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Richmond erases late deficit, upends VCU in OT

The SportsXchange

RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond rallied from a six-point deficit with 21.2 seconds left in regulation to force overtime and beat No. 19 VCU 86-74 on Thursday night at a sold-out Robins Center.

Richmond (13-7, 3-2 Atlantic 10) ended VCU's 13-game winning streak, which was the second-longest active streak in the country entering Thursday night. It also gave the Spiders temporary bragging right after losing seven of the last eight meetings with the Rams.

"A rivalry game like this usually can bring out the best in you in terms of your effort," Richmond coach Chris Mooney said. "I'm thrilled for our guys and for our program. This was a great, great win."

For the Rams (16-4, 4-1), it was their first conference loss since joining the Atlantic 10 and the team's first loss since Nov. 24 to Missouri in the Bahamas.

"For about 39 minutes and 20 seconds, we really stayed to our principles, stayed aggressive, and put ourself in position to win," VCU coach Shaka Smart said. "But [we] just did not close out the game."

With Richmond trailing 66-60, guard Kendall Anthony sank three free throws after being fouled by VCU's Troy Daniels to make the score 66-63 with 21.2 seconds left.

After Daniels made one of two free throws, Anthony hit another three with 13.6 seconds left to make the score 67-66.

Daniels went back to the free-throw line and made both free throws. Mooney called a timeout with 12 seconds to play.

Mooney called for a play that was supposed to go to Anthony, but point guard Cedrick Lindsay drove and hit an open Darien Brothers, who drilled a 3-pointer from the right wing with 1.5 seconds left to tie the score at 69-69, forcing overtime.

"We came down, we couldn't get the play," Brothers said. "So me and Cedrick earlier talked about him driving and flipping the ball back like he usually does. I had a wide-open look and I took it. And I hit the shot. It was amazing."

Richmond scored the first four points of overtime on a Brothers jumper and an Anthony runner that put the Spiders quickly ahead 73-69 with 4:06 left in the extra period.

Treveon Graham hit a 3-pointer with 3:51 to play to pull the Rams to one, but it was the last field goal they would hit. Richmond scored six straight to put the game out of reach for good.

"In overtime, I just felt like they had more energy than we did," Smart said. "It's very, very tough for teams to respond after what happened to us in regulation, and we did not respond well enough."

Anthony had a game-high 26 points, making 5 of 9 from 3-point range.

Mooney was pleased with how his team never gave up down the stretch, something he said started with Anthony.

"Kendall is a tough, tough little guy," Mooney said. "I thought he really set the tone for that kind of toughness."

Brothers had 18 points, making 4 of 10 from beyond the arc. As a team, Richmond made 12 of 27 3-pointers compared with 3 of 17 for VCU.

Juvonte Reddic had 20 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Rams, and Graham had 15 points and 10 rebounds.

The Spiders handled VCU's "havoc" defense, only turning the ball over 13 times. VCU had just five steals, a reflection of the guard play from Richmond.

"(The guards) were tremendous with breaking the press, not hesitating," Brothers said. "We didn't have that many turnovers. They got us into our offense like we wanted to, like we talked about all week in practice."

Richmond led 32-29 at the half after shooting 52.4 percent (11 of 21) from the field. The Spiders never trailed in the opening half and led by as many as seven points.

Freshman Deion Taylor led the Spiders with seven points and four rebounds before the break.

VCU had to deal with early foul trouble, as starters Rob Brandenberg, Graham and Reddic all had two fouls 12:57 into the game. That forced coach Smart to rely on his reserves. Freshman Melvin Johnson came off the bench to score nine points in the first half, making all four of his shots from the field.

NOTES: The schools met for the 67th time. It was the first game between the teams as members of the same conference since 2001, when both were members of the Colonial Athletic Association. VCU entered Thursday's game leading the series 41-25. ... Richmond was without post player Derrick Williams, the team's leading rebounder, for a sixth consecutive game. Williams sprained his left ankle against Davidson on Dec. 29.
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