LEWIS NETS 30, BUT VCU COMEBACK FALLS SHORT IN NCAAS

NCAA Tournament First Round
Score: Saint Mary's 85, VCU 77
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah (Vivint SmartHome Arena)
Records: VCU 26-9, Saint Mary's 29-4

The short story: Senior guard JeQuan Lewis scored 30 points and led a VCU second-half comeback, but the Rams couldn't overcome seventh-seeded Saint Mary's Thursday in Salt Lake City. VCU's season is complete. The Rams finish their second season under Coach Will Wade 26-9.
 
OPENING TIP
  • VCU fell behind 46-31 by halftime, but Lewis provided 22 of his 30 points in the second half. The Rams pulled within two points, at 56-54 with 10:42 left, but never retook the lead.
  • Senior forward Ahmed Hamdy provided a boost off the bench for VCU with 12 points, five rebounds, two blocks and two steals.
  • Senior forward Jordan Burgess added 11 points and three rebounds for the Rams.
  • Five players scored in double figures for Saint Mary's, ranked 22nd in the latest Associated Press Top 25 Poll. Center Jock Landale led the way with 18 points and 13 rebounds, while Calvin Hermanson and Joe Rahon kicked in 16 points each.
THE DIFFERENCE
  • Saint Mary's shot .640 (16-of-25) in the first half on the way to a 46-31 advantage. The Gaels also enjoyed a 37-29 edge on the glass in the game.
  • The Gaels converted 29-of-39 free throws.
  • VCU jumped out to a 7-2 lead early, but midway through the first half Saint Mary's used a 13-2 run to gain a 31-20 lead.
  • Lewis ignited an 18-4 VCU blitz with a three-point play at the 16:06 mark. A short time later, he buried a 3-pointer from the right wing and junior guard Johnny Williams hit a pair of free throws to pull the Rams within 56-54 with 10:42 left.
  • Saint Mary's responded with a 7-2 burst, capped by a Rahon 3-pointer to make it 63-56 with 8:17 left. The Rams could get no closer than five points the rest of the way.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
  • Despite the loss, VCU extended its streak of consecutive NCAA Tournament bids to seven. The Rams have also won at least 24 games in 11 straight years.
  • Lewis finishes his career 16th in school history in points, fifth in steals and six in assists.
  • VCU's senior class won 103 games.