Big second half pushes Spiders past Liberty

The University of Richmond Spiders overcame a slow start to knock off the Liberty Flames Wednesday night, 77-61. They improved to 8-6 on the season.

The University of Richmond Spiders overcame a slow start to knock off the Liberty Flames Wednesday night, 77-61. They improved to 8-6 on the season.

Coming into Wednesday night’s matchup losing four of its last five contests, Richmond fell behind early but used a key spark from bench player Josh Duinker. Duinker scored a career high 12 points Wednesday night at the Robins Center. The Liberty Flames (5-9) came into this pivotal non-conference matchup against the Spiders looking to build on a three-game win streak but had no answer to Richmond’s second half offensive explosion. However, the Flames’ early defensive pressure forced Richmond’s offense into three turnovers on their first four possessions and set the pace during the opening minutes. During that stretch, Liberty took a quick 12-3 lead, knocking the Spiders on their heels before Duinker scored 10 first half points and helped give the Spiders a 33-29 lead going into halftime.

Cedrick Lindsay led the charge in the second period, scoring 10 of his game high 19 points and dishing three assists. As a team, the Spiders began attacking the basket more aggressively over the last twenty minutes, creating and taking advantage of free throw opportunities (10-11). Darien Brothers continues his streak of solid play with 17 points (6-9 FG, 4-4 FT), eight rebounds (career high), and four assists. Derrick Williams contributed 11 points, marking his 4th straight game scoring in double-digits. Kendall Anthony, the Spiders’ leading scorer coming into Wednesday night’s contest, had an unusually inconsistent night from the field, finishing with only two points, shooting 1-7 (0-5 3pt).

Despite the Flames shooting over 50% for the game (54.3%), the Spiders’ quick hands on defense forced 15 Liberty turnovers, resulting in 21 points for the Spiders. Richmond’s scrappy effort created a much quicker pace throughout the second half and ultimately helped the Spiders build a 20-point lead with seven minutes remaining.

The Spiders will certainly look to build on the momentum from Wednesday night’s victory and will hope to continue to get good minutes from the bench. Richmond welcomes the University of North Carolina-Greensboro to the Robins Center Friday afternoon (4pm). The matchup against the Spartans from Greensboro will be the last non-conference game of the season as well as the final game of 2011 for the Spiders. When asked about the close of the non-conference schedule and the upcoming move into A-10 play, Richmond head coach Chris Mooney remarked, “As we move forward, we need to continue establishing ourselves and look to give ourselves more of an identity.”

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Game Stats/Notes

  • With two blocks Wednesday night, Darrius Garrett moves within five blocks of tying the all-time record for the Spiders (176), held by Tim Faulconer.
  • The six turnovers ties a season low for the Spiders and played a major role in keeping Liberty scoreless in the fastbreak game. All six turnovers came in the first half.
  • Darien Brothers has scored in double-figures in five straight games and now leads the team in scoring at 13.9 ppg.
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