JOHNSON, GRAHAM LEAD 15TH-RANKED VCU PAST TENNESSEE, 85-69

The Basics

  • Score: #15 VCU 85, Tennessee 69
  • Records: VCU (1-0), Tennessee (0-1)
  • Location: Alumni Hall – Annapolis, Md.
  • The Short Story: Junior Melvin Johnson led all scorers with 23 points and senior Treveon Graham registered his 11th career double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds to lead 15th-ranked VCU to a hard-fought 85-69 victory over SEC foe Tennessee. It was the ninth straight season-opening win for the Black & Gold. VCU played the final 29 minutes of action without their starting point guard as JeQuan Lewis left the game with a concussion.
How It Happened
  • While the teams traded baskets, VCU grabbed a lead less than 90 seconds in and would never relinquish it.
  • With the scored tied at 14, Johnson scored eight straight points, including two 3-pointers to spark a 12-1 run that gave VCU a 26-15 lead 10:25 to play in the first.
  • UT would get within five, but yet again, Johnson sparked a run, scoring seven of the game's next eight points en route to a 13-point lead for the Rams, 36-23, with less than four minutes remaining in the first half.
  • Sophomore Doug Brooks scored six points in the final 70 seconds of the half to send VCU into the break with a 48-30 advantage.
  • Four straight points by freshman Terry Larrier pushed VCU's lead to 20, the largest of the game, with just under 17 minutes left on the clock.
  • UT would chip away and get within eight, but a huge 3-pointer by Brooks with just over four minutes to play would prove to be the nail in the Vols' coffin.
Beyond the Box Score
  • VCU won its ninth straight season opener
  • Tonight was the first win over UT in VCU history. The Rams are now 13-10 against BCS programs in Coach Smart's five-plus seasons.
  • With 23 offensive boards on the night, VCU grabbed 46.9-percent of its misses.
  • 10 different players scored for the Rams, including four in double-figures.
  • Larrier's 11 points were the most by a Ram in their collegiate debut in the past 10 years.
Up Next
  • The Rams return home on Tuesday to take on MAC favorite Toledo in the opener of the Progressive Legends Classic. Game time on ESPNU is set for 6 p.m.