LEWIS, ALIE-COX KEY VCU AS RAMS SNAP GEORGE MASON WIN STREAK

Score: VCU 73, George Mason 64
Location: Fairfax, Va. (EagleBank Arena)
Records: VCU 11-3 (1-0 A-10), George Mason (10-4, 0-1 A-10)

The short story: Senior JeQuan Lewis scored a season-high 26 points and Northern Virginia native Mo Alie-Cox turned in his best all-around performance of the season as VCU halted George Mason's nine-game winning streak Friday night in Fairfax.
 
OPENING TIP
  • Lewis knocked down 9-of-21 from the floor on the way to his 11th career 20-point game. He also grabbed five steals and handed out three assists.
  • Alie-Cox provided 14 points, nine rebounds, including five offensive, three blocks, three assists and two steals for VCU.
  • Junior point guard Johnny Williams added 12 points, five assists and four rebounds for the Rams.
  • Jalen Jenkins led four George Mason players in double figures with 12 points.
  • VCU's victory dealt the Patriots their first loss since Nov. 21 and avenged a 76-69 Mason win on this same floor Feb. 28 last season.
THE DIFFERENCE
  • George Mason entered the game ranked eighth nationally in rebounding margin (10.5), but VCU owned the glass to a 42-31 advantage.
  • VCU grabbed 16 offensive rebounds, a season high.
  • The Rams stuck to their inside-out game plan and gashed the Patriots in the paint by a 46-32 margin.
  • VCU, which led for more than 37 minutes Friday, kept George Mason at bay with timely playmaking.
  • The Patriots closed to within three points twice early in the second half, but each time freshman De'Riante Jenkins answered. First, the lanky wing swooped left to right under the hoop for a pretty reverse layup. Moments later, the 6-foot-5 Jenkins posted up 5-10 Otis Livingston for an easy two.
  • Mason kept knocking on the door, but Williams pushed the ball up the court off a defensive rebound and found Lewis for an open 3-pointer in the left corner to give VCU a 58-50 lead with 9:54 remaining.
  • The Patriots mounted one final serious challenge, closing to within 59-55 with 7:23 showing. But junior Justin Tillman tipped in a miss for the Rams and Lewis buried a trey after Alie-Cox tracked down an offensive rebound near midcourt to open up a 64-55 advantage with 4:33 remaining.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
  • VCU has won seven straight conference openers, three against George Mason.
  • The Rams extended their season-high win streak to five games.
  • Three players corralled at least eight rebounds, including Tillman, who collected 11.
  • The Rams are 3-0 in true road games this season.
  • VCU improved to 36-19 all-time against George Mason. The Rams have won eight of 11 in the series.
  • Lewis has ripped 17 steals in his last three games.
  • George Mason's win streak was its longest since the 2010-11 season. 

WHAT'S NEXT
VCU will head to Pittsburgh to battle Duquesne in A-10 play on Wednesday, Jan. 4 at 7 p.m.

 

 

RAMS BLAST HOWARD 85-51
December 27, 2016 RAMS BLAST HOWARD 85-51