The Richmond Spiders handled business for their rowdy crowd Friday night, as they defeated the Radford Highlanders 64-46 to begin the season. The Spiders were noticeably anxious in the first half, but settled in offensively in the second half to create an insurmountable lead over Radford. The defense was particularly solid, holding Radford under 30 percent shooting in the game.
The offensive star of the game was Kendall Anthony, the senior point guard for the Spiders. He struggled in the first half finding his shot, but came alive in the second half and made many impressive plays to put points on the board. Anthony finished with 18 points on 12 shots, and contributed two assists and a steal as well.
The defensive leader for the Spiders was center Alonzo Nelson-Ododa. He made four blocks during the game, three of which were early in the first half and stalled Radford from penetrating in the paint. Ododa also was one point away from a double-double, as he snagged 11 rebounds and scored nine points.
T.J. Cline was a major role player for the Spiders in his first game for Richmond. Despite only 12 minutes of play, Cline scored 11 points and made one block. His ability to score inside with his size and from behind the three-point arc adds a valuable twist to Richmond's offense.
The only true negative for Richmond against Radford was the rebounding battle. Richmond had 28 defensive rebounds, one more than Radford, but had only four offensive rebounds compared to Radford's 16. This differential is drastic and allowed Radford to take nine more shots than Richmond during the game.
Men's basketball's next game is Tuesday in Norfolk against the tough Old Dominion Monarchs.