RICHMOND, Va. -- Melvin Johnson and Briante Weber each scored 14 points to lead six players in double figures and Virginia Commonwealth beat city and Atlantic 10 Conference rival Richmond 81-70 Saturday, the Rams' 16th consecutive home victory.
Weber added five steals to become the school's career leader, and Treveon Graham scored 13 points for the Rams (18-4, 6-1). They led 34-22 at halftime and never let the Spiders closer than six in the second half in front of a raucous sold out Siegel Center.Kendall Anthony scored 31 points and Cedrick Lindsay 21, including 18 in the second half, for Richmond (14-8, 4-3). For most of the second half, they did nearly all the Spiders' scoring, accounting for 37 of their 39 points in one stretch.Richmond used a 12-2 run early in the second half to pull within 40-34 with 15:53 to play, but VCU coach Shaka Smart called a timeout, the Rams regrouped and promptly scored the next six points.Weber's third steal made him the school's career leader with 258, breaking the 29-year-old record set by Rolando Lamb. Juvonte Reddic and JeQuan Lewis each scored 11 points and Rob Brandenberg had 10 for VCU. Reddic added 10 rebounds and four blocks.Richmond closed within 55-48 on one of Anthony's four 3-pointers with 10:12 to play, but VCU scored nine of the next 12 points, getting five from Brandenberg and four from Graham.The Spiders never got closer than eight again, in part because of poor free throw shooting. Richmond finished 18 for 29 from the free throw line, and it missed eight times in 24 second-half attempts.Richmond scored six consecutive points to get within 10-9 with 11:19 left, and Reddic's putback then sparked a 17-4 surge for the Rams. Lewis scored five points in the spree, closing it with a 3-pointer, and Johnson had four while the Spiders turned the ball over three times.---Follow Hank on twitter at: http://twitter.com/hankkurzjr