Siegel Center turned into The Animal on Saturday afternoon as VCU slammed Old Dominion with their 3rd consecutive loss of the season. The Rams won 76-67 in front of 7,637 rambunctious fans at the Stu lead by breakout offensive performances from Melvin Johnson, JeQuan Lewis and Ahmad Hamdy Mohamed.
Senior Aaron Bacote and Junior Jordan Baker got the party started from downtown for the Monarchs. Two three pointers from each as ODU came out of the gates firing with a 16-8 run. VCU got a few buckets yet Old Dominion just kept hitting everything with ease early in the 1st half.
Hamdy chopped down the deficit from inside the paint for the Rams. From rebounding to passing, Hamdy was heavily involved everywhere for the Rams finishing with eight points and six rebounds. Old Dominion’s offense started to ware down with consecutive misses for nearly 6 minutes thanks to HAVOC. Doug Brooks knocked down three from beyond the arc as VCU were back into the contest late in the 1st half.
The contest went back and forth until the halftime buzzer. VCU and Old Dominion brought it to each other physically while trading baskets. At the free throw line, the Rams went 9-10 at the charity strike while the Monarchs struggled making two out of five as the 1st half came to close notched at 35 points apiece.
Old Dominion with a rough start in the 2nd half. The Monarchs started on 25% shooting from the field and no three pointers off of 2 attempts. VCU took advantage down low feeding Mo Alie-Cox and JeQuan Lewis from three point range. Lewis was also a thorn in Old Dominion’s side coming up with steals and turning them into scoring chances as VCU’s lead continued to grow.
As the lead kept growing, the Stu got louder. Ram fans brought it to Old Dominion from the stands and fueled the VCU bench with the motivation they needed thanks to their loud cheers from East to West End. VCU’s bench outscored Old Dominion 33-18.
VCU had Old Dominion on lockdown defensively. Bad shooting for the Monarchs continued as the Rams held them to 37% shooting in the 2nd half. Hamdy alongside Mo Alie-Cox kept having their way inside on the opposite end for the Black & Gold. Lewis along with Jordan Burgess and Melvin Johnson kept pilling in the points as VCU claimed victory in the 91st meeting of this historic cross-town rivalry.
“Thought it was a good win. I thought we played probably the best we’ve played at home this year,” said VCU head coach Will Wade.
Lewis lead VCU with 16 points, three assists and three steals. Lewis played comfortable and was able to find Johnson who made 13 points and Burgess collected 12 points. With the gameplan of feeding the ball down low to VCU’s forwards, VCU guards had all the space needed to shoot and made the Monarchs pay. VCU improves to 4-2 on the season.
VCU took care of business at home and now prepare for a 3 game road trip starting in Middle Tennessee State as they take on the Blue Raiders. Tip-Off set for Wednesday, December 2nd at 8 PM.
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