VCU Takes 1st Loss of Season to #5 Duke

VCU lead #5 Duke for much of the game, but eventually succumbed to the Blue Devils in their first loss of the season, with a final score of 79-71, moving the Rams to 2-1.

VCU came out swinging as the Rams led the Blue Devils 39-38 at the half, shooting 58% overall and 2-4 from 3 point land. Melvin Johnson couldn’t be stopped – he lead the Rams in the first half, shooting 5-6 for 12 points.

Both teams traded leads until the 8:58 mark in the 2nd half, when Duke went on an 8-0 run that would provide them a buffer they would maintain through the rest of the game. VCU struggled to hit shots, and suffered from 27 blown whistles vs. Duke’s 14, which, honestly, is a bias that VCU fans have come to expect.

Melvin Johnson and Mo Alie-Cox lead the Rams in scoring posting 20 and 15 points, respectively. Air Hamdy (Ahmed Mohamed) came off the bench to shoot 5-8 (all mostly inside the arc) for 10 points in an impressive performance that seemingly couldn’t be contained by Duke.

Justin Tillman came off the bench to collect 8 rebounds, but struggled offensively, shooting just 1-5 on the night.

The Rams will match up with Wisconsin (who lost to Georgetown) on Sunday for their 2nd game of the 2K Classic tournament at Madison Square Garden.


Matt has been reporting on VCU sports for Ram Nation since 2007 with a focus on news, photos, and feature stories.