JeQuan Lewis had a career high 34 points as the VCU Rams were able to pull away from St Joe’s 91-81 Tuesday night at the Siegel Center. Lewis drained 9 threes in the win which ties for the most in the A-10 this year. His 34 points were the most by a Ram since Melvin Johnson scored 36 at LaSalle one year ago and his 9 treys are the most for a Ram since Troy Daniels set the school record of 11 at East Tennessee state in 2013.
Justin Tillman had 14 points and 13 rebounds, his fourth straight double double. Doug Brooks had 12 while Samir Doughty also had a double-double with 10 points and 10 assists.
However, the Rams allowed the Hawks to shoot 57% from the field in the first half and committed 13 turnovers. The Rams did hit 13 of 27 shots from behind the arc, more than doubling their season average for three pointers. But head coach Will Wade found plenty to worry about.
"There’s a certain way we win, and this was fool’s gold" Wade said after the win. "This will not work the rest of the year. Maybe it’ll work one time. We knew what they were going to do: They were going to zone us, pack it in the paint."
"I told the team, including myself, we weren’t really energetic. We were out there going through the motions" added Lewis. "It shouldn’t have been that close, but give them credit. They played super hard."
"That wasn’t a walk in the park" said Hawks head coach Phil Martelli. "They needed 91 to beat us, and (Lewis) was a big reason why they got it.”
It’s the 7th straight win for VCU which improves to 11-2 in the A-10 and 21-5 overall. They will visit the Spiders Friday night.