No. 14 Virginia Commonwealth defeated Winthrop, 92-71, on Saturday in a game that was closer than the final score indicated.
VCU was paced by its backcourt, and every Ram who entered the game scored. Six VCU players finished in double figures scoring. Guard Briante Weber led the Rams with 16 points, including 10 from the foul line. Treveon Graham had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
The Eagles kept the game close for much of the evening, only trailing by four points at intermission. Winthrop went 6-11 from behind the arc in the first half to put the Rams on upset alert. Andre Smith had 14 points on 4-9 shooting from deep to lead the perimeter charge.
But the Rams pulled away in the final 20 minutes, outscoring Winthrop by 17 during the second half. Rob Brandenberg gave VCU an 11-point lead with just over 13 minutes to go and Winthrop never threatened again. Despite allowing the Eagles to shoot 48 percent from the field and 42 percent percent from three, VCU and its famous Havoc defense was able to force 25 Winthrop turnovers.
With the win, VCU improved to 3-0 on the young season. The competition gets tougher on Thursday, however, when the Rams face Florida St. in the first round of the Puerto Rican Tip-Off.