Billikens bludgeon Rams, grab first in A-10

Zachary Holden
Staff Writer

VCU’s quest for an undefeated month came to an end Tuesday night.

The Saint Louis Billikens took down the upbeat and freshly ranked No. 24 Rams 76-62 in a game that wasn’t really close, aside from the opening minutes.

With the outright lead in the Atlantic 10 on the line, it was imperative for the Rams to get a tough win on the road. Entering the game, VCU led the A-10 in scoring offense (77.5 points per game) while Saint Louis led the conference in scoring defense (61.6 points per game).

Just over five minutes into the game, Saint Louis had a slim 11-8 lead. Over the course of the next 10 minutes and 33 seconds, VCU wouldn’t score a single field goal. In fact, the Billikens outscored the Rams 21-1 in that span.

The Rams would pick their scoring up over the final four minutes and enter halftime down 38-21. At the half, Juvonte Reddic led the team with seven points and six rebounds.

VCU usually comes out of the break on some sort of run and forces their opponent to recover from it or get left in the dust. However, in St. Louis, no such run came about.

The closest the Rams would come in the second half was at the 16:20 mark when they were within 11 points. However, that wouldn’t last long and within 10 minutes, the Billikens had extended it back to a 26-point lead and all but sealed the win.

Four Billikens were in double-digits, but the team was mainly led by the trio of Mike McCall Jr., Dwayne Evans and Jordair Jett who combined for 45 points and 15 rebounds. Jett added all 16 of his points in the second half.

Reddic, Treveon Graham and Melvin Johnson were in double-digits, led by Reddic’s 18 points. Reddic and Graham also had 12 and 10 rebounds respectively which marked the fifth time this season VCU has had two players with a double-double in a game.

Often important contributors, Briante Weber and Rob Brandenberg, were ghosts for the whole game and had a combined four points, four rebounds and six assists.

Six Rams were in foul trouble by the end of the game. Darius Theus and Brandenberg had four each while Troy Daniels, Weber, Graham and Johnson all had three fouls.

VCU, normally averaging 12.4 steals per game, only recorded five against Saint Louis. The Billikens countered the usually overwhelming HAVOC style of play, which directly influenced their one-sided victory.

The win gives Saint Louis a game advantage over VCU and Butler for the top spot in the A-10.

Saint Louis travels to Butler on Friday which could shake up the A-10 standings even more, while VCU travels to Xavier on Saturday.

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