Down thirteen at the half, the Richmond Spiders managed to take a second-half lead but failed to close the deal, losing to the Bonnies of St. Bonaventure Tuesday night in their conference opener.
Other than Cedrick Lindsay’s breakout season (he’s in the conference’s top three in two offensive categories), the Richmond Spiders’ defense has been the backbone of the 2013-2014 season. Entering the new year, the Spiders ranked just outside the top 30 nationally in points per game allowed and field goal percentage defense. The combination of Lindsay’s offensive explosion and the team’s all-around defensive effort had allowed Richmond to perform competitively throughout a very tough non-conference schedule featuring two top 25 squads (UNC and Florida), Belmont, Minnesota, and Ohio.
On the heels of a disappointing loss in Gainesville against the 12th ranked Gators, where the Spiders fought for a late second half lead only to let it slip away, Richmond put forth its worst defensive effort of the season in their A-10 opener against St. Bonaventure Tuesday night. No one has scored more points or shot a higher percentage from the floor against Richmond’s defense this season than the Bonnies. Their 84-point performance overwhelmed a Spider team that, outside of Lindsay, struggles to consistently score. St. Bonaventure shot over 48% from the field, including 38.5% from three and attempted a total of 39 free throws on 29 Richmond fouls.
Lindsay led all scorers with 27 points (10-17 FG, 3-6 3FG, 4-5 FT) while Kendall Anthony contributed 12 points (3-11 FG, 1-6 3FG, 5-6 FT) and was the only other Spider to score in double figures. Trey Davis had a monster game on the boards, scooping up 14 rebounds while scoring eight (4-8 FG) points, dishing out three assists, swiping three steals, and tallying a season high 36 minutes. The Bonnies were paced by four different players who scored in double figures, led by Matthew Wright (20 PTS, 7-12 FG, 4-6 3FG, 2-2 FT).
For the sixth time this season, Cedrick Lindsay has scored 20 or more points and has led the Spiders in scoring in every game but two thus far this season. Averaging 19.2 points per game, Lindsay remains second in A-10 scoring behind Fordham’s Jon Severe (21.6 PPG). As has been the case all season up to this point, Lindsay will need help from Kendall Anthony along with a third consistent scorer for Richmond to remain competitive throughout conference play.
- Richmond is now 8-5 in its Atlantic 10 Conference openers and 6-3 in their first Atlantic 10 road game under coach Chris Mooney.
- Before Tuesday night, the Spiders had only lost one game in regulation to an unranked team this season and that was Richmond’s first loss to Minnesota. The Spiders have now led by at least four points in every game this season and by at least nine in all but the two losses to ranked teams.
- Before the loss to the Bonnies, Kendall Anthony was averaging 16.4 points and shooting 42.6 percent from three over the last seven games, having made 23-of-54 threes. He reached 1,000 career points on Saturday at Florida and currently has 1,005 points.
The Spiders conclude their longest road trip of the season on Saturday with a visit to the Bronx to take on Fordham (7-7, 0-1 A-10) and Jon Severe—the conference’s leading scorer. The tip will be at 7:00 PM and can be heard locally on ESPN 950. Richmond will return home on January 18th to host the Flyers of Dayton, which will begin a three game home stretch, including #19 UMASS on the 22nd.