Transfer Terrance Shannon and Treveon Graham each scored 14 points as VCU, ranked 14th nationally by The Associated Press, began its season of high expectations with a 96-58 rout of Illinois State before another Siegel Center sellout crowd.
VCU (1-0) shot a scorching 69 percent from the floor in building a commanding 52-32 halftime lead against the rebuilding Redbirds, who lost all five starters from last season's squad.
The Rams were tuning up for Tuesday's highly anticipated, sold-out game at No. 24 Virginia.
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Kendall Anthony drained two free throws with 2 seconds remaining to give Richmond a 71-69 home victory over Delaware at the remodeled Robins Center.
Blue Hens guard Devon Saddler's half-court heave went off the rim at the final horn.
The Blue Hens overcame a nine-point deficit. But Delaware's Jarvis Threatt, a usually reliable free-throw shooter who grew up in the Richmond area, missed two free throws with 30 seconds left, setting up the Spiders' winning possession. ...
Bryon Allen scored 20 points to lead George Mason to a 63-60 victory over American in Fairfax.
Sherrod Wright hit a jumper with 25 seconds left to provide a 62-57 lead for the Patriots. For AU, Jesse Reed scored 15 points and Devin Gardner 14.
Freshman guard QJ Peterson scored 25 points in his VMI debut as the Keydets defeated The Citadel 82-71 iat the All-Military Classic in Lexington.
Rodney Glasgow added 20 points, and Jordan Weethee had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds for VMI.
In the tournament's first game, Air Force shot 10-of-15 from 3-point range to defeat Army 79-68.
Tre' Coggins led four Falcons in double figures with 20 points. Army freshman Tanner Omlid scored 18.
Apprentice School rolled to a 96-67 season-opening victory against Penn State Fayette in the Greater Allegheny Tipoff event in McKeesport, Pa.
Jay Melendez and Latrone Demiel scored 18 points apiece for Apprentice, and Darrell Fenton had 17 points and nine rebounds. Derek Jones paced PSUF with 27 points.
The Builders will stay in Pennsylvania for another game Saturday. They'll play Penn State Greater Allegheny, the tourney host, or Southern State Community College of Ohio.
JMU 63, Virginia 46
Senior Kirby Burkholder, the CAA's Preseason Player of the Year, scored 24 points and grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds as James Madison overcame a 10-0 deficit and smothered U.Va. before 3,500 in Harrisonburg.
The Dukes took control late in the first half and never trailed thereafter, snapping the Cavaliers' string of eight season-opening wins. U.Va. got no closer than six in the second half.
Toia Giggetts had eight points and nine rebounds for JMU, the CAA favorite. Virginia, which shot just 28 percent to JMU's 34, was led by guard Faith Randolph with 18 points, four rebounds and three assists.
Despite 17 points from Rae Corbo, Norfolk State fell 73-67 at Morehead State in Kentucky in the opener for both teams. Terrice Robinson paced the Eagles with 19 points, including 13 in a first half that ended with Morehead ahead 32-29.
Quineshia Leonard, a Hampton High graduate, had 15 points and 10 rebounds for NSU, which bounced back from deficits of 50-35 and 61-47 to be competitive at the end. NSU shot 31-of-41 (75.6 percent) on free throws but just 18-of-60 (30 percent) from the floor. ...
No. 11 North Carolina beat Air Force 87-26 as Stephanie Mavunga had 16 points and 13 rebounds for the host Tar Heels. Diamond DeShields also had 16 points for UNC. ...
Shayla Cooper had 17 points and seven rebounds as Georgetown edged Richmond 82-78 in Washington. The Spiders, led by freshman Olivia Healy's 21 points and 10 rebounds, trailed by 20 with nine minutes left but couldn't quite catch the Hoyas. ...
Ka-Diedre Simmons had 14 points as Seton Hall handled Longwood 63-46 in South Orange, N.J., despite Raven Williams' 20 points for the Lancers. ...
Tori Carter netted 14 points as host Charlotte defeated Liberty 66-56. Sadalia Ellis sparked the Flames with 13 points, all but two in the second half. ...
Abria Trice and J'Kyra Brown had 20 points apiece as East Carolina dominated Virginia Intermont 102-47.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun