Virginia Commonwealth University extended its winning streak to seven games and ended its eight-day winter layoff with a 96-67 victory over visiting Fairleigh Dickinson on Saturday.
The Rams (10-3) gave the home crowd a reason to celebrate early, breaking out to a 16-5 lead before the first media timeout. It was 47-30 by halftime, at which point the Knights (4-7) had already committed 20 turnovers.
Troy Daniels led VCU with 27 points, and Juvonte Reddic had a double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Rob Brandenberg added 13 and Treveon Graham 10 for the Rams.
The Knights lost despite a stellar effort from Kinu Rochford, who had a double-double with 30 points and 16 rebounds. Rochford went 12-for-14 from the floor and 6-for-7 from the line, and was the dominant force for FDU. Melquan Bolding finished with 15 points and Lonnie Robinson scored 12.
Defense again proved the difference for VCU. The Rams entered the day atop the NCAA in steals, and picked up another 20 against the Knights. FDU finished with 33 turnovers.
VCU finished 6-0 in December, and is 21-4 in that month in Shaka Smart's four years as coach.