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Backcourt carries Richmond past No. 13 UMass

The SportsXchange

RICHMOND, Va. -- A generation ago, Richmond established its reputation as a giant killer, pulling off NCAA Tournament upsets of Indiana (1988), Georgia Tech (1988) and Syracuse (1991).

The modern-day Spiders are just as adept at toppling ranked foes, especially at Robins Center.

Richmond knocked off No. 13 Massachusetts on Wednesday, getting 21 points from junior guard Kendall Anthony and three free throws in the final 39 seconds from senior guard Cedrick Lindsay in a 58-55 victory.

The Spiders won for the fifth time in their past six games against ranked foes at Robins Center.

Richmond fans clearly know the drill. After Massachusetts guard Chaz Williams missed a desperation 3-pointer in the closing seconds and Richmond guard Trey Davis tracked down the rebound, fans stormed the court in celebration.

The Spiders (13-6, 3-1 Atlantic 10) prevailed by controlling the pace and playing rugged defense against the fast-breaking Minutemen, who lead the conference in scoring. Massachusetts (16-2, 3-1) hit 40 percent of its shots from the floor and two of 14 from beyond the 3-point arc in matching its season-low output, also in a loss, 60-55 to Florida State.

"It was clear what won us the game -- our defense, our grit," Richmond coach Chris Mooney said. "UMass is tremendous. They have so many different weapons. They're experienced. Chaz Williams is so fast. He's scary fast."

The Spiders allowed only two transition points, the key according to Massachusetts coach Derek Kellogg.

"Our half-court offense was OK," Kellogg said. "We just didn't convert in transition tonight. They did a good job of getting back. I don't know if this is fast-break points, but we had, what, two? Come on. We have to be in the 20s."

Massachusetts was paced by forward Sampson Carter, who scored 15 points, and center Cady Lalanne, who had 10 points. Lalanne added 13 rebounds, leading the Minutemen to a 37-32 edge on the boards.

Williams, Massachusetts' top scorer, was limited to eight points and seven assists. He hit just two of 11 shots from the field.

It was an intriguing battle between the two smallest players on the floor -- the 5-foot-8 Anthony and 5-9 Williams. Anthony was the clear winner, as he hit four of six shots from beyond the arc.

"I have to look up to people sometimes," Anthony said. "It was good to be able to play someone my size."

Anthony scored all of the points in an 8-0 run late in the first half, converting a three-point play, hitting a 15-footer and adding a 3-pointer that gave Richmond its biggest lead, 26-17.

Anthony's quick start was critical, as it helped compensate for a slow start by Lindsay. The second-leading scorer in the A-10, Lindsay went to the bench in the first half with three fouls, forcing Anthony to take over the point.

"I had to be the leader out there. Cedrick in foul trouble is always a tough thing for us," Anthony said. "I had to step up as a leader, run the point guard position and make sure my teammates were in position."

Massachusetts opened the second half with furious defense, forcing five turnovers in the first 3:19. Guard Derrick Gordon had two steals and a layup, and Carter added a steal and a breakaway dunk. When forward Raphiael Putney flashed for a spectacular slam, the Minutemen had their first lead, 30-29.

Anthony answered with a 3-pointer, and Richmond did not trail again.

Midway through the second half, Lindsay came alive, driving the lane for baskets on three straight possessions, giving Richmond a 44-40 lead. After scoring just two points in the first 29 minutes, Lindsay finished with 11 and four assists.

"I wasn't really able to get into a rhythm. Kendall did a great job of stepping in," Lindsay said. "We're so used to him scoring. He came out hot and then took a different role and tried to run the team a little more and not look for his shot so much, and that's exactly what we needed him to do."

With Lindsay back in the flow, Anthony was free again to fire away. His 3-pointer from the corner with 3:45 left made it 55-48. It was Richmond's final field goal of the night, but the way the Spiders were playing defense, they had few worries in the closing minutes.

Kellogg didn't sound surprised or particularly concerned about the loss. To him, it is just life in a difficult conference.

"When teams are rushing the floor after you play them, and it sounds like they won the Super Bowl in their locker room, (you know) you're gonna be in for some tough games against good teams in our conference," Kellogg said.

NOTES: Massachusetts played its third consecutive road game, following a win at George Mason last Wednesday and a victory at Elon on Saturday. The Minutemen return home Sunday to face Fordham before playing two more on the road. ... Richmond earned its third straight win, all in the A-10. The Spiders play host to Saint Joseph's on Saturday.
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