Rams beat LSU to claim 5th place in the Bahamas

Rams beat LSU to claim 5th place in the Bahamas

This time VCU built on its halftime lead.

Justin Tillman scored a season-high 17 points to help VCU beat LSU 85-74 on Friday in the fifth-place game at the Battle 4 Atlantis, a win coming two days after the Rams blew a halftime lead in the opening-round loss to No. 20 Baylor.

JeQuan Lewis scored 19 for the Rams (5-1), who shot 58 percent after halftime. VCU pushed a 40-33 halftime lead into a double-digit lead about 5 minutes into the second half and maintained a comfortable margin the rest of the way.

"I think we got off to a better start the second half," VCU coach Will Wade said. "By the first media (timeout) we'd expanded the lead by just a point but we hadn't given any ground like we had in the Baylor game."

In that one, the Rams led 36-28 before losing 71-63.

"We reminded them of that at half," Wade said.

Tillman, a 6-foot-7 junior, had missed two straight games due to a left foot injury before coming to the Bahamas. He saw limited work against Baylor, but had 13 rebounds in Thursday's win against St. John's and followed that with a strong scoring day.

He finished 8 of 9 from the floor while also pulling down eight rebounds.

"I had to get back into the game and just start picking it up, game by game," Tillman said.