PARADISE ISLAND, BAHAMAS (WWBT) - Jonathan Williams scored a career-high 22 points and dished out six assists and VCU overcame an early deficit to down St. John's, 75-69, Thursday night at the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas. The win moves Will Wade's team to 4-1 on the season.
The Red Storm came out firing, connecting on their first eight shots from the floor and opening up an 18-5 lead. VCU chipped away, and a Williams steal and lay-up just before the first half buzzer sent the teams into the locker room with the Rams trailing 41-39.
The second half started much better than the opening frame for VCU. JeQuan Lewis opened the stanza with back-to-back threes, the first giving the Rams their first lead since it was 1-0 early in the first half. Wade watched his club make an 11-0 run to take a 56-45 lead, but St. John's had another surge left in it, tying the game at 64 with 5:30 to play. Williams, however, put the team on his back, making a key lay-up to break a tie, and he, Lewis, and Mo Alie-Cox hit key free throws down the stretch to help VCU seal the victory.
Williams delivered his career night on 8-of-15 shooting and connected on six of his seven free throw attempts. In addition to his performance, Lewis and Alie-Cox both chipped in 15 points, while Justin Tillman pulled down 13 rebounds and added seven points. VCU scored 32 points in the paint to St. John's 22, and the Rams made seven of their 15 three point attempts.
VCU is back in action Friday night at 7:00 to conclude its stay in the Bahamas, facing either Old Dominion or LSU.