Williams lifts Northeastern past Richmond, 58-57
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) Two weeks ago, Northeastern led Cal-Poly 31-17 at halftime, had everything going its way, and then gradually collapsed. The Mustangs took their first lead in the final minute and came away with a stunning 60-58 victory.
On Wednesday, Northeastern got that one back with a similar kind of comeback in a 58-57 victory at Richmond.
T.J. Williams scored 15 of his 20 points in the second half, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 18 seconds left, and the Huskies (8-4) survived a heavily contested 3-pointer by T.J. Cline at the buzzer that was off the mark for the victory.
''We've been on the other end of that and hopefully it's a growth period for us in terms of our end-game execution and what we want to do offensively and defensively,'' Huskies coach Bill Coen said.
He said being in that type of game likely helped his team, but so did having Williams heating up after halftime. The sophomore made all five of his 3-point shots in the second half, the last to give them their first lead since it was 2-0.
''Once the first three had dropped, my energy started to pick up even more and I knew that would lead on to the rest of the team,'' Williams said. ''And then we all just started feeding off each other and that builds energy and then we all started believing in each other and we just stuck to the plan.''
The loss was the second crusher in a row for Richmond (7-6), which fell 65-63 to Wake Forest in its last outing, also at home, on a tip-in at the buzzer. The Spiders, who led this one 55-47 with 4:44 left, didn't score again until Trey Davis collected Cline's miss and laid it in as the buzzer sounded.
''It's hard to have games like that, especially because with a minute to go, I thought we would have won both,'' Richmond coach Chris Mooney said. ''I think that's that hard part. I think the main thing is to stay together.''
Quincy Ford added 12 points for the Huskies, who were playing their 10th road game.
Kendall Anthony led Richmond with 18 points, but had only four after halftime, and Terry Allen had 14, only two after halftime. Trey Davis added 10 for the Spiders, who open Atlantic 10 play on Saturday at Davidson.
''We play again on Saturday,'' he said. ''We don't have any time to feel sorry for ourselves.''
Richmond used an 8-4 run early in the second half to open its largest lead at 43-30, then went more than three minutes without a point as the Huskies scored eight straight. Williams provided the last six with back-to-back 3-pointers.
The Spiders rebuilt it to 55-47 after ShawnDre' Jones' 3 with 4:44 to go, then went cold.
After falling behind 10-2, the Huskies climbed back to within 15-10 before Richmond went on a 13-6 run to take its biggest lead at 28-16. Anthony had five in the burst, including a 3-pointer to cap it.
The Huskies got just four points from scoring leader Scott Eatherton in the half as Richmond used a collapsing double team on him every time he got the ball. He managed just two field goal tries.
Northeastern: The Huskies were playing their 10th road game in the first 12.
Richmond: After scoring a career-best 22 points in his last outing against Wake Forest, T.J. Cline was scoreless at halftime after picking up two quick fouls and playing just 3 minutes. He finished with two points in 13 minutes.
Richmond took Huskies scoring leader Scott Eatherton out of the game by double teaming him. The 6-foot-9 redshirt seniors came in averaging 16.4 points, but finished with just six and spent the critical final three minutes on the bench.
Northeastern: The Huskies open Colonial Athletic Association play Saturday at Delaware.
Richmond: The Spiders open Atlantic 10 play at Davidson on Saturday.
Follow Hank on twitter at: http://twitter.com/hankkurzjr