Rams surrender 16-point lead in 84-76 loss at Temple

<a href="http://www.vcuramnation.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/8419069762_ff56325084_b.jpeg"><img class="alignright size-medium wp-image-10117" alt="8419069762_ff56325084_b" src="http://www.vcuramnation.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/8419069762_ff56325084_b-300x200.jpeg" width="300" height="200" /></a>VCU was unable to wrap up a share of first place in the final A-10 standings, losing at Temple today 84-76.

The Rams stumbled out of the gates, trailing Temple 12-3 over the first four minutes, but went on a 33-8 run to take a 16-point lead with just under 6 minutes to play.

The Rams held on to that advantage for just over two minutes, then went scoreless to finish the half, as Temple whittled the Rams lead down to five heading in to the lockers.

The Owls carried that momentum into the second half, dumping 48 second half points on the Rams while holding VCU to just 12 field goals to finish the game, eventually leading by as many as 16 themselves.

VCU hit 8-of-15 threes on the game, but forced just 13 Temple turnovers and were outscored 26-10 at the free throw line. The Owls attempted 21 more free throws than VCU in the win. VCU was a perfect 10-10 from the free throw stripe.

Junior Juvonte Reddic led the Rams with 21 points and 9 rebounds.

Sophomore Treveon Graham added 17 and 7 of his own, but was just 5-16 from the field. Graham did hit a perfect 7-7 from the free throw line however.

Freshman Melvin Johnson was another bright spot for the Rams, scoring 13 points in just 19 minutes of play while hitting all three of his 3-point attempts from the field.

The loss moves VCU to 24-7 on the season, 12-4 in the Atlantic 10, and gives Saint Louis the outright regular season title.

VCU will play as the No.2 seed in next week's A-10 tournament. They will play their first game Friday at 6:30PM in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY, taking on the winner of the Xavier and St. Joseph's.

The Rams are a perfect 2-0 against the two schools, but needed big time comebacks in both, rallying from down 17 in the second half to beat Xavier, and scoring 4 points in the final 14 seconds to take St. Joseph's to overtime before escaping with a 92-86 win on January 17th.

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Licensed Virginia Realtor and part-time basketball writer. Co-founder of VCURamNation.com and A10Talk.com.
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Mat Shelton-Eide
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