Saint Mary’s Holds Off VCU Despite 30 Point Performance From JeQuan Lewis

What a game. It looked like Saint Mary’s was going to run away with it early but VCU made multiple comebacks to keep the game close before the Gaels pulled out an 85-77 victory.

VCU looked good to start the game, forcing turnovers and getting out in transition, but that would not last. Saint Mary’s beat VCU at VCU’s own game with the Gaels forcing turnovers (6 in the first half), getting out and running the floor.  The Gaels defense held VCU to 40.6% shooting while they shot a blistering 64% from the field.

On top of the poor shooting from the field, the Rams shot 0-4 from three-point range. The Gaels also scored on 12 out of 14 possessions to end the first half to take a 46-31 lead. The game felt like it was over by halftime.

 

 

Oh, boy was it far from over. JeQuan Lewis came out firing in the second half, doing everything he could to get VCU back in the game. He scored the Rams first eight points in the second half, capped by pulling up from three and splashing it with a defender right in his face.

He brought them back from the dead as the Rams cut the lead down to two points with 10:16 left in the game. VCU was hitting any and everything they took (as long as it wasn’t a three) and Saint Mary’s went 3:26 without scoring a point.

But Saint Mary’s wouldn’t give in, a big three from Joe Rahon made it a 7 point game with just over seven minutes left. Then two minutes later it was Calvin Hermanson’s turn to hit a clutch three, pushing the lead back to eight. Shortly after his triple, he had a monster dunk to put the Gaels up ten.

JeQuan Lewis was magnificent in leaving everything on the floor. He rolled his ankle, was hobbling, but that didn’t stop him. During the second comeback, Saint Mary’s would hit their free throws, but VCU would drive and the Gaels would foul them. The ability to get to the charity strip kept the Rams close kept the game close in the late stages. Despite their effort, the Saint Mary’s Gaels held off the VCU Rams.

Saint Mary’s moves on and will face the winner of #2 Arizona/ #15 North Dakota.

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