Video: Strong second half leads VCU past UMass

[caption id="attachment_10335" align="aligncenter" width="705"]<a href=""><img class=" wp-image-10335" alt="8475498742_2cf07da260_b" src="" width="705" height="402" /></a> Melvin Johnson scored a career-high 18 points in VCU's blowout of UMass.[/caption]
<p style="text-align: left;">The Rams found themselves in a bit of a hole tonight, then blasted their way out of it with an explosive second half to lead VCU past UMass, 86-68.
The black-and-gold trailed by five before going on an 8-0 run to start the second. VCU pummeled the Minutemen after the break, holding UMass without a field goal for the first 6 minutes of the second and scoring 21 of their own during that span to completely blow the game wide open.

The Rams extended their lead to 27 with just 5:56 to play, getting 12 second half points from junior Rob Brandenberg after starting the game 0-8.

Treveon Graham was solid throughout, once again leading the Rams with a game-high 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Graham added six points, one steal and an assist in his team-high 30 minutes of play.

It was the play of freshman Melvin Johnson that had most fans buzzing after the game however. Johnson scored a career-high 18 points, going 8-13 from the field (2-4 from deep) and adding two rebounds, an assist and a steal in the win.

DJ Haley returned to action as well, getting a standing ovation from the sold out Siegel Center--VCU's 32nd straight sold out game.

Haley entered in the second half and finished the game with a highlight worthy putback dunk that brought the crowd to their feet.

The wins moves VCU to 20-5 and a league-leading 8-2 in the Atlantic 10.  It also marks the first time any VCU coach has won three consecutive 20-win seasons.

The Rams are back in action in a home tip against George Washington this Saturday night at 7:30PM.

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VCU v UMass from <a href="">VCU Ram Nation</a> on <a href="">Vimeo</a>.
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Mat Shelton-Eide
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