news duquesne gets out to big lead then has to hold on for 79 70 win over vcu

Duquesne gets out to big lead, then has to hold on for 79-70 win over VCU

VCU Basketball
Logo: VCU Athletics

Brandon Johns Jr. scored a career-high 22 points for VCU, but it wasn’t enough to lift the Rams out from under a big early deficit in a 79-70 loss at Duquesne.

Johns poured in 18 of his 22 points in the second half as the Rams (10-5, 1-1 A-10) mounted a comeback effort. He connected on 9-of-12 attempts from the field, including 2-of-3 from the 3-point line. He also corralled six rebounds

Jamir Watkins added 18 points and four rebounds.

Jimmy Clark III led Duquesne with a career-high 26 points. Dae Dae Grant and R.J. Gunn added 13 apiece.

Duquesne buried seven first-half three-pointers on the way to a 37-22 halftime lead. The Dukes led by as many as 22 points following a Gunn three that made it 35-13 with 6:41 remaining in the period.

VCU came out of the locker room in the second half swinging. Johns and senior forward David Shriver drilled back-to-back three-pointers to spark a 9-2 VCU run that cut the Duquesne lead to seven, at 42-35, with 15:29 remaining.

The Rams closed the gap to seven on two other occasions, but each time, the Dukes had an answer. A Tevin Brewer steal set up a fast break bucket by Clark to give Duquesne a 54-45 lead with 12:07 on the clock, and the Rams spent the majority of the rest of the evening trying to climb out of a double-digit hole.

Chris Graham

In addition to being the editor of Augusta Free Press, I've written seven books, including Poverty of Imagination and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, both published in 2019, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For my commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to my YouTube page, Want to reach me? Try [email protected].