Tag Archives: VCU Men’s Basketball

RECAP: VCU Rallies Late To Stun Old Dominion 67-64

The VCU Rams and Old Dominion Monarchs rivalry is like no other. There’s a strong hatred between the two schools and it makes for great basketball on the court. Saturday night was another instant classic between the Rams and Monarchs that came down to the final seconds at the Ted Center.

VCU, who came into the game losers of their last two, knew heading to Norfolk this was a must win.

“We had a way about us tonight. We knew we were going to dig it out somehow,” head coach Will Wade said.

The Rams trailed 55-44 with 7:37 remaining, but mounted a great comeback led by senior guard JeQuan Lewis. Lewis scored 12 points during a 16-1 VCU run that was highlighted by a Lewis 4-point play that tied the game at 55. The run by VCU lasted a little less than 3 minutes and once VCU was able to get a lead they weren’t going to let this game slip away.

“I just wanted to be more aggressive, just get the ball to the rim,” Lewis said.

Old Dominion aided the comeback as well, going 13 of 28 from the foul line and missing 9 of 14 in the final stretch of the game.

VCU went 6-of-8 from the free throw line down the stretch, but the Monarchs still had two final looks to either tie or take the lead, but VCU forced a shot-clock violation with 5.8 seconds left, and senior Mo Alie-Cox forced Ahmad Caver into a contested 3-point shot as time expired.

Along with Lewis, freshman De’Riante Jenkins had a breakout performance on the road. Jenkins provided 11 points and 6 rebounds for the Rams, while Alie-Cox handled his own in the paint scoring 8 points, grabbing 8 rebounds, and collecting 4 block shots on the night.

B.J. Stith led the Monarchs with 17 points, while Caver added 16.

VCU will returns to action on Saturday, Dec. 17 when it hosts Middle Tennessee State at the E.J. Wade Arena at the Siegel Center at 7 p.m.

VCU Loses In Dramatic Fashion To Georgia Tech In Overtime

Coming off a 64-46 loss to Big Ten member Illinois on December 3rd, the VCU Rams were looking for a bounce back performance against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets tonight. The same went for Georgia Tech as they were coming off an embarrassing loss to Tennessee 81-58.

VCU didn’t get the wdsc_6596-4in they were looking for as they fell to Georgia Tech in overtime 76-73, and going forward this loss will sting as VCU makes a push for the NCAA tournament come March. After the game head coach
Will Wade didn’t have a lot to say to the media, and just hinted at having an open conversation with his players.

“I told them what I was thinking and got some of their opinions on some things. We’ll formulate a plan here moving forward,” Wade said.

Forward Justin Tillman had a career night in which he scored 26 points to go along with nine rebounds and senior guard JeQuan Lewis added 16 points, but there will still times throughout the game in which the Rams’ offense was stagnate against the Yellow Jacket’s zone defense.

VCU didn’t pldsc_6613-5ay with much energy in the first half, but in the second half it looked as if VCU was a totally different team. VCU was able to take the lead late in the second half, but Georgia Tech always had an answer for the Rams, forcing the game into overtime.

In overtime, it was all Georgia Tech, even though VCU had multiple opportunities at the end to tie the game that fell short.

Now heading to Norfolk to play Old Dominion on Saturday in a rivalry game, thisdsc_6531-1
may be as close to a must win for VCU early in the season as it can get.

“We’re going to move forward. It’s a tough one,” Lewis said.

(Photo Credits: Chris Richardson)

VCU Battles Back From An Early Defecit To Beat Princeton

After going 2-1 in the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament during the Thanksgiving break, with their only loss being to the eventual champions, the then 20th ranked Baylor Bears, VCU returned to the E.J. Wade Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center to take on the Princeton Bears and things didn’t get off to a great start for the Rams.

Princeton jumped out to a 16-0 lead before VCU started playing their brand of basketball. The Rams started to up the tempo of the game to claw their way back to a tie score at the half. A late 9-0 run in the second half propelled VCU put away Princeton for good by a score of 81-70.

JeQuan Lewis scored 25 points, with 19 of those coming in the first half, to go along with 12 assists, collecting his first double-double of the season. Lewis conintued his stellar play from last week where he was named Atlantic dsc_6023-110 Co-Player of the Week in which he averaged 18.3 points per game, while shooting .500 from the floor. Lewis also knocked down 11-of-23 from the 3-point line, while recording 16 assists and seven steals.

Mo Alie-Cox scored 15 points and had a team-highdsc_6048-4 five blocks, Jordan Burgess chipped in with 12 points while shooting perfect from the floor, and Samir Doughty added 11 points.

VCU was also without one key component tonight. Jonathan Williams, the Rams’ starting point guard missed tonight’s game due to sickness.

Princeton was able to slow down VCU early with  a 1-3-1 trap defense that made the Rams sedsc_6012-1ttle for a lot of 3-pointers, but VCU was able to settle down and take their first lead of the game 44-41 with 18:09 in second half.

VCU made critical free throws down the stretch, and Burgess added a dunk on a breakaway with 44 seconds remaining to put an exclamation point on the game for the Rams.

VCU will head to Miami next, where they will meet Illinois on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 3 p.m. at AmericanAirlines Arena.

(Photo Credit: Kallie Raymond)

VCU Improves To 3-0 As They Head Into The Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament

After a hard fought battle with the Liberty Flames on Tuesday in which the VCU Rams squeaked out a 64-59 victory, it was a totally different story for the Rams on Friday night against the Binghamton Bearcats.

Midway through the first half, freshman De’Riante Jenkins scored six points during 16-0 run by the Rams over a seven-minute stretch that provided a 20-6 lead for VCU. The rout continued minutes later as senior JeQuan Lewis knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers and senior Doug Brooks followed with one of his own during an 11-0 run that pushed VCU ahead 35-14 and the game was never close again.

VCU went on to win by a score of 81-42 and the Rams’ 39-point victory was its largest since November 20, 2014 when VCU dominated Maryland-Eastern Shore 106-66. VCU had its best shooting night of the season as well, shooting 56 percent from the field, including making a season high 11 three pointers. Binghamton’s 42 points also were the fewest by a VCU opponent since the Rams beat Towson 67-42 on January 25, 2012.

Jenkins, who did dsc_5568-4not score in either of the Rams’ first two games this year, had 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting, including 2-of-3 from 3-point range, to lead all scorers. He also pulled down 10 rebounds, dished out two assists and recorded a steal and a block in 24 minutes.

VCU freshmen Jenkins, Samir Doughty, Malik Crowfield and Marquell Fraser accounted for 33 points Friday. Doughty recorded his second double-digit game in three contests this season with 10 points.

Four Rams scored in double figures, including senior JeQuan Lewis, who went 4-of-5 from beyond the arc and finished with 12 points. Junior Jonathan Widsc_5731-10lliams added 8 points, 5 assists and 2 steals for VCU.

VCU now will be heading to the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament this week 3-0 and ready to take on their toughest opponents of the season Nov. 23-25. VCU opens against Baylor on Wednesday Nov. 23 at 2:30 p.m., then plays either Michigan State or St. John’s in the second game.

VCU Pulls Away In The Second Half To Win Season Opener

After a disappointing loss to Queens (N.C.), a Division 2 school in Charlotte, NC last Friday in an exhibition game, the VCU Men’s Basketball team made sure tonight wouldn’t be a repeat of last week.

Led by senior Mo Allie-Cox, VCU was able to pull away from the UNC Asheville Bulldogs in the second half to win their season opener 80-65.

The first half saw nine lead changes and three ties before VCU went into halftime with a 36-30 lead. VCU used a 9-2 run, sparked by junior Jonathan Williams to create a 43-35 lead early in the second half and UNC Asheville wouldn’t get any closer the rest of the night. VCU would use another 9-0 minutes later to effectively bury UNC Asheville.

VCU had contributions from almost everyone tonight as the Rams had five guys in double figures.

Allie-Cox who led the team in scoring tonight with 15 points, came off the bench for the first time in two seasons because VCU Head Coach Will Wade said, “Mo wasn’t guarding anyone.”

Senior guard Doug Brooks provided 12 points, four assists, and three steals in one of the most spirited games of his career. Junior forward Justin Tillman finished with 14 points on 7-of-11 shooting to go along with pulling down six rebounds.

Williams and redshirt freshman Samir Doughty each added 10 points. Two other key freshman Malik Crowfield and De’Riante Jenkins, only combined for three points in the game, but both are expected to play key roles for VCU as the season progresses.

The Rams shot better than 50 percent from the field and bullied UNC Asheville on the inside, outscoring the Bulldogs 44-30 in the paint and outrebounding them 35-25.

VCU hits the road for the first time this season on Tuesday, Nov. 15, when it takes on Liberty at 8 p.m.

dsc_4597-19

dsc_4399-14

PHOTOS: VCU Men’s Basketball vs. Queens (N.C.) Exhibition Game

Expect A Big 2016-17 Season For VCU Men’s Basketball

Coming off a 2015-16 campaign, where it was Will Wade’s first year at the helm and losing their two best players, Treveon Graham and Briante Weber, to graduation, a lot of people didn’t expect much from the VCU Men’s Basketball Program. Yet, once again VCU proved their doubters wrong.

The Rams finished in a three-way tie for the Atlantic 10 regular season title with Dayton and St. Bonaventure at 14-4. VCU did fall to St. Joseph’s in the A-10 championship game, but their bid into the NCAA Tournament had but all been secured.

VCU would go on to defeat Oregon State in the opening round of the NCAA tournament before losing to No. 2 seed Oklahoma in the Round of 32, thanks in most part to Big 12 Player of the Year, Buddy Hield. But enough about last year, let’s talk about what to expect this season from the VCU Men’s Basketball team.

VCU has a strong core returning for the 2016-17 season led by the backcourt of JeQuan Lewis and Jonathan Williams alongside a trio of frontcourt players that will cause problems for the A-10 all season with Mo Allie Cox, Justin Tillman, and Ahmed Hamdy.

However, the two X-factors for VCU I believe are seniors, Doug Brooks and Jordan Burgess, who shot 33.9 percent and 33.5 percent respectively, during their careers. During the Black and Gold Game last Saturday both played well and under control with each scoring 12 points.

“If Jordan can increase his percentage, and we can get Doug shooting where he shot it as a sophomore from 3, which I think he can do, it’s a jolt. It’s what you need,” Wade said, after the Black and Gold Game.

But the question is, can they do that when the season starts November 11?

VCU is also welcoming a talented batch of freshman guards: De’Riante Jenkins, Malik Crowfield, Marquell Fraser, and Samir Doughty, who redshirted last season. The two to watch out for in my opinion though are, Doughty and Jenkins.

Doughty, a 6-4 guard, can finish around the rim and just knows how to put the ball in the basket. His scoring ability will be much needed, especially with the departure of the Rams’ leading scorer from last season, Melvin Johnson.

Jenkins, a 6-5 wing and top 100 recruit, will provide VCU with a lot of mismatch opportunities throughout the season and with his size and length on the defensive end, he can have an impact on the game more ways than one.

Now when you look at VCU’s non-conference schedule this season, I believe it’s pretty good, while I know there’s others who don’t believe so. Last season, VCU struggled to defeat the good teams they played out of conference, like Duke, Wisconsin, Georgia Tech, and Cincinnati, which made it all more important that they performed well in the A-10. This year the narrative can be different, a good showing in the Battle for Atlantis Tournament, defeating teams such as Illinois, Georgia Tech, and Middle Tennessee State among others, VCU can better position themselves when it comes to seeding in the NCAA Tournament.

Overall, with a year under their belt in Wade’s system I expect VCU to be much better than they were last season. They have a much deeper team who will be able to find various ways to score and to go along with their patented “havoc” defense; VCU once again will be in the running for another A-10 championship and well on their way to their seventh consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.

WVCW Sports Regular Season Prediction:

  • Projected Record: 23-6 (14-4 A-10)