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VCU coasts over Duquesne Dukes, 80-65

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Virginia Commonwealth hosted the Duquesne Dukes today in Atlantic 10 Conference play. The Dukes, from Pittsburgh, come in to today's game at 8-7 and 1-2 in A-10 Conference play. They concluded the non-conference part of their schedule on January 2, 2014 by beating Appalachian State University, 79-55. Duquesne is 1-2 in A-10 play this year having lost last time out at Saint Joseph's University, 84-75. They previously lost to LaSalle in A-10 play and beat Fordham in their A-10 opener.

Last year VCU played Duquesne in Pittsburgh at the Consol Center on January 19, 2013 and beat the Dukes 90-63. This game pits two contrary teams against each other. One is near the bottom and one near the top of the A-10.

VCU is 13-4 and 1-1 in A-10 action this year. They lost last time out to George Washington University on the road after winning their conference opener at home against George Mason University.

Duquesne Dukes @ Virginia Commonwealth Rams: January 18, 2014...4 P.M.

The Duquesne Dukes starting five today was Ovie Soko, Jeremiah Jones, Micah Mason, Derrick Colter and Dominique McKoy. VCU started Treveon Graham, Briante Weber, Juvonte Reddic, Rob Brandenburg and Jordan Burgess.

The game opened slowly: in the first half the two teams combined for just 58 points with Duquesne attaining its largest lead of the game of four points at the end of the first half. At half time Duquesne led VCU 31-27. VCU's largest lead of the first half was five points.

Last year VCU led Duquesne 46-18 at the half.

This year, 2014, it was in the second half that VCU shut down the Dukes.

After the impressive showing in the first half where the Dukes surprised the Rams and snuck away with a four-point lead the second half found Duquesne surprised. They were blitzed late in the second half.

In the first half Duquesne outscored VCU 31-27, but in the second half VCU outscored Duquesne 53-34.

They soon gave up their half time lead. By 15:57 in the second half VCU had gathered itself and got its first lead of the half, 36-35. After trading baskets in a slow-motion lull for a bit VCU got its first double-digit lead (57-46) of the game on a Mo Alie-Cox dunk at 6:50.

From then on until the end of the game the Rams dominated and by games end they had a 15-point lead. They had attained their biggest lead of nineteen points (75-56) at 2:07 in the second half.

VCU had four double-figure scorers tthis afternoon. They were Rob Brandenburg (11 points), Melvin Johnson (12 points), Treveon Graham (10 points) and Briante Weber (10 points.) Double-figure scorers for Duquesne were Derrick Colter (13 points), Jeremiah Jones (10 points) and Tra'Vaughn White (10 points) who put up his points coming off the bench.

Game stats told the story. VCU had a good feel for the Dukes today after shellacking them last year by 27 points on their home floor. This year VCU was content to trade baskets in the first half and waited for the second half to turn up the team speed which blew the Dukes away.

VCU's starters shot 17-38 in field goal attempts compared to Duquesne's starters who shot 10-30.

VCU launched a lot of threes hitting 12-30 of them; the Dukes were 3-18 from three-point distance.

VCU fouled a lot so the Dukes were at the line a lot: they shot 22-28 from the free throw line. The Rams were 8-18 from the line.

VCU out-rebounded Duquesne 48-37.

Each team had 10 steals for the game.

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