Melvin Johnson scored 23 points, including four big free throws in the final 14 seconds, as VCU held off Richmond 70-67 on Friday to knock its crosstown rival out of the Atlantic 10 tournament for the second straight season.
The fifth-seeded Rams (24-9) were able to avenge two regular-season loses to Richmond and advanced to the semifinals on Saturday to face No. 1 seed Davidson at Barclays Center.
Johnson, a New York native from the Bronx, was 5 for 5 from 3-point range in the first half. Jequan Lewis added 10 points for the Rams.
Kendall Anthony, who led fourth-seeded Richmond (19-13) with 26 points, had a chance to trim a 65-62 deficit, but missed the front-end of a 1-and-1 free-throw opportunity with 54 seconds left in the second half.
Lewis missed the second of two free throws with 1 second left and T.J. Cline’s three-quarter court heave bounced off the rim.
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