BOSTON, Mass. — Northeastern nearly ruined University of Richmond’s New Years, as the Huskies overcame a 12-point halftime deficit to tie the game with less than three minutes remaining, but Richmond pulled out the 70-66 victory.
Northeastern tied the game at 64 with 2:07 remaining, but Richmond regained the lead on four consecutive points from Cedrick Lindsay. Northeastern cut the lead to two points with 22 seconds remaining, but an offensive rebound on a missed free throw by Alonzo Nelson-Ododa sealed the Spiders victory.
Richmond, which came into the game shooting the nation’s 333rd worst three-point percentage at 28.2 percent, shot 9-16 from long range.
“We have guys who we think can shoot and who are here partly because they can shoot,” Richmond coach Chris Mooney said. “It’s a great thing to see for us.”
Lindsay led the Spiders with 18 points, and Kendall Anthony added 15 more.
“I just feel like some shots went down for us today,” Lindsay said. “We have had a lot of shots during the season that rattled out or were halfway down and didn’t get in.”
Northeastern’s top scorer Scott Eatherton, who averages 17 points and 10 rebounds per game, led all scorers with 22 points, despite being held to five first-half points.
Mooney said he had planned on double-teaming Eatherton more but foul trouble had kept the Spiders from sticking to that strategy.
Forward Derrick Williams, who had 12 points in the first half, led Richmond to a 40-28 halftime lead.
Nelson-Ododa said Williams had played really aggressively and ran the floor, which had been really good to see from a guy his size.
“He just moved so well,” Mooney said of Williams. “I think that’s the biggest surprise when you see him because he looks so big and physical and powerful.”
Mooney said he had thought the first half had been one of Richmond’s best offensively this season.
Northeastern was able to claw its way back into the game with full-court pressure defensively and excellent foul shooting offensively. The Huskies reached the double bonus with more than 10 minutes remaining and made 22 of their 27 total attempted foul shots.
Although Northeastern slowly chipped away at Richmond’s lead, the Spiders seemed to always have an answer. Anthony’s nine second-half points helped ensure Richmond did not trail in the second half.
“Every time we threw a punch, they threw a counter-punch,” Northeastern coach Bill Coen said.
Richmond finished 5-0 in its five games against CAA opponents this season with today’s win. The Spiders will travel to Gainesville, Fla., to face the No. 12 Florida Gators on Sunday.
“We’ve been watching them on ESPN and have seen how crazy their stadium is,” Nelson-Ododa said. “We’ll definitely be ready to play in that type of atmosphere.”
Following Florida, Richmond begins conference play, opening on the road at St. Bonaventure on Jan. 8.
Contact staff writer Jack Nicholson at firstname.lastname@example.org