Forward Terry Allen, freshman, led Richmond to a 79-55 defeat of Duquesne Saturday night, with a career-high 17 points, making all seven shots he took from the field.
The Spiders scored the first nine points of the game, beginning with junior guard Cedrick Lindsay’s three-pointer on the first possession, and never relinquished the lead.
Senior guard Darien Brothers led the Spiders with 11 first-half points, including two three-pointers, which brought him to 200 three-pointers for his career. He added his 201st in the second half to finish the game with 14 points but left the game about eight minutes into the second half after a cut on his shooting hand required stitches.
“The gash is between his pinky and ring fingers,” head coach Chris Mooney said. “It happened as he was reaching for a loose ball.”
Brothers had saved the ball and jammed a finger when he caught himself on the floor, splitting the skin, he said. He said he would still be able to shoot normally in practice and definitely play Thursday.
The Spiders opened the second half with a 42-26 lead and a 31-11 run, capped by one of Allen’s two three-pointers, to extend the lead to 73-37.
Well into mercy minutes, the Dukes went on a 14-point run, led by freshmen Derrick Colter and Quevyn Winters, who finished with 18 and 12 points, respectively.
Richmond senior guard Jonathan Benjamin played only the last minute and 16 seconds, but had a steal and ended the game with the ball and then embraced sophomore guard Kendall Anthony at center court. Senior forward Greg Robbins scored two points and tied for the game high with three of the Spiders’ 22 assists.
Anthony had 12 points, and junior forward Derrick Williams scored in double-digits for the first time at home since his return to the lineup from a left ankle sprain, with 11.
Ten Spiders played more than 13 minutes, and the Spiders’ bench outscored the Dukes’ bench 42-14.
“Our depth will be an asset in the A-10 Tournament,” Mooney said. “Our younger guys have become more and more part of who we are as the season has gone on, and we’ve been able to count on the freshmen to the point we need them to win and we’re a better team than earlier this season.”
As a result of the win, the Spiders finished the season 18-13 overall and 8-8 in conference play. The Dukes finished 8-22 and 1-15, last in the A-10 for the first time since 2005-06.
After a series of A-10 upsets Saturday, most significantly George Washington’s 81-80 overtime win against Dayton, the Spiders clinched the eighth seed in the Atlantic 10 Tournament. Charlotte beat St. Joseph’s 52-40, causing a three-way tie for eighth place in the conference: Richmond, Charlotte and St. Joseph’s all finished 8-8.
Because each team won and lost one head-to-head game, the tiebreaker became each team’s record against their greatest common opponent, which was No. 16 St. Louis. The Billikens beat all three teams and finished 13-3 in conference play to claim first place in the A-10 for the regular season.
The tiebreaker then became the second-greatest common opponent, No. 21 Virginia Commonwealth University, which beat each team once but also lost to Richmond at the Robins Center Jan. 24. Richmond, therefore, won the eighth seed as the only team among the three to beat VCU.
Charlotte then earned a game against Richmond to start the A-10 Tournament when it beat St. Joseph’s to clinch the ninth seed via the head-to-head tiebreaker. The tournament will be at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., with all opening-round games on the NBC Sports Network.
The Spiders will face Charlotte at noon Thursday. The winner of that game will face St. Louis at noon Friday. The Spiders defeated the 49ers 81-61 at the Robins Center Jan. 19. The Billikens was the only A-10 team to beat Richmond at the Robins Center this season, 56-46 on Feb. 9.
“We feel we can beat anyone, given how close we’ve played everyone in the A-10 but Butler,” Robbins said. “Getting defensive stops down the stretch will be the key for us in the A-10 Tournament.”
The consensus among college basketball analysts is that Richmond must win the A-10 Tournament to make the NCAA Tournament, but the Spiders are in consideration for a National Invitation Tournament bid, currently listed as a six seed for that tournament. A win against Charlotte, which is currently listed as an NIT lock and a five seed, would almost ensure the Spiders making the NIT.
Contact reporter Zak Kerr at firstname.lastname@example.org