ShawnDre’ Jones had the hot hand and poured in 25 points for the Spiders, but poor rebounding and late defensive lapses doomed Richmond against George Washington, 73-65, dropping the Spiders to 17-9, 7-4 in the A-10.
The Richmond Spiders (17-9, 7-4) lost senior and leading scorer Cedrick Lindsay (18.3 PPG) after falling to VCU on February 1st. Since that defeat, the Spiders surprisingly reeled off three consecutive wins to keep pace in the Atlantic 10 and thrust themselves firmly onto the NCAA Tournament bubble behind the scoring of sophomore guard Kendall Anthony (15.3 PPG) and the rise of freshman guard ShawnDre’ Jones. Unfortunately, the Spiders saw their streak of timely play come to an end Tuesday night against the George Washington Colonials (20-6, 8-4).
The first half saw the Spiders trail by as many as eight points after Alonzo Nelson-Ododa went to the bench with three early fouls, allowing the Colonials to dominate the glass. George Washington snagged eleven offensive rebounds leading to eleven second-chance points throughout the first twenty minutes. After a rocky start offensively–3-11 from the field to begin the game–the Spiders ended the half shooting 50% from the field (8-16) and took a one-point lead into halftime, 29-28.
After allowing George Washington to shoot just 31% in the first half, the Spider defense experienced several lapses in the second half, resulting in a 50% shooting mark for the Colonials after halftime. In all, there were five ties and five lead changes in the second half, but the Spiders simply could not combine a made basket with a defensive stop when they needed it most. ShawnDre’ Jones hit a three-pointer with 2:55 left in the game to bring Richmond within one (64-63), but the Spiders would connect on just one more field goal for the rest of regulation. Richmond would eventually fall 73-65 and into a tie for fifth place in the A-10 with UMASS.
George Washington had five players score in double digits, while Richmond had just three: Jones, Terry Allen (16 PTS, 6-12 FG, 9 REBS), and Kendall Anthony (14 PTS, 5-12 FG, 2-6 3FG).
ShawnDre’ Jones has been an incredible story thus far this season for the Richmond Spiders. Coming in as a reputable sharp-shooter from Texas, Jones has found himself in an unexpected role for a freshman. Ever since the Spiders lost Cedrick Lindsay to season-ending knee injuries, Jones has stepped up and filled the void exceedingly well, averaging 16.3 points per game over the last four games. Against the Colonials of George Washington, Jones scored a career-high 25 points on 10-14 shooting from the field, including 5-8 from three-point range, in 32 minutes.
- Keep it below 70 — The Spiders are 2-8 this season when giving up more than 70 points. Both wins have come against Fordham.
- Keeping home court — After Tuesday night’s loss to George Washington, Richmond falls to 11-3 at the Robins Center this season, including a 5-1 mark at home in conference play.
- Anthony on fire — Kendall Anthony was named Atlantic 10 Player of the Week for the second time in the last four weeks. Anthony averaged 22 points per game in the Spiders’ two wins last week and has scored at least 20 points in each of the last four games (31, 28, 20, 24), averaging 25.8 points per game in that stretch. He leads the Atlantic 10 in scoring in conference play at 20.0 points per game.
Richmond will host La Salle (12-12, 4-6) at home on Saturday afternoon at 4:00 PM in front of a sold-out Robins Center before hitting the road for a two-game swing through George Mason (2/26) and Rhode Island (3/1). Saturday’s matchup against the Explorers of La Salle can be viewed on CBS Sports Network and listened to regionally on ESPN 950AM.