Published January 08, 2015
St. Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Dwayne Evans led the way with 21 points and 10 rebounds as No. 12 Saint Louis held on to defeat VCU, 64-62, in an A-10 battle from Chaifetz Arena.
Jordair Jett and Rob Loe both contributed 14 points and Mike McCall Jr. scored 12 with four assists as the Billikens (23-2, 10-0 A-10) extended their winning streak to a school-record 17 games.
"You've got two good teams that really compete against each other," Billikens coach Jim Crews said. "It was certainly a 15-rounder. I think it's been a great character trait of our guys that they do respond. That doesn't mean we're going to win all the time. They don't quit on things. Even if we would have lost today, they didn't quit on things."
Treveon Graham hit a jumper to get VCU within 63-60 with 10 seconds to go. Graham quickly fouled Loe, who split his free throws. The Rams' Juvonte Reddic then tipped in Briante Weber's missed jumper with under a second to go, but Saint Louis quickly inbounded the ball to end the game.
Graham supplied 16 points and eight rebounds for the Rams (20-6, 8-3), who won seven of eight entering the contest. Reddic had 13 points and nine rebounds, while Weber tallied 12 points, nine boards, and five assists in the loss.
"Great game by Saint Louis," VCU coach Shaka Smart said. "They're a terrific team. Their best players stepped up and really made some good plays down the stretch. There's a reason they've won so many games in a row."
Saint Louis took a 30-27 lead into the half and both teams came out of the break with scoring runs.
Graham and Weber both had three points in a 6-0 VCU run, but the Billikens responded with nine straight points fueled by Jett's five, making it 40-33 in favor of St. Louis six minutes into the frame.
Jett drove in and found McCall Jr. on the left wing for a triple and Evans hit two free throws to extend the Billikens lead to 12 close to the midpoint of the frame.
VCU scored the next seven points, and Weber stole the ball and drove through for a quick layup to make it a one-possession game, 53-50, with just under four left. Less than two minutes later, Graham was fouled on his layup and converted the 3-point play to tie the game.
McCall Jr. drained a jumper, and after Graham failed on a 3-attempt, Jett grabbed the rebound and went the other way for a layup. Loe's wide-open look from beyond with 37 seconds to go capped off a timely 7-0 run for Saint Louis.
Reddic converted on a three-point play after being fouled with 27 seconds to make it a 60-56 game, but the Rams could not complete the comeback.
A trey from Jordan Burgess with under seven to go in the opening frame interrupted an 8-0 Saint Louis run to give VCU a 19-18 advantage.
Jett drove through the lane and past three VCU defenders to pull up and net a jumper with five seconds to go, giving the Billikens a 30-27 edge at the half.
Saint Louis has now won three straight against VCU ... The Billikens turned over the ball 12 times in first half and finished with 17. Their average is 11.9 per game ... Saint Louis edged VCU in rebounds, 38-36 ... The Rams' largest deficit during their streak was by eight against Vanderbilt and Duquesne, VCU's largest lead was by six points.