March 2, 2011
PHILADELPHIA - Kevin Anderson scored 20 of his game-high 22 points in the second half as Richmond earned a 69-54 victory over Saint Joseph's on "Senior Night", the Hawks' final game of the season at Hagan Arena.
Anderson shot 5-for-8 from the field in the second half and 9-for-9 from the foul line. Justin Harper scored 16 points and Dan Geriot added 14 for Richmond, which improves to 23-7 and 12-3 in the A-10.
Saint Joseph's, now 8-21 and 3-12 in the A-10, was led by Ronald Roberts with 10. The Hawks' seniors, Idris Hilliard and Charoy Bentley, were honored prior to the game and Hilliard scored eight points and grabbed seven rebounds.
After shooting just 29 percent in the first half, Richmond hit 55 percent of their shots in the second to pull away from the Hawks. Leading 40-39 with just over 10 minutes to play, the Spiders broke it open with a 12-1 run, with five points from Harper, to take a 52-40 lead.
SJU couldn't cut the deficit to single digits the rest of the way and the Spiders took their biggest lead of the game, 69-52, with 1:49 remaining.
In the first half, the Spiders took the early 9-2 lead but the Hawks tied it, 11-11, on a jumper by Jones with 11:15 to play. Neither team would lead by more than three points in the low scoring period, with Richmond holding a 20-19 edge at intermission.
"The numbers that really impact here are the offensive rebounds (12). They're a team that does not emphasize offensive rebounding and they got them in flurries, they got them against our zone defense. And turnovers too- we hadn't been turning the ball over and we had seven at halftime," said Hawk coach Phil Martelli.
"I thought we could have had a workable margin in the first half had we made our free throws, we were 3-for-6 from the line, and if we didn't turn the ball over. They took 31 shots and we took 22 in the first half," said the coach. "And then in the second half Anderson shows why he's the reigning Player of the Year and why Harper is the possible Player of the Year for this season. Anderson played like an All-League guy, he went wherever he wanted to go and then he had a couple of threes late that really separated it. But it was our inability to really shut Anderson out, he had 20 of their 49 points in the second half."
Saint Joseph's heads into a showdown at Charlotte on Saturday with the teams playing for the final spot in next week's Atlantic 10 Tournament. The winner will take 12th place with the loser failing to qualify for the tournament.