VCU snaps No. 25 Davidson’s 15-game win streak
Published 11:37 pm Wednesday, January 26, 2022
By STEVE REED
AP Sports Writer
DAVIDSON (AP) — Vince Williams scored 16 points, Mikeal Brown-Jones had a huge block with 2 seconds left and VCU held off a furious rally from No. 25 Davidson to win 70-68 on Wednesday night, snapping the Wildcats’ 15-game winning streak.
Adrian Baldwin Jr. added 15 points as the Rams (12-6, 5-2 Atlantic 10) avenged a 63-61 loss to the Wildcats eight days ago.
Davidson (16-2, 6-1) was off to its best start since the 1964-65 season, and its 15 consecutive wins were tied with No. 1 Auburn for the longest streak in the nation. But the Wildcats struggled with the Rams’ pressure defense and committed 15 turnovers.
Luke Brajkovic had 23 points and 12 rebounds to lead Davidson, which suffered its first loss since falling to New Mexico State in the first round of the Myrtle Beach Invitational on Nov. 18.
Davidson trailed by 15 with 5 1/2 minutes remaining before rallying to cut the lead to one in the final minute.
Brajkovic was fouled and made two free throws to cut the lead to four with 2:20 to go. Then, with 1:32 remaining, Davidson’s Foster Loyer was fouled on a 3-point attempt and made all three free throws.
After Baldwin missed a driving layup, Davidson had a chance to take the lead, but Brajkovic was called for pushing off in the low post with 13.5 seconds left. Baldwin made 1 of 2 free throws, giving the Wildcats another shot to tie or take the lead.
But Brown-Jones blocked Brajkovic’s 3-point attempt with 2 seconds left.
It was a battle of conflicting styles.
With a big height advantage, Davidson was content to pound the ball inside to the 6-foot-10 Brajkovic and 6-9 Sam Mennenga. VCU tried to use its speed and athleticism, pressing the Wildcats full-court throughout the game while settling for 3-point shots on the offensive end.
VCU shot 7 of 14 from long range while Davidson just 3 of 14 from beyond the arc.
VCU knocked down 7 of 11 3-pointers in the first half — including three by Jayden Nunn — to take a 37-29 lead at the break. Brajkovic had 14 points in the half, but the Wildcats were 2 of 7 from long distance and Loyer, a 47% 3-point shooter, couldn’t find the room to shoot over VCU’s taller guards.
VCU: The Rams moved into a tie for third place in the Atlantic 10 with Dayton and gained a big win for their postseason hopes.
Davidson: The loss will almost certainly knock the Wildcats out of the AP Top 25 regardless of what they do on Saturday against La Salle. The Wildcats remain atop the A-10, ahead of George Mason (3-1).
VCU: Visits Richmond on Saturday.
Davidson: Hosts LaSalle on Saturday.
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