Home VCU Basketball: Rams get big nights from Johns, Jackson, in 71-67 win over Pitt

VCU Basketball: Rams get big nights from Johns, Jackson, in 71-67 win over Pitt

Chris Graham
VCU Basketball
Logo: VCU Athletics

Brandon Johns Jr. and Zeb Jackson combined for 34 points as VCU held off a second-half charge from Pitt in a 71-67 win on Thursday in the third-place game of the Vivid Seats Legends Classic.

Johns scored a game-high 18 points for the Rams, including 11 in the second half, and tied a career-high with nine rebounds. He connected on 9-of-11 free throws.

Jackson, a junior guard, poured in a career-high 16 points, including 11 after the break. Jackson converted 4-of-8 from the field and 7-of-8 at the charity stripe. He added three steals, three assists and three rebounds for the Rams (3-1).

Blake Hinson led Pitt (1-3) with 18 points.

Johns scored seven straight VCU points, including a traditional three-point play in traffic, to give VCU a 61-60 lead with 1:35 remaining. VCU hit 8-of-10 free throws in the final 90 seconds to keep the Panthers at bay.

VCU used an 11-0 run, capped by a 3-pointer by senior forward David Shriver and a driving layup by Jackson to erase a six-point Pitt lead and push the Rams in front 46-41 with 10:47 left. A short time later, Hinson buried a three-pointer from the wing to cap a 16-6 Pitt run and give the Panthers a 57-51 advantage.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].