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Graham leads VCU past GW in A-10 semis

Brooklyn, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Treveon Graham scored 22 points and No. 23 VCU pulled away for a 74-55 win over George Washington on Saturday to earn a trip to the final of the Atlantic 10 Tournament.

Briante Weber added 16 points for the second-seeded Rams (26-7), who will face Saint Joseph's on Sunday at Barclays Center.

The fourth-seeded Hawks spoiled St. Bonaventure's run with a 67-48 win in the first semifinal game

Isaiah Armwood scored 15 points to lead third-seeded George Washington (24-8), Nemanja Mikic had 12 and Kevin Larsen chipped in 10.

Larsen was blocked by Mo Alie-Cox, setting up a Graham's NBA-range 3-pointer at the other end to cap a 7-1 VCU burst that gave the Rams a 60-51 lead with under six minutes to play.

The advantage reached 11 points moments later on Alie-Cox's tip-in and VCU coasted down the stretch.

George Washington coach Mike Lonergan said -- win or lose against VCU -- Sunday was still going to be a great day in his life.

The Colonials are expected to receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.

"We're getting in the tournament unless everybody's wrong," said Lonergan. "So I'll be happy, I'll be happy for our team and I'll be happy for our fans."

The Rams, who have won six straight, played most of the game without Melvin Johnson after the sophomore guard twisted his left leg going to the floor for a loose ball in the first half.

Johnson returned to the bench later with a cast on the leg.

"I thought our guys kept fighting and played with great aggressiveness," said VCU coach Shaka Smart. "When Mel went down, that was a hit to our team because he's one of the guys that everyone on the team absolutely adores, including the coaches, and he's a very, very good player.

"But at that point, you've just got to keep playing. I told the guys, 'Hey, let's win this game for Mel.'"

Saint Joseph's beat VCU 69-62 at home on Feb. 8 in the only meeting between the teams during the regular season.

Game Notes

The Rams had a 33-31 lead at halftime ... VCU shot 46.4 percent for the game and out-rebounded the Colonials 37-28 ... George Washington shot 41.7 percent ... The Colonials had a four-game winning streak snapped ... VCU beat Richmond 71-53 in the quarterfinals and George Washington topped Massachusetts 85-77.

03/15 19:51:49 ET

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