VCU beats George Mason 71-47 in Atlantic 10 opener

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) Melvin Johnson scored 22 points and VCU rolled to a 71-47 victory over George Mason in the Atlantic 10 Conference opener for both schools on Saturday night.

Johnson had four 3-pointers with three steals. Ahmed Hamdy Mohamed added 16 points and Korey Billbury chipped in 10 for VCU (9-5, 1-0), which has won five-straight games. Mo Alie-Cox had four steals and three blocks as the Rams forced 22 turnovers.

Marquise Moore scored 14 points and Otis Livingston II had 11 for George Mason (6-8, 0-1).

The Rams used a 15-2 run midway through the first half and built a 33-22 halftime lead. The Patriots opened the second half on a 9-4 spurt to pull to 37-31. VCU answered with a 17-5 run for a 54-36 lead midway through the second half and cruised from there. Ahmed Hamdy Mohamed scored nine points during the stretch.

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