February 21, 2014
RAMS DROP TOUGH 80-75 DECISION AT UMASS
- Score: UMass 80, VCU 75
- Records: VCU (20-7, 8-4 A10), UMass (21-5, 8-4 A10)
- Location: Mullins Center – Amherst, Mass.
- The Short Story: Junior Treveon Graham scored 19 points to lead four players in double-figures, but the VCU men's basketball team dropped a tough 80-75 road decision at UMass. It was the Rams' second straight road game at a top-20 RPI team, games in which VCU lost by a total of seven points combined. Senior Juvonte Reddic added 13 points and nine rebounds, while sophomore Melvin Johnson came off the bench to give the Black & Gold 12 points and a career-high five assists.
How It Happened
- As expected, the game started as a fast-paced back and forth battle with neither team leading by more than four points for the first 10 minutes of the game.
- With UMass leading 18-17 with 10:11 to play in the first half, the Rams reeled off a 13-3 run, capped off by a 3-pointer from Johnson to give VCU a 30-21 advantage with 5:26 left before halftime.
- UMass would cut it to two, but a 3-pointer from Graham with under two minutes to play sent VCU into the locker rooms with a 39-34 lead.
- The Minutemen would chip away at the lead and get within two thanks to a dunk by Maxie Esho, but a 3-pointer from Rob Brandenberg pushed the lead back to five at 49-44 with 15:58 to play.
- Chaz Williams would spark a 12-3 UMass run that gave the home team its first lead since the middle of the first half at 56-52 with 11:46 remaining.
- Johnson would spark a 9-0 VCU run with five of the Rams points during the run and give the Black & Gold a 61-56 lead.
- UMass' guard trio of Williams, Derrick Gordon and Trey Davis would lead a Minutemen comeback that eventually gave the home team a 76-71 lead with under a minute to play.
- After Graham drove the baseline for a layup, VCU forced a turnover and Johnson hit two free-throws to make it a one-point game, 76-75, with 20 seconds to play.
- Williams hit two free-throws and followed that up by coming up with a steal on the defensive end that secured UMass' 80-75 victory.
Beyond the Box Score
- Junior Briante Weber broke his own single-season school record and became the first player in school history to reach 100 steals in a season. He is just the eighth player in Atlantic 10 history to reach that feat.
- Graham has now scored double-figures in 25 of VCU's 27 games.
- VCU held UMass without a 3-pointer in the game and now rank 15th in the country with an opponents' 3-point percentage now at just .296.
- The Rams wrap up their three-game road trip with a Thursday night showdown at Fordham. Tip time on CBS Sports Network is set for 7 p.m.