Saint Louis played their first game at the Siegel Center since VCU joined the conference last season, and it pretty much went as one might expect: 17 turnovers and a VCU win.
The Rams remained undefeated at home by grabbing 12 steals en route to those 17 SLU turnovers and were able to keep the Billikens at a comfortable distance the majority of the night despite shooting just 38.7% from the field. They did so by locking down in the halfcourt, holding SLU to 42.9% shooting themselves while limiting A-10 First Teamer and Billikens leading scorer, Dwayne Evans, to a season-low four points on 2-11 shooting.
On offense VCU’s starters got a balanced attack, getting a team-high 17 points from Treveon Graham, 13 points from point guard Briante Weber, 10 points from Juvonte Reddic and nine from Melvin Johnson in his second consecutive start for the black and gold. Graham added a team-high eight rebounds in the win.
VCU’s bench chipped in some meaningful minutes in reserve action, with Mo Alie-Cox protecting the paint to the tune of five blocked shots to go with six points and three rebounds in just 17 minutes of action. Fellow reserve big Jarred Guest played just eight minutes but scored five points including an early and-1 to set the tone, and grabbed four rebounds for the Rams, all on the offensive glass.
JeQuan Lewis was the only reserve player to score and hit just one three, but a three that ended VCU’s scoreless 3:10 to start the second half and extended the Rams’ lead back to double digits.
The win moves VCU to 22-7 and 10-4 in Atlantic 10 play, good for sole possession of third place. The Rams will hope to lock up a top-four finish in order to secure a bye from Thursday A-10 tournament action less than two weeks from today.