Seniors star as VCU beats St. Bonaventure, 86-67

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) Rob Brandenberg scored 18 points in his final home game at Virginia Commonwealth and the Rams used a 15-5 second-half run to finally put away St. Bonaventure for an 86-67 victory on Saturday night.

Fellow senior Juvonte Reddic added 13 points and 14 rebounds and Treveon Graham scored 18 for VCU (24-7, 12-4 Atlantic 10), which finished the season 15-0 at home and has won 20 in a row at the Sigel Center.

Matthew Wright scored 21 to lead the Bonnies (16-14, 6-10), who lost their fourth straight. St. Bonaventure used a 10-2 run to get within 60-54 with 9:05 to play, but Brandenberg started the game-clinching burst with a jumper from the foul line, and Graham followed a turnover with a 3-pointer.

The Bonnies turned the ball over 24 times, leading to 31 points for the Rams.

The Rams will either be the second or third seed in the A-10 tournament in Brooklyn, N.Y., next week.

Brandenberg and Reddic, who will play in the NCAA tournament in all four years of their careers, were removed together by coach Shaka Smart with 1:10 remaining to rousing cheers from the crowd. It was the 50th consecutive sellout, the fifth-longest streak in the country.

The game was sloppy both ways and neither team ever really found a rhythm. The pace was slowed greatly by tight officiating, which saw the Bonnies whistled for 21 fouls and the Rams whistled for 19.

After St. Bonaventure closed to within six, Brandenberg and Graham scored quickly, and Wright countered with a 3-pointer for the Bonnies. But Reddic hit a free throw, Briante Weber scored in the lane and Graham his another 3-pointer, one of nine on 26 tries for VCU in the game. That made it 71-57.

Matthew Wright and Youssou Ndoye combined for the Bonnies’ first 17 points, and five by Ndoye in a 7-0 run pulled them within 25-19 of the Rams with 6:45 left in the half. But Moe Alie-Cox scored inside on the Rams’ next possession, sparking a 14-6 run that rebuilt their lead to 39-25. It was 44-28 at halftime.

Brandenberg led the Rams with 10 points at the half, and he had eight in the first 3:15, including a pair of 3-pointers. The Rams had six 3s by halftime, and the Bonnies had just 10 field goals.

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