Richmond’s deliberate offensive presence flustered Bethune-Cookman in Saturday night's win, extending the Spiders' winning streak to three games heading into a difficult Thanksgiving break schedule.
For the majority of the game, Bethune-Cookman sat in a zone defense that head coach Chris Mooney said his team had anticipated. On offense, Richmond had great ball movement that picked apart the poor defensive rotations despite having some careless possessions in the 89-64 win.
Senior forward Terry Allen led all players in his double-double performance of 25 points, 13 rebounds and five assists. Early in the second half, Allen became the 44th player in Richmond’s 1,000-point club.
“He’s become a great player for sure,” Mooney said. “I’m really proud of him and I think there a lot more points in there. He’s just so versatile and strong and competitive. Some of the plays he made tonight, he makes them look very easy, but he is finishing with contact on his body and finishing with hands near the rim.
“He can just do so many things so well. I feel like he has gotten off to the great start, which is what we really emphasized with him this offseason.”
Allen has been a match-up nightmare for every team so far. Every player on the court has to be aware of where he is because his cuts and drives create scoring opportunities for him and his teammates.
Mooney played 12 players last evening and Bethune-Cookman could not handle all of the offensive threats that kept substituting into the game. Juniors T.J. Cline and ShawnDre’ Jones contributed 14 and 10 points respectively. In the first two possessions of the game, Jones buried two 3-pointers that set the tone for their offense and exposed Bethune-Cookman’s poor rotation as well as perimeter pressure in the zone.
Four freshmen also made a statement last evening. Jesse Pistokache and Julius Johnson have proven to be solid 3-point shooters, while the 6-foot-10-inch Paul Friendshuh bodies players on the low block. Jones said that Khwan Fore is electric because when he comes in, he jumps so high and so fast that he gives the defense something new to worry about.
The Spiders caused turnovers, forced difficult shots and controlled the rebounding battle in what Mooney said was the best defensive effort. Richmond is known for putting opponents on their heels and making them work for every basket, and Mooney said that they didn’t allow those easy shots that they gave up in the first few games.
Despite the speed and size of Bethune-Cookman, Richmond was successful with its textbook box-outs. The Spiders won the rebounding battle, 48-29.
During Thanksgiving break, the Spiders will head to Las Vegas for a tournament to face West Virginia and either California or San Diego State University. The degree of difficulty in each game will be harder than what the team has seen so far, but Jones said that it would help determine how good his team is early in the season.
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