Survive and advance.
The Rams did just that in a second round A-10 tourney scare Thursday afternoon, outlasting the Fordham Rams, 63-57.
VCU struggled to hit shots but were able to hang on against a Fordham team that was hot from deep by forcing 16 turnovers and winning the battle of the glass, 43-35.
The black and gold Rams hit just 30.5% of their field goal attempts on the afternoon while Fordham connected on an un-Fordham like 47.6% of their 21 threes (Fordham ranked 325th nationally in 3-point percentage coming into the game).
Tom Pecora’s underdogs were able to battle VCU to a 30-30 tie heading into halftime. VCU looked in danger of an early tournament exit as Fordham led by four with just over eight minutes to play until VCU went on a quick 6-0 run to regain control at 50-49.
Fordham’s Manny Suarez answered with a three to retake the lead but VCU responded with an 8-0 run to effectively take control of the game with 2:31 to play.
The Rams answered every Fordham challenge from that point on and were abel to advance with the win.
Treveon Graham was determined to continue his run through Brooklyn, leading all players with a game-high 22 points on 9-20 shooting. Graham added a game-high nine rebounds for VCU.
Bronx native Melvin Johnson got the home cooking going in his first 2015 tourney contest, posting 16 points for the Rams on 5-8 shooting including a hot 4-7 from deep. Johnson was joined in the double-digit club by fellow Bronx native, Terry Larrier, who finished with 10 points, seven of which came from the free throw stripe.
VCU will have a night’s rest before getting set to take on rival Richmond in the third game of a series the Spiders lead 2-0 this season.
Game tips at 2:30PM tomorrow and will air on the NBC Sports Network.