The Richmond Spiders saw another double-digit second-half lead disappear Monday night before hanging on for an impressive non-conference win against the Belmont Bruins, 69-61.
In a first round matchup of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament at the Robins Center, the University of Richmond withstood a late second-half rally by the Bruins of Belmont to start out 2-0 for the second consecutive season. The Spiders hit only one field goal over the final ten minutes of the game but connected on late free throws to stymie a 20-10 Bruin run that cut the 13-point Richmond lead to only three with less than 30 seconds remaining.
Both teams shot over 50% from the field throughout the first half, but a solid defensive effort by the Spiders in the second half, encouraged by a noisy (and nervous) Robins Center crowd, held the Bruins to only 30% shooting, including a meager 1-12 (8.3%) from three point range. Richmond also saw their shooting touch go cold after halftime, but a 16-22 (72.7%) effort from the free throw line during the second half kept their lead safe until the final whistle.
Monday night’s game saw its share of back-and-forth scoring runs, clutch free throws, and stellar second half defenses. But the game was decided in the paint—over half of both teams’ total points came within 3-to-6 feet of the basket. For Belmont, backdoor cuts and precise passing led to 34 points in the paint, while Richmond continuously attacked the basket off the dribble and collected 15 offensive rebounds to help secure 36 points down low. The Spiders were also helped out by Belmont’s uncharacteristically off night from beyond the arc: shooting only 4-18 (22.2%) for the game. Since the 1996-97 season, only Duke has made more three-point baskets than Belmont; it’s an aggressive, trigger-happy formula that has helped to send the Bruins to the NCAA Tournament in six of the previous eight seasons.
Cedrick Lindsay recovered from a scoreless first half to score 15 points for the game, 11 of which came from the free throw line. His efforts to get into the paint and create opportunities for dunks, layups, and second chance points helped pace the Spiders throughout the second half and secure the win. Kendall Anthony and Wayne Sparrow both had a hot hand early on for Richmond, each scoring nine points before heading into the locker room with a 34-31 halftime lead. Trey Davis (5 PTS) had a game-high 11 rebounds, giving him an average of 10 per game so far this young season.
TOP PERFORMER: Terry Allen, F, Sophomore
For the second game in a row, Terry Allen has shown his potential to be the all-around player the Richmond coaching staff has anticipated heading into this season. With a game-high 16 points (6-10 FG, 4-4 FT), seven rebounds, two steals, and a block, Allen is quickly becoming a steady dose of Richmond’s offensive game plan, especially among their young and talented frontcourt. With his minutes significantly increasing already (from 19 against Delaware to 30 Monday night), look for Allen to continue getting open looks around the basket and efficiently filling the rest of the stat sheet night in and night out.
- Senior Cedrick Lindsay is averaging 15.9 points per game over his last 13 games and has scored at least 15 points in nine of his last 13 games.
- Richmond lost only two games all of last season when swiping 10 or more steals. They had 10 in the win against Belmont Monday night.
- The Spiders are 39-5 in their last 44 non-conference home games.
- With the win against Delaware on Friday night, Coach Chris Mooney moved into 4th on UR’s career wins list with 148. He needs 20 more wins to tie for 3rd.
- The Spiders are a combined 6-40 (15%) from the three-point line so far this season.
Monday night’s game was the first of four the Spiders will play in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament. Richmond hosts Hofstra next Tuesday and then heads to Connecticut to play North Carolina. But first, the Spiders will play host to Big Ten member Minnesota Saturday night at 7:00 PM in the Robins Center. Last year, the Golden Gophers handed Richmond their first loss in Minneapolis, 72-57.