Richmond, Va. – VCU was able to exact revenge on the Old Dominion Monarchs as won 76-67 at the Siegel Center. Three players scored in double figures as Jequan Lewis led the way with 16 points of the bench. Melvin Johnson finished with 13 points and Jordan Burgess followed up with twelve points. The Rams knocked down 10 three-pointers in the game.
ODU came right out the gates knocking down four three pointers within the first four minutes of the game and lead after the first media timeout 16-8 while VCU committed three turnovers in that span. VCU took the lead 18-16 with 9:25 with a three-pointer from Doug Brooks while the Rams defense shut down the offense of the Monarchs as they were not able to score for over six minutes. The Monarchs answered with a field goal to tie the game at 18. From there, both teams played a back and forth game as both teams took their turns leading the game and even tied at a few points in the first half. Jordan Baker hit a pair of free throws with five seconds left in the first half to tie the game at halftime at 35. Brooks had nine points in the game, all of them came in the first half as he hit a trifecta of threes.
The Rams were able to capitalize on Mo Alie-Cox being double-teamed in the second half which led to six three pointers being hit.
“In the first half, they either double-teamed me or sunk in,” Alie-Cox said. “In the second half, when I caught the ball with one-on-one coverage, I went straight up. If they double-teamed, we got a lot of wide open threes.”
Melvin Johnson knocked down back-to-back three pointers in 41 seconds to give VCU a nine-point lead, 49-40. Soon thereafter, VCU was able to obtain a double-digit lead in the second half with their biggest lead being 11 (54-43). ODU trimmed VCU’s lead down to three before with five minutes left. The Rams followed up with a 12-2 run which included a pair of threes from Korey Billbury and Lewis. The Monarchs kept fighting, but they did not have much left in the tank as the Rams were able to claim victory in the annual affair.
When asked about the defensive performance in the second half, Lewis said “We buckled down in the halfcourt. Getting stops gave us momentum and if they [ODU] can’t score, we’re going to win.”
VCU head coach, Will Wade, called today’s performance was probably the best they have played at home this season.
“After the first four minutes where ODU blitzed us, they only shot 38% which was good for us,” Wade said.
The Rams improve to 4-2 this season as they get will travel to Murfreesboro, Tennessee to face the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders on Wednesday night in their first true road game this season.