Normal, IL - Melvin Johnson scored 19 points, including five 3-pointers, and VCU held off Illinois State late for a 66-62 win on Tuesday.
Johnson's free throws with 46 seconds left gave VCU (5-2) a 3-point lead. Mo Alie-Cox blocked the next two Illinois State shots and the Redbirds could only manage one more free throw the rest of the way as Briante Weber made a pair from the line for the Rams with 4 seconds left to ice it.
Alie-Cox finished with four blocked shots and eight rebounds. Treveon Graham had 17 points while Jordan Burgess added 10 points and eight boards.
Illinois State was led by DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell with 18 points and seven rebounds. Paris Leeadded 12 points and four assists while Daishon Knight finished with 11 points.
Although Illinois State shot 50 percent from the floor, VCU forced 24 turnovers and limited the Redbirds to just 40 field goal attempts.