Pittsburgh, PA – Rob Brandenberg scored a game-high 22 points, snagged six rebounds and connected on 5-of-8 from behind the arc, as No. 22 VCU rolled past Duquesne, 90-63, at CONSOL Energy Center for its 13th consecutive victory Saturday.
Treveon Graham also nailed five treys and finished with 20 points and Juvonte Reddic scored 16 on 8-of-10 shooting from the field, for the Rams (16-3, 4-0 A-10), who are ranked in the AP Top-25 for the first time since the 1984-85 campaign.
Derrick Colter and Quevyn Winters scored 15 and 12 points, respectively for the Dukes (7-11, 0-4), who have dropped six straight contests.
"That's just a far superior basketball team than we are in every aspect," Duquesne coach Jim Ferry said of VCU. "We don't have the pieces yet to become that."
After a Colter jumper brought Duquesne within one point, 13-12, just over six minutes into the game, VCU's offense exploded.
The Rams went on a 26-2 run, which last over 13 minutes, and didn't end until Duquesne's Mamadou Datt hit a jumper to make it 39-16 with 2:40 left in the first half. Graham had three 3-pointers alone during the span and VCU entered the break with a comfortable 44-18 edge.
"I'm pleased with the way our guys played defensively tonight, particularly in the first half, only giving up 18 points," VCU coach Shaka Smart said. "Coming out of the Saint Joe's game, we gave up 80 points in regulation in that game and that was flat out too many. I thought tonight the first half tonight was a step in the right direction, the second half wasn't as good, but we'll get back and watch the tape and see what we have to work on for the next game."
Things didn't change in the second half, as VCU stretched its lead to 30 early on.
Graham had 17 points by halftime, while VCU's Colter and Sean Johnson combined to account for half of the team's 18 points after the first 20 minutes of play.
The Rams now have the nation's second-longest active winning streak behind Kansas' 15 straight wins.
With the victory, coach Shaka Smart's 100th of his career, he became just the 12th coach in Division I history to earn 100 wins in his first four seasons ... Smart accomplished the feat in only 131 games ... VCU shot 50 percent from the floor compared to Duquesne's 42.3 percent ... The Dukes committed 19 turnovers ... Jeremiah Jones added 10 points and Johnson finished with 11.