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Virginia Commonwealth pulls away to down Dukes 80-65

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Duquesne led at halftime but VCU went on a 26-12 run midway through the second half to defeat the Dukes 80-65 in Richmond on Saturday afternoon.

RICHMOND, VA - Briante Weber and Melvin Johnson scored 12 points each as VCU rode a 22-8 second-half run to hand Duquesne its third consecutive defeat, 80-64, at Siegel Center.

Derrick Colter led Duquesne (8-8, 1-3) with a game-high 13 points. Jeremiah Jones and Tra'Vaughn White added 10 each for the Dukes who led 31-27 at the half.

The win was the 14th in a row at home for the Rams (14-4, 2-1) who shot .526, and hit eight of their 12 3-pointers in the second half.

VCU led 49-44 with just over eight minutes left before JeQuan Lewis, who finished with six points, hit back-to-back 3-pointers to start a 22-8 run during which the Rams hit nine-straight shots. Weber also hit back-to-back 3-pointers during the run that ended with the Rams up 71-52.

Duquesne got no closer than 13 the rest of the way.

"The reason we had a four-point lead is that we were hanging with them on the glass rebounding wise and we only turned the ball over six times," said Duquesne head coach Jim Ferry of the first half. "They turned us over 11 times in the second half and crushed us on the glass. You can't do that here and beat these guys. We just can't turn the ball over like that if you're going to beat this team. They live off of that."

Duquesne finished with 17 turnovers and was outrebounded 48-37. The Rams, who shot .441 for the game, hit 8-of-15 3-pointers in the second half. DU went 3-of-18 from the arc in shooting .351.

Neither team led by more than five in a first half that saw one tie and nine lead changes.

Duquesne returns home to face #24 (AP) Saint Louis on Wednesday, Jan. 22.

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