It was the tale of two halves in Brooklyn Thursday, as Richmond withstood a Fordham comeback to hold on for a 70-55 win in the second round of the Atlantic 10 tournament.
Richmond dominated the first 20 minutes, taking a 38-22 lead to the halftime break, but Fordham stole the momentum and went on a quick 17-4 run to start the second half. The Rams cut Richmond’s lead to one point, but Richmond’s sometimes shaky defense held firm and some timely foul shooting allowed Richmond to pull away late.
"This was one of the rare games this year that our defense really carried us," Richmond coach Chris Mooney said.
Four Spiders scored in double figures, led by T.J. Cline and ShawnDre jones who each tallied 17 points. Cline also grabbed nine rebounds, and Terry Allen added 10 points, nine rebounds and four steals.
"Our season was on the line, we had to lay it all on the court," Cline said.
Khwan Fore, starting for just the second time this season, scored 10 quick points that helped push Richmond to its early double-digit lead.
In the first half Richmond sliced Fordham’s defense, as the Spiders shot 64 percent from the field and assisted on 12 of 16 made field goals. Richmond, which ended up committing nine turnovers, did not commit a turnover in the game's first 14 minutes.
On the other end of the court Richmond held the Rams to just 31 percent shooting in the first half.
Jones sealed an impressive first half with a coast-to-coast lay-up at the buzzer, and the Spiders looked poised to run away with the game.
Fordham's Joseph Chartouny and Ryan Rhoomes had other plans. Rhoomes, who finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds, pounded Richmond's interior defense, and Chartouny, the A-10 freshman of the year, tallied 19 points.
The Rams cut Richmond's lead to 46-45 with under nine minutes to play, but the Spiders, who shot 14-19 from the foul line, closed the game on a 24-10 run to seal the victory.
The Spiders will play top-seeded Dayton, who beat Richmond 85-84 on March 1, in the A-10 quarterfinals at noon Friday.
The Spiders missed Marshall Wood, who scored a career-high 29 points in a win over Fordham in January, Thursday after he suffered a concussion in a car crash Sunday. Mooney said Wood would not be available against Dayton.
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