Richmond, Va. – VCU (9-5, 1-0) defeated George Mason (6-8, 0-1) in their conference opener 71-47. Melvin Johnson led the Rams in scoring with 22 points. The win for the Rams was their fourth consecutive win. Johnson moved to 21st on the all-time VCU scoring list with points.
Havoc reigned supreme in the first few minutes of the first half as the Rams forced the Patriots to commit three early turnovers. George Mason did not get their first field goal until the 13:44 mark in the first half after starting 0-7. Midway through the first half, VCU separated themselves from the Patriots by going on a 13-0 run and outscored the Patriots 20-8 in the final 8:16 of the half. Melvin Johnson was the head of the snake scoring 13 points in the half. VCU’s defense did not allow Mason’s leading scorer, Shevon Thompson, to score and limited him to one shot in the half.
VCU’s offense started the second half off cold as they were not able to score for over three minutes. The Patriots were able to trim VCU’s lead down to six. VCU would begin to assert themselves defensively forcing the Patriots to commit six turnovers in a six minute stretch. The Rams would capitalize on the turnovers by going on a 10-0 run to get a 47-31 lead with 11:08 to go. The Rams would go up by as much as 26 as they were able to cruise to victory. Ahmed Hamdy provided a punch off the bench scoring all 16 of his points in the half. He had eight rebounds to complement his scoring total.
“Guys are all in,” Melvin Johnson said after the game. “There’s no ulterior motive. At this point, guys just genuinely care about winning. There’s more smiles, details are handled better, and it’s just a better chemistry. It’s fun to be playing around these guys when we’re playing like this. Even if we lost today, I’m still in love with the way we embraced each other.”
After going 4-1 on their five game homestand, the Ram will travel to Philadelphia for their next game on Tuesday to take on the St. Joseph Hawks. Opening tip is set for 7:00.