VCU opened their Atlantic 10 season with a tough road win against a 10-win George Mason squad, outlasting the Patriots 73-64. VCU trailed just briefly at the start of the game but led the vast majority of tonight’s contest, continually fending off any type of Mason run by answering virtually every Patriot basket with one of their own.
Point guard JeQuan Lewis was responsible for the majority of those baskets, leading all players with 26 points in the win.
Lewis hit all three of VCU’s three-point attempts in a night the Rams mostly passed on the long ball in favor of 46 points in the paint.
Senior Mo Alie-Cox had 12 of those points in the paint and finished with 14 total on the evening. Alie-Cox blocked a game-high three shots and added nine rebounds on a night the Rams out-rebounded the country’s 11th-best rebounding team, 42-31.
Justin Tillman led all players with 11 rebounds while helping hold the A-10’s rebounding leader, Mason’s Marquise Moore, to just six on the night, over five fewer rebounds than his season average. VCU held more to just 10 points as well. He averaged 18.1 heading into tonight’s contest.
Tillman finished with five points.
The rebounding advantage may have saved the Rams as VCU turned the ball over 21 times in the win, a good portion of them unforced against a Mason team that rarely turns teams over.
The Rams got 12 points and a game-high five assists out of Johnny Williams and a very efficient six-point game out of freshman De’Riante Jenkins off the bench.
VCU avenged a road loss at George Mason from last season and with that move to 11-3 on the year, extending the Rams’ current win streak to five games.
The Rams will remain on the road for their next game, heading to Pittsburgh to take on the Dukes of Duquesne (8-6).