecutive sellout)
The short story: Senior JeQuan Lewis scored 23 points and handed out a career-high 12 assists, while classmate Jordan Burgess and freshman Samir Doughty hit critical 3-pointers down the stretch as VCU overcame a fast Princeton start on the way to its third straight win. With the victory, the Rams improved to 6-1, their best seven-game start since the 1993-94 season.
- Lewis kept the Rams afloat with 19 points in the first half and then became a facilitator in the second with eight of his 12 assists after the break. He was 6-of-9 from the field and 3-of-4 from 3-point range in the game.
- Burgess was a perfect 5-of-5 from the field on the way to 12 points and seven rebounds.
- Mo Alie-Cox also added 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting, including several rim-rattling dunks, and tied a career-high with five blocks.
- Princeton was led by Devin Cannady who had 18 points and Spencer Weisz who added 14 points.
- VCU shot 56 percent from the field (30-of-54) and 37 percent from 3-point range (7-of-19).
- The Rams outscored the Tigers 44-30 in the paint and forced 19 Tiger turnovers.
- Despite a big early deficit and a second half that featured eight ties and seven lead changes, VCU took control for good when Lewis picked up a loose ball and found Burgess in the left corner for a go-ahead three that gave the Rams a 67-64 lead with 4:25 left. Moments later, Doughty stepped up from atop the 3-point arc to bury just his third triple of the year to push VCU in front 70-64 with 3:32 left. It was VCU's largest lead of the game at the time.
- VCU made crucial free throws down the stretch, and Burgess added an exclamation point with a dunk on a breakaway with 44 seconds remaining.
- Princeton charged out of the gate with a 16-0 run over the first six minutes of the contest, but didn't waver, and began to slowly chip away.
- The Rams responded with a quick 8-2 run aided by De'Riante Jenkins and Lewis, who hit 3-pointers, to cut the deficit to 18-10.
- The two teams traded baskets until Lewis got VCU within 30-24 with 5:16 remaining in the half, blowing by several Princeton defenders for a layup.
- The Rams made a big run to end the half as Jenkins and Alie-Cox ripped steals and threw down thunderous dunks on back-to-back plays. Lewis then hit a 3-pointer to cut it to 37-35 with 1:34 left in the half. An Alie-Cox dunk with 34 seconds left in the period capped a 12-2 VCU run and sent the teams into the locker room tied at 39-all.
- The Rams took their first lead of the game, at 44-41 with 18:10 left, on a Doug Brooks 3-pointer.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Lewis topped double-digit assists for the third time in his career and reached the 20-point mark for the ninth time as a Ram.
- Lewis is 18-of-32 from 3-point range in his last four games.
- Doughty posted his fourth double-digit scoring game in seven contests this season.
- VCU was playing without starting point guard Johnny Williams, who missed the game with an illness.
VCU head to Miami, where it will meet Illinois on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 3 p.m. at AmericanAirlines Arena.