Against Wichita State Tuesday, VCU men’s basketball head coach Shaka Smart said the Rams “weren’t on edge.”
Less than a week later, VCU regained its edge with five players scoring double-digits in a win at Winthrop Saturday afternoon. It was the first time the Rams have scored 90 points in 42 games dating back to a 94-76 win over Purdue in the 2011 NCAA Tournament.
VCU jumped out to a 9-2 lead and forced the Eagles to turn the ball over five times in the first 3:30. Treveon Graham – who finished with 14 points, four rebounds and two assists – scored eight points in the first 10 minutes.
Juvonte Reddic paced the Rams with 17 points and seven rebounds. Briante Weber showcased a new dimension to his game, shooting 4-of-7 three-point range with 14 points and three assists in 21 minutes.
Troy Daniels, who battled an ankle injury that happened late in the second half against Wichita State, went 4-for-7 from deep with 11 points and four rebounds.
Freshman Melvin Johnson shot 4-of-7 from the field and had added value off the bench with 12 points, two rebounds and a steal in 18 minutes.
VCU shot 30-for-55 and forced 21 Winthrop turnovers. But perhaps the best news for the Rams was that they hit 17-of-20 free throws after going an abysmal 12-of-23 from the line less than a week ago.
The Rams (2-1) face No. 17 Memphis (2-0) Thursday night in the first round of the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament.
VCU was also announced as a participant in the 2013 Puerto Rico Tip-Off, an eight-team tournament featuring the likes of Auburn, Charlotte, Florida State, Georgetown, Kansas State, Long Beach State and Michigan. The tournament will last three days with each team playing once a day. Games and dates will be announced at a later date.