VCU repays the favor vs. SLU, Galloway shines for Hawks

By Marc Jean-Louis

St. Bonaventure's Youssou Ndoye fouls Saint Louis' Rob Loe as Loe tries to recover a defensive rebound in the first half on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, at Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis. (Chris Lee/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/MCT)
St. Bonaventure’s Youssou Ndoye fouls Saint Louis’ Rob Loe as Loe tries to recover a defensive rebound in the first half on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, at Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis. (Chris Lee/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/MCT)

On Feb. 15, the Saint Louis men’s basketball team closed the door on a ferocious rally from Virginia Commonwealth, holding on for a 64-62 victory at Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis.

On Saturday, VCU had no problem returning the favor at home.

Led by a team-high 17 points from guard Treveon Graham, the Rams (22-7, 10-4 Atlantic 10) won 67-56 over No. 10 Saint Louis at the Siegel Center in Richmond, Va., handing the Billikens their second-straight loss and fourth on the season.

Despite shooting 38.7 percent from the field, VCU benefitted from 17 Saint Louis (25-4, 12-2 A-10) turnovers, including 12 steals. The Rams jumped out to an early 8-4 lead after forcing three turnovers from the Billikens in the opening four minutes of the game.

VCU’s offense only gained steam from there. A 10-0 run later in the first half pushed the VCU lead to 15 with just over two minutes left in the frame. Saint Louis trailed by 10 at halftime.

After a slow start by both teams to begin the second half, the Rams regained their pace again. A 3-pointer from Graham kept a double-digit lead intact for VCU. While the Billikens cut the lead to eight in the game’s final minutes, Saint Louis never really posed a threat in the contest.

With the win, VCU extends its home winning streak to 19 games, seventh-longest in the nation.

Galloway leads Saint Joseph’s past Bonnies

Langston Galloway had a career night for Saint Joseph’s, scoring 27 points while leading the Hawks past St. Bonaventure on the road Saturday, 83-74.

Saint Joseph’s (21-7, 11-3 Atlantic 10) shot 54 percent from the field and converted on eight 3-pointers. After trailing early, the Hawks used an 11-0 run midway through the first half to take an 18-11 lead over the Bonnies (16-13, 6-9 A-10). At nine minutes, 45 seconds, the lead grew to 11 following a 3-pointer by Papa Ndao.

But St. Bonaventure cut the lead to just 40-35 at halftime and jumped out to a quick start in the second half.

Six points from forward Marquise Simmons gave the Bonnies a one-point lead with just over 15 minutes left in the second half.

From there, though, the Hawks rolled. Two runs of 8-0 and 17-9 put Saint Joseph’s up 70-59 with less than six minutes remaining.

St. Joe’s forward DeAndre Bembry was also impressive, logging 18 points and three rebounds in 33 minutes. For St. Bonaventure, guard Matthew Wright led the way with 27 points and four assists.

On Wednesday, the Hawks will travel to the nation’s capital to take on George Washington while St. Bonaventure will next play on Saturday at VCU in the regular-season finale.

GW holds off George Mason

Four players scored in double figures for George Washington, as the Colonials held off George Mason 66-58 at the Smith Center on Sunday afternoon.

George Mason (10-18, 3-11 Atlantic 10) ignited a 17-7 second-half comeback to trail by just a single point with 10 minutes remaining. But GW slammed the door, responding with a 15-2 run of its own to take a commanding 14-point lead. Patricio Garino and Maurice Creek led the charge, with Creek leading the game in scoring with 22 points.

The Patriots gave the Colonials (21-7, 9-5 A-10) trouble to open the game as well, as George Washington committed five turnovers and missed 3-of-4 3-pointers in the opening eight minutes.

The Colonials then went on an 8-0 run to take the lead in the game, thanks to forwards Isaiah Armwood, Garino and Kevin Larsen. Both teams traded baskets and after four lead changes and two ties, the Colonials carried a 26-24 advantage into the break.

Maurice Creek went on a 3-point shooting rampage for George Washington to open the second half. Draining three shots from downtown in the opening two minutes, George Mason trailed by 11 and was forced to take a timeout.

Creek led the game in scoring with 22 points. Armwood contributed a double-double, recording 11 points and 14 rebounds in 37 minutes. George Mason’s Erik Copes got into double figures in rebounds with 12.

Marc Jean-Louis can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @marc_jean93.