VCU had a different look in tonight’s 79-66 win at George Washington. For starters, VCU’s Freight Train, Treveon Graham, was back in the lineup. But more importantly, the Rams had the look of a confident offensive unit from the opening whistle.
VCU’s Melvin Johnson filled up the stat sheet quickly, connecting on his first three pointers and scoring 11 points for the Rams over the first 14:07 of play. JeQuan Lewis added a bucket shortly after to give VCU a 22-13 lead to start the game in front of the sold out Smith Center crowd.
GW would rally to tie the game at the half but were unable to keep pace with VCU, as the black and gold outscored the Colonials 41-28 in the second half thanks to an improved defensive effort to finish the game.
GW had started the game shooting a blistering 59.1% from the field but finished at just 44.2%. The Rams shot 45.6% from the field and hit 12 threes, their most in a game since defeating Saint Joseph’s 89-74 on January 10 where they went 12-23 from deep.
Melvin Johnson led the Rams with five of those makes today and finished with a team-high 17 points on 5-9 shooting.
Johnson’s wild, young, dreadlocked, gunslinging friend, Doug Brook, connected on four of his six three-point attempts to finish with 14 points of his own. Brooks finished with two of VCU’s nine steals on the afternoon. The Rams played their fourth game without havoc machine, Briante Weber, but were able to force 16 steals in the win.
Weber’s replacement, JeQuan Lewis, finished with his fourth consecutive double-digit scoring night since taking over for Weber. Lewis posted 10 points to go with four assists, one rebound and a steal. He had just one turnover on the game and has just four total since assuming the starting role.
Treveon Graham added 10 points in his first game back on the court. Graham added four rebounds and two assists but was a somewhat rusty 4-11 from the field.
Mo Alie-Cox rounds out the group of double-digit scorers for VCU with 10 points of his own. He added an assist, a steal and a game-high eight rebounds. Big Mo finished with zero blocks for just the fourth time this season. Alie-Cox recorded at least one block in his previous 14 games.
The win moves VCU to 19-6 overall and 9-3 in Atlantic 10 play, keeping the Rams tied atop the A-10 standings in first place with Rhode Island and Dayton. UMass can join that group with a win this afternoon (they currently lead at the half).
The black and gold will return to the Siegel Center to host Saint Louis Tuesday night in a 7:30PM tip. The Rams defeated the Billikens early this season, 63-61, behind a Treveon Graham game-winner to avoid the road upset.