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VCU 81, Fordham 65

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Troy Daniels scored 29 points, including 13 during a 15-3 second-half run Saturday night, and Virginia Commonwealth overcame a sluggish start, turned 22 turnovers into 32 points and beat Fordham 81-65.

Treveon Graham added 15 points and Juvonte Reddic 11 for VCU (18-5, 6-2 Atlantic 10 Conference), which led by only eight until Daniels' jumper started the burst with 16:20 to play. Reddic hit a free throw, and Daniels scored on a layup before making three 3-pointers in the span of a minute to make it 59-40.

Bryan Smith scored 17 points and Mandell Thomas 16 for Fordham (6-15, 2-5), which again played without injured senior forward Chris Gaston because of injury. The Rams have lost five of their last six.

Daniels finished with seven 3-pointers, his fifth game with at least seven this season.

VCU opened the second half on a 7-0 run to lead 45-33, but Travion Leonard scored inside and Thomas hit a jumper for Fordham, which looked like it was sensing a chance to steal a conference game on the road.

But the visiting Rams, who opened the second half with four consecutive turnovers, gave it away three more times during VCU's game-changing burst, and only a 3-pointer by Smith interrupted Daniels' showcase, which included 3-pointers from very deep on the left wing, the left corner and then the right corner.

When Reddic added a free throw with 12:05 to play, it was 60-40 and VCU cruised to the finish.

VCU played the game without lightly used backup center D.J. Haley, who was not on the bench. No announcement was made explaining his absence.

The first half looked like a case of an overconfident team meeting one intent on pulling an upset.

VCU led 22-14 after Daniels hit back-to-back 3-pointers, then went cold as Fordham put together an 11-3 run, getting scoring from five players, and pulled even at 25-all with 6:55 to play.

Darius Theus' 3-pointer broke the tie, and Graham hit two right behind him, a quick 9-0 burst that also featured four consecutive turnovers by Fordham and seemingly put VCU on the brink of control. But again, the Rams stalled, and Fordham closed to within 38-33 by halftime.


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The Associated Press News Service

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The Associated Press
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