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VCU pulls away from Duquesne in second half

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Samir Doughty scored 17 of his season-high 23 points in the second half, Mo Alie-Cox added 18 and Virginia Commonwealth used a big second half to top Duquesne 94-87 on Wednesday in Pittsburgh.

PITTSBURGH - Mo Alie-Cox went 9-of-9 from the field, as VCU rode a hot-shooting second half to a 94-87 victory over Duquesne at Palumbo Center.

The win was the sixth in a row for the Rams who shot 62.5 percent in the second half to break open a tight game.

Samir Doughty had 23 points, 9 assists and 7 rebounds to go along with Alie-Cox's 18 points for VCU.

Mike Lewis II led Duquesne with a career-high 23 points. Emile Blackman added 19 for the Dukes, who saw their win streak snapped at four.

With the score knotted at 48-48 and under 14 minutes remaining, VCU went on a tear, hitting 16 of its next 22 shots to build its lead to 92-74.

DU closed the game with a 13-2 run over the last 1:27 for the final margin.

Alie-Cox had three dunks during a 12-2 VCU run that gave the Rams a 62-50 lead with 11:06 left.

Duquesne, which shot 56.3 percent in the second half, rallied to pull within six on a Kale Abrahamson 3-pointer at the 8:12 mark.

Jonathan Williams then converted a three-point play and Doughty added a 3-pointer to up the Rams' lead to 12.

DU, which went 9-of-16 from 3-point range, briefly cut it to nine on another Abrahamson three, before VCU answered with a Doughty bucket and an Alie-Cox dunk to build the lead back to 13 with 5:34 to go.

VCU, which had a 38-31 advantage on the boards, outscored Duquesne 46-38 in the paint.

Duquesne shot 48.3 percent for the game.

VCU, which was just the second team to shoot 50 percent or better against the Dukes this season, ended up at 56.9 percent.

There were three ties and six lead changes in a first half that ended with VCU up 37-33. Lewis II scored 10 of his 13 first-half points in the final 5:35 for Duquesne.

Duquesne heads to Philadelphia to face La Salle on Saturday, Jan. 7 at 8:00 p.m. (ASN).

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