FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — Melvin Johnson scored 17 points to lead No. 18 VCU to a 72-60 victory over George Mason on Wednesday night.
JeQuan Lewis, starting in place of injured point guard Briante Weber, added 13 points as the Rams (18-4, 8-1 Atlantic 10) won for the 11th time in their last 12 games.
Jalen Jenkins scored 15 for the Patriots (7-14, 2-7), who have dropped seven of eight.
Lewis was 3 for 6 from the field and 7 for 7 at the line in VCU’s first game since Weber departed Saturday’s 64-55 loss to Richmond with a season-ending knee injury. Weber was the Rams’ third-leading scorer and paced the team in steals and assists.
The Rams then lost leading scorer Treveon Graham in the first half against George Mason. Graham re-injured the left ankle he sprained last month and finished with four points.
VCU put together a 14-2 run to take a 49-40 lead with 11:17 to play. Six different players scored for the Rams in the spurt.
George Mason then battled back. Corey Edwards hit consecutive 3-pointers and Patrick Holloway had a layup to cut the lead to 49-46 with 10:42 to play. But the Rams eventually pulled away.
Lewis had three quick baskets to help VCU open a 61-52 lead with 7:05 to play.
The Patriots got off to a nice start, putting together a 14-0 run to take a 19-10 lead with 13:09 remaining in the first half.
After George Mason’s tear, VCU managed to tie the score at 32 on Justin Tillman’s layup just before halftime. Shevon Thompson’s two free throws gave the Patriots a 34-32 lead at the break.
VCU: Graham first injured the ankle on Jan. 13 and missed one game. … A timetable for Weber’s surgery has not been set. Weber finishes his career with 374 steals — third-highest in NCAA history, and just 12 away from the record.
George Mason: The Patriots have dropped all six of their games against ranked opponents in four seasons under coach Paul Hewitt. Their last win over a ranked opponent was against Kansas State on Nov. 18, 2007. … Thompson had 16 rebounds, helping the Patriots to a 43-27 advantage on the boards.
VCU visits St. Bonaventure on Saturday.
George Mason visits St. Joseph’s on Saturday.
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