RICHMOND, Virginia – Hot shooting Richmond raced out to a 51-31 halftime lead and torched the nets for 58.2 percent in a 101-58 romp over UNCW in the men’s basketball road debut for the Seahawks Tuesday night at the Robins Center.
“It seemed like everything they put up went in,” said third-year UNCW Head Coach Buzz Peterson. “They sped the game up and we had to play catch up. We missed a lot of chip shots around the basket.
“They have a very good basketball team. We had our back to the basket and they ran two people at us. We just have to do a better job of protecting the basketball.”
The Seahawks, playing the first leg of a three-game road swing, now stand 1-1 on the season after dropping the first game in the four-game Nations of Coaches Classic. The Spiders are 2-0 after beating Liberty and UNCW at home to open the campaign.
The 43-point loss was the third worst defeat in UNCW history and the first time an opponent has scored 100 points on the Seahawks since a 101-60 loss at George Mason on Jan. 3, 2009.
Senior guard Darien Brothers led four players in double figures for the Spiders with 21 points. Sophomore guard Kendall Anthony added 17 points, junior forward Derrick Williams scored 15 and sophomore guard Wayne Sparrow had 10 for the UR, who made 32-of-55 field goals against a variety of Seahawk defenses.
Senior forward Keith Rendleman was the only player in double figures for UNCW with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
The Seahawks trailed, 51-31, at halftime and struggled offensively most of the night, shooting a sub-par 32.1 percent on 18-of-56 field goals. UR, meanwhile, got contributions up and down its lineup to post its second straight rout of the new campaign.
In the 46th meeting between the two former Colonial Athletic Association rivals, the Spiders, who also led the Flames by 20 points at the break, made 14-of-25 field goal tries in the first 20 minutes to take command and never let up.
After redshirt freshman Craig Ponder connected on a shot in the lane to slice UR’s early advantage to 9-8 at the 16:02 mark of the first half, the Spiders reeled off 13 unanswered points to grab control. Greg Robbins made a steal and layup to start the run and Williams dropped in pair of free throws with 10:30 left to increase the lead to 22-8.
The Spiders kept up the pressure in the first half and closed out the first period with an 11-2 spurt over the final 2:15, capped by Sparrow’s triple on the right wing that gave UR a comfortable 51-31 cushion at the break.
UNCW never got closer than 21 points in the second half as the Spiders continued to cruise down the stretch. Leading 74-44 with eight minutes remaining, Chris Mooney’s club went on a 19-3 outburst to extend the lead and led by 50 points, 101-51, with 1:32 left.
A bright spot for the Seahawks on the night was free throw shooting, where UNCW went a perfect 19-of-19 at the charity stripe. Rendleman, Tanner Milson and Chris Dixon each made all four of their free throw attempts in the contest.
The Seahawks remain on the road for a 7 p.m. tip-off Friday at Sweet Sixteen participant Ohio in Athens, Ohio.
GAME NOTES: The Seahawks now stand 16-30 against UR, including 5-16 at the Robins Center…Richmond has won five straight over UNCW…Buzz Peterson is 11-14 in non-conference games since taking over the UNCW program three years ago…The Seahawks have lost six straight to UR at the Robins Center…The officials called 25 personal fouls in the first half…Fifthteen of the 16 players who dressed for the Seahawks played…Freshman center C.J. Gettys and junior guard Marcus Graham each made their first field goal attempt as Seahawks…UNCW committed 18 turnovers to just eight for the Spiders…UNCW won the rebounding battles, 34-30…The Spiders had 12 steals…UR went 23-of-28 at the free throw line…Tyree Graham paced the Seahawks with four assists…UNCW made just 3-of-14 behind the arc.