Graham’s heroics lifts VCU past Saint Louis
Treveon Graham drove the length of the court and connected on a tough bucket in the lane with 0.9 seconds to play to lift VCU past Saint Louis, 63-61 tonight.
The Rams led most of the second half before Saint Louis guard, Austin McBroom, connected on a foul line jumper to give SLU a 60-58 lead with under a minute to play. Jordan Burgess answered McBroom’s bucket with a three-point basket to give VCU a one-point lead with 23 seconds left on the clock. SLU’s Achraf Yacoubou was then able to get to the free throw line with the Billikens in the double bonus, but missed the first of his two attempts, then hit the second to tie the game at 61.
Graham then sealed the deal from there and SLU was unable to get a shot off in the final 0.9 seconds of regulation.
Treveon finished with a game-high 21 points and six rebounds for the Rams on a night VCU struggled to hit shots. Only Briante Weber finished in double digits alongside Graham, scoring 15 points for VCU and grabbing two steals to move to third all-time on the NCAA’s all-time steals list.
The Rams hit just 18 field goals in the win, shooting 36.7% from the field and an ice-cold 30.4% from distance. VCU was out-rebounded by seven and turned the Billikens over just 14 times, the fewest turnovers the Rams have forced since turning Cleveland State over 13 times on December 29.
VCU did however limit the Billikens to just three three-pointers of their own for a 23.1% mark from distance, but surrendered 51% shooting to the Bills inside the arc.
Regardless, Graham’s gutsy performance — his second 20+ point performance in the two games he played on this road trip — almost singlehandedly willed VCU to a win, their 11th straight to move the black and gold to 16-3 and a perfect 6-0 in Atlantic 10 play.
VCU’s 16-3 start is their best since the black and gold started 16-3 in their first year of A-10 play before dropping to 16-4 with a road loss at Richmond that season. A win on Tuesday against George Washington would give VCU their best start since the 2006-07 season that eventually ended in a round of 32 OT loss to Pitt, just a game after Eric Maynor’s heroics gave VCU an upset win over the Duke Blue Devils.