PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Melvin Johnson had 25 points and seven rebounds, Mo Alie-Cox made a go-ahead basket with 1:34 left and VCU rallied late to beat Saint Joseph’s 85-82 on Tuesday night, snapping the Hawks’ seven-game winning streak.
Saint Joseph’s had a 72-62 lead with six minutes left but VCU took a 78-77 lead – its first since 38-37 – on Alie-Cox’s make. He scored again for an 80-78 lead and JeQuan Lewis’ layup gave VCU a four-point lead with 22 seconds left.
James Demery’s dunk cut Saint Joseph’s deficit to 84-82. Johnson made just 1 of 2 free throws for VCU and DeAndre Bembry’s 3-pointer was off the mark at the buzzer.
Alie-Cox finished with 14 points for VCU (10-5, 2-0 Atlantic 10).
Isaiah Miles led Saint Joseph’s (11-3, 1-1) with 31 points.
Saint Joseph’s started the second half with an 11-0 run for a 10-point lead, with five points from Miles.
The following comes directly from VCU:
JOHNSON, ALIE-COX LEAD VCU COMEBACK AS RAMS SHOCK SAINT JOSEPH’S
Score: VCU 85, Saint Joseph’s 82
Location: Philadelphia, Pa. (Hagan Arena)
Records: VCU 10-5 (2-0 A-10), Saint Joseph’s 11-2 (1-1)
The Short Story: Melvin Johnson poured in 25 points and Mo Alie-Cox scored 10 straight down the stretch to spark a dramatic VCU comeback late in the second half as VCU pulled out an 85-82 win at Saint Joseph’s Tuesday night.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Alie-Cox scored 10 straight points in the waning moments, including a hook shot with 1:34 remaining to give VCU a 78-77 lead and cap a 13-3 VCU run. Moments later, following a Saint Joseph’s free throw, he gave the Rams the lead for good at 80-78 with a bucket with 1:12 remaining. The Hawks’ DeAndre’ Bembry misfired on Saint Joseph’s ensuing possession, and VCU’s JeQuan Lewis responded by driving the lane for a layup with 21.7 left.
- Bembry had a look from 3-point range on the Hawks’ final possession, but fired a shot off the front of rim, and VCU covered up the rebound as time expired.
- VCU trailed by as many as 13 points in the second half. The Hawks opened the second half with a 13-0 blitz to erase a three-point VCU halftime lead and pushed to a 70-57 advantage with 7:11 remaining.
- A Bembry dunk with 4:57 left gave the Hawks a 74-65 lead with 4:57 left, but a 3-pointer by Doug Brooks pulled the Rams within five a short time later. VCU threw the ball down low to Alie-Cox on the next five possessions and produced points each time.
INSIDE THE BOX
- Johnson notched his eighth 20-point effort of the season. He scored 18 of his points in the second half alone to keep the Rams within striking distance. He was 5-of-12 from 3-point range. Johnson also grabbed seven rebounds.
- Alie-Cox scored 14 points and added five rebounds. Junior JeQuan Lewis also provided 19 points and dished out six assists.
- VCU committed just eight turnovers in the game, the Rams’ third straight contest with single digits in that category.
- Saint Joseph’s Isaiah Miles led all scorers with 31 points on 11-of-14 shooting. Bembry added 17 points.
- “We always had faith in the huddle during timeouts we could come back.” – Mo Alie-Cox.
- VCU hits the road to face Saint Louis on Sunday, Jan. 10 at 3 p.m.