In their final non-conference home game of season, the Richmond Spiders downed Old Dominion, 67-58, to improve to 9-4.
Coach Mooney’s lineup changes and Neslon-Ododa’s double-double helped give Richmond a win over the Monarchs of Old Dominion (5-8) Saturday night at the Robins Center.
After last Saturday’s dramatic overtime loss to the Ohio Bobcats, the Richmond Spiders had seen a double-digit second-half lead evaporate for the second time in their last four games. That was enough for Coach Mooney to stir the pot and make some lineup changes in hopes that his Spiders could bounce back from a disheartening performance against the Bobcats last week.
One might have expected Richmond to come out a bit flat after watching a surefire win last Saturday disappear in front of their home crowd at the Robins Center, and they did. The Spiders missed 10 of their first 17 shots en route to a 35.7% shooting effort from the field throughout the first half, including a 21.4% mark from the three-point line and going 1-6 from the free throw line. The Monarchs of Old Dominion took a 25-24 lead into the half despite 15 combined first-half points from Kendall Anthony and Trey Davis, each in their first start of the season as the result of Coach Mooney’s lineup shuffle.
Luckily for the Spiders, basketball is a game of two halves. Led by Cedrick Lindsay (19 PTS, 6-15 FG, 1-4 3FG, 6-6 FT), who went scoreless in the first half, Richmond sped out to a quick 9-0 run to begin the second half and grabbed a lead they would not relinquish for the remainder of the contest. The Monarchs, after shooting 42% in the first half, struggled from the field throughout the second half (37.5%) thanks to a much revived Spider defense that featured a half-court press that forced ODU into 17 total turnovers. On the other side, Richmond shot 48% from the floor in the second half following a measly 35% effort in the first half.
Trey Davis, in his first start of the season, logged more minutes (24) against the Monarchs than he had all year. He was solid throughout on the both ends of the floor, scoring five points (2-3 FG, 1-1 3FG) to go along with seven rebounds, three steals, two assists, and one block. Anthony scored 10 of his 17 points in the first half, but shot much more efficiently during the second half (2-5 FG, 1-2 3FG, 2-4 FT). Terry Allen, on 3-5 shooting, scored six points and seemed to find his in-game focus much quicker coming off the bench.
Alonzo “Zo” Nelson-Ododa captured his first career double-double Saturday night against ODU, with 13 points and 10 boards in 30 minutes. It has been several games since the Spiders have found productivity in the paint, and with Derrick Williams taking only one shot against ODU, Nelson-Ododa provided a solid respite with his effort.
The Spiders take to the road for a four-game swing after Saturday’s win to finish out their non-conference schedule. Richmond returns to action Tuesday afternoon in Boston to take on Northeastern (2:00 PM, ESPN 950) before traveling to Gainesville to take on the 13th ranked Florida Gators on January 4th.