If there was any doubt before tonight, I think it’s safe to say Treveon Graham is back and looking healthy. The Freight Train led the Rams with a 24-point, 10-rebound double-double in tonight’s 78-72 battle with the Minutemen of UMass.
VCU jumped out to an early 16-point lead, only to see the pesky team from Amherst battle back to eventually take a second half lead, all-be-it briefly, as the Rams made enough big plays down the stretch to hold on to win their third consecutive game.
Jordan Burgess made a number of those big plays on an afternoon he would watch his older brother, Bradford, see his jersey retired alongside the likes of Henderson, Duncan, Warren and Maynor. After surrendering the lead for the first time of the night, Burgess hit a corner three to retake the lead at 50-48. Just 17 seconds later he would block a shot at the other end of the floor, a play that was quickly followed with a Mo Alie-Cox dunk to give the Rams some much-needed momentum in the second half.
Burgess finished with eight rebounds for the Rams, five points, two assists a block and a steal.
Mo Alie-Cox did a ton of the second half heavy lifting with Burgess. The 6’6 mountain scored eight of his 12 points in the second half and finished with three massive blocks in the win. Alie-Cox added a steal and two assists for VCU.
Follow sophomore, JeQuan Lewis, added 15 points for VCU as he continues his stellar play in place of injured starter, Briante Weber. Lewis added three assists and finished with a game-high three steals on an afternoon VCU would turn UMass over 19 times.
Melvin Johnson was the Rams’ only other double-digit scorer, posting 10 points and two assists in his 26 minutes of action.
The win was a key one in the Rams’ quest to earn their first-ever Atlantic 10 regular season title. VCU moves to 21-6 overall and 11-3 in conference play while remaining atop the A-10 standings.
The Rams will hit the road next, all-be-it in a quick trip down the road to take on rival, Richmond, this Wednesday at 7PM.