- Associated Press - Friday, February 19, 2016

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Melvin Johnson isn’t big on setting individual goals, but there was one that means something to him at VCU.

And now he’s on the cusp of making it his.

Johnson hit four 3-pointers to pull him even with B.A. Walker for the VCU career record with 269 on Friday night, and VCU took charge with a 19-6 run to begin the second half in an 87-74 victory against city-rival Richmond.

“That’s what I worked toward all summer,” Johnson said of the 3-point record. “To be number 1 … will be a great way to leave some sort of legacy.”

Johnson scored 16 of his 20 points in the second half for the Rams, who got big nights from almost everyone. Justin Tillman scored 15 points, Jordan Burgess also hit four 3s and had 14, JeQuan Lewis had 13 points and 10 assists and Mo Alie-Cox had 12 points and 12 rebounds for VCU (20-7, 12-2 Atlantic 10).

Johnson had several chances to hit a fifth 3-pointer, but wasn’t able to cash in, leaving coach Will Wade feeling disappointed.

“It’s a home game, rivalry game. It meant a lot to him,” Wade said. “He gave an impassioned speech before the game to our team about how badly he wanted to win the game. I was hoping he’d be able to get it at home.”

The Rams led 61-44 after Doug Brooks capped the second-half burst with a 3-pointer, but the Spiders used a 10-0 run to cut it to seven.

Johnson then hit a pair of 3s and Burgess hit another in a 14-4 burst that essentially put the game away. The victory kept them atop the conference standings after they started the night tied with Dayton and Saint Joseph’s.

T.J. Cline scored 22 points to lead the Spiders (14-12, 6-8). Marshall Wood and ShawnDre’ Jones each added 12 points.

The Spiders were outrebounded 41-21, including 15-5 on the offensive end, and outscored 16-3 on second-chance points.

“The rebounding numbers are probably one of the most telling stats,” Richmond coach Chris Mooney said.

___

TIP INS

Richmond: The Spiders had only eight turnovers and outscored VCU off turnovers 16-14.

VCU: VCU made its first six attempts from 3-point range in the second half and finished 11 for 22.

UP NEXT:

Richmond is at home against George Washington on Wednesday night.

VCU plays at George Mason on Wednesday night.


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