RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Treveon Graham scored 24 points and No. 25 VCU rebounded after blowing all of a 16-point lead, beating Massachusetts 78-72 on Saturday.
JeQuan Lewis added 15 and Moe Alie-Cox had 12 for the Rams (21-6, 11-3 Atlantic 10).
VCU went on a 17-5 run immediately after UMass took its only lead with 12:22 remaining. The victory allowed the Rams to maintain at least a share of first place in the conference. Dayton and Rhode Island had later games.
Jabarie Hinds scored 16 points, Trey Davis had 14 and Cady Lalanne 13 for UMass (16-11, 9-5), which was seeking a much-needed resume-building victory. The Minutemen cut an eight-point deficit to 70-67 with 42 seconds to play, but the Rams hit all eight of their free throws the rest of the way to hold the lead.
The Minutemen had used a 12-0 run earlier in the half to go ahead 48-47.
Jordan Burgess stopped the run with a 3-pointer and Alie-Cox followed with a dunk.
After Hinds scored for UMass, Alie-Cox was fouled while scoring and converted the three-point play. He added another free throw and then Jonathan Williams fed Jarred Guest for a two-handed dunk to make it 58-50.
Davis interrupted the Rams’ run with a 3-pointer, but Alie-Cox scored inside again, Lewis drove for a basket and, after a 10-second violation against the Minutemen, Burgess drove to cap the run.
UMass finished with 19 turnovers leading to 24 points for VCU.
The Rams, who made only 2 of 12 3-point shots in the first half, hit their first four of the second half and led 47-36 after Lewis’ 3-pointer fell with 16:15 remaining. But with the crowd thinking VCU was about to take command, the shots stopped falling and the Minutemen methodically rallied.
Continually driving and accepting two-point shots, UMass reeled off 12 straight points, the last on a 12-footer by Hinds to give them their first lead.
The Rams honored former player Bradford Burgess before the game by retiring his No. 20 jersey, and the team came out fired up. They forced six turnovers before UMass scored a basket and led 13-2.
UMass: The Minutemen had six turnovers before Derrick Gordon scored their first field goal with 14:12 left in the half. … Hinds ended the first half with a buzzer-beating floater top pull the minutemen within 35-30.
VCU: The Rams forced 12 first-half turnovers while committing six, but each team scored seven points off its takeaways.
UMass is at home against Saint Joseph’s on Wednesday night.
VCU looks to avenge a home loss when it plays at crosstown rival Richmond on Wednesday night.
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