PRINCE
VCU

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Lewis' huge night helps VCU rally past Princeton, 81-70

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) JeQuan Lewis admittedly wasn't focused when VCU and Princeton tipped off Tuesday night.

Once he locked in, he took off, leading the Rams back from a 16-0 deficit and to an 81-70 victory against the Tigers.

''I was just being somewhat careless. I started off the game kinda slow. It came off me not being really focused,'' Lewis said.

What caused him to get going?

''The score,'' he said.

Lewis finished with 25 points and 12 assists, and scored 19 in the first half as the Rams rallied to get to 39-all by halftime.

The Rams played without starting point guard Jonathan Williams, forcing Lewis into that spot, and he played 39 minutes.

''What do you want me to say?'' VCU coach Will Wade said. ''I mean, he was huge. He carried us and we had to have him. He was huge. He set the tempo. He set the pace. He made shots.''

Mo Alie-Cox added 15 points and four blocks, Jordan Burgess scored 12 and freshman Samir Doughty 11 for the Rams (6-1). VCU didn't take the lead for good until Burgess hit a 3-pointer with 4:35 remaining. He scrambled back on defense pumping his fist with the Rams now ahead 67-64, and Doughty's 3 from the top of the key with 4:13 left made it 70-64 and the sellout crowd at the Siegel Center roared.

''I don't mean to sound cocky. It just felt regular,'' Burgess said of the 3-pointer. ''I was open so I just shot the ball.''

Devin Cannady scored 18 points to lead the Tigers (2-3), who hurt themselves with 15 turnovers by halftime, tying their season high.

''This game is going to really help us,'' Tigers coach Mitch Henderson said. ''That's a really good team. Might be the best team on our schedule, one of the better teams on our schedule. They made some big plays down the stretch. Lewis is really really tough to guard.''

Princeton finished with 19 giveaways, leading to 27 points off turnovers for the Rams.

Spencer Weisz added 14 points and Stephen Cook 10 for Princeton.

BIG PICTURE

Princeton: The Tigers have a good blend with five seniors and several underclassmen that play, led by Cannady, a sophomore guard, who provides a solid scoring lift off the bench. They will give better programs fits with grit and toughness, and be a difficult assignment for the teams more at their own level.

VCU: The Rams are at their best when they play fast, not only because Lewis plays best at high speed, but because big men Alie-Cox and Justin Tillman can run the floor as well or better than most guys their size, and the more hectic the pace , the more likely the rams are forcing, and feeding off, turnovers.

TURNING POINT

Four consecutive turnovers by the Tigers late in the first half sparked a 10-0 VCU run that pulled them even for the first time at 37-all. Freshman De'Riente Jenkins had a dunk on a fast break and Alie-Cox followed with a steal near midcourt and a two-handed dunk, bringing the noise in the Siegel Center to deafening level. Lewis followed with a 3-pointer and a pair of free throws to finally tie it.

HE SAID IT

''I thought it would be a very physical game. I mean, Mo Alie-Cox's neck is bigger than some of our guys' legs,'' Henderson said of the Rams' 6-foot-7, 250-pound forward who has been watched by some NFL teams interested in him after graduation.

UP NEXT

Princeton faces California next Tuesday in Honolulu, Hawaii

VCU faces Illinois, its third Power 5 opponent in eight games, in the Miami Hoopball International in Miami.

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Key Players
Min. Per Game
Pts. Per Game
Ast. Per Game
Reb. Per Game
Field Goal %
Three Point %
Free Throw %
Team Stats
Points 0 0
Field Goals 0-0 (0.0%) 0-0 (0.0%)
3-Pointers 0-0 (0.0%) 0-0 (0.0%)
Free Throws 0-0 (0.0%) 0-0 (0.0%)
Total Rebounds 0 0
Offensive 0 0
Defensive 0 0
Team 0 0
Assists 0 0
Steals 0 0
Blocks 0 0
Turnovers 0 0
Fouls 0 0
Technicals 0 0
12T
away team logo Princeton 393170
home team logo VCU 394281
Team Stats
away team logo Princeton 13-8 69.9 PPG 39.9 RPG 10.8 APG
home team logo VCU 19-6 70.8 PPG 40 RPG 13.4 APG
Key Players
3
D. Cannady 18.2 PPG 5.8 RPG 1.7 APG 41.6 FG%
2
M. Evans 13.4 PPG 3.1 RPG 3.0 APG 40.9 FG%
Top Scorers
PTS REB AST
PTS REB AST
0 FG% 0
0 3PT FG% 0
0 FT% 0
Starters
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Starters
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Bench
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Starters
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Starters
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Bench
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB