Recap: VCU shoots past Cincy

Virginia Commonwealth University hit fifteen 3-pointers en route to a 68-47 victory over Cincinnati at Fifth Third Arena Saturday afternoon.

Virginia Commonwealth University hit fifteen 3-pointers en route to a 68-47 victory over Cincinnati at Fifth Third Arena Saturday afternoon.


Only 90 minutes before the game, Cincinnati received a devastating blow as head coach Mick Cronin was forced to stay home because of an unruptured aneurysm. He is out indefinitely.

Briante Weber hit a 3-pointer on the first possession of the game and the Rams never looked back as they led from tip-off to buzzer. Cincinnati’s vaunted defense did little to stop the Rams. VCU either scored in transition as the Bearcats sluggishly recovered after missed baskets, sliced up Cincinnati’s press after rare made baskets, or abused the Bearcats’s zone defense in the half-court.

Cincinnati ultimately switched to man-to-man defense, but the Rams hot shooting continued. VCU finished 15-of-31 from beyond the arc which ties their most 3-pointers since the “Troy Daniels Game” against ETSU on 1/2/2013.

Melvin Johnson led all scorers with 18 points. Treveon Graham added 12 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds. Jordan Burgess added 11 points.

While Cincinnati is far from a skilled offensive team, VCU’s defense was very impressive on Saturday. The Bearcats finished 15-of-39 (.384) from 2-point range, 3-of-15 (.200) from 3-point range, and turned the ball over 15 times.

VCU showcased improvements in both half-court offense and defense. All their flaws from the early season are not gone, but the Rams have made huge progress and are primed to enter the A-10 with a 10-3 record while playing their best basketball of the season.

Top performer: Melvin Johnson

18 points (3-4 2PFG, 4-9 3PFG)

Johnson was 0-4 at halftime with zero points. He responded by scoring all 18 in the second half on 3-3 2PFG and 4-6 3PFG. Entering the game, Johnson had hit just 3 of his last 18 3-point attempts and was coming off of 2 points, his first non double-figure game of the season, against Belmont.

VCU needs balance, but they also need their sole junior to be effective. It’s a huge positive to see Melvin Johnson playing well again.

5 stats

  • Coach Smart is now 7-0 against teams from the state of Ohio.
  • Terry Larrier started his career 6-27 from 3-point range (0-5 in losses with 4 of those makes in 1 game). Over the last thee games, he is 5-8.
  • Briante Weber entered the season 28-117 (.239) from 3-point range. He’s now 7-of-14 (.500) this season.
  • VCU’s three losses were to teams that are currently 30-1.
  • On the season, VCU ranks 300th in 3-point defense at .381. Cincinnati and Belmont shot a combined 11-of-44 (.250) from beyond the arc against VCU.

Looking forward

VCU hosts ETSU on Monday at 7:00 PM.

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Aaron Williams

Aaron Williams loves music, basketball (follow @rvaramnews!), family, learning, and barbecue sauce.

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