Depleted Rams gut out 72-60 road win at George Mason

The Basics

  • Score: #18 VCU 72, George Mason 60
  • Records: VCU (18-4, 8-1 A-10), GMU (7-14, 2-7 A-10)
  • Location: Patriot Center – Fairfax, Va.
  • The Short Story: Playing without their two senior leaders for the majority of the game, the VCU men's basketball team gutted out a 72-60 road victory at in-state foe George Mason on Wednesday night. Junior Melvin Johnson led all scorers with 17 points on the night, while sophomore JeQuan Lewis stepped into a starting role with 13 points and four assists. 

How It Happened

  • The Rams were able to jump out to an early 10-5 advantage, but George Mason quickly took back control and, while also capitalizing on a few VCU mistakes, went on a 14-0 run that gave the Patriots a 19-10 lead.
  • Once they got the game back under control a bit, the Rams were able to claw their way back in the last five minutes of the half, turning an eight point deficit into a tie game, 32-32. Two Patriot free throws before the half gave GMU a two-point lead heading into halftime.
  • After sustaining an injury in the first half, Graham did not take the floor at all in the second half. Despite that, VCU really seemed to have found its rhythm coming out of halftime. The Rams hung tight with the Patriots until a 14-2 run sparked by Johnson put them ahead 49-40 with 11:17 remaining.
  • George Mason did its best to fight back, pulling within one thanks to a couple of threes from Corey Edwards. Freshman Michael Gilmore nailed his second trey of the night to give VCU a two-possession lead that it would not relinquish.
  • VCU turned up the HAVOC down the stretch, finishing the night with 27 points off 18 turnovers by George Mason en route to the 72-60 victory. 

Beyond the Box Score

  • Coming into tonight, Gilmore was just one-of-nine from beyond the arc on the season. Tonight he was perfect on his 3-point attempts, making both of them.
  • With seniors Briante Weber and Graham both being hurt, VCU needed others to step up their production. Tonight's unsung heroes were freshman Justin Tillman, sophomore JeQuan Lewis, and sophomore Doug Brooks. Combined they contributed 32 points and eight rebounds, and Brooks himself added two clutch steals.

Up Next

  • VCU hits the road for a Saturday afternoon battle with the Bonnies of St. Bonaventure at 2 pm. The game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network.