The Collegian
Monday, April 15, 2024

Richmond coasts past Fordham

The University of Richmond men's basketball team showed why it deserves to be in this week's top-25 rankings as the No. 25 Spiders defeated Fordham University 84-56 Wednesday night at the Robins Center.

A 18-2 run early during the first half gave the Spiders, ranked for the first time in 24 years, a 16-point lead and a 15-2 run early during the second half helped them seal the game.

"We think it's important every night to try to hit the [other] team first because any team it is, they can hang around," junior Kevin Anderson said. "They are a good team, they are a college team and they can hang around and they could upset us easily. There have been a lot of upsets in the country this year."

The run in the first half got started when Anderson hit a 3-pointer to give the Spiders a 7-4 lead with 15:20 to go in the half. Up until that point, the Spiders were 2-5 from the floor and also turned the ball over once.

"Maybe a little bit of jitters, little bit of nervousness," said Anderson, trying to explain the slow start. "Just because so many teams get into the top-25 and lose their first game."

Anderson led Richmond with 19 points, despite playing a season-low 24 minutes. Anderson, the team's leading scorer, had been held in double-digits in three out his last five games while dealing with a knee injury. He played only six minutes and scored two points during the second half.

Junior Dan Geriot scored 14 points, including his 1,000th career point on a 3-pointer during the second half. He became the third member of the current Richmond team to have 1,000 career points, along with Anderson and senior David Gonzalvez.

"It's great to be in that 1,000 point club and everything," said Geriot, who missed all of last year with a torn knee ligament. "It will be something to look back on and cherish when I'm older."

Geriot entered the game 14 points away from the milestone. He was held scoreless during the first half but was able to get it with 5:27 left in the second half. Richmond coach Chris Mooney said the team ran plays to get Geriot the 3-pointer he needed to get the 14 points.

Mooney used eight players off of the bench and they combined to score 41 of Richmond's points. Geriot scored his 14 points and three assists and sophomore Francis-Cedric Martel had eight points, nine rebounds and three steals to lead the reserves.

"When you're going into a game and you don't get to play or you don't think you're going to play, it's a bit frustrating even for the best of teammates," Mooney said. "For those guys to be able to get in and play, I think it's a good reward for them. They are working as hard as anyone else."

The starters only saw a combined 87 minutes of play. Two of them, sophomore Darrius Garrett and senior Ryan Butler, were held scoreless.

Gonzalvez added 13 points during his 20 minutes of play while junior Justin Harper scored 11 in 19 minutes of action.

The defensive-minded Spiders forced 19 turnovers by the Rams which led to 33 Richmond points. In the first half alone, Richmond scored 19 points off of 11 Fordham turnovers.

"We thought we would be able to force some turnovers," Mooney said. "They have a little bit of trouble taking care of the ball and we're pretty good at taking the ball away."

Fordham's starting lineup included three freshmen. Out of the 14 Fordham players, eight are freshman.

"We're very young and we don't have a true point guard right now, losing our point guard mid-year," Fordham interim coach Jared Grasso said. "In two days, it's very difficult to prepare for [Richmond]."

The win keeps the Spiders in first place in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The team is 21-6 on the year and 10-2 in A 10 play. The Rams are still looking for their first win in the A 10 this year and are now 0-12 in the conference. The team has a 2-22 record and has not won since Dec. 8, a stretch of 17 games.

Richmond hosts George Washington University on Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. The Spiders defeated the Colonials, 62-57, on Jan. 23 in Washington, D.C.

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

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