Richmond, Va. – The VCU Rams picked up their third consecutive victory against the North Florida Ospreys Wednesday night 80-68. Melvin Johnson led the team in scoring with 23 points. VCU was able to get contributions elsewhere as Mo Alie-Cox scored a career-high 19 points and Korey Billbury finished with 22 points off the bench. Jequan Lewis only scored four points, but had a career-high 10 assists and three steals.
North Florida got off to a quick start in the first half jumping out to a 9-0 lead, but the Rams charged back with nine points to tie the game. Both teams alternated the lead before the Rams took control of the game jumping out to an eight-point lead at halftime. North Florida shot 50% in the first half, but had a hard time holding on to the ball in the halfcourt turning the ball over 10 times.
The Rams were able to carry the momentum they established in the first half into the second half shooting 57% from the field. Melvin Johnson and Korey Billbury hit a trio of shots from behind the arc to further establish pull away from the Ospreys. Mo Alie-Cox asserted himself down low scoring 13 of his 19 points in the half, including a dunk that blew the roof off the Siegel Center. The Rams went up by as much as 18 after a layup from Ahmed Hamdy, 61-43. The Ospreys would not go away as they cut the deficit down to eight with 2:51 to go. This was the closest the Ospreys would get as the Rams would pull away from the Ospreys.
North Florida’s, Dallas Moore, scored a team-high 24 points. North Florida, known for their three-point shooting making 12.9 per game (first in the nation), was held in check as they were 5-18 from downtown.
“Now we got some momentum,” VCU coach Will Wade said emphatically after the game. “We’ve won three in a row. You want to go into the conference season winning. I think we’re as tested or more tested than any team in our conference. Now, we have to continue to play well, continue to get better, understand what’s led to our winning streak, and us playing better.”
With the win, VCU improves to 8-5 as they finished their out-of-conference play. The Rams start conference play with this Saturday at the Siegel Center when they take on the George Mason Patriots. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:00.
Happy New Year!
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