The Rams found themselves in a bit of a hole tonight, then blasted their way out of it with an explosive second half to lead VCU past UMass, 86-68.
The black-and-gold trailed by five before going on an 8-0 run to start the second. VCU pummeled the Minutemen after the break, holding UMass without a field goal for the first 6 minutes of the second and scoring 21 of their own during that span to completely blow the game wide open.
The Rams extended their lead to 27 with just 5:56 to play, getting 12 second half points from junior Rob Brandenberg after starting the game 0-8.
Treveon Graham was solid throughout, once again leading the Rams with a game-high 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Graham added six points, one steal and an assist in his team-high 30 minutes of play.
It was the play of freshman Melvin Johnson that had most fans buzzing after the game however. Johnson scored a career-high 18 points, going 8-13 from the field (2-4 from deep) and adding two rebounds, an assist and a steal in the win.
DJ Haley returned to action as well, getting a standing ovation from the sold out Siegel Center–VCU’s 32nd straight sold out game.
Haley entered in the second half and finished the game with a highlight worthy putback dunk that brought the crowd to their feet.
The wins moves VCU to 20-5 and a league-leading 8-2 in the Atlantic 10. It also marks the first time any VCU coach has won three consecutive 20-win seasons.
The Rams are back in action in a home tip against George Washington this Saturday night at 7:30PM.