Updated at: 01/17/2013 10:07 PM
By HANK KURZ Jr.
(AP) RICHMOND, Va. - Treveon Graham scored six of his 25 points in overtime and No. 22 Virginia Commonwealth rallied late in regulation to tie it and then beat Saint Joseph’s 92-86 on Thursday night.
Darius Theus added a career-high 22 points and 10 assists and four steals for the Rams (15-3, 3-0 Atlantic 10), who won their 12th straight. Juvonte Reddic added 15 points and 17 rebounds for the Rams, who were playing their first game as a ranked team since 1984-85.
Langston Galloway had 22 points, Carl Jones 21 and C.J. Aiken had 15 points and nine rebounds for the Hawks (9-6, 1-2).
Aiken’s dunk pulled the Hawks within 74-73 with 2:08 left. After VCU missed, Jones pulled up on the left wing and hit a 3-pointer to give them a 76-74 lead with 1:26 to play.
The Rams had a miserable game from 3-point territory, going 7 for 32, but Troy Daniels’ first make in eight tries came with 13.8 seconds left to pull them within 79-78. After Ronald Roberts made one of two free throws for the Hawks with 11.9 seconds to go, VCU inbounded to Theus and the point guard drove for a game-tying layup.
The Hawks had 6.8 seconds to make a play, but Jones lost the handle and VCU took it away.
In the overtime, Graham fed Reddic inside for the opening basket, and after the Hawks’ 35-second shot clock violation, Graham was hacked while making a 3-pointer. His four-point play made it 86-80.
Galloway scored for Saint Joseph’s, but Briante Weber’s 15-footer and Graham’s floater made it 90-82 and the Hawks never caught up.
VCU coach Shaka Smart has said he expects games to be more intense in the Atlantic 10, and this one surely was as the Hawks came out seemingly determined to show the Rams they could run with them.
But Saint Joseph’s led only once in the first half, after Galloway’s three-point play made it 5-4, because the Rams followed with an 11-2 run started by a 3-pointer by Theus. It was the only shot from behind the arc VCU made in its first 14 tries, but they were 15 for 23 inside the arc.
VCU missed 13 of its first 14 3-point tries, but when Graham made one with 2:10 left in the first half, it sparked an 8-2 burst that built their lead back up to 38-30.
The Hawks had just finished a 14-4 run that featured 3-pointers by Jones and Galloway, closing a 26-14 deficit to 30-28.
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(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)