Johnson finished with 6-of-18 shooting from the field including four 3-pointers for the Rams (5-2). JeQuan Lewis had 14 points and Korey Billbury added 11 points and seven rebounds. The team averaged just 31.7 percent from the field but benefited from 17 turnovers by Middle Tennessee including 12 steals by the Rams.
Johnson and Billbury traded 3-pointers late in the second half to give VCU a 50-49 edge with 5:01 to play. Billbury sank another 3 with 1:50 remaining and the Rams held on from there.
VCU had a 30-28 lead at halftime but fell behind 41-36 early in the second half on back-to-back dunks by Middle Tennessee's Reggie Upshaw.
Upshaw led the Raiders (4-2) with 15 points and 12 rebounds.