March 15, 2014
RAMS DOMINATE SECOND HALF EN ROUTE TO 74-55 DEFEAT OF GW IN A-10 SEMIFINALS
- Score: VCU 74, George Washington 55
- Records: VCU (26-7), George Washington (24-8)
- Location: Barclays Center – Brooklyn, N.Y.
- The Short Story: Juniors Treveon Graham and Briante Weber combined for 38 points and 12 rebounds to lead a dominating second-half performance by the VCU men's basketball team in a 74-55 defeat of third-seeded George Washington in the Atlantic 10 semifinals. Graham led all scorers with 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting, while Weber finished with 16 points, eight assists, six rebounds and two steals. With the victory, Head Coach Shaka Smart became the winningest coach in VCU history with 137 in his five seasons with the Rams.
How It Happened
- The first ten minutes featured four lead changes and three ties as the teams traded blows to start the contest.
- GW would take the biggest lead of the stanza with a quick 6-0 run that gave the Colonials a 20-14 lead with 8:30 left in the half.
- VCU would respond with 14 of the game's next 20 points, including a 3-pointer from Rob Brandenberg that gave the Rams a 28-26 lead with 2:03 to play before the break.
- Brandenberg would strike again at the end of the half, drilling a corner at the buzzer to send the Black & Gold into the break with a 33-31 cushion.
- GW would come out of the break scoring seven of the first 10 points in the second half to grab a 38-36 lead with 18:32 to play. It would be the Colonials' last lead of the game.
- Graham put together his own personal 7-0 run to give VCU a 43-38 lead with 16:52 remaining.
- After GW got within one, the Rams would continually increase their lead over the next five minutes, eventually reaching double-digits, 64-53, after a huge putback by freshman Mo Alie-Cox with 4:19 to play.
- VCU would complete stifle the Colonials' offensive attack, holding them without a field goal for the final 7:43 of the game.
- On the offensive end, the Black & Gold knocked down their final eight free-throws to secure the decisive 19-point win and a date in the Atlantic 10 Championship game for the second year in a row.
Beyond the Boxscore
- The win makes Coach Smart the all-time winningest coach in school history, moving past Sonny Smith (1989-1998), who won 136 games at VCU.
- VCU is now 28-7 in the month of March during Coach Smart's tenure and 23-6 in postseason play.
- Briante Weber is averaging 17.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 5.0 assists and two seals, while shooting 61.9-percent from the field in the two Atlantic 10 Tournament games.
- This is the sixth conference championship game in the past eight years for VCU and four of the past five years under Coach Smart.
- The Rams face-off against fourth-seeded Saint Joseph's in the Atlantic 10 Championship game on Sunday. Game time on CBS is set for 1 p.m.