VCU lands a much-needed win over No. 23 Northern Iowa in double-overtime

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NBCSN hosted the most exciting college basketball game of the day as VCU outlasted No. 23 Northern Iowa in double-overtime, 93-87.

The Panthers used a white-hot start to open up an early lead, VCU’s press eventually brought them back into the game. UNI’s star Seth Tuttle was largely ineffective against the Rams, who led 65-54 with just over six minutes left in the game, but Wes Washpun came off the bench to score 27 points, repeatedly slicing through VCU’s porous half court defense as he came off of ball-screens.

A 19-6 run capped by a tough Matt Bohannan three with 40 seconds left gave Northern Iowa a lead, but Treveon Graham, who finished with 21 points, forced overtime with a tough layup at the other end. Bohannon against hit a contested three to force the second overtime, but in that period Graham hit a three as the shot clock was expiring to put VCU up 89-85, a lead that the Panthers would not be able to overcome.

This was an important win for VCU. The Rams, who entered the season ranked in the top 15, already have three losses on the year, having gotten blown out by Villanova and Virginia and lost to Old Dominion on the road. VCU also struggled with Illinois State on the road.

Northern Iowa is a really good team — they will legitimately give Wichita State a run in the Missouri Valley — and one that is built in a way that usually gives the Rams trouble. They have veteran guards, they aren’t all that turnover prone and they can really, really get after you on the defensive end of the floor.

VCU survived, which will not only help their resume, but should boost their confidence the rest of the way.