RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Doug Brooks and Mo Alie-Cox scored 16 points each to lead five VCU players in double figures and the Rams used a 24-11 burst early in the second half to cruise to their ninth consecutive victory, 93-71 over Duquesne.
Justin Tillman added 15 points, Melvin Johnson 13 and JeQuan Lewis 11 for the Rams (14-5, 6-0 Atlantic 10), who are off to their second consecutive 6-0 start in league play. The Rams led 44-31 at halftime, absorbed an 8-3 run by the Dukes to start the second half, then poured it on, opening a lead of as many as 26 points.
L.G. Gill scored 18 points and Derrick Colter 17 to lead the Dukes (12-7, 2-4), who were playing their second consecutive unbeaten league leader. Duquesne knocked Saint Bonaventure from the top of the league standings with a 95-88 victory last Saturday. Micah Mason added 15 points and Eric James 13 for Duquesne.
The Dukes came in holding opponents to 40.6 percent shooting, but VCU finished at 52.5 percent (32 of 61).
The Rams used a 10-0 run early in the second half to open a 57-39 lead, their largest to that point.
After the Dukes scored seven straight points, Tillman scored five and Brooks hit one of his three 3-pointers in an 8-0 burst for VCU, and they eventually pushed their lead as high as 26 and coasted to the victory.
The Rams led 21-20 when two free throws by Brooks sparked an 11-0 run. Johnson added a 3-pointer, Brooks hit two more free throws and Alie-Cox finished the burst with a dunk and a pair of foul shots.
The first half was sloppy both ways, with the Dukes committing 10 turnovers and VCU nine.
The Rams made 13 of 14 free throws in the first half.
Duquesne: Senior Micah Mason is the second-most accurate 3-point shooter in NCAA history at 46.9 percent and has hit at least one 3 in 92 of 104 career games. He hit three against VCU, but missed four other tries. The career leader is Virginia coach Tony Bennett, who made 49.7 percent (290 of 584) in his career at Green Bay.
VCU: The Rams came into the game having forced their opponents into more turnovers than field goals five times this season. They did it against Prairie View A&M, American, Buffalo, George Mason and Saint Louis.
Duquesne plays at George Mason on Saturday.
VCU hosts Saint Bonaventure on Saturday.
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