RAMS FALL TO SAINT LOUIS IN A-10 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME, 62-56

The Basics

  • Score: #16 Saint Louis 62, #25 VCU 56
  • Records: VCU (26-8), Saint Louis (27-6)
  • Location: The Barclays Center - Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • The Short Story: Sophomore Treveon Graham and junior Juvonte Reddic combined for 35 points and 20 rebounds, but it wasn't enough as VCU fell in the Atlantic 10 Championship game, 62-56, to 16th-ranked Saint Louis. The Black & Gold forced 18 turnovers en route to eight steals, but Kwamain Mitchell (19 pts) and Dwayne Evans (16 pts, eight rebounds) proved to be just a little too much. VCU will now head to its third consecutive NCAA Tournament as an at-large.

How it Happened

  • Saint Louis ran out to a 11-2 lead on the back of Mitchell, but a jumper by Treveon Graham capped off a 10-1 VCU run that evened the score at 12-12 with 9:42 left in the first half.
  • The teams would trade buckets over the next couple minutes, but 12 first-half points by Mitchell helped send the Billikens into the halftime break with a 29-21 lead.
  • Saint Louis stretched its lead to as many as 13 with 11:45 remaining, but a 3-pointer by Treveon Graham kick started the Rams, who got within one after Reddic picked up a steal and a fastbreak dunk with 8:52 remaining.
  • The Billikens would answer, but VCU would get within three a couple times before Cody Ellis and Mitchell hit 3-pointers, which allowed Saint Louis to hold on for the 62-56 victory.

Beyond the Box Score

  • VCU was making its fifth conference championship appearance in the past seven years.
  • Eight steals by the Rams on the day pushed their season total to 402, marking the first time in school history that the Black & Gold reached 400-plus.
  • Reddic earned All-Tournament team honors after averaging 13.3 points and 9.3 rebounds in VCU's three games.

Quotables:

Head Coach Shaka Smart

  • "Congratulations to Saint Louis.  I thought they played great.  They were the best team in the league in the regular season, and they were the best team in the league in the tournament.  And I thought our guys fought hard, battled, almost overcame a terrible shooting day but didn't quite overcome it."
  • "We had our style going for parts of the game.  We just didn't have it going for enough of the game.  To be honest with you, we missed some shots that ‑‑ had pretty good looks that we normally would knock down.  We shot a lower percentage.  I think Saint Louis certainly deserves some credit for that.  I think all year they've been the best half court defensive team in the league, not just against us but against a lot of people."
  • "But you know what, with the way the game went and the way that we defended them, particularly from the field, they got a lot of free throws, but particularly from the field and turning them over, I'll take the shots that we got, and I think on most nights we'd give ourselves a really good chance to win with those shots."

Senior Darius Theus

  • " We did battle through all season, so already had that bid and stuff for us to be in the tournament.  But we really wanted this one bad.  But still, that's a positive out of the situation."
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