St. Bonaventure, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The 18th-ranked Virginia Commonwealth Rams try to keep some distance between themselves and the rest of the Atlantic 10 Conference, as they clash with the St. Bonaventure Bonnies on Saturday afternoon at the Reilly Center.
Last weekend, the Rams were stunned by Richmond at home, losing a 64-55 decision and snapping what had been a 12-game win streak in the process. Following the first A-10 setback of the campaign, VCU bounced back with a 72-60 triumph over George Mason on the road on Wednesday night in order to move to 8-1 in league action, which is good enough for the top spot in the standings entering the weekend.
As for the Bonnies, tied with Davidson, La Salle and Richmond for sixth place in the A-10 at 5-4, they were also in action three nights ago as they slipped by Davidson on the road, 62-61. The victory broke a two-game slide by the program.
The teams entered the season tied at 2-2 in the all-time series, with the Rams winning two in a row, including an 86-67 decision last season.
With Briante Weber on the shelf following right knee surgery, the Rams turned to Melvin Johnson for guidance earlier this week and squeezed 17 points out of him in the win over the Patriots. Jequan Lewis added 13 points and Justin Tillman 10 on a perfect 5-of-5 shooting from the floor off the bench. Treveon Graham, the team's leading scorer with 16.2 ppg, finished with only four points in 12 minutes of action and is now listed as doubtful for this weekend due to a sprained ankle.
If Graham is unable to take the floor on Saturday, the Rams will be down to Johnson as their primary scoring threat. Shooting just 40.5 percent from the floor, Johnson accounts for 13.1 ppg thanks in part to his team-high 53 triples over the course of 22 starts. Terry Larrier's 6.6 ppg, in a mere 17.1 minutes per game, represents the second-best scoring option for a Rams team that will be hard-pressed to come up with the 73.9 ppg the squad is accustomed to.
Trailing by one with less than five seconds remaining in regulation, the Bonnies put the ball in the hands of Marcus Posley who went the length of the floor and knocked down a short jumper at the buzzer to give the visitors the thrilling one-point victory at Belk Arena on Wednesday night. Posley finished with a game-high 19 points and added seven rebounds for the Bonnies, followed by Youssou Ndoye and Dion Wright with 16 and 14 points, respectively, the former also clearing a game-high 12 rebounds and blocking four shots.
Posley, the leading scorer for the Bonnies in three of the last five outings, accounts for 17.2 ppg having made good on 56 of the team's 109 3-point baskets. Wright, who has made only one of his six 3-point tries on the campaign, checks in with 13.2 ppg by hitting on 50.9 percent of his field goal attempts. Ndoye is averaging a double-double with 12.3 points and 10.8 rebounds per contest, not to mention producing 54 of their 100 rejections.