BROOKLYN, N.Y. — The VCU men’s basketball team fell to Saint Joseph’s 65-61 in the Atlantic 10 championship game on Sunday.
Senior Rob Brandenberg scored a team-high 18 points, but the Rams were unable to stop SJU’s Langston Galloway, who made five three pointers, including a tie-breaking three in the game’s final minutes.
Galloway scored 19 points, and Halil Kanacevic contributed 11 points and 14 rebounds. Both players played all 40 minutes of the game and Kanacevic was named the Tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
After the game, head coach Shaka Smart said the Hawks deserve all the praise.
“There’s not much to say, it was a disappointing game,” Smart said. “Give a lot of credit to Saint Joe’s, they played great. Their seniors really stepped up.”
A slow start plagued the Rams, as VCU scored just 24 points 11-33 shooting in the first half. Smart’s team entered halftime down four, and managed to turn that deficit into a six-point lead midway through the second half, but fell short in the last three minutes.
VCU made just eight of its 15 free throws (53 percent) and shot just 37 percent from the field for the game, while the five SJU starters combined to score all 65 points, playing all but seven minutes in the win.
Brandenberg, Briante Weber and Graham were all named to the All-tournament team despite the loss.
For SJU, it was the team’s third Atlantic 10 tournament championship.