RICHMOND, Va. -- Trailing No. 19 VCU by seven, scoreless for more than five minutes and with only 42 seconds left in regulation, Richmond's players gathered in a huddle and 5-foot-8 Kendall Anthony told his teammates the most remarkable thing.
"Kendall said, `Hey guys, we are going to win this game,"' Darien Brothers said. "We kept getting stops when we needed them, and luckily we got some good baskets."
Anthony scored 21 of his 26 points after halftime and Brothers hit two huge 3-pointers Thursday night and Richmond ended the No. 19 Rams' 13-game winning streak, 86-74 in overtime.
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Brothers had 18 points and Cedrick Lindsay 13 as the Spiders (13-7, 3-2 Atlantic 10) won for only the second time in their last nine meetings with their cross-town rivals. Richmond hit 12 3-pointers with Anthony making five and Brothers four, including one with 1.5 seconds left in regulation to force the overtime, and another to clinch it with 1:35 to play in OT.
On the play to end regulation, the Spiders were looking for Anthony first.
"They kept denying him so (Lindsay) brought his man to me and flipped it behind and I was open," Brothers said.
Rams coach Shaka Smart said he considered having his team foul to prevent the Spiders from hitting a tying shot, but with 12 seconds left and his team having missed two free throws already in the final 27 seconds, he played the percentages.
"Obviously, in retrospect, we should have fouled," he said.
The victory was Richmond's fourth in its last five games against ranked teams at the Robins Center, and eighth in its last 13 games overall against teams in the top 25.
Juvonte Reddic had 20 points and 10 rebounds and Treveon Graham had 15 points, all after halftime, and 10 rebounds for VCU (16-4, 4-1), which never got its ball-hawking havoc defense unleashed against the steady Spiders.
Both teams finished with 13 turnovers and scored 17 off their takeaways.
VCU used a 19-4 burst to take a 63-56 lead with 42 seconds left, but couldn't close it out.
"I'm sure that was a really exciting game to watch," Smart said. "Unfortunately that's not the word I would use to describe it for us. It almost was a terrific road win. We just flat out did not finish out the game."
When Lindsay hit a pair of free throws for the Spiders with 37.7 seconds left, it was their first points in the final six minutes. He scored again after two free throws by Reddic, and when Graham made only 1 of 2 free throws with 26.9 seconds left for the Rams, the Spiders had hope -- and a sold out Robins Center crowd exhorting them on.
Anthony was fouled on a 3-point try with 21 seconds left, and he made all three shots. Troy Daniels made only 1 of 2 free throws for the Rams, and Anthony splashed a deep 3-pointer with 13.6 seconds left, pulling Richmond to 67-66.
Two free throws by Daniels made it 69-66, and with the clock racing down, Brothers went behind a screen to tie it.
In the overtime, the Spiders had all the momentum: Brothers scored in the lane, and Anthony followed with a driving layup. A 3-pointer by Graham pulled VCU within one, but Lindsay's 3-point play and Anthony's 3-pointer gave the Spiders a 79-72 lead with 2:40 to play, and the Rams never came close to their own comeback. Brothers' final 3 made sure of that.
The Rams trailed 52-44 with 11 minutes to play before Rob Brandenburg hit a 3-pointer and then scored on a drive. A free throw by Reddic and Brandenburg's basket inside tied it with 8:38 remaining.
Baskets by Trey Davis for the Spiders and Reddic again tied it at 54. After Lindsay's drive gave Richmond the lead again, Graham hit a free throw, followed a Richmond turnover with a putback and then added two free throws, giving the Rams their biggest lead of the night at that point at 59-56.
With the Spiders unable to do anything on offense, two free throws by Darius Theus and another putback by Reddic gave the Rams a 63-56 lead with 42 seconds to play, capping a 19-4 burst.
Then Richmond rallied to tie it, and put it away in the extra period.
The first half was played at Richmond's pace and they led 32-29 at the break, but VCU's started to cause some havoc early in the second. They pulled even for the first time in the opening 90 seconds, and two free throws by Graham capped a 10-2 run with 14:02 to go and gave the Rams their first lead, 42-40.
The game featured two of the best 3-point shooters in the country in Brothers and Daniels, and the two best 3-point shooting teams in the conference, but the long ball wasn't nearly as much a factor in the first half as expected because both teams played tough perimeter defense.
After halftime, the Spiders were 9 for 18 from 3-point range, and VCU was just 2 for 9.
Graham was scoreless in the first half and had two fouls. Reddic scored seven quick points and seemed poised for a big game with Spiders big man Derrick Williams sidelined by an ankle sprain, but Reddic had three fouls in just 11 minutes.
|Richmond's Kendall Anthony scores 21 of his 26 points after halftime in the Spiders' win over VCU. (AP)|
|Virginia Commonwealth #19 (16-4)||29||40||5||74|
|Richmond (13-7) «||32||37||17||86|
|VCU:J. Reddic 20 Pts
VCU:J. Reddic 10 Reb
VCU:R. Brandenberg 2 Ast
|RICH:K. Anthony 26 Pts
RICH:G. Robbins 8 Reb
RICH:G. Robbins 3 Ast
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|PLAYERS OF THE GAME|
|Virginia Commonwealth Rams|
|D. Theus, G||36||3-7||4-5||3||1||5||10|
|T. Daniels, G||35||1-5||3-4||3||1||1||6|
|T. Graham, G||34||4-11||6-9||10||0||3||15|
|J. Reddic, F||31||6-7||8-11||10||0||4||20|
|R. Brandenberg, G||23||2-10||3-4||2||2||5||8|
|B. Weber, G||28||0-6||0-0||3||1||3||0|
|M. Johnson, G||18||5-7||2-2||1||0||1||12|
|J. Guest, F||11||1-3||1-2||1||0||2||3|
|D. Haley, C||6||0-1||0-0||2||0||0||0|
|D. Hinton, F||3||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0|
|T. Okereafor, G||Did Not Play|
|M. Alie-Cox, F||Did Not Play|
|J. Burgess, G||Did Not Play|
|J. Tuoyo, F||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|
|G. Robbins, F||39||2-4||0-1||8||3||4||4|
|D. Brothers, G||37||5-16||4-4||3||0||4||18|
|C. Lindsay, G||31||4-9||5-5||1||3||3||13|
|A. Nelson-Ododa, F||30||3-3||0-1||5||0||3||6|
|D. Taylor, F||24||3-5||1-2||6||1||5||10|
|K. Anthony, G||27||7-16||7-7||3||1||0||26|
|T. Davis, F||16||1-1||0-2||4||0||0||2|
|T. Allen, F||16||3-4||1-1||7||0||4||7|
|W. Sparrow, G||5||0-0||0-0||0||0||1||0|
|J. Benjamin, G||Did Not Play|
|D. Williams, F||Did Not Play|
|Z. Chu, G||Did Not Play|
|L. Piotrowski, C||Did Not Play|
|L. Moyer, G||Did Not Play|
|J. Moran, G||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|