Final Score: University of Richmond- 86, College of William & Mary- 78
What Happened: The Spiders used two clutch three-point plays, one from behind the arc at the end of regulation by Cedrick Linsday, and one layup plus a foul at the end of the first overtime period by Kendall Anthony, to force a second overtime. In that second overtime period, the Tribe went cold from the field, making just two of six shots, and Richmond took advantage. Five Spiders finished in double figures in scoring, led by Darien Brother’s 20 and Derrick Williams’s 17 to go along with his 11 rebounds. William & Mary had four players of its own in double figures in scoring, led by Marcus Thornton with a game-high 22. The Tribe were dominant in the paint, outscoring Richmond, 42-28, in the area, mostly on driving layups. But Richmond was able to negate that advantage by hitting 11-25 three-pointers and 19-21 free throws.
Spider Positives: Richmond proved it could pull out a win in a hard-fought, gritty game, the first time the Spiders have been faced with such a situation early in the season. Brothers proved again he is capable of being one of the top shooters in the country, and Lindsay, coming off a concussion that forced him to miss UR’s last two games, proved he can take and make the big shot. Most impressive was Richmond’s ability to remain calm during the first overtime period after William & Mary built a quick five-point lead. The Spiders didn’t panic and let the Tribe make a few costly mistakes to get back in the game, a sign of a maturing team.
Spider Negatives: Richmond needs to learn how to play physical basketball in the paint. William & Mary isn’t much bigger inside than the Spiders, but the Tribe’s forwards Tim Rusthoven (20 pts) and Kyle Gaillard (16 pts) consistently got easy buckets near the basket. Gaillard, who came into the game averaging less than seven points per game, didn’t miss a shot. The Spiders also need to learn how to stay out of foul trouble, as four vital players — Williams, Brothers, Anthony and Greg Robbins — finished with four fouls. Williams also finished with eight turnovers, which is way too high for a big man who rarely handles the ball. Picking up a win is always good, but if the Spiders want to take the next step toward becoming NCAA tournament contenders, William & Mary is the type of team they need to blow out.
Up Next: Richmond will stay in the Robins Center and take on ACC-foe Wake Forest on Saturday. The Demon Deacons are a young team that haven’t proven much yet, but they’re still an ACC team and should be a tough test for the Spiders. Tipoff for the game is set for 6 p.m.
Contact staff writer David Weissman at firstname.lastname@example.org