Final Score: Richmond 70 – Northeastern 66
What Happened: And this year’s CAA champions are the Richmond Spiders! Not actually, but Richmond did escape Boston with a 70-66 win over Northeastern today to finish 5-0 in its five out-of-conference games against CAA teams this season. Cedrick Lindsay led the Spiders with 18 points and Kendall Anthony added 15. Northeastern star Scott Eatherton led all scorers with 22 points, 17 of which came in the second half. Richmond and Northeastern traded baskets early in the first half, but a 14-4 run over a 5:45 span gave Richmond a 22-12 lead midway through the half. After this run, Richmond was able maintain a comfortable lead for the remainder of the half. In the first half, Richmond shot 56.5 percent to Northeastern’s 36.4 percent, and the Spiders led 40-28 at the break. The Spiders shot as well as they have from three-point range all season, as they went 6-11 on 3-pointers in the opening 20 minutes. Early in the second half, The pesky Huskies pressured the Spiders and drew a high amount of fouls – Northeastern reached the bonus before the 13-minute mark and the double bonus before the 10-minute mark – as they cut Richmond’s lead to 53-47 with nine minutes remaining. Kendall Anthony, who scored nine second-half points, led Richmond’s offense down the stretch, but a Northeastern 3-pointer cut Richmond’s lead to 64-62 with under four minutes remaining. The Huskies tied the game at 64, but a Lindsey floater gave Richmond a 66-64 lead with under two minutes remaining. Northeastern missed a shot to tie the game with under 30 seconds remaining. A big offensive rebound by Alonzo Nelson-Ododa with under 10 seconds remaining sealed Richmond’s victory.
Spider Positives: The biggest knock on the Spiders this year has been their three-point shooting, but their 9-16 three-point shooting helped lift them to victory today. Derrick Williams played one of his best games of the season. Williams hit two 3-pointers in the first half and was a constant force on the blocks. Losing Williams to the bench due to foul trouble hurt the Spiders down the stretch. Following Northeastern’s push in the second half, Kendall Anthony’s play down the stretch saved the game for the Spiders. Anthony, who is averaging 17 points per game in his last five games, reconfirmed that he is a player Coach Mooney can count on late in close games.
After a great first half, Northeastern outscored the Spiders 38-30 in the second half. Richmond picked up its tenth team foul in under ten minutes of play in the second half, putting the Huskies in double bonus with over 13 minutes left in regulation. Northeastern, who went 22-27 from the line, used foul shooting to crawl back into the game. Other teams will also punish the Spiders for letting them get in the bonus so early into a half. The excessive amounts of fouls also created foul trouble for the Spiders, as Williams and Wayne Sparrow picked up their fourth fouls with over nine minutes left in the game.
Up Next: Richmond will travel to Gainesville, Fla. to take on No. 12 Florida on Jan. 4. The Spiders then open conference play at St. Bonaventure on Jan. 8.