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(Friday, November 22nd)
Final Score: (10) VCU 73, Long Beach State 67
San Juan, PR (SportsNetwork.com) - Rob Brandenberg scored 18 points and Juvonte Reddic added 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead No. 10 VCU to a 73-67 win over Long Beach State in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
Briante Weber added 16 points, six rebounds and four assists and Treveon Graham finished with 12 points and eight boards for the Rams (4-1), who suffered an 18-point loss to Florida State in the first round of the tournament.
"I thought it was a hard-fought win. These guys next to me did a great job providing senior leadership and making big plays down the stretch," said VCU coach Shaka Smart.
"We did not shoot the ball particularly well, so that really kept us from extending our lead as much as we wanted to, but we got some stops down the stretch. They threw some tough shots in that made it tougher, but these guys did a nice job."
VCU will face Georgetown in the consolation bracket on Sunday.
Branford Jones poured in a game-high 19 points, Mike Caffey scored 15 points and A.J. Spencer finished with 14 for the 49ers (1-5), who will play Kansas State on Sunday.
Jones' jumper 5 1/2 minutes into the second half put Long Beach State up 50-42, but the Rams used a 15-2 run to take a 57-52 lead with 8:46 to play.
Jones and Spencer nailed back-to-back 3s to give 49ers the lead briefly, but an 11-2 flurry put VCU ahead 68-60 with 2:41 remaining.
"We got up by eight, missed a 3-pointer, and then they went on that run," Long Beach coach Dan Monson said. "That's all it took, just a few minutes against a team that is that dangerous and explosive. Our margin for error was very small."
Jones buried a 3 moments later to make it a five-point game, but that would be as close as Long Beach State would get the rest of the way.
The 49ers led 34-30 with just over a minute left in the first half. Brandenberg knocked down a triple to make it a one-point game, but Jones stretched the Long Beach State lead back to three points with his jumper with 30 ticks showing.
Graham missed a 3 in the closing seconds, but Reddic was there to clean up the miss as time expired to pull VCU within 36-35 at the break.
VCU forced a season-low 10 turnovers. The Rams averaged 21.3 turnovers per game entering the contest ... VCU had just nine points off the bench, but outscored the 49ers reserves 9-0 ... Long beach State shot 50 percent (28- for-56) from the field ... Dan Jennings scored 12 points for the 49ers.
11/22 23:24:29 ET
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