Led by seniors Treveon Graham and Jarred Guest, Virginia Commonwealth University topped George Mason 71-60 Saturday evening in the Stuart C. Siegel Center.
Saturday was an emotional evening for fans, players, and coaches as Jarred Guest, Treveon Graham, and Briante Weber dressed for their final game in Richmond, Virginia. Weber, who tore his ACL, MCL, and meniscus on January 31st, watched from the sidelines as Guest picked up the rare start alongside Treveon Graham.
Every player on the court not named Treveon Graham struggled to score early in the game. At one point near the end of the first half, Graham had 17 points while George Mason had 14 points and 14 turnovers. George Mason scored just 14 points in the first 18:50 and the Rams stretched their lead to as many as sixteen points. A buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Melvin Johnson gave VCU a 33-19 lead at halftime.
The Patriots scored four straight points out of the locker room and an 8 point spurt around the 13 minute mark by Isaiah Jackson pulled the Patriots within four. But a few Mo Alie-Cox dunks and more turnovers by George Mason extended the margin back to double figures and sealed the victory for VCU.
Treveon Graham finished with 23 points and 7 rebounds. After only scoring four points against Davidson on Thursday, Graham was highly effective despite a nagging ankle injury. Mo Alie-Cox added 11 points (4-5 2PFG), 6 rebounds, and 3 dunks. It’s been exactly one month since he shot below .500 and he is currently the most efficient player for VCU. The Rams need to find ways to get him more involved. Jarred Guest added 8 smooth points and 4 rebounds while doing everything expected of him but rarely seen.
George Mason’s Shevon Thompson finished with a gaudy 16 points and 15 rebounds. Isaiah Jackson added 16 points.
After the game and the presentation of a tribute video to the seniors, Treveon Graham, Jarred Guest, and Briante Weber kissed the VCU logo at mid-court before Treveon Graham gave Briante Weber a piggy-back into the locker room. Their careers are far from over, but Saturday was the last time all three donned the Black & Gold in the Stuart C. Siegel Center.
Top performer: Treveon Graham
23 points (4-13 2PFG, 3-8 3PFG, 6-8 FT), 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 0 turnovers
He scored 17 points in the first half but struggled to get his 2-point shot to fall after intermission. Still, Saturday was a reminder of the breadth of Treveon Graham’s game. He scores at the rim, he has a midrange game, he can hit 3-pointers, and he draws six fouls per forty minutes. He’s VCU’s best rebounder and he can also steal the ball. Most importantly, his turnover number have plummeted. Graham, who ranked in the top 400 his first three seasons, ranks 15th in the nation with an offensive turnover percentage of only 8.5.
Overall, the Rams rank 8th in the nation in offensive turnover percentage. For all of the shortcomings of VCU’s shooting, they don’t turn the ball over. After watching George Mason succumb to fumbles, interceptions, 10-second violations, and 5-second-violations, the value of this should be appreciated across the lands of Ram Nation more than every after this game.
- George Mason finished with an eFG% of 63.2%. VCU finished with an eFG% of 44.2%.
- Since 1/31, Jordan Burgess and Terry Larrier are a combined 10-of-68 (.147) from 3-point range.
- Dayton and Davidson combined for 20 turnovers against VCU in the last two games. George Mason turned the ball over 24 times, the most since Fordham on January 4th.
- In 2011, George Mason went 3-1 against the Atlantic 10. In 2014 they went 4-13 and this season they finished 4-14.
- Shevon Thompson has 31 rebounds against VCU this year.
The Atlantic 10 Tournament starts Wednesday at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York. #5 VCU will face the winner of #12 Fordham and #13 George Mason on Thursday at 2:30 PM.
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