Kingston, RI (SportsNetwork.com) - Treveon Graham scored 16 of his 26 points in the second half and No. 17 VCU rallied from nine points down to beat Rhode Island 65-60 on Tuesday night.
VCU took its first lead since the first half on Graham's 3-pointer with 2 1/2 minutes left, part of a 12-2 run to end the game sparked by Melvin Johnson's 3 on the previous possession.
Mo Alie-Cox scored the last of his 10 points on a dunk during the surge and Johnson added nine points for VCU (14-3, 4-0 Atlantic 10), which has won nine in a row since falling to then-No. 7 Virginia on Dec. 6. (The Cavaliers are currently ranked No. 2 in the country.)
E.C. Matthews scored 22 points to lead Rhode Island (11-4, 3-1), which had a six-game winning streak stopped and lost for the first time in eight home games this season.
Hassan Martin added 10 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks in the loss and Jarelle Reischel also scored 10.
Rhode Island only scored two more points after Matthews' leaning 3 from the right corner and Jared Terrell's dunk gave it a 58-53 lead with under 3 1/2 minutes remaining.
It led 35-28 at halftime after outrebounding VCU 26-16 over the first 20 minutes and had a 49-40 lead on Martin's dunk with nine minutes left.
Later, Rhode Island trailed by three with a chance to tie the score when Matthews was whistled for traveling after moving his pivot foot. The turnover led to a pair of Briante Weber foul shots at the other end to give VCU a 63-58 lead with 11 seconds left.
VCU has the most wins (28) in the conference since joining the Atlantic 10 in 2012 ... VCU leads the all-time series 5-2, including a 4-0 mark under Shaka Smart ... VCU plays at Duquesne on Saturday ... Rhode Island is at Massachusetts on Saturday.