Johnson's 13 lead VCU past Fordham, 76-60HANK KURZ Jr. (AP Sports Writer) Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014
RICHMOND, Va. (AP)—Melvin Johnson scored 13 points and Juvonte Reddic had 10 points and 10 rebounds Wednesday night as Virginia Commonwealth took control by halftime and beat Fordham 76-60 for its 15th consecutive home victory.
JeQuan Lewis added 11 points for VCU (17-4, 5-1 Atlantic 10), which is off to its best start in five years under coach Shaka Smart and its best overall start since the 2006-07 team won 19 of its first 22.
Mandell Thomas scored 25 points to lead Fordham (8-12, 1-6), which lost for the eighth time in nine games. The visiting Rams' top scorers both had off nights as Jon Severe, who leads the A-10 with a 20.2 average, managed just nine and Branden Frazier, who averages 17.8, finished with only four.
The Rams took control early, using an 18-4 run to take a 22-8 lead. Jordan Burgess had six points and Lewis five in the run, and the visiting Rams went 6:42 without a field goal after their first basket.
Fordham closed to within 30-23 late in the half, but two 3-pointers by Rob Brandenberg, the last a desperate heave to beat the halftime buzzer, fueled a 10-0 run that gave VCU a 40-23 lead at intermission.
Fordham missed its first 13 3-point shots and finished the first half 2 for 16 from deep. For the game, the visiting Rams were 7 for 28 from 3-point range, with Thomas hitting 5 of 10 and the rest of the team making 2 of 18.
The visitors opened the second half on a 9-4 run to get within 44-32. VCU quickly rebuilt the margin to 16, but Fordham twice closed to within 12 again before Brandenberg made a three-point play and Reddic followed a basket by Severe for Fordham with a stick-back. Johnson then made a fast-break 3-pointer.
That boosted VCU's lead back to 64-46 with 6:14, and by the time Fordham scored again, the homestanding Rams' lead had grown to 70-48 and Smart was pulling starters to the delight of the crowd.
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