An injury-depleted men’s basketball team lost their first game of the season without seniors Briante Weber and Treveon Graham, losing to St. Bonaventure University on Saturday, Feb. 7, off a last second layup.
With 51 seconds left in the game, sophomore guard JeQuan Lewis made good on two free-throw attempts to bring the game within two points. Trailing 69-71, the Rams tried to make a stop on the defensive end, forcing St. Bonaventure’s (year) Youssou Ndoye to shoot and miss and mid-range jumper to seal the game. Sophomore guard Jordan Burgess grabbed the defensive rebound and nine second later converted on a jump shot to tie the game, 71-71. St. Bonaventure would quickly push the ball down the court and would shock the Rams with a layup by (year, position) Marcus Posley to win the game and upset the No. 18 ranked team in the country.
It’s been a tough week for the Rams, losing two of their last three and Weber going down with the right knee injury. Graham, who aggravated a lingering ankle issue in a Wednesday night win against George Mason University did not play. The loss drops head coach Shaka Smart’s team to 18-5 on the season and 8-2 in Atlantic 10 conference play.
The post-Weber era has been good to sophomore JeQuan Lewis as he punched in another double figure performance, scoring 14 points, including 4-7 from the three-point line. Freshman Terry Larrier was the game’s leading scorer with 15 points off the bench. Junior Melvin Johnson played a game-high 33 minutes and contributed 11 points, going 5-12 from the floor and 1-5 from the three-point line. Sophomore Jordan Burgress was one point shy of having a double-double, finishing with nine points and 11 rebounds.
St. Bonaventure opened the game on a 9-1 run before the Rams got into the game offensively. The Ram had opened the game missing seven of their first eight shots. Though the Rams came close to taking the lead, St. Bonaventure maintained control the lead throughout the game. The Rams made it a one-point game on four separate occasions but St. Bonaventure held on to the lead, entering the half up 32-31.
With less than a minute played in the second half, a three-pointer by Burgess would give the Rams the first tie of the game, 34-34. The Bona Wolfs would respond with five unanswered points and eventually going up 10 on the Rams, 47-37 with 16 minutes and 33 seconds left to play in the game. VCU would score the next seven to pull the game within three, 46-49, before St. Bonaventure pulled away once again, going up by nine, 59-50 with less than 10 minutes to play in the game. Minutes later, a Larrier three-pointer would bring the Rams within two, 59-61.
Both team kept the scoring close for remainder of the game trading baskets, but the Rams would fall to St. Bonaventure in the game’s closing seconds to lose 73-71 on the road.