VCU SURGES PAST RIVAL RICHMOND, IN BATTLE FOR FIRST

Score: VCU 81, Richmond 74
Location: Richmond, Va. (E.J. Wade Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center)
Records: VCU 17-5 (7-2 A-10), Richmond 13-9 (7-3)
Attendance: 7,637 (95th consecutive sellout)

The short story: Junior forward Justin Tillman scored 18 points and hauled in a game high nine rebounds to lead the Rams in a vital win over cross-town rival Richmond in front of a sold out E.J. Wade Arena Wednesday night. Four Rams scored in double-digits as VCU retook a share of first place in the Atlantic 10 Conference with the victory.
 
OPENING TIP
  • With the win, the Rams move into a first-place tie in the A-10 with Dayton at 7-2. VCU topped Dayton 73-68 on Saturday. Wednesday's game also completes a three-game stretch in which VCU faced a team holding at least a share of first in the A-10. The Rams won all three.  
  • Redshirt Freshman Samir Doughty contributed 16 points and six assists for the Rams on 5-of-9 shooting from the floor.
  • Senior guard JeQuan Lewis added 13 points for the Rams while dishing out five assists.
  • Doug Brooks was active on the defensive and led all players with four steals.
  • Senior Mo Alie-Cox scored 13 points and knocked down 5-for-6 from the floor. He collected four rebounds and came up with two steals.
  • ShawnDre' Jones poured in a game-high 30 points to pace the Spiders, while teammate T.J. Cline added 15 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.
  • The back-and-forth affair featured 10 ties and 10 lead changes.
THE DIFFERENCE
  • VCU turned the ball over just seven times all night, including just three in the second half. As a result, the Rams rolled up a 17-2 advantage in points off turnovers. Richmond coughed the ball up 13 times.
  • Alie-Cox snapped a 54-54 tie with a two-handed slam, then picked off a Richmond interior pass to set up a 3-pointer by Lewis, to kick off a decisive 11-2 run over a two-minute span down the stretch. When a pair of Tillman free throws capped the burst, VCU held a 65-56 lead with 4:32 left. Richmond never pulled closer than six the rest of the way as VCU knocked down 12-of-15 free throws in the final four minutes.
  • Although the game remained close for much of the second half, Richmond took its final lead of the night on a Jones jumper with 10:43 remaining. VCU quickly sprinted off to a 7-0 run, punctuated by a Lewis 3-pointer from the left wing, to grab a 54-47 lead. The Spiders answered almost immediately with seven straight and tied the game at 54-all with 7:54 left on a dunk by De'Monte Buckingham.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
  • VCU has won three straight games overall and four in a row in its series with Richmond. The Rams are 49-28 all-time against their crosstown rivals.
  • The Black and Gold are now 10-1 this season when they turn the ball over 12 or fewer times.
  • The Rams are now 3-0 against Richmond under Will Wade.
  • VCU improved to 11-1 at home this season.
  • The Rams scored 44 points in the paint Wednesday, their 12th game this year with 40 or more points in the paint.
WHAT'S NEXT
VCU will be back in action on Feb. 4 at 4 p.m. when they travel to take on St. Bonaventure at the Reilly Center in Olean, New York.
 
RAMS BLAST HOWARD 85-51
December 27, 2016 RAMS BLAST HOWARD 85-51