Saturday, January 10, 2015

Hawks put up another poor A-10 showing, lose to VCU

Richmond,  VA -- Melvin Johnson and  Treveon Graham led a torrid  display from 3-point range that carried No. 20 VCU to an 89-74 victory over Saint Joseph's in an Atlantic 10 clash.

Johnson  knocked down  6-of-7  attempts  from beyond  the  arc  in a  20-point performance,  while Graham went  4-of-6 en route to 19 points to help the Rams avenge their loss to the Hawks in last year's A-10 Championship Game.

As  a team VCU (13-3, 3-0 A-10) made good on 12-of-23 3-pointers to extend its current win streak to eight games.

DeAndre  Bembry finished  with 16 points and eight rebounds for Saint Joseph's (6-8,  0-3). Aaron Brown  added 14 points and Isaiah Miles had 12 in the loss, the Hawks' fourth straight.

VCU  was on  the mark from the  perimeter right from the outset, burying three consecutive  treys as  part  of an  11-2 game-opening  run.  A 3-pointer  from Johnson  near the  midway stage of the  first half extended the lead to 20-10, though  Saint Joseph's countered with an 11-2 spurt sparked by Miles and Chris
Wilson.

The  Rams  then ripped  off the next  10 points, with  Doug Brooks' triple and Terry  Larrier's  3-point play igniting the  surge, to claim a 32-21 advantage with five minutes left in the half.

Graham  and  Johnson closed out  the period with two  more threes in the final minute  to  put VCU up 46-30  at the break, capping  a first half in which the Rams hit on 8-of-14 tries from long distance.

VCU  continued to pad its margin after the intermission on the strength of its outside  shooting, as  back-to-back 3-pointers from Johnson increased the lead to 57-33 early in the second half.

The  Rams  were ahead  by as many  as 27  points and were  up 80-56 with seven minutes left before Bembry made two threes to lead the Hawks on a 10-0 run.

Notes: The  win was the  150th for VCU head coach Shaka Smart, making him only one of six  Division I coaches  to reach the milestone in their first six seasons ... Rams  guard Briante Weber recorded five steals to move into sole possession of fourth  place in  DI history in that  category (358) ... The Rams have trailed
for  a total  of only  36  seconds during  their eight-game  streak ...  Saint Joseph's  0-3 start  in A-10 play is  the program's worst since it dropped the first eight games of the 2010-11 season.
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