VCU wins OT thriller at Richmond, extends win-streak to eight
The Rams hot streak continued tonight, this time needing an extra five minutes to add VCU’s eighth consecutive win, downing rival Richmond, 94-89.
The black and gold had a tough time stopping Richmond’s high-scoring offense so simply opted to outscore them in the win, dropping a season-high 94 points on the Spiders.
JeQuan Lewis was responsible for 29 of those points, a career-high for the junior.
The Rams got another 20 points from senior Korey Billbury, who joined Lewis in attacking the Spiders swiss cheese defense that has hampered them all season long.
Senior guard Melvin Johnson had an off night from the field but finished with 17 poitns of his own, none bigger than two overtime free throws the Rams helped use to ice the game.
Richmond jumped out to an early lead, as they’ve done on multiple occasions in recent games with VCU, only to see the Rams storm back to a halftime lead thanks to a late first half JeQuan three.
The teams then traded leads throughout the second half before the Spiders went up four with just under 2.5 minutes to play. Lewis then stripped Richmond guard ShawnDre’ Jones and converted the play into an easy layup to trim the Spiders’ lead to two.
VCU then added a point thanks to a managerial technical foul that saw Richmond start a possession with six men on the court.
Richmond’s Tre Davis added two points at the free throw stripe for Chris Mooney’s squad, giving Richmond an 83-80 lead with 1:12 left on the clock, but Lewis, as he had done all game, quickly turned that into just a one-point lead seven seconds later.
Doug Brooks picked up what ended up a fateful fifth foul on the next possession, sending him to the bench for the remainder of the game and Trey Davis back to the line for free throws.
Davis made his first before missing his second, only to see Brooks’ replacement, Justin Tillman, tie the game on the next possession thanks to a monster dunk that was enough to send the game to overtime.
The Spiders opened the extra period with a quick ShawnDre Jones bucket but were to never lead again, as the Rams tied the game at 86 the following possession on a Melvin Johnson bucket, then hit all the free throws needed after that to win the game.
Johnson was responsible for four of those final free throws, as well as a key rebound that sent him to the line where he gave VCU a 92-89 lead.
The Spiders then attempted to inbound the ball to halfcourt, only to see Mo Alie-Cox intercept the ball before hammering home the game-sealing dunk.
The win moves VCU to 13-5 on the season and a perfect 5-0 in Atlantic 10 play, three of those wins coming away from the Siegel Center.
VCU will return home however for their next two, getting Duquesne on Wednesday before hosting St. Bonaventure next Saturday.