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Atlantic 10 Tournament: VCU beats George Washington, but injuries are story

VCU v George Washington

during the Semifinals of the 2014 Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Tournament at Barclays Center on March 15, 2014 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.

Mike Lawrie

VCU used a dominating second half to pull away from George Washington, knocking off the Colonials 74-55 in the Atlantic 10 semifinals. The Rams will advance to Sunday’s A-10 title game where they will take on St. Joseph’s.

VCU shot 13-for-23 from the floor in the second 20 minutes, and while their ‘Havoc’ defense wasn’t forcing turnovers the way we are accustomed to, it did take GW completely out of their rhythm offensively.

But none of that will matter in a week when the NCAA tournament kicks off.

What will matter is the status of a trio of guards that played in this game.

Let’s start with VCU’s Melvin Johnson. One of the biggest issues that the Rams have had this season is that they don’t have enough consistent perimeter jump shooters. It bogs them down when they’re forced to play in the half court offensively. Johnson was the most dangerous three-point threat on the Rams this season, but he went down with a left-knee injury during the game. He had to be helped off the court and spent the second half of the game sitting on the bench with a full cast on his leg.

If that injury is serious, it would be a massive blow to the Rams.

For GW, they are waiting to get Kethan Savage back. Savage was the team’s starting two-guard for much of the season but went down with a broken foot in mid-January. He returned to the floor on Saturday, but only played limited minutes. His return would be a major boost, as he’s one of the best penetrators on the roster as well as a good on-ball defender that can help take the pressure off of Joe McDonald as a ball-handler.