NORFOLK, Va. -- Troy Daniels tied a school record with eight 3-pointers and scored a career-best 24 points Friday night, leading Virginia Commonwealth to an 83-70 victory against Old Dominion.
Treveon Graham added 23 points for the Rams (6-3), who dominated for much of the night until the Monarchs closed within 65-53 with eight minutes left. But Rob Brandenberg scored on a drive with the shot clock winding down, Briante Weber tapped a steal into the open court and Brandenberg chased it down, slipped into the left corner and made the Rams' 11th 3-pointer to push the lead back up to 17.DeShawn Painter, a transfer from North Carolina State, led the Monarchs with 26 points and 10 rebounds and Donte Hill had 13 as Old Dominion (1-8) lost its seventh in a row, and fifth at home.The Monarchs trailed by 20 on several occasions, but used a 10-3 run to get within 65-53 with just more than eight minutes left. After a media timeout, Brandenberg's drive and 3-pointer and a pair of free throws by Graham rebuilt the margin to 19 with six minutes to go and the Monarchs were finished.The game matched longtime Colonial Athletic Association rivals, both of whom opted to leave the league after last season. The Rams departure for the Atlantic 10 took effect before the season began, and Old Dominion is playing one last season in the CAA before moving to Conference USA next school year.Daniels, who hadn't scored more than 12 points this season and had never made more than five 3-pointers, had 18 points by halftime and was in danger of outscoring the Monarchs until late in the first half. When he hit his sixth from behind the arc, it gave the Rams a 37-21 lead 2:48 before halftime.The Monarchs closed to 43-30 at the break, but Daniels hit another 3 early in the second half as the Rams outscored the Monarchs 13-6 to begin the half, and ODU never really threatened again.The Rams led throughout the first half after a 22-4 run that featured three of Daniels' six first-half 3-pointers and nine points from Graham. Painter ended the dry spell for Old Dominion with a reverse layup, and with the Rams in foul trouble, the Monarchs outscored VCU 18-16 to close out the first half.Painter had 11 of the points, and capped the half with a 3-pointer from the top of the key.---Follow Hank on twitter at: http://twitter.com/hankkurzjr