Richmond was ahead by 12 points before Liberty University scored its first points, and the Spiders just kept extending their lead the rest of the game.
On opening night, Richmond was able to get all 14 players in its lineup into the game, routing the Flames, 84-42. Six players made their collegiate debut in the Robins Center for Richmond, including starting center Alonzo Nelson-Ododa and backup forward Trey Davis.
True freshmen Deion Taylor and Terry Allen even saw playing time during the first half, when the game was still competitive. Their participation against Liberty should be indicative of the rest of the season, Richmond coach Chris Mooney said.
“They want to be able to contribute,” he said. “They have a lot to contribute, so it’s really good that they got so many minutes tonight.”
Richmond’s lone senior Darien Brothers led the way offensively for the Spiders, making his first four three-point attempts and finishing with a game-high 19 points.
“When [Brothers] was open, it was pretty much automatic,” Mooney said.
The opening-night blowout is an encouraging sign compared to last season’s sloppy 66-56 opening-night win over American University, a similar caliber team to Liberty.
“We kind of came out flat [against American],” Brothers said, “but this game, we brought more energy. We’ve been more focused in practice, so I think that definitely makes the difference.”
This year’s team is a better all-around offensive team compared to last year’s, Mooney said.
“[We have] a few more weapons and a few more ways to score,” he said. “Tonight was obviously not the greatest indication because we were up so early by so much.”
Defensively, the Spiders forced 18 turnovers, with 10 steals and six blocks. The Flames shot 26 percent from the field. Mooney warned against putting too much stock into the team’s defensive effort for the game, though.
“We weren’t necessarily tested tonight, so it remains to be seen,” he said. “We lost two really good defenders [graduated Darrius Garrett and Francis-Cedric Martel], but I think overall we have good athleticism, good length, and we could cause some problems for some teams.”
Next up for the Spiders is another home game on Tuesday against University of North Carolina-Wilimington. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
Game Notes: UR forward Derrick Williams had a game-high 11 rebounds… Guards Cedrick Lindsay (12 points) and Kendall Anthony (11 points) were the only other Spiders in double figures… Liberty’s Davon Marshall (12 points) was the team’s only player in double figures.
Contact staff writer David Weissman at firstname.lastname@example.org