The Sports Xchange
NASSAU, Bahamas -- Defense earned Virginia Commonwealth a large first half lead and 3-pointers helped it fend off Memphis' second half rally.
Treveon Graham scored a career-high 26 points Thursday night as the Rams posted a mild upset of the No. 19 Tigers, winning 78-65 in a first round matchup of the Battle at Atlantis.
Rob Brandenberg added 15 points -- all on 3s. Brandenberg beat the shot clock with his fifth 3-pointer in as many attempts, giving VCU (3-1) a 71-61 lead with 2:38 remaining. Coming into the game, he was just 1-of-11 from the arc.
Troy Daniels kicked in a dozen, courtesy of four 3-pointers, for the Rams, which canned 13-of-23 3s and advanced to a 9:30 p.m. semifinal Friday night against No. 5 Duke. The Blue Devils walloped Minnesota 89-71 in their quarterfinal contest.
VCU rattled the Tigers (2-1) with pressure defense in the first half, forcing 11 turnovers in the first 12 minutes and leading 42-28 at intermission. It then survived Memphis' predictable second half spurt as the Tigers drew within 63-61 with 4:08 left on Tarik Black's short jumper.
Adonis Thomas scored 19 points to lead Memphis.