- Associated Press - Saturday, March 8, 2014

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Rob Brandenberg and Juvonte Reddic both had big nights in their final games at the Siegel Center, and both said they expect to have several more this season.

Brandenberg scored 18 points and Reddic had 13 points and 14 rebounds Saturday night and Virginia Commonwealth used a 15-5 second-half run to finally put away St. Bonaventure for an 86-67 victory, their 20th in a row at home.

“If we can channel those emotions and really play for one another, us seniors really leading the way, the next month, hopefully, we can make a deep postseason run in each tournament,” Brandenberg said as the Rams look ahead to next week’s Atlantic 10 tournament in Brooklyn, N.Y., and then another berth in the NCAA tournament.

The NCAA trip will be the fourth straight for both players, who were freshmen when the Rams captured the nation’s attention by going to the Final Four in 2011. They are the only VCU players who will have played in four consecutive NCAA tournaments.

“It feels great that we’re the only ones,” Reddic said. “The word I’d probably use to describe it is blessed.”

Treveon Graham also scored 18 for VCU (24-7, 12-4 Atlantic 10), which finished the season 15-0 at home, the Rams’ first unbeaten home season since 1971.

Brandenberg and Reddic were removed together by coach Shaka Smart with 1:10 remaining to rousing cheers from the 50th consecutive sellout at the Siegel Center, the fifth-longest streak in the country, and the moment hit Reddic especially hard.

“Once Coach took me out for the last time, that’s when it really hit me,” he said. “As soon as I sat down on the bench I just started crying tears of joy, but like Rob said, we’re not finished.”

The Rams will either be the second or third seed in the A-10 tournament.

Matthew Wright scored 21 to lead the Bonnies (16-14, 6-10), who lost their fourth straight. St. Bonaventure used a 10-2 run to get within 60-54 with 9:05 to play, but Brandenberg started the game-clinching burst with a jumper from the foul line, and Graham followed a turnover with a 3-pointer.

“The character of our guys shows, but then we shot ourselves in the foot with an offensive foul and then I think we turned it over twice,” Bonnies coach Mark Schmidt said. “(The margin) goes from six to 11 and the game is over.”

The Bonnies turned the ball over 24 times, leading to 31 points for the Rams.

The game was sloppy both ways and neither team ever really found a rhythm. The pace was slowed greatly by tight officiating, which saw the Bonnies whistled for 21 fouls and the Rams whistled for 19.

After St. Bonaventure closed to within six, Brandenberg and Graham scored quickly, and Wright countered with a 3-pointer for the Bonnies. But Reddic hit a free throw, Briante Weber scored in the lane and Graham hit another 3-pointer, one of nine on 26 tries for VCU in the game. That made it 71-57.

Matthew Wright and Youssou Ndoye combined for the Bonnies’ first 17 points, and five by Ndoye in a 7-0 run pulled them within 25-19 of the Rams with 6:45 left in the half. But Moe Alie-Cox scored inside on the Rams’ next possession, sparking a 14-6 run that rebuilt their lead to 39-25. It was 44-28 at halftime.

Brandenberg led the Rams with 10 points at the half, and he had eight in the first 3:15, including a pair of 3-pointers. The Rams had six 3s by halftime, and the Bonnies had just 10 field goals.

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