The VCU Rams got 21 points from Treveon Graham and avenged their earlier season loss to the crosstown Richmond Spiders 93-82 Wednesday night at the Siegel Center.
The teams traded small runs in the first half…neither team ever leading by more than a handful of points. Rob Brandenberg (12 pts) hit a three-pointer to beat the first half buzzer and give the Rams a 2 point lead at the break. In their first meeting this year, the Spiders had a spirited second half comeback for the win at home. The Rams were determined not to let it happen again.
“The main thing that was on our minds was finish the game,” said senior point guard Darius Theus who was honored before the game along with guard Troy Daniels and forward David Hinton. “That game at Richmond, we didn’t finish.”
“When we get up, in the final minutes we need to finish the job” added head coach Shaka Smart. “Our guys did a great job of that tonight.”
Juvonte Reddic added 16 points and 9 rebounds as four Rams scored in double figures, including 13 from Theus, the Portsmouth native playing in his final game at home.
The Spiders got 13 points and 10 rebounds from freshman forward Terry Allen as they had four players in double figures also. This game figured to go down to the wire until VCU closed the final 3:11 on a 14-3 run for the final margin.
“I couldn’t be prouder of my team if we had won” said Richmond coach Chris Mooney. “This is what college basketball is all about. A great rivalry, two great teams and played at a high level.”
The Spiders will close their regular season at home Saturday night against Duquesne. Richmond is now 7-8 in the A-10 and needs a win to secure a spot in next week’s conference tournament in Brooklyn. VCU improves to 24-6 overall and 12-3 in the A10. Thanks to Xavier’s overtime win over St. Louis Wednesday night, VCU regains a share of the A-10 lead. They close out their regular season on the road Sunday at Temple in a game you can see here on CBS 6. We will also have a special preview of the game beginning at 11:30.