PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas — Treveon Graham scored 26 points and Rob Brandenberg added 15, including two late 3-pointers, and VCU beat No. 19 Memphis 78-65 on Thursday night in the first round of the Battle 4 Atlantis.
The Rams used their frenetic style of play to take a 16-point lead in the first half only to see the Tigers pull to 63-61 with 4:05 to play. VCU then went on an 11-0 run with all the points scored by Graham and Brandenberg. Brandenberg hit two 3s in the run and Graham one as the Rams finished 13 for 22 from behind the arc.
VCU ( 3-1) will meet No. 5 Duke in Friday’s semifinals. The Blue Devils beat Minnesota 89-71.
Adonis Thomas had 19 points for the Tigers (2-1), who committed 22 turnovers that the Rams turned into 33 points.
The Rams weren’t perfect, committing 19 turnovers that Memphis turned into 23 points.
The difference turned out to be 3-point shooting. Memphis outshot VCU from the field making 27 of 51 (52.9 percent) while the Rams were 26 of 54 (48.1 percent).
While the Rams were making 13 of 22 from beyond the arc, the Tigers only made 2 of 7.
Memphis trailed 42-28 at halftime and managed to get within three points four times before making it a two-point game.
VCU calls its style “havoc” and coming into the game the Rams had forced 19.7 turnovers per game while leading the nation with 14.1 steals per game. The Rams had 14 against Memphis.
Memphis started a lineup of all city natives for the third time this season. The Tigers are now 134-42 all-time with that type of lineup.