AMHERST --  The University of Massachusetts was able to stay with Richmond for much of the first half yesterday, keeping within 10 points. 

But the Spiders' unwillingness to miss at the start of the second half was too much for the Minutemen to overcome, and UMass fell, 84-68, at the Mullins Center. 

"In the second half, Richmond put on an offensive clinic," UMass coach Derek Kellogg said. "I didn't know if they'd miss for the entire second half." 

Richmond (15-5, 4-1 Atlantic 10) shot a remarkable 73.7 percent (14 of 19) in the first 12:30 of the second half, including 7 of 10 from 3-point range. Despite decent shooting in that span by the Minutemen (47.4 percent), the Spiders ended the stretch ahead, 72-51. 

"We played a terrific game on offense," Richmond coach Chris Mooney said. "When you shoot the ball like that, everything looks better, but we moved the ball very well, we were comfortable, we found ourselves open and not hesitant, and we really played a great game offensively." 

Leading at intermission, 33-27, Richmond started the second half with nine straight points and a 19-7 run. Justin Harper accounted for seven of those points, Dan Geriot six. The pair led the team in scoring with 21 and 24 points, respectively. 

UMass (11-7, 3-2) tried to stay in the game, led by Anthony Gurley (30 points) and Javorn Farrell (16), but couldn't manage to get closer than 13. 

"It kind of put us in a hole," Gurley said of Richmond's run. "It was an uphill battle for the rest of the half, and we weren't able to withstand it." 

"Everyone on the team felt like we had a shot to win this game," Farrell said. "Even going into halftime, we thought that we had a shot to win this game. But they came out on fire, and they were hitting contested shots." 

While the Minutemen had quality scoring opportunities in the first half, they were unable to capitalize on most, missing several easy layups. The Spiders maintained a small lead and appeared on the verge of a run at the end of the half. Six consecutive points gave Richmond a 33-24 lead with 26 seconds left. 

"We've had a couple of occasions in the last couple games where we're just missing too many easy baskets, especially when I thought we were doing a very good job against them defensively in the first half," Kellogg said. "I figured they'd make a run (eventually) because of how good they are offensively, and we gave away a couple of opportunities to have a cushion to withstand a couple of the blows they threw." 

The Minutemen got decent performances from Sean Carter and Terrell Vinson (eight points each). Darien Brothers (17) and Kevin Smith (11) rounded out Richmond's top scorers. 

Minutemen entangled

No escaping Spiders' web

By Rich Thompson
Sunday, January 23, 2011 - 
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AMHERST -- UMass' disruptive grind-'em down style was no match for a disciplined Richmond machine yesterday.

The Spiders opened the second half with a 19-6 run and coasted to an 84-68 Atlantic 10 victory against the Minutemen at the Mullins Center.

Center Dan Geriot led the way for Richmond (15-5, 4-1 A-10) with a season-high 24 points followed by forwards Justin Harper (21) and Kevin Smith (11) and guard Darien Brothers (17). Anthony Gurley's game-high 30 points prevented a lopsided loss from becoming an odorous one for UMass (11-7, 3-2).

"They are very disciplined, they have a very good indication of what they are trying to do on both ends of the floor, and they have a bunch of seniors that have been there for four and even five years," Minutmen coach Derek Kellogg said. "That's difficult to overcome sometimes. They are going to play their style, their game.

"They are a very good team when they are making shots."

The Spiders run an unorthodox offense rooted in the schemes Richmond coach Chris Mooney executed at a slower pace as a Princeton player in the early 1990s. Richmond shot 51.9 percent from the floor, including 11 3-pointers and 19 assists on 28 field goals. The Minutemen shot 37.7 percent from the floor and were 7-of-18 from behind the arc.

In the opening seven minutes of the second half, the Spiders broke open the game with backdoor cuts and open 3's that culminated in a 57-38 lead with 13:44 to play. Kellogg rotated players and employed full-court pressure, but nothing he tried contained Richmond, which hit nine of its first 10 shots. Harper's high-low game was the force behind Richmond's second-half run that Brothers finished with a trey from the baseline.

"That's a very untraditional offense and, with guys that have been in it four years or more, can be very effective," Kellogg said. "When they are cutting hard and making 3's it's almost impossible to defend. When they are knocking down 3's and sliding guys into the post it is difficult to stop them. In the second half, Richmond put on an offensive clinic."

The Minutemen enjoyed a brief spurt after Smith made it 60-41 on a 3 with 12:17 remaining.

Javorn Farrell (16 total points), Sean Carter (eight) and Gurley led the Minutemen during a 21-15 run that cut the Spiders' lead to 75-62. Harper crushed the UMass run by converting a three-point play with 3:01 remaining.

"They put us in a hole, and it was an uphill battle for the rest of the second half," Gurley said.

The Minutemen's pugnacious defense and stagnant offense produce a manageable 33-27 deficit at the break.

Geriot blitzed UMass with a pair of long balls and a jump hook to produce an opening 12-6 run. Gurley and Freddie Riley rallied the Minutemen with a collection of 3's and hard drives to cut the Spiders' lead to 21-18 with 5:22 to play.

Harper began asserting himself with medium-range jumpers and layups, and the Spiders hit 7-of-8 from the free throw line to take a 31-24 lead with 25 seconds remaining in the half.

Gurley salvaged the half by hitting a deep trey at the buzzer.

The Minutemen were 9-of-30 from the floor in the opening 20 minutes, while the Spiders hit 11-of-27 shots.


Richmond 84, Massachusetts 68

ESPNBoston.com 

Team Stat Comparison

 
RICH
MASS
Points8468
FG Made-Attempted28-54 (.519)23-61 (.377)
3P Made-Attempted11-28 (.393)7-18 (.389)
FT Made-Attempted17-20 (.850)15-26 (.577)
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)17 (1/0)22 (0/0)
Largest Lead232

2010-11 Season

DATEGAMELINKS
» Jan 22, 2011RICH 84, @MASS 68Recap | Box Score
Associated Press

AMHERST, Mass. -- Dan Geriot scored 24 points, leading four Richmond players in double figures as the Spiders defeated Massachusetts 84-68 on Saturday.

The Spiders (15-5, 4-1 Atlantic 10 Conference) got 21 points from Justin Harper, 17 from Darien Brothers and 11 from Kevin Smith to win for the 11th time in their past 13 conference road games.

Anthony Gurley scored 30 points for Massachusetts (11-7, 3-2), including a career-high six 3-pointers. He passed two players on the school's all-time scoring list to reach 30th place with 1,130 career points.

The Spiders shot 51.9 percent from the field (28 of 54) and 85 percent at the free-throw line (17 of 20) while the Minutemen struggled. UMass shot only 37.7 percent from the field (23 of 61) and 57.7 percent at the line (15 of 26).

Javorn Farrell added 16 points for UMass, which saw its two-game winning streak end.