Rams Drop Second Game in a Row Despite 26 from Lewis, 74-69

The Basics

  • Score: La Salle 74, #20 VCU 69
  • Records: La Salle (14-10, 6-5), #20 VCU (18-6, 8-3)
  • Location: Verizon Wireless Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center inside the HDL, Inc. Athletic Village – Richmond, Va
  • The Short Story: Despite a career-high 26 points from sophomore JeQuan Lewis, the 20th-ranked VCU men's basketball dropped a tough 74-69 double overtime decision to La Salle. The Rams were playing without their two senior leaders, Briante Weber and Treveon Graham, for the second straight game. Junior guard Melvin Johnson added 13 points on the night and sophomore Jordan Burgess grabbed a career-high in rebounds for the second striaght game with 12 on the night. La Salle's Jordan Price led all scorers with 34 points and 18 rebounds.
How It Happened
  • From the opening tip through the game's final moments, neither team was able to grab much of a lead, with the highest lead of the nightbeing just five points. And when one side did grab an advantage it was tenuous at best. That being said, the Rams did hold the lead for much of the first half despite not making a single 3-pointer before halftime.
  • VCU's largest lead of the game came nearly halfway through the first half, when Johnson scored on back-to-back floaters in the lane and put the Rams up 14-10.
  • Closer to halftime La Salle took control of the lead, but VCU was able to keep it close and a bucket from Lewis with just a few seconds left on the clock secured a 30-30 score heading into halftime.
  • Lewis and Johnson got things started in the second half, scoring VCU's first 10 points of the half and bringing the Ram lead back up to four points, 40-36. The last of those points, however, would mark a 5:30-long scoring drought during which La Salle grabbed the lead, making the score 44-40 with 13:22 to play.
  • VCU would remain down, but close, until a trey from Lewis just under six minutes to play put the Rams back up by one, 51-50.
  • In the last seven minutes of regulation, La Salle made just one field goal; unfortunately, it came with 33 seconds left and tied the game at 54-54, leading to overtime, though Burgess narrowly missed a tip-in just before the horn sounded.
  • Despite falling down by four quickly in the first overtime period, Lewis led his squad by scoring all eight points and securing a second overtime period for his team. Sophomore Mo Alie-Cox also blocked a shot attempt as time expired to seal the second extra period.
  • La Salle again scored the first two baskets in the second overtime period, but this time the Rams were not able to overcome the early deficit. The Explorers made their free throws down the stretch and ended up on the wrong side of a 74-69 decision.
Beyond the Boxscore
  • After taking over the starting points guard duties in the wake of senior Briante Weber's injury, Lewis has averaged nearly 18 points per game, almost triple what he was averaging prior to that.
  • Burgess has now recorded double-digit rebound figures in consecutive games, the only Ram to do that this season so far. His 12 rebounds tonight also represent a career-high.
  • Sophomore Mo Alie-Cox lived up to his nickname, blocking five shots tonight, tying his career-high that he last achieved last weekend against St. Bonaventure.
Up Next
  • The Rams hit the road this Saturday for a Valentine's Day showdown in the nation's capital against George Washington at 2 pm. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.