Treveon Graham. When it matters. Every time.
Treveon Graham drained the go-ahead bucket with 0.9 seconds remaining to propel #16 Virginia Commonwealth University past Saint Louis Friday night.
Boasting a #16 ranking, 5-0 conference record, and 10-game winning streak means every team is primed to give its best performance at home when HAVOC! comes to town. Despite losing almost every important player from last year’s Atlantic 10-topping team, Saint Louis played an incredible game on Friday.
The Billikens used effective help defense to eliminate driving lanes, protected the ball against the full-court press, and were aggressive in the post on offense while putting together the best game of their troubled season.
With 42 seconds remaining, Austin McBroom drained a jumper to give SLU a 60-58 lead and the impossible seemed almost probable. Saint Louis had a chance to hand VCU its biggest upset of Coach Smart’s career.
On the next possession with the entire stadium on their feet, Jordan Burgess drained his first and only shot of the game, a 3-pointer from the wing, to give VCU a one-point lead. Achraf Yacoubou hit one of two free-throws seconds later to tie it.
Overtime seemed generous considering VCU’s struggles, but Treveon Graham had other plans. With less than eight seconds remaining, Graham took the ball coast-to-coast and scored the game winner: business as usual for VCU’s star and favorite for Atlantic 10 Player of the Year.
Briante Weber finished with 15 points, one assist, and two steals. Melvin Johnson finished with only four points on 1-of-8 shooting, but added six rebounds, five assists, and two steals.
VCU has won 11 straight games, is 6-0 in Atlantic 10 play, and is 16-3 overall. Davidson topped Dayton on Tuesday so the Rams (6-0) are now in first place ahead of Dayton (5-1) and George Washington (5-1).
Top performer: Treveon Graham
21 points (4-4 2PFG, 2-9 3PFG, 7-13 FT), 6 rebounds, 1 assist 1 block, 3 turnovers
Ten days ago, Treveon Graham took over and carried VCU past Rhode Island despite spraining his ankle partway through the game. After sitting out against Duquesne on Saturday, Graham returned with a vengeance and not a second too early.
With VCU struggling to create opportunities in transition and Melvin Johnson limited, Graham was VCU’s only effective offense for most of the game. Not since Eric Maynor has VCU had a player as crucial to the Rams’ success or as clutch down the stretch. It’s simply a treat to watch him take the court every game.
- Treveon Graham passed Phil Stinnie (1,645 points) to move into fifth all-time at scoring for VCU.
- 16-3 ties the best start for VCU since 2012-13.
- 6-0 is VCU’s best start in conference play since 2007 when VCU started 11-0.
- Mo Alie-Cox is averaging 2.5 blocks per game in conference play.
- VCU has only posted 20 steals over their three-game road stretch.
VCU returns home to face George Washington (15-4, 5-1) at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, January 27th. The game will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network.
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