inicio mail me! sindicaci;ón

Richmond 62 La Salle 53.

Box Score

Postgame audio - Coach Chris Mooney:

Postgame audio - Jarhon Giddings & Kevin Anderson:

Despite giving up 26 offensive boards, the Richmond Spiders (13-13) picked up their fifth win in Atlantic 10 play on Tuesday night, defeating La Salle 62-53. Sophmore guard Kevin Anderson had a career-best 28 on a variety of silken mid-range jumpers.

It was my long-overdue first opportunity to see Richmond play in person since former Princeton standout Chris Mooney had taken the program’s reins in 2005.

La Salle (14-11) was coming off a win over Big 5 rival St. Joe’s on Valentine’s Day and Richmond had lost five of their previous six, but watching the two teams’ body language as the game unfolded, you would have thought that the Spiders were the team entering Tuesday’s contest with momentum.

Richmond opened the game on a 14-4 run, and survived a strong La Salle push to start the second half before answering with a decisive 15-2 tear to retake control.

“I was very pleased with how we played,” said Mooney after the win. “Kevin Anderson was tremendous throughout the game. Coming in I thought if we got killed on the offensive backboard, we would have a long night and we did get killed on the offensive backboard, but we were able to survive it.”

The inability to grab rebounds was the Spiders’ biggest flaw. La Salle had more offensive boards (15) than Richmond had total rebounds (13) in the first half.

By switching defenses repeatedly, La Salle was never able to find their comfort level on offense. I was impressed that the Spiders went to a spread 2-3 zone when La Salle’s begoggled big man Vernon Goodridge was on the bench. The zone would have allowed Goodridge to thrive in the center of the paint, so Mooney saved this D only for times when Goodridge was off the floor.

It was interesting to hear Mooney talk about the way he thought about his different zones and how they could be effective against La Salle’s personnel. The Explorers were 2-14 from outside against Richmond, 1-10 in the second half, which allowed Mooney to adjust the defense further.

“They didn’t shoot the ball well from three,” Mooney recognized. “When any team is playing defense, but especially us, if [our opponent] is not shooting well, if we can take that extra step off of their guy, that is a big step. All of a sudden you’re not giving up as much penetration, you’re not giving up as much creativity because you’re able to cut that offensive player off.”

Their creativity sapped, La Salle had just two options – crash the boards and continue to force jumpers on the perimeter. The Explorers shot 6-32 in the first half (18.8%) and 28.1% for the game.

Some of Richmond’s offensive sets would be familiar to Princeton fans. There were multiple dribble handoffs and bounce passes to the elbow that started cutters in motion, but Richmond used passes from the wing diagonal to the top on the key to set up drives and pull-up jumpers for Anderson in a way I don’t believe the Tigers utilize.

La Salle scored 10 straight out of the break to erase a five point deficit before Kevin Smith banked one home inside at the 14:49 mark, starting the Richmond response.

While the Spiders also struggled from the three point line (2-12), Richmond’s leading scorer, David Gonzalvez was on target from the top of the arc as Richmond went back in front 41-38 on their first three of the night. Gonzalvez finished with a season-low five points.

Jahron Giddings’ dunk follow, one of 12 offensive boards for Richmond, made it a nine point lead and Ryan Butler - a former Princeton target who has grown to 6’7” since opting for the Spiders - took the lead to 10 with a triple from dead on with 3:33 left, icing the game.

“I thought our aggressiveness increased or improved during the course of the second half,” Mooney said. While the Spiders allowed another 11 offensive boards after intermission, they outrebounded La Salle 19-18 in the second half.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.