Richmond, Va. – Just win baby. That was the plan tonight for the VCU Rams as they gave the Buffalo Bulls heavy dose of Holiday Havoc as they sent RamNation home with a with 70-69. Melvin Johnson scored 22 points in the victory. Korey Billbury followed up with 15 points. The win ended a three game losing streak for the Rams.
Despite both teams shooting 50% in the first half, turnovers plagued both teams. The Bulls committed 20 turnovers in the first half and the Rams had 12. While the score stayed relatively close for the most of the first half, the Rams started to separate themselves within the final minutes of the half. The score was tied at 25 with 3:12 left in the half. From there, VCU went on a 15-2 run to close the half, with Melvin Johnson catching fire as he scored the final six points for the Rams.
VCU’s hot hand continued into the second half hitting six of their eight shots. After a rough first half from three-point land [2-13], VCU went 7-13 from downtown after intermission. They hit their first six attempted three-pointers before missing their first one midway through the half. With the momentum established at the end of the first half carrying over into the second half, VCU was easily able to put away the Buffalo Bulls.
VCU forced the Bulls into 31 turnovers, the most in a game since December 29, 2012 when Fairleigh Dickinson committed 34. Johnson’s five three-pointers moved him into sole possession of fourth on the VCU all-time made three point list with 216.
“I coached high school ball and we didn’t turn the ball over 30 times,” Buffalo coach, Nate Oates said. “They’re not even pressing like they did with Shaka. They pressured in the halfcourt a lot and they did some fullcourt press, but this is not the same Havoc that I’ve watch on TV for the past six years.”
“We need to win,” VCU coach Will Wade said after the game. “We’ve been close. Our formula works. We got it down with the power basketball. We just got to play better in longer stretches.”
The win gave the Black and Gold their sixth win of the season. Havoc returns to the Siegel Center on Sunday when they face the Liberty Flames at 5:00.
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