Score: VCU 69, Winthrop 55
Location: Richmond, Va. (E.J. Wade Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center)
Records: VCU 7-5, Winthrop 5-5
Attendance: 7,637 (107th consecutive sellout)
The short story: Senior forward Justin Tillman eclipsed 1,000 career points and recorded a double-double to lead VCU to a 69-55 win over Winthrop in non-conference action on Tuesday night.
- With a lay-up midway through the second half to give the Rams a 49-40 lead, Tillman scored his 1,000th career point. He led the Rams with 22 points and 11 rebounds, his third double-double of the season. It was also his sixth consecutive game with at least 20 points.
- Redshirt sophomore Mike'l Simms went 6-for-10 from the floor to record a career-high 16 points. He also drained four of his seven 3-point attempts.
- Sophomore De'Riante Jenkins drained three 3-pointers on the way to 13 points in addition to five boards.
- Senior guard Johnny Williams dished a game-high six assists.
- Senior Khris Lane and freshman Sean Mobley grabbed six rebounds apiece.
- Winthrop was led by Xavier Cooks, who poured in 17 points and pulled down 12 rebounds.
- Coming out of the under-12 media timeout, Tillman completed a tough and-one, and Lane hit a 3-pointer to break a 10-10 tie and push the Rams ahead 16-10.
- After the Eagles cut the lead to 18-16, the Rams used an 8-0 run, highlighted by Simms picking Kyle Zunic's pocket and laying in a fast break bucket after a Tillman tip-in, to push the lead to 26-16.
- VCU surged for an 11-0 run across two halves, fueled by back-to-back 3-pointers from Simms to extend their advantage to 37-19 early in the second half.
- The Eagles got hot early in the second half to cut the VCU lead to just six points, but two more 3-pointers from Simms boosted the margin to 57-44 with just under eight minutes left.
- Moments later, Jenkins knocked down an off-balance 3-pointer to give the Rams a 60-46 lead, a 14-point advantage they would hold on to for the remainder of the game.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Tillman is the first VCU player since at least the 1972-73 season to record six straight games of 20 or more points.
- The Rams turned in a strong defensive performance, limiting Winthrop to 33.9 percent (20-for-59) from the floor and 12 percent (3-for-25) from 3-point range.
- VCU got scoring contributions from nine different players, and outscored Winthrop 24-9 in bench points.
- The Rams edged the Eagles in both rebounds (45-39) and assists (15-10).
VCU continues its home stand by hosting in-state foe VMI on Friday, Dec. 22 at 7 p.m. inside the Siegel Center. This will be the last non-conference game of the season for the Rams. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m., and the game will be broadcast locally on CBS 6.