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Video: Strong second half leads VCU past UMass

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Melvin Johnson scored a career-high 18 points in VCU’s blowout of UMass.

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.

VCU v UMass from VCU Ram Nation on Vimeo.

VCU School of the Arts (BFA '07) and Center for Sport Leadership (M.Ed. '10) alumnus, Mat has followed VCU basketball since the Sunbelt days when he'd...