WILLIAMS DRIVES VCU TO NINTH STRAIGHT WIN

Score: VCU 64, Saint Louis 50
Location: Richmond, Va. (E.J. Wade Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center)
Records: 23-5 (13-2 A-10), Saint Louis 9-19 (4-11 A-10)
Attendance: 7,637 (98th consecutive sellout)

The short story: Junior guard Johnny Williams scored a team-high 17 points and helped key a late first-half push as VCU earned its ninth consecutive win with a 64-50 triumph over Saint Louis Wednesday.
 
OPENING TIP
  • In addition to a season-high nine straight victories, VCU has won 17 of its last 19 games.
  • Wednesday's win was the 100th career victory for VCU's senior class.
  • Williams knocked down 6-of-11 from the floor and was 5-of-6 from the free throw line.
  • Junior forward Justin Tillman recorded his seventh double-double of the year with 14 points and 10 rebounds. He's registered five double-doubles in the last six games.
  • The Rams shot .484 (15-of-31) from the field in the first half on the way to a 41-30 advantage.  
  • Three VCU players recorded double-figure scoring performances, including Williams, Tillman and redshirt freshman Samir Doughty, who poured in 13.
  • Senior forward Mo Alie-Cox contributed five points, seven rebounds and a pair of blocked shots to the VCU cause.
  • Jalen Johnson sparked Saint Louis with 17 points.
THE DIFFERENCE
  • Saint Louis built a 23-17 lead in the first half, but the Rams used an extended 24-7 run over the final 8:52 of the period to take control. Doughty sandwiched a layup and a 3-pointer around a dunk by Alie-Cox to give VCU the lead for good, at 26-25, with 5:29 left in the first half. Senior Doug Brooks ripped a steal and raced down the court for a layup on the ensuing play, and VCU was never seriously threatened again.
  • The Rams outrebounded the Billikens 41-32 including a 13-6 edge on the offensive glass.
  • VCU outscored Saint Louis 19-7 in points off turnovers. The Rams forced 16 Billikens' turnovers while VCU turned the ball over 11 times.
  • Leading 41-32 after a Saint Louis layup to start the second half, VCU held the Billikens scoreless for over five minutes and built a 50-32 lead with 14:34 remaining. The closest Saint Louis came to VCU for the remainder of the game was a 63-50 margin with 1:07 left.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
  • VCU improved to 23-5 for the first time since the 1984-85 season. The Rams also retained a share of first place in the Atlantic 10 with the win. Dayton is also 13-2. The Rams and Flyers will meet on March 1 in Dayton.
  • VCU outscored Saint Louis 24-16 in the paint in the first half and 38-28 for the game.
  • The Rams' bench outscored Saint Louis 21-11 in large part due to Williams' 17 points.
  • VCU shot 17-of-21 from the free throw line while Saint Louis was just 8-of-14.
NEXT UP
VCU will take travel to Rhode Island on Saturday Feb. 25 for a 2 p.m. tip on ESPN2.
RAMS BLAST HOWARD 85-51
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