Leading by three with under two seconds to play, an emotional meltdown by the Spiders eliminated them from the Atlantic 10 tournament.
Well, that didn’t go as planned. At the half Richmond held a comfortable eight-point lead and had seen their defense hold Charlotte to significant stretches without points. Then, right out of the locker room, the Spiders went cold and saw their eight-point lead dwindle to a two-point deficit. From there the two teams would trade the lead until the final seconds–when things went bananas.
Senior Darien Brothers, who had 39 points against Charlotte in the regular-season meeting, was held to just 10 and just 1-of-4 from range. Freshman Alonzo Nelson-Ododa, who averages four points a game, was held scoreless–although he did pick up two blocks to give him the 5th most blocks in a season in Richmond history. Terry Allen, also a freshman, tallied fourteen points and nine rebounds. The future is bright for some of these young Spiders.
As the game clock wound down Charlotte made uncontested layups, and the Spiders were content to send Cedrick Lindsay to the free throw line. Up three with two seconds remaining, Coach Mooney decided to foul Henry Pierria to prevent a 3-pointer. As Pierria sank his first free throw, Derrick Williams shoved Willie Clayton and picked up a dead-ball technical foul. Henry made all four of his subsequent free throws to give Charlotte the one point lead and the ball. The Spiders were forced to foul, and, unfortunately, did so while Henry heaved the ball towards the rim…which gave him three more free throws.
At this point, Coach Mooney ripped off his jacked, stormed on to the court, and was awarded two more technicals and an ejection. About his emotional outburst, Mooney say: “I was upset, probably too upset, and I apologize for that. I wish the last four seconds would have been different.”
Henry would end up shooting eleven straight free throws. The 49ers went from down three with two seconds left, to winning by five.
Top performer: Pierria Henry
28 PTS, 12-15 FT, 12 RB, 4 AST
Henry did a little bit of everything against the Spiders, but hitting 8-of-11 free throws was about as clutch as it gets.
- Richmond turned the ball over 3 times. It was their fewest turnovers in sixty six games.
- The Spiders were outscored in the paint 44-16.
- Charlotte fouled 28 times and four different 49ers fouled out of the game.
- The Spiders were an awful 5-18 (.273) from the field in the second half.
- Charlotte scored 45 points in the second half and 68 points in the game despite going 0-5 from 3-point range.
|E. Victor Nickerson*||30||0||0-4||0-1||0-0||0||5||5||1||2||0||0|
Richmond is unlikely to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, but Coach Mooney was adamant that the Spiders would play in another tournament if invited. The NIT, the CBI, and the CIT are all possibilities.
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