VIDEO: VCU TOPS WOFFORD 72-57

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HIGHLIGHTS!

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SHAKA SMART!

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JEQUAN LEWIS, JORDAN BURGESS, TREVEON GRAHAM!

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WOFFORD COACH MIKE YOUNG!

EMERGING LEWIS BOLSTERS VCU OFFENSE

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Freshman JeQuan Lewis, seen here crossing over Wofford's Jaylen Allen, sparked VCU with 16 points Tuesday.

Freshman JeQuan Lewis, seen here crossing over Wofford’s Jaylen Allen, sparked VCU with 16 points Tuesday.

RICHMOND, Va. – As JeQuan Lewis finished an interview in a hallway in the guts of the Verizon Wireless Arena, he encountered an upbeat Shaka Smart, on the way to his postgame press conference. The VCU coach greeted Lewis warmly with a fist pound, a silent congratulations for a job well done. Lewis, however, offered an earnest and unsolicited assurance to Smart.

“I’ll play better ‘D’, Coach,” he said.

Lewis made no mention of his 14 second-half points – or the career-high 16, total – that helped the Rams overcome an underwhelming offensive performance in a 72-57 victory over Wofford. Tuesday’s effort was just the most recent batch of evidence that sought to prove the value of Lewis’ offensive skill set to the Rams. While he’s still learning the nuances of the Division I game, Lewis’ offense is clearly college prepped.

Although junior Treveon Graham led VCU with 18 points Tuesday, it was Lewis who had the hot hand down the stretch as the Rams kept Wofford at bay. Graham scored 15 of his points in the first half, and when his shots stopped falling in the second – he was 0-of-4 from the field – VCU turned to Lewis.

Lewis scored 10 of his points in the game’s final 4:49. Each time the Terriers appeared to ramp up a challenge, Lewis answered for the Rams. With 3:27 left, Wofford’s Jaylen Allen knocked down his second consecutive 3-pointer to pull the Terriers within 64-56. But on the ensuing possession, Lewis drove baseline from the left corner for a layup in traffic. Wofford wouldn’t seriously challenge VCU again.

“A big possession, probably the killer, was when he got all the way to the basket there around the five-minute mark, the four-minute mark and just carved us up and got all the way to the rim,” said Wofford Coach Mike Young.

The Dickson County, Tenn. native’s offensive shot in the arm came at a critical time for the Rams. VCU struggled to find a rhythm in its halfcourt sets for much of the game and shot 38 percent (21-of-56) in the contest, including 25 percent (5-of-20) from three. Lewis knocked down 4-of-5 field goals in the second half, while the rest of the team shot 5-of-23 (22 percent).

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