Temple University was introduced to University of Richmond's first-year starting forward Derrick Williams Saturday in the Robins Center, and Williams wasn't polite.
In a game that the Spiders won with a dominating first-half performance, Williams was the catalyst, scoring 12 points and pulling down nine rebounds (five offensive) in the first half.
"I think he was a little bit disappointed in his game against [the University of North Carolina at] Charlotte, and I think since then, he's been so focused and so energized," Richmond coach Chris Mooney said. "He had a good game against Rhode Island and an incredible game tonight. This was his first home conference game; there's a lot of firsts for him, so I think this was just him maturing, getting more and more comfortable with how good he is and how big of an impact he can have for us."
Three separate times in the half, he grabbed a teammate's missed shot and put the ball back up for a bucket plus a foul. He finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds.
"Whenever he gets the ball in close range, we already think he's gonna score the ball whether he's getting double-teamed or not," Richmond guard Cedrick Lindsay said.
After leading 44-25 going into halftime, the Spiders coasted to a 76-65 victory over the Owls, Richmond's second-consecutive win over an Atlantic 10 Conference opponent.
Richmond grabbed the lead just over three minutes into the game off a Williams free throw and never trailed the rest of the game. The Owls were able to keep the game close, but two large runs by the Spiders put the game out of reach.
When Temple climbed to within one point midway through the half, the Spiders engineered an 11-2 run that stretched Richmond's lead to 23-13. The run was highlighted by two three-pointers, one each by guards Darien Brothers and Kendall Anthony.
"The best thing I can do really is score," Anthony said. "I just try to use that to help us win."
Anthony finished with 15 points, including 4-of-7 shooting from three, while Brothers finished with a team-high 19.
The second run came after Temple had cut the lead back to seven and looked like it had stolen momentum. The 10-0 run was topped off when Lindsay stepped in front of a Temple pass for a steal and drove down the court on a fast-break before passing the ball behind him to a trailing Darrius Garrett who rose and dunked the ball to bring the Spider fans to their feet. Temple coach Fran Dunphy said the dunk was worth "about 11.6 points."
"I understand what he means especially with a guy like Darrius cause it's such a highlight dunk," Mooney said when told about Dunphy's comment. "It is a thing that really gives you so much energy and so much momentum."
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Temple's top two scorers, Khalif Wyatt and Ramone Moore, continued their offensive success scoring 22 and 17, respectively. Surprising for the Owls was the box score for third-leading scorer and top assist man, Juan Fernandez, who scored just two points on 1-of-11 shooting and only two assists.
"He has hurt us tremendously in the past," Mooney said of Fernandez. "He has such a good change of pace to his game, he can lull you to sleep a little bit. I just think we were aggressive on him."
The Spiders (11-7, 2-1) travel next Wednesday to Washington, D.C., to take on another conference-foe George Washington University in a game that is set to tip off at 7 p.m.
Game Notes: Richmond outscored the Owls, 34-28, in points in the paint... Lindsay, who finished with 11 points, left the game late in the second half with a knee injury, but he said he thought it would be fine after the game... Garrett finished with five blocks, four in the first half.
Contact staff writer David Weissman at firstname.lastname@example.org
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