RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Treveon Graham scored 21 points, including a tightly contested 3-pointer in the second overtime, and VCU sent No. 23 Northern Iowa to its first loss, 93-87 on Saturday night.
Briante Weber added 14 points and Melvin Johnson 12 for the Rams (6-3), who beat a ranked team for the first time since topping No. 16 Saint Louis last March 1.
The Panthers (9-1), looking to tie the best start in school history, got a career-best 27 points from Wes Washpun. But he fouled out when Weber drew a charge call with 49 seconds to play, taking away the Panthers’ best offensive option.
Matt Bohannon added 18 points, including a 3-pointer to force the second overtime, for the Panthers. Seth Tuttle, UNI’s leading scorer with a 16-point average, managed only five in only 21 minutes of the fast-paced game.
Doug Brooks hit a 3-pointer for VCU to start the scoring in the second overtime, and Bohannon had a chance to tie it when he scored and was fouled. But he missed the free throw, and with the shot clock nearing zero, Graham made a long 3 with Marvin Singleton in his face.
Washpun fouled out, and Weber added a pair of free throws.
VCU led throughout the first overtime, but by no more than 3, and Bohannon’s 3-pointer tied it with 28 seconds to go. The Rams held the ball for one shot after a timeout, but Graham’s 3-point try was closed guarded and missed badly.
The Panthers trailed 71-66 with 2 minutes to go in regulation. Washpun hit a pair of free throws and a layup and Bohannon made a 3-pointer to give them a 73-71 lead with 49 seconds left. Graham tied it with an inside basket 35 seconds to go, and the Rams kept UNI without a shot on its final possession, forcing OT.
The Rams led throughout the second half, but had trouble getting any separation until Mo Alie-Cox scored on a putback, sparking a 7-0 run that gave them their largest lead at 59-50. Graham had a 3-pointer off a two-man exchange with Johnson and Brooks finished it with a layup with 8:48 to play.
VCU pushed its lead to as high as 65-54, but UNI quickly put together a 12-2 burst with Paul Jesperson and Bohannon hitting 3-pointers. The Panthers, who started 1 for 8 from the foul line, rallied by making eight in a row.
Northern Iowa: The Panthers made 10 of their first 13 shots — that made them 25 for 30 overall in two games, starting with the second half Wednesday night against Denver.
VCU: The Panthers’ visit marked the first time VCU had hosted ranked teams in back-to-back games. They lost 74-57 to then-No. 7 Virginia in their last home game a week ago.
Northern Iowa plays Iowa next Saturday.
VCU hosts Belmont on Tuesday night.
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