The Collegian
Friday, February 23, 2024

Harper lifts Richmond to 69-61 victory over Seton Hall

Senior Justin Harper scored a season-high 24 points as Richmond defeated Seton Hall University, 69-61, Sunday afternoon at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

The Spiders ended the game on a 14-2 run over the last 5:33 of the game after they had struggled to contain Seton Hall's size all game long. The Pirates held a 32-22 edge in points in the paint and forward Jeff Robinson led the Pirates with 17 points with the majority of his seven baskets coming near the hoop.

The run started for Richmond after Seton Hall forward Herbart Pope, who, despite finishing with nine points, was still able to take control around the rim, had to sit on the bench after picking up his fourth personal foul. That was when Richmond went on its 14-2 run, sparked by Harper.

He tied the game at 59 with a turnaround jumper from the right edge of the foul line — a shot that Harper had been making throughout the game. On the next Richmond possession, Harper hit his sixth and final 3-pointer of the game to give Richmond the 62-59 edge.

But Harper did more than score during the final Richmond run. With the Spiders up by three, Harper got the ball at the foul line as two Pirate defenders closed in on him. Junior forward Darrius Garrett was left open under the basket, Harper found him and Garrett went up for an emphatic two-hand dunk.

The Pirates shut down senior point guard Kevin Anderson for the first 39 minutes of the game, but Anderson made his mark during the final minute. Up until that point, Anderson had scored nine points (he came into the game averaging 16 points per game) on 3 of 13 shooting. But with Richmond up by five and 1:47 left in the game, Anderson ran the shot clock down to three seconds before taking a long, high-arcing 3-pointer that put Richmond ahead 67-61.

Anderson then put the game out of reach after Seton Hall missed its next shot. With the shot clock winding down again, Anderson drove along the right of the lane and banked in his floater to give Richmond a 69-61 lead with 25.1 seconds left.

Richmond struggled during the first half and trailed 35-30 headed into the half as it shot 40 percent from the field and allowed Seton Hall to shoot 57 percent. Those struggles carried over into the first few minutes of the second half as Seton Hall extended its lead to 39-31 after Robinson's three-point play on a putback.

Seton Hall's eight-point lead was quickly cut to one and the rest of the second half was played with neither team taking a lead larger than five until the final minutes of the game.

After playing seven of their last eight games on the road, the Spiders — now with a 10-3 record — will host Wake Forest University at 7 pm on Dec. 29.

Andrew Prezioso reported from Glen Gardner, NJ.

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

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