Mar 10, 2017
Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament – Quarterfinals
Score: #2 VCU 71, #7 George Mason 60
Location: Pittsburgh, Pa. (PPG Paints Arena)
Records: VCU 25-7, George Mason 20-13
The short story: Freshman De'Riante Jenkins poured in a career-high 15 points and senior JeQuan Lewis fueled a critical second-half surge on the way to a 13-point, six-assist effort, to lift VCU past George Mason and into the Atlantic 10 Conference semifinals. The Rams will face the winner of Friday's Richmond/George Washington match-up Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
- Jenkins, in his third game back from a broken foot that cost him 15 games, buried all three of his 3-point attempts – all in the first half – and also grabbed four rebounds and two steals in 27 minutes. He had seen limited action in two previous games since returning to the court.
- Senior forward Jordan Burgess added 10 points, seven rebounds and two assists for the Rams, while redshirt freshman guard Samir Doughty kicked in 10 points of his own.
- Marquise Moore provided 11 points and 17 rebounds for the George Mason cause and Jalen Jenkins contributed 15 points.
- VCU improved to 3-0 this season against George Mason. The Rams defeated the Patriots 72-60 on March 4 at the E.J. Wade Arena to close the regular season.
- Friday's game featured nine ties and 10 lead changes.
- Lewis scored 11 points, including a two 3-pointers, and senior Doug Brooks buried a pair of treys to key a 19-4 run over a six-minute stretch late in the second half that provided VCU with a 64-52 cushion with 2:34 left. It was a dramatic turnaround for the Rams, who trailed 48-45 moments earlier.
- Jenkins buoyed VCU in the first half. He hit three 3-pointers in a three-minute span to help erase an 18-14 deficit and give VCU a 29-24 advantage with 3:31 left in the half.
- VCU started strong, forcing four George Mason turnovers with aggressive full-court pressure, on the way to a 12-2 lead. But the Patriots answered with a 16-2 run of their own.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- VCU has reached the semifinal round of its conference tournament in 11 consecutive years. The Rams have advanced to their conference's championship game each of the past six seasons.
- The Rams are 7-0 all-time against George Mason in conference tournaments.
- VCU outscored George Mason 20-11 off turnovers. VCU committed just 10 turnovers of its own and forced 14.
- The A-10 semifinals at 3:30 Saturday at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. CBS Sports Network will televise that contest.