Final Score: Richmond 69 - Belmont 61
What Happened: A 10-0 run toward the end of the first half and a 14-2 run early in the second half propelled the Spiders over Belmont, 69-61. Richmond showed its depth tonight as four players scored at least nine points. Terry Allen led the way with 16 points. Cedrick Lindsay, who was held scoreless in the first half, scored 15 points in the second half. JJ Mann, Belmont's leading scorer in its opening win and its highest returning scorer, was held to four points on 2-11 shooting. Belmont shot 56.5 percent from the field in the first half, including 71.4 percent in the first 12 minutes, but 10 first-half turnovers kept the Bruins from getting a lead larger than six. Terry Allen, Wayne Sparrow and Kendall Anthony combined for 26 of the Spiders 34 first-half points. Richmond, who never trailed in the second half, went on its 14-2 run in 5:32 early in the second half. Belmont clawed its way back into the game, cutting the Spiders lead to four with 2:40 left for the first time since the 16:18 mark of the second half, but a three-point play from Trey Davis created needed separation. Suspect foul shooting down the stretch allowed Belmont to hang tight, pulling within three points with less than 30 seconds remaining, but better foul shooting in the final 30 seconds allowed the Spiders to hang on for the victory.
Spider Positives: Terry Allen played one of his best games in his Richmond career, scoring 16 points and grabbing seven rebounds. Through two games, Allen has shown how much he has improved from last season and he is looking like a player head coach Chris Mooney will be able to count on going forward. After a tough start to the game, Richmond's defense shut down Belmont for the final 30 minutes. The Spider defense held Belmont to a 30.3 shooting percentage in the second half. The Spiders showed off its depth tonight, particularly when Lindsay struggled in the first half. Richmond proved tonight it can score even when one of its most reliable scorers has a bad shooting night.
Spider Negatives: The Spiders struggled to shoot from three again, going 3-21 for the game. Richmond is going to have to either start making more shots or limit the number of threes it takes in coming games. Through two games, the Spiders have struggled to rebound, which was one their biggest weaknesses a season ago. Although Richmond out-rebounded the Bruins tonight, it will face more athletic teams in the future that will take advantage of Richmond's rebounding woes. The crowd tonight was weaker than I had expected. Yes, it's a Monday night and yes, the season opener is a special occasion, but I did not expect half the arena to be empty. If this was the bigger, older Robins Center, the building would have felt empty.
Up Next: Richmond hosts Minnesota on Saturday. The Golden Gophers beat the Spiders last season, 72-57, at Minnesota.
Contact staff writer Jack Nicholson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow him on twitter at @URJackNicholson
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