Dickson County basketball alum JeQuan Lewis put on a clinic on Tuesday night, helping his Virginia Commonwealth Rams to a come-from-behind win 81-70 over Princeton. According to the official VCU Athletic site, the visiting Tigers raced out to a 16-0 run in the first 6 minutes, but Lewis scored 19 points in the first half as the Rams tied the game at 39-39 before halftime.
Lewis had 8 of his 12 assists in the second half, as the homestanding Rams continued to take the momentum away. VCU didn’t lead in the game until a three pointer from Doug Brooks game the Black-and-Gold a 44-41 lead with 18:10 left in regulation, but the game would be tied 8 times and the lead changed hands 7 times in the second half. Lewis helped the Rams get the lead for good when he picked up a loose ball and found Jordan Burgess for a three to make it 67-64 with 4:25 left.
Lewis, already Atlantic 10 Co-Player of the Week, finished with 23 points, 12 assists, 3 rebounds, and 3 steals. The senior was a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line, finished 3-of-4 from three point range, and played 39 of the 40 possible minutes. The senior became the 36th player in VCU history to reach the 1,000 point milestone earlier this season, and topped the 20-point mark for the 9th time with the win on Tuesday night; he also had double-digit assists for the third time in his career, and is shooting 56.25% from three point range in his last 4 games.
Lewis told Richmond.com that his slow start in the game, which saw Princeton race out to the early lead, was because he was distracted, thinking about the loss of his high school coach Kevin Tuck. The coach passed away suddenly Monday morning in a Nashville hospital, and Lewis was still hurting like many people from Dickson County. The senior realized he would need to take over, and did just that; after the game, he took to social media to dedicate the win to the memory of his coach.
VCU now travels to Miami to battle Illinois Saturday afternoon at 2pm on CBS Sports Network. The Rams (6-1) are off to their best seven-game start since 1993, the year before Lewis was born.