RAMS PUSH #20 BAYLOR, FALL LATE 71-63

2016 Battle 4 Atlantis
Score: #20 Baylor 71, VCU 63
Location: Paradise Island, Bahamas (Imperial Arena)
Records: VCU 3-1, Baylor 4-0

The short story: Senior JeQuan Lewis scored a game-high 21 points, but it wasn't enough for VCU to spring an upset of 20th-ranked Baylor, which rallied past the Rams in the second half Wednesday at the Battle 4 Atlantis.
 
OPENING TIP
  • Lewis knocked down 5-of-10 three-pointers for the Rams, dished out 5 assists and grabbed 3 steals.
  • VCU grabbed a 36-28 halftime lead behind strong play by senior Ahmed Hamdy and junior point guard Jonathan Williams. That inside-out duo combined for 19 first-half points for VCU. Hamdy finished with a season-high 14 points, while Williams turned a series of acrobatic floaters and hard drives into 12 points. He was 6-of-9 from the floor.
  • Redshirt freshman Samir Doughty added 8 points and 7 rebounds for VCU in his most extensive work of the season.
  • Preseason All-Big 12 First Team selection Johnathan Motley led the Bears with 19 points and 10 rebounds. He was Baylor's most important player in the second half, scoring 14 of his points, while grabbing 7 rebounds.
  • Manu Lecomte added 16 points for Baylor, much of it coming at the line in the closing moments.
THE DIFFERENCE
  • Motley helped swing the game with his rugged play in the paint on both ends of the floor. Motley scored six straight points midway through the second half, including a tip-in, to give Baylor a 45-44 lead with 10:59 remaining. A Lewis three and a dunk by senior Mo Alie-Cox put the Rams back in front a short time later 49-47, but four straight points by Baylor's Terry Maston wrestled the lead away from the Rams for the final time.
  • A 3-pointer from the left wing by Al Freeman punctuated a 7-2 Baylor run that gave the Bears the lead for good at 58-53 with 4:59 left. The Rams kept nipping at Baylor's heels, but Lecomte was 8-of-8 at the line in the final 1:36.
  • Baylor jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the game, but VCU controlled the next 18 minutes. The Rams shot .583 (14-of-24) in the first half and forced 11 turnovers on the way to an 8-point lead.
  • The Bears outscored the Rams 21-7 in second-chance points and owned a 34-26 advantage on the glass.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
  • Hamdy's 14 points are his most since he dropped a career-high 16 on George Mason on Jan. 2.
  • Lewis is 9-of-15 from 3-point range in his past two games. Wednesday's performance was the seventh 20-point effort of his VCU career.
QUOTABLE
"It was a good game. I think we played really well for about 25 minutes. It got away from us there the last 15 minutes. They really got us on the glass with offensive rebounds with Motley. They're a really good team and we weren't able to dictated the action for a full 40 minutes." – VCU Coach Will Wade
 
WHAT'S NEXT
VCU will meet the loser of Wednesday's Michigan State-St. John's game on Thursday, Nov. 24 at 7 p.m. That game will be televised by AXS TV.  
RAMS BLAST HOWARD 85-51
December 27, 2016 RAMS BLAST HOWARD 85-51