In what many called a “Must-Win-Game” for VCU (5-4), the Rams traveled to Atlanta for the second time in two weeks to face an ACC opponent. Both teams were plagued by a slow start combining for 20 points in the first 10 minutes of the first half. In the end it was a hot hand in the second half that locked up the win for the Yellow Jackets, 77-64.
Justin Tillman led all VCU scorers with 18 points and 4 rebounds. Melvin Johnson had 5 of the Rams first 7 points before a five and a half minute scoring drought took over for VCU. It wasn’t until the 10:39 mark in the first half that VCU would score again—a jumper by Johnson. He would end the night with 17 points. At halftime Johnson (11) and Justin Tillman (6) combined for 17 of the Rams 27 points.
VCU opened the second half with one-two punch from Korey Billbury and Johnson, hitting a mid-range jumper and a 3 pointer, respectively. However, JeQuan Lewis picked up his fourth foul early and despite playing limited minutes all night he would end with 7 points and 4 assists. The Yellow Jackets would fight back to take a 42-36 before Coach Wade was forced to call a timeout. Doug Brooks knocked down back-to-back three pointers to pull the Rams within 1 point, but hot shooting would push GT back to an eleven point lead, 61-50 with 6:04 to play. Unfortunately by this point the game was already in hand, and GT wouldn’t look back.
Marcus Georges-Hunt led the Yellow Jackets with 20 points, making 9 of his 12 free throws in the second half.
VCU will return home to the Siegel Center for the next game on December 19th, but don’t expect to breath easy just yet. The Rams will host the #23 Cincinnati Bearcats at 4pm.