Two big scoring runs by Virginia Commonwealth University, one in each half, killed any chance the Spiders had at coming out victorious Friday night on their rival's home court.
The Rams went on a 14-0 run midway through the first half and a 20-4 run towards the end of the second half after University of Richmond had pulled to within two points of the lead, 47-45.
Richmond point guard Cedrick Lindsay's near-perfect night shooting wasn't enough to overcome his team's turnover and foul issues. Lindsay finished with 22 points on 7-10 shooting, making his first seven shots from the field.
Sparking the two runs were 17 Richmond turnovers, compared to only seven made by the Rams. Starting forward Darrius Garrett had seven of the Spider turnovers himself.
"The turnovers were a problem all night long," Richmond coach Chris Mooney said. "I don't think we had that many in the backcourt from the pressure, but it's just too many turnovers for us to have as a team."
Richmond's second leading scorer was freshman Kendall Anthony, who leads the Spiders in scoring average this season, with 13 points, but he struggled for much of the game. He finished the first half with just two points on 1-8 shooting and missed his first six three-point attempts overall.
"I think Kendall has to work on getting other people involved," Mooney said. "He's shown an aggressiveness, which is a great thing for us, but it sometimes gets him in trouble."
The Rams benefitted from playing in front of a sell-out crowd at the Siegel Center, the arena's record-setting seventh-straight sellout. Mooney said the advantage definitely had an impact on the game.
"That's as loud as I've ever heard the Siegel Center in my two and a half years coaching here," VCU coach Shaka Smart said.
Leading the way offensively for the Rams were guard Rob Brandenberg and forward Bradford Burgess with 14 points each. Eleven of Burgess's points came on 11-of-14 shooting from the free throw line. Free throws aided VCU's second-half run, as the team was already in the foul bonus with over nine minutes remaining.
The win by VCU resembled its 72-60 loss to Richmond last December at the Robins Center. Smart said his team had used the loss as motivation this time around.
"Anytime you lose to a team and then play them again, I don't care if it's 10 years later, you remember that last game," he said. "We didn't make a big deal out of it publicly because it wasn't, but within the locker room, we definitely talked about it."
Enjoy what you're reading?
Signup for our newsletter
With the loss, Richmond drops to 6-3, while VCU improves to the same record. The Spiders next game will be a home contest with Iona College on Wednesday. Tipoff is set for 3 p.m.
Game Notes: Richmond's starting frontcourt duo, Garrett and sophomore Derrick Williams combined for just four points on 1-6 shooting... Richmond had only one assist at half time, compared to 10 turnovers... At the end of the game, VCU fans began chanting "Just like Kansas," alluding to last year's NCAA tournament, where Richmond fell to the Jayhawks in the Sweet 16, while the Rams beat them in the Elite 8.
Contact staff writer David Weissman at email@example.com
Support independent student media
You can make a tax-deductible donation by clicking the button below, which takes you to our secure PayPal account. The page is set up to receive contributions in whatever amount you designate. We look forward to using the money we raise to further our mission of providing honest and accurate information to students, faculty, staff, alumni and others in the general public.Donate Now