The Collegian
Monday, April 15, 2024

Blocked shots leads Richmond over UMass in overtime

University of Richmond sophomore Darrius Garrett established a school record and Atlantic-10 record with 14 blocks in the Spiders' 70-63 overtime victory over the University of Massachusetts on Wednesday night at the Robins Center.

Twelve of the blocks came after halftime, including four on the first UMass possession of the second half. Garrett also set a career high with 13 rebounds and missed a triple-double by two points.

"Once the first two or three [blocks] come, they all kind of fall in place after that," Garrett said. "It gets a little easier."

None of Garrett's blocked shots was bigger than when he blocked UMass senior Ricky Harris' shot with 48 seconds left during the game with the score tied at 53.

Minutemen coach Derek Kellogg compared Garrett to former UMass player and current Los Angeles Clipper Marcus Camby.

"That was a familiar look, when you can get beat off the dribble or the guy can get in there and you have somebody back there that can change the complexion of the game," said Kellogg, a teammate of Camby's at UMass. "There was three or four times that I thought we had easy layups and [Garrett] came up with a block."

For most of the first half, it appeared that the Spiders would be able to coast to an easy victory. A 13-2 run by Richmond gave the Spiders a 14-point lead with just more than four minutes remaining in the first half. The Minutemen came back with an 11-0 run to close out the half and cut the Spiders' lead to only three.

The strong UMass play continued as the second half got underway. Six minutes into the second half, the Minutemen regained the lead, 36-34, after Harris hit a layup.

The rest of the second half was played like a game of tug-of-war with no team taking control. The Spiders looked poised to take control of the game, but the combination of preseason first team A-10 player Harris and freshman Freddie Riley kept the Minutemen in the game.

Harris put UMass up 53-52 with 1:14 left during the game with his banked jumper over Richmond junior Kevin Anderson from just within the three-point arc.

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On the following Richmond possession, Garrett went 1-2 from the free throw line to tie the game at 53. Garrett atoned for that missed free throw with his block of Harris' layup to give the Spiders one last chance to win the game in regulation.

Anderson brought the shot and game clock down before passing the ball to senior Ryan Butler. A Minutemen defender was able to get his hands on the ball and cause the referees to call a jump ball. The possession arrow gave UMass the ball with only 13.2 seconds remaining.

Harris, who was working against Anderson again, tried to repeat his performance earlier by attempting a long jumper with the clock winding down. Anderson was in better defensive position this time and swatted the ball from Harris' hands before he could get off a shot.

That sent the Spiders into their second overtime game of the year.

The Spiders started to take control of the game as overtime got underway, starting with senior David Gonzalvez hitting a long 3-pointer. Garrett registered another block on the following defensive stand, and Anderson kept the momentum by hitting a jumper to give Richmond a 58-53 with 4:12 left in the overtime.

"That [quick start to overtime] was important because that happens a lot," Richmond coach Chris Mooney said. "Toward the end of regulation it's so hard to score, then all of a sudden in overtime we'll get two quick baskets and put ourselves in control of the game."

The resilient Minutemen did not quit on the game after Richmond's fast start in overtime. Riley hit his 5th 3-pointer of the game to make it a 58-56 Richmond lead and give UMass hope. Richmond and UMass then traded free throws to make the game 60-58 with 2:02 to go during overtime.

The Spiders took control of the game with a 7-0 run over the next 1:20 and sealed the victory for Richmond.

Anderson led Richmond with 19 points, despite not scoring during the second half. Junior Justin Harper recorded a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds and Gonzalvez scored 16 points.

Senior Dan Geriot, Richmond's starting center, left the game with just less than 11 minutes to go during the first half with an apparent arm injury. He missed the rest of the first half, but returned for four minutes during the second half. Geriot was held scoreless and had one rebound in only nine minutes as Garrett got the bulk of the playing time.

The Spiders improved to 2-1 in A-10 play and 13-5 overall. The Spiders will play again at 4 p.m. on Jan. 16 at home against La Salle University.

Contact staff writer Andrew Prezioso at andrew.prezioso@richmond.edu

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