First-half score: Richmond – 27, Massachusetts – 22
Analysis: UMass might have a great small guard of its own, but Richmond has Kendall Anthony. Richmond did not trail in the first half, as it held Chaz Williams, one of the A-10′s best players, to four points on 1-7 shooting and two assists in the first half. He is averaging 16 points and seven assists on the season and he scored at least 17 points the last two games against the Spiders. Kendall Anthony, conversely, leads all scorers with 13 points on 5-7 shooting at the half. Despite shooting 38.5 percent from the field in the opening half, Richmond held UMass, who averages 79 points per game, to 27.6 percent shooting in the first half.
What to look for in the second half: Richmond had all of the momentum in the first half, in large part because of Kendall Anthony’s play. Richmond kept the game at a relatively slow tempo and will need to continue to do so against a UMass team that likes to run. Anthony, who has played so well that you might overlook Cedrick Lindsay’s two points and 1-6 shooting, carried the Spiders’ offense in the opening half. Richmond did well in containing Williams in the first half, but can they keep it up? Williams has shown in the past that he can carve up Richmond’s match-up zone, but so far the Spiders have not given him much to work with. I doubt that Richmond will be able to continue to hold Williams to this efficiency. At the same time, I doubt UMass will force Lindsay into such a bad shooting half again. I’ll make the game this simple; The second half will be Williams vs. Lindsay, star vs. star. Whichever star plays the best will lead his team to victory. Remember, UMass has come back against other A-10 teams in the second half this season, but if Anthony keeps his play at this level and Lindsay finds his grove, Richmond can pull off this upset.