NCAA

Lewis goes for career high as Rams top Spiders

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Lewis goes for career high as Rams top Spiders

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Melvin Johnson recognized that his offense wasn't coming, so he got after his teammates who were having success to carry the load.

And then, in the clutch, Johnson did his part, too, scoring six of his 17 points in overtime as VCU beat Richmond 94-89 Saturday for its eighth consecutive victory.

"If those guys' confidence is up, we're a bigtime team in my opinion," Johnson said after fellow guards JeQuan Lewis and Korey Billbury combined for 49 points.

Lewis scored a career-high 29 points, mainly on relentless drives to the basket, and Billbury had 20 for the Rams (13-5, 5-0 Atlantic 10).

"They have some weak spots and we tried to exploit them," Lewis said after making 9 of 14 shots. "When I got a big on me, I just tried to drive it."

Johnson made just 6 of 19 shots, but he scored on a drive in overtime and then made four free throws in the final 2:05 to help clinch it.

"We were connected as a team today," Rams coach Will Wade said. "We withstood all their runs and that's a credit to Melvin's senior leadership."

ShawnDre' Jones had 26 points, T.J. Cline had 22 and Terry Allen 18 for the Spiders (10-7, 2-3). Trey Davis added 16, all in the second half, but he and Cline each missed a pair of free throws in overtime. Davis also missed a free throw with 50 seconds left in regulation that would have given Richmond a three-point lead, and the Rams tied it when Justin Tillman scored on a dunk with 34 seconds left.

In overtime, Jones scored first for Richmond, and Johnson answered. Davis and Cline then each missed a pair of free throws for the Spiders, and Mo Alie-Cox hit a pair to give VCU an 88-86 lead. A 3-point play by Jones put Richmond back on top, but Johnson his four straight from the line, the last two with 3.1 seconds left, and Alie-Cox intercepted a pass and drove in for a thunderous dunk.

Richmond used only seven players, three for at least 41 minutes and two others for 30. The seventh player, Khwan Fore, played seven minutes, leading Spiders coach Chris Mooney to agree it was possible his players got tired.

"It's definitely possible," Mooney said. "I think our depth is something I just need to make sure we do a little better job on. We have a couple of freshmen that can play and I haven't played them enough. And I think I need to trust them a little bit more."

The game between cross-town rivals featured 11 ties and 20 lead changes, and neither team led by more than three in the second half until Davis scored on a layup with 3:47 left to put the Spiders ahead 77-73.

The teams, who both shot better than 57 percent in the half, traded baskets until Richmond was whistled for having six players on the court with 1:37 to go. Johnson made the free throw, pulling the Rams to within 81-80, and after Davis and Lewis each made a pair, Davis made only one of two with 50.7 seconds left and Tillman's dunk forced the overtime.

Mooney said the technical was "100 percent on me," calling it a miscommunication during a timeout as to who was in and who was out of the lineup.

TIP-INS

VCU: The Rams shot 61.1 percent in their previous game, an 88-54 victory against Fordham. It was VCU's best shooting performance since it hit 63.1 percent in a 112-53 victory against Towson on Jan. 27, 2010. ... The Rams forced an average of 19.4 turnovers during the first seven games of their winning streak, but got Richmond to cough it up just 12 times.

Richmond: Marshall Wood tied a Spiders record by making a combined 12 3-pointers in his two previous games, but was just 1 of 4 against VCU.

UP NEXT

VCU is at home against Duquesne on Wednesday night.

Richmond has a week to get ready for a visit from Davidson next Saturday.

Georgetown gets a boost with Jessie Govan returning to school

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Georgetown gets a boost with Jessie Govan returning to school

After testing the NBA Draft waters, Georgetown center Jessie Govan decided to return to the Hoyas for his senior season.

Govan announced his intention to return on Instagram a week before the final commitment deadline.

Returning to the Hoyas is definitely a boost to the program that will be in their second year under head coach Patrick Ewing.  At 6-10, Govan was the team’s leading scorer (17.9 ppg) and rebounder (10.0 rpg) averaging a double-double last season.

Paired alongside power forward Marcus Derrickson, the Hoyas were nearly unstoppable in the paint. Derrickson though decided to forgo his senior year and signed with an agent after the season.

Had Govan decided to leave that would have meant over 56 percent of the team’s scoring and rebounding would have departed (to graduation or professional pursuits) in a handful of months. Not the best outlook for a 15-win team that went 5-13 in the Big East.

Instead Ewing gets back his leading scorer that many believe he can mold as a young protégée. While in the draft process without an agent Govan had workouts with the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks. Both are valuable experiences that he will bring to a relatively young Georgetown squad.

Having Govan for one more year will bridge Ewing’s second season to transfer big-man, Omer Yurtseven to his first year of eligibility in 2019. They were set up to having a walk-on and two sophomores being the only returning Hoyas over 6-6 for the upcoming season.

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Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

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Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

The pieces are starting to come together for Patrick Ewing.

On Monday the Georgetown Hoyas picked up perhaps the biggest (literally and figuratively) target of the transfer market, Omer Yurtseven.

From North Carolina State, the transfer from Istanbul Turkey will have two years remaining of eligibility. Due to NCAA transfer rules, he is not allowed to play for the 2018-19 season.

MORE NCAA: TOP BUZZER BEATERS IN NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY

Standing at 7-0, the center helped power the Wolfpack to an NCAA tournament bid this past season. Averaging 13.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks a contest, Yurstseven earned All-ACC Third Team honors in the 2017-18 season. He also touted a 58.3 shooting percentage and was not afraid to pull it up from deep either (22 made three-pointers).

NC State lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to No. 8 Seton Hall, but he was limited due to foul trouble with only two points and two rebounds in 14 minutes of play.

Initially, he is the option to fill the void that Jessie Govan will leave, whether that is during this offseason or next. Already the team has lost power forward Marcus Derrickson

Yurtseven will just be another frontcourt talent for Ewing with the Hoyas.

It was widely reported that he was considering playing options, both in the United States and abroad before this announcement. Easily he has the talent to go in first round of the NBA Draft whichever year he declares.

On the same day, the Hoyas also announced the signing of four-star guard James Akinjo.