RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Freshman Justin Tillman scored a career-high 16 points and the VCU defense held Belmont to 37 percent shooting, as the Rams rolled past the Bruins, 78-51. Shaka Smart's team improves to 7-3 on the season, has won two in a row, and is now 40-6 in December during his tenure.
VCU wasted no time opening up a lead. The Rams jumped out to a 14-5 advantage and continued to widen the gap throughout the first half, heading into the break with a 34-21 lead.
The Rams didn't let up in the second half, opening the frame on a 16-5 run to take a 50-26 lead. That run was capped off by a highlight-reel dunk from Tillman. After Briante Weber came up with a steal, the Rams moved down the court on a breakaway. Weber completed the no-look pass to the trailing Tillman who finished with a thunderous one-handed dunk.
VCU forced 17 turnovers on the night, scoring 21 points off those turnovers. The Rams' freshmen accounted for 32 points, while the bench outscored Belmont's bench, 56-16.
Lewis chipped in 13 points, while Treveon Graham added eleven points and six rebounds. Michael Gilmore notched a career-high with eight points, as did Jonathan Williams with seven assists.
VCU hits the road for its next contest, a Saturday meeting at Cincinnati. Tip-off is set for noon.