The University of Richmond men’s basketball team trumped conference-opponent George Washington University, 73-64, in the Robins Center on Wednesday after trailing the Colonials for the majority of the game.
With about six minutes left in the second half, sophomore Alonzo Nelson-Ododa made a three-pointer to give Richmond the lead for the first time since the beginning of the game.
Richmond continued to build on that lead with several plays close to the basket by senior Greg Robbins.
Coach Chris Mooney said that Robbins, who finished the game with 15 points, had played tremendously and understood how the team could gain and maintain the lead.
Although Richmond tied the score in the last seconds of the first half, GW quickly regained the lead in the second, and scored 12 points to Richmond’s three in the first four minutes.
Mooney said that despite the team playing poorly for the majority of the game, it was a good sign his players were able to recover at the end.
Robbins said that if the game had been at GW, he didn’t think the Spiders would have been able to close out the win.
The referees called 54 fouls in the game, including one technical on Mooney for arguing a call.
“It’s hard to get into a groove with a lot of fouls called,” Robbins said. “But it’s not an excuse for why we played poorly.”
Mooney said he preferred when the referees called a tight game because it encouraged the players not to foul.
“I’m glad we’re a deep team because the foul trouble didn’t bother us as much,” he said.
No Richmond players fouled out, but two GW players did.
Richmond scored 23 of its points from free throws, shooting 72 percent from behind the line. Cedrick Linsday was 10-11 from the free throw line and Derrick Williams shot 6-7.
Lindsay, who was the leading scorer, made more than half of his 19 points from free throws.
Senior Darien Brothers led the first half in scoring with 11 points, but only added one point in the second. Brothers, one of the team’s best shooters, had several long shots that grazed the rim, but didn’t fall. He ended the game 1-5 from behind the three-point line.
With 50 seconds remaining in the first half, Brothers made a three-pointer, decreasing GW’s lead to one. With GW in possession, Freshman Terry Allen got a defensive rebound to put the ball back into Richmond’s hands.
Sophomore Wayne Sparrow made the play to tie the score by driving to the basket and drawing a foul. He made one of two free throws to make the score 36-all.
Allen was the leading rebounder for the team with seven, and also added four points. Sparrow contributed five points and three rebounds.
Mooney said that Sparrow’s play at the end of the half was critical.
“Wayne [Sparrow] made as good a play as I’ve seen in the Robins Center,” he said.
With the win, Richmond extended its overall record 17-11, and conference record 7-6.
Mooney said that as the NCAA tournament approached, it would be interesting to see which Atlantic 10 teams made the tournament.
“This conference is really tremendous this season,” he said. “I’ve been following the A-10 for a long time and I’ve never seen depth like this.”
The Spiders face Dayton University next on the road at 4 p.m. on Saturday.
Contact reporter Avery Shackelford at email@example.com