It wasn’t pretty, but the new W on our record sure is.
VCU took on Lehigh and the nation’s leading scorer, CJ McCollum, in front of yet another sold out Siegel Center crowd.
McCollum left the game after an 0-5 start in 15 minutes of play, his season in jeopardy due to what is being reported as some form of foot injury, but surprisingly enough…that’s when the real challenge began.
The Rams were pushed to the brink after dominating their past eight opponents, actually trailing 30-29 at the half. But after a tight second half that saw the Rams lead the majority of the time, two Darius Theus free throws with 25 seconds left gave VCU the four-point cushion they needed to close things out en route to their ninth straight win since returning from the Bahamas.
After coming in to tonight’s game scoring hot on offense, the Rams struggled to hit shots, going 5-27 from long range and hitting just 36.1% of their field goals on the evening.
Not a one dimensional team, VCU then leaned on their defense, forcing 22 turnovers while holding Lehigh to 38.3% from the field themselves.
Treveon Graham provided most of the scoring punch for the black and gold, posting 11 points on 6-of-18 shooting. Graham got some help from a considerably cooled off Troy Daniels. Daniels had averaged more than 28 points his past three games but found the rims a bit tighter tonight, hitting four of his 11 attempts, 3-9 from deep.
Rob Brandenberg rounds out the list of double digit scorers for VCU. Brandenberg was after missing the previous game due to injury. The junior guard posted 11 points to go along with three rebounds, three steals, two assists and a block in his 24 minutes of play.
Senior Darius Theus was quiet on offense most of the night but came up with a much-needed layup and the two clutch free throws late. Theus added six of VCU’s 16 steals on the night.
The win moves VCU to 12-3 heading into their first Atlantic 10 game this Wednesday at 7PM against the Dayton Flyers.
VCU v Lehigh from VCU Ram Nation on Vimeo.