Richmond stunned No. 8 Purdue Saturday night at the Sears Centre in Chicago, 65-54, giving the Spiders their first win over a top-10 team since 2004.
Senior guard Kevin Anderson led Richmond (6-1) with 28 points, but Richmond did not rely solely on him. Senior Justin Harper battled foul trouble for much of the second half and finished with 14 while sophomore Darien Brothers added 11, including a clutch 3-pointer with 1:31 to go to give Richmond an 11-point lead.
The Spiders led for most of the game, trailing for just the first five minutes of the game. Richmond's largest lead was 14 points, coming with 8:44 left in the second half after a 3-pointer by Brothers.
The Boilermakers (5-1) made a pair of runs late in the second half, and both times the runs were stopped by Anderson. The first one was with 10 minutes remaining in the game as John Hart made a 3-pointer to cut Richmond's lead to nine — the first time Purdue had been within single digits since it was 22-14. On Richmond's next possession, senior center Dan Geriot found an open Anderson in the corner and Anderson made a 3-pointer. Lewis Jackson closed late on Anderson and fouled him on the shot, giving Anderson a four-point play after his made free-throw and giving Richmond a 44-31 lead.
Purdue would get as close as five points at 47-42 on the strength of a 9-0 run with Hart doing much of the scoring. Once again, Anderson came up big for Richmond, hitting another 3-pointer which sparked a 7-0 run to restore Richmond's lead.
Coming into the game, Purdue averaged 41 rebounds per game and Richmond averaged fewer than 35 per game. The game didn't play out to those stats though, as Richmond held a 41-31 edge in the rebounding category.
The Spider defense frustrated the Boilermakers during the game and held them to 30 percent shooting from the floor. The Boilermakers scored just 14 points during the first half and trailed by 10 at the break.
Richmond's last upset against a top-10 team was a 69-68 victory at No. 10 Kansas on Jan. 22, 2004. Richmond had not beaten a top-10 team on a neutral floor since an upset of No. 7 Syracuse on March 14, 1991.
The last time a non-Big 10 Conference team defeated Purdue was on Dec. 2, 2008 as No. 4 Duke University defeated No. 10 Purdue, 76-60.
Richmond also claimed its second in-season tournament championship with the win against Purdue. Last year, Richmond won the South Padre Island Invitational with wins against Mississippi State and Missouri. This year, Richmond defeated Wright State and Purdue to claim the Chicago Invitational Challenge.
The Spiders now have a few days off before traveling to Old Dominion University for a 7 p.m. game Dec. 1.
Andrew Prezioso reported from Glen Gardner, NJ.
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