Massachusetts Daily Collegian

VCU moves to No. 10 with win, La Salle rallies to avoid upset loss

By Tom Mulherin

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Coming off of an impressive upset victory over formerly ranked No. 25 Virginia, the Virginia Commonwealth men’s basketball team continued its impressive play on Saturday in a 92-71 win against Winthrop.

Judy van der Velden/Flickr

The strong play didn’t go unnoticed for the Rams (3-0), as they moved from No. 14 to No. 10 in the Associated Press Top-25 rankings on Monday. The VCU defense has played a big part in the team’s success this year as coach Shaka Smart’s full-court press continued its dominance, forcing 19 steals and 25 turnovers from the Eagles (2-1).

Briante Weber led the way for the Rams in the 21-point rout, racking up 16 points and five steals. Treveon Graham also performed well with a double-double on 13 points and 10 rebounds, as VCU heavily outrebounded Winthrop 43-27.

The Eagles kept up with the Rams’ fast-paced style of play, trailing by just four points at the end of the first half. VCU found its groove in the second half, however, outscoring Winthrop 47-30 while forcing 16 turnovers in the second half.

Andre Smith was the top performer for Winthrop, recording 15 points and seven rebounds.

Duren sparks team

La Salle overcame Siena in a comeback 78-74 victory on the will of Tyreek Duren’s 20-point performance on Saturday.

The Explorers (2-1) were trailing the Saints (0-3) by eight points with seven minutes and 37 seconds left when Duren almost single-handedly brought the team back. A layup from Duren started a 14-2 run that gave La Salle a four point lead with just under four minutes to play. During that span, Duren shot 5-for-5 from the field, scoring 12 points, including back-to-back 3-pointers.

Once the Explorers took the lead, they did not give it up. After the game-changing run that Duren started, Siena had a hard time finding any sort of rhythm to come back despite the Explorers’ shooting just 4-for-11 from the field after Duren’s run.

Siena guard Rob Poole led all players with an impressive performance of 21 points. He also added six rebounds and four assists, shooting 9-for-15 from the field.

Saint Louis advances to 3-0

The Saint Louis men’s basketball team is off to another successful start to the season, as it remained undefeated after beating Southern Illinois 76-67 on Saturday.

The Billikens (3-0) got off to a rocky start in the game. The Salukis (0-2) made a few runs in the middle of the first half, highlighted by a 10-0 run to give the team a 26-14 lead. However, Southern Illinois didn’t keep that up for long as Saint Louis came back and took a 37-36 lead as time expired in the first half.

From that point on, the Billikens held onto the lead to stay atop the standings with the best teams of the Atlantic-10 Conference. Both teams played a relatively smart game, with the Billikens only turning the ball over 10 times and the Salukis 11 times.

Tom Mulherin can be reached at [email protected]

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