VCU wins season opener 80-65 over UNC Asheville

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The following comes directly from VCU basketball:

ALIE-COX, BROOKS PUSH RAMS TO OPENING WIN

 

Score:  VCU 80, UNC Asheville 65

Location: Richmond, Va. (E.J. Wade Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center)

Records: VCU 1-0, UNC Asheville 0-1

Attendance: 7,637 (84th consecutive sellout)

 

The Short Story: Senior Mo Alie-Cox led five Rams in double figures with 15 points off the bench as VCU pulled away from reigning Big South Champion UNC Asheville Friday night at the E.J. Wade Arena.

 

OPENING TIP

  • Alie-Cox, coming off the bench for the first time in 73 games, stole the show, knocking down 5-of-7 field goals and 5-of-7 at the line in 28 minutes. He also pulled down six rebounds.
  • Senior guard Doug Brooks provided one of the best performances of his career with 12 points, four assists and three steals. His dogged on-ball defense bothered the Bulldogs for much of the evening.
  • Junior forward Justin Tillman also finished in double figures with 14 points on 7-for-11 shooting from the floor. Tillman collected six rebounds in 24 minutes
  • Junior Jonathan Williams and redshirt freshman Samir Doughty each also added 10 points.

THE DIFFERENCE

  • VCU used a 9-2 run, led by three Williams layups, to create a 43-35 margin with 15:52 remaining. UNC Asheville would draw no closer the rest of the way.
  • The Rams effectively put the Bulldogs away for good with a 9-0 burst, punctuated by a Brooks three from the right wing with 8:11 left, that pushed their edge to 64-47.
  • The first half featured nine lead changes and three ties. But a pair of Alie-Cox free throws and a corner three by JeQuan Lewis gave VCU a 36-30 lead with 1:14 remaining in the first. The Rams would not trail again.

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE

  • The Rams shot 55 percent (31-of-56) from the floor and outrebounded UNC Asheville 35-25.
  • The Black and Gold dominated from the paint, outscoring the Bulldogs 44-30 down low.
  • VCU caused 13 total turnovers, turning those into 14 points on the night.

 

WHAT’S NEXT

VCU hits the road for the first time this season on Tuesday, Nov. 15, when it takes on Liberty at 8 p.m. at the Vines Center.