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VCU 66, Illinois State 62

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After dropping out of the top 25 earlier in the week, Virginia Commonwealth picked up an enormous road victory Tuesday, coming from behind to defeat Illinois State 66-62 at Redbird Arena in Normal, Ill.

The game began in an ugly fashion for VCU, as Illinois State knocked down three of its first four 3-pointers and jumped out to an 11-1 lead. But the Rams kept their composure and won this game by shooting 9 of 24 from 3-point range, hauling down 19 offensive rebounds and scoring 27 points off 24 Redbird turnovers.

VCU took its first lead of the game at the 16:18 mark of the second half when sophomore guard Jordan Burgess completed a 3-point play to put the Rams ahead 41-40.

Then with the game tied at 60-60, senior guard Treveon Graham hit a jumper to put VCU up with 3:11 left. Illinois State sophomore guard Paris Lee missed a lay-up in the closing seconds that would have tied the game and the Rams sealed the win with a pair of free throws by senior guard Briante Weber.

Scoring a game-high 19 points for VCU was junior guard Melvin Johnson, who shot 5-for-10 from behind the arc. Graham finished with 17 points and seven rebounds, while Burgess had 10 points and a team-high eight boards.

Meanwhile, Illinois State junior guard DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell had team-highs of 18 points on 6 of 9 shooting and seven rebounds.

Illinois State also received 12 points from Lee and an 11-point, 6-rebound performance from senior guard Daishon Knight.

After playing four straight away from Richmond, the Rams return home for a three-game home stand that starts Dec. 6 with a contest against No. 7 Virginia.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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