Senior guard Rob Brandenberg's 3-pointer in the first minute of overtime put Virginia Commonwealth on top for good, and the Rams scored a 71-68 victory over Eastern Kentucky on Thursday at the Stuart Siegel Center in Richmond, Va.
Junior guard Treveon Graham had 15 points and nine rebounds to lead Virginia Commonwealth (7-2). Junior guard Corey Walden scored a game-high 19 points for Eastern Kentucky (6-3).
The game was tied on a number of occasions in the second half before Eastern Kentucky mounted a 9-2 run to take a 54-48 lead with 11:40 remaining. The Colonels led by five with 8:12 to go, but the Rams rallied, scoring the next six points to take a 61-60 lead with 5:25 to play.
Eastern Kentucky regained the lead moments later, but Virginia Commonwealth forced overtime after sophomore guard Melvin Johnson made a jumper to tie the game with 1:04 remaining.
The Colonels staged an early 8-0 run to take a 10-2 lead with 15:15 remaining in the opening period. Eastern Kentucky then outscored VCU 7-1 over a span of 1:48, extending their lead to 17-5 on a layup by Walden with 13:02 to go.
Eastern Kentucky stretched its lead to 14 on a 3-pointer by senior guard Orlando Williams with 9:39 to play in the half, but Virginia Commonwealth responded with 9-0 and 10-0 runs to claim the lead.
The Rams tied the game at 36-36 when freshman guard JeQuan Lewis made a 3-pointer with 32 seconds left in the half. They took a 38-36 lead into the locker room after Graham scored a put-back basket as time expired.
Eastern Kentucky shot 47 percent, while Virginia Commonwealth hit 45 percent of its field-goal attempts. The Rams had a big edge in long-range shooting, making 13 of 31 3-point attempts (41.9 percent) to the Colonels' 7-of-25 success (28 percent).