Richmond holds off St. Francis rally, 84-74, in NIT
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) Terry Allen had 21 points and 11 rebounds and Richmond held off a furious second-half rally and beat St. Francis, N.Y., 84-74 Wednesday night in the first round of the NIT.
The Spiders (20-13) led throughout, but allowed the Terriers (23-12) to use a 21-11 run late in the second half to close within 74-72 with 2:50 remaining. Kendall Anthony then made consecutive driving baskets for the Spiders, pushing the lead back up to six, and they held on.
Alonzo Nelson-Ododa added 14 points, four blocks and two steals, including one of each with about a minute to play after Anthony's second basket put Richmond ahead 78-72. He first blocked a shot by Brent Jones, then took the ball away from Tyreek Jewell underneath.
''We really want to make a point to get those stops at the end,'' Nelson-Ododa said.
Anthony, ShawnDre' Jones and T.J. Cline each had scored 12 for the Spiders, and Josh Jones had 11. Richmond will face Arizona State, also at the Robins Center, on Sunday night.
Jones led the Terriers with 19 points, including 17 in the second half, Chris Hooper added 16 points and 11 rebounds and Jewell scored 14.
The Terriers arrived with no player on their roster listed as taller than 6-foot-7, but outrebounded the taller Spiders 35-32 and scored 42 points in the paint to Richmond's 44.
''They challenge every pass, every cut, every dribble, every shot, and it shows up during the course of the game,'' Spiders coach Chris Mooney said, adding that when the Terriers were making their run, ''I thought we were in a bit of a rush. Maybe we wanted to go from eight (ahead) to 10 or from six to nine.''
St. Francis, which earned its berth in the field by winning the Northeast Conference regular season, trailed 63-51 before Hooper's putback started their surge. Glenn Sanabria had a 3-pointer in the burst, Jones had two and Jewell's tip in with 2:50 to play made it 74-72.
Anthony, 2 for 11 from the field at that point, then scored on a drive, the ball hovering on the rim before finally dropping, and followed a Terriers turnover with another layup.
''When you cut it to two, you want a chance to win, to get over the top, but I think that's when that shot went in,'' St. Francis coach Glenn Braica said. ''It changed things.''
The Spiders made 10 of their first 12 shots and led 29-16 until the Terriers scored the next eight points. The lead was 41-30 at halftime and got as high as 15 in the second half.
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